Pelmeni - Siberian Potstickers

I have finally found a perfect dough recipe that must be documented for my (and possiby yours?) future use.  Typically, the dough part leaves me rockign back and forth in the corner at the end of the night.  It's either too sticky, or too crumbly, too stretchy, or not stretchy apart.  Ghastly, really.

I picked this up off a Russian message board, where a woman allegedly got it from an old Siberian babushka.  After seeing 70 more women chime in, I figured I had nothing to lose.  If it failed, I'll resort to eating crappy dough or buying them at $8 a package (small package) at the Russian gorcery shop. 

Stories have it that in the old times a village would gather to make these potsticker type things for the winter.  They would then store them in their cold attics and survive a winter on them.  My mom used to make the family gather, because traditionally, to do them entirely by hand, you do need a small army.   (Of obedient children, typically)

I cheat, with a little aluminium form.  The look isn't quite the same, but it cuts prep time by 2/3rds, if you're working alone.

For the magical, possibly Siberian dough:
half cup hot water
half cup hot water with tablespoon of full fat sour cream dissolved.  (Or just half cup milk)
3 cups flour
tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp olive/vegetable/sunflower oil

For filling:
1/2 lb beef
1/2 lb pork
one (grated) onion
salt and pepper

I made a mountain of 3 cups of flour on the table, with a well in the middle, into which an egg is dropped, with the hot water/milk mixture and salt and kneaded a quick doug.   I've watched my grandma do this, so I like the tabletop method, but a bowl is probably safer.  Less space for a runny milky floury egg disaster that way.  I know this for a fact.. 
I wiped tiny bit of oil on top of the dough ball, and stuck it in a plastic bag to hang out at room temperature for 40 minutes.  When it came out of the bag, it was like dough magic.  I didn't even need to knead it anymore. 

The rest is..

The thinner the better.  About 2mm is just right. 

 This was my last batch, so I have some empty spaces in the form.  The recipe yielded 4 forms of pelmeni.

It needs a tap to get them to come out.

They hang out on a floured baking sheet in the freezer for a few minutes, until the dough gets hard enough to pile them into plastic bags for storage.

I drop them in salted boiling water (with bay leaf) and 7 minutes later, plus some sour cream - dinner is served. 


  1. Those look like magic, and I'm expecting them at our next dinner!

  2. I really like it...but I want to do it the 2/3 less time way! What's the name of the neat gadget you use for the form? Is it made just for pelmini?

  3. MM, I just saw one, two actually, in S-Boutique :D One was like mine, and the other was half moon shapes for things like pierogi and bigger potsticker type things. If you look up "ravioli form", it will come up. I see a lot of them on Ebay, some being shipped from Russia/Ukraine, even ! They make them in plastic and aluminium, I haven't tried the plastic one, but my metal one works great!