I have many fond memories of cooking and canning with my Grandma and Grandpa. They were Volga Germans from Russia who came over to the United States hidden on a boat. They were very true to their heritage and made dishes almost exclusively German. This is where I got my inspiration and love to be a cook. I chose Krautburgers as my first recipe to share because it is something I have been making with my Grandma, my Great-grandma (who lived to the ripe age of 100), my mother, and now my children. I make krautburgers at least once a month.
The key to the best krautburgers is perfecting the dough. I start with a sweet bread dough and take the time to properly let it rise, and then proof. It is also very important to let the filling have time to come together while cooking, and then to drain and cool before making into pockets.
Above you will see a picture of myself (Dawn), my mom (Vaundeen), her mom (Orlene), and her mom’s mom (Mollie) . And then a photo with the addition of my oldest son Gunnar when he was a baby.
Here is the recipe I have adapted from my grandma, and made changes as I practiced and perfected this dish over the years.
Sweet Bread Dough
Ingredients 1 cup milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup butter 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt 2 eggs 2 Tablespoons olive oil
For the dough: 1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, sugar and butter. Heat until slightly warm. Remove from the heat and cool until temperature reaches about 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the cooled milk mixture and let rest for approximately 5-10 minutes until you see it frothing. 2. In a separate mixing bowl, add the flour and salt, mix. 3. Add the eggs, oil and flour to the milk/yeast mixture. Work it all together until the dough comes away from the bowl (you may need a touch more flour or water). Oil the dough slightly on each side, cover and let rise double in size (about an hour). While dough is rising, make the filling.
Filling: 2 pounds hamburger 1 ½ onion, chopped into ¼ inch pieces 1 medium head cabbage (can be green or purple), shredded 1 package Lipton’s Onion soup mix
2 T black pepper (more or less to taste) 1 T salt 1 T garlic powder
For the burger filling:
1. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat, crumbling the meat as it browns. Add the chopped onions and the cabbage and the seasonings. Let the mixture cook, 20-30 minutes, depending on how done you like the cabbage. Strain and let cool.
To Assemble the Krautburgers:
1. Generously grease two baking dishes. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Lightly flour a work surface and put the dough on the flour. Begin to roll the dough as close to a rectangle as you can, roughly 24-by-30 inches. Once the dough is rolled out, cut the dough into squares, roughly 6-by-6 inches. Take a square of dough and roll it out a little bigger, roughly 8-by-8 inches. Turn the re-rolled square over and add a full cup of ﬁlling mixture into the middle of the dough. Bring the opposite corners of the square together, and then bring the other 2 opposite corners together. You should have all 4 corners drawn together. Pinch down the 4 seams of the dough. Turn the sealed pocket over and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
3. Cover the krautburgers with a clean towel and allow to “proof” for 20 minutes in a warm, draft-free location (this is the second “rise” time)
4. Brush the top of the krautburgers with egg wash. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.