Friday, October 16, 2020

The Babes Bake Bierocks

For October we head to the Nebraska region of the U.S.A. for a specialty that Sweetie and I really enjoyed. The Bread Baking Babes Kitchen of the Month, Kelly of  A Messy Kitchen said this, "The first (choice of bread) is bierocks or runzas, which is a Nebraskan dish (also US regions with strong Eastern European and German heritage).  It is a hand held meat pie similar to a Cornish pasty I think.  I have seen vegetarian versions as well with portobello mushrooms instead of the beef." 

One of the key aspects of bierocks is that the filling needs to be flavorful since the bland bread can overpower it otherwise. Most versions that I saw used onions and cabbage...the rest of the filling varied. My filling was made with ground pork, onions, garlic, thyme and sage (dried), parsley (fresh), a bit of white wine, a touch of tomato paste, and quite a bit of a salad mix that contains kale, shaved Brussel sprouts, red cabbage, green cabbage, and broccoli stems in julienne. I did simmer it for about an hour, but by then it seemed done and ready to fill the dough without being cooked any more.

I made half the dough, which made enough for our dinner, plus two lunches. It's an enriched dough, but easy to work with. I used 1 cup graham flour as part of the flour for a bit of added nutrition. Other than that, I followed the directions below.

Do try these. They are filling and delicious! Thanks Kelly for choosing theses...a new favorite for fall.

Also, to become a Buddy, send Kelly an email with a photo of your finished buns and a short description of your bake. She'll send you a Buddy badge. Be sure to also check out the other Bread Baking Babes to see how their Bierocks/Runza turned out.

Bierock/Runza dough:

(Serves 12)

4½ cups all-purpose flour (feel free to use part wholemeal or add flax meal for speckles)

2 tbsp sugar 

2 pkgs (1/4 oz) yeast 

1 tsp salt 

¾ cup milk 

½ cup water 

½ cup butter 

2 eggs, beaten

Start by placing 1½ cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Gently heat the milk, water, and butter to 115º F.
Pour warmed wet ingredients into flour mixture. Stir slightly before adding beaten eggs.
Add remaining flour, one cup at a time, until the dough comes together and is smooth and elastic.
Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour. 

Filling ingredients:
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
2 pounds ground beef (I used ground pork)
4 cups shredded cabbage (about ½ a head of cabbage) (I used 2 cups kale salad mix)
1 small can sauerkraut, with the juice (I skipped this since I don't care for sauerkraut)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons fresh Italian parsley, minced
1/4 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste (be liberal here, the bread tempers the seasoning)
(optional) cheese of your choice (I skipped this since I'm allergic to dairy)

  Chop onions and garlic and sauté in a large frying pan with a little butter or olive oil until tender.  Add ground beef (pork) along with (tomato paste, sage, thyme, parsley, wine) and generous amounts of salt and pepper.  Cook until beef (pork) is cooked through (then stir in the kale salad). Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Cool before using as filling for the bierocks.

Punch dough down, and divide into 12 equal portions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Working with one piece of dough, roll out a circle of dough approximately 1/4″ thick.  It shouldn’t be so thin that it is breaking up into holes when you handle it.  To help with the shaping, place the round into a bowl. Dump the filling (~½ cup) on top of the dough, and then pull the dough around the filling and pinch sides together to seal.  Flip the bierocks/runza out, seam side down.

Place onto a greased baking sheet (edges can touch). 

Bake at 350 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.  

Optionally, brush tops with melted butter during the last 10 minutes of baking for color and flavor!



  1. Those look so good nestled in that pan!

  2. Wow! Not usually a fan of pierogi or pasties with too much pastry/bread because it DOES overwhelm flavors, but this looks really beautiful and tasty.

  3. They look absolutely perfect together in that pan. Nice plating with the salad too.

  4. Wow, your Bierocks look perfect. I love the sound of your filling too (although, I might be inclined to serve the filling on top of plain buns - sort of like Sloppy Joes)

    Drat!! I completely forgot to brush the tops with melted butter just after taking the Bierocks out of the oven. Next time!

  5. Wow, that top picture! That filling is magnificent. All together in the pan, they just look so content destined to be grand eating.

  6. Salad mix - what an interesting blend of greens. Great idea!

  7. Now that's the way to do it! Yours look delicious!