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Bierocks(Old Fashioned Volga German Hamburgers)

Bierocks(Old Fashioned Volga German Hamburgers)
  • YIELD: 10 servings

Bierocks were a staple food item at family gatherings(weddings, reunions, funerals, etc.) in the central Kansas town I was raised. Grandma's recipe for this baked Volga German sandwich has been handed down through the generations. Basically a meat/cabbage mixture filled sweet roll that makes a great main dish, or in smaller sizes, an excellent appetizer. They reheat well, so I tend to make large batches and freeze for quick n easy meals. I have seen recipes across the internet adding shredded cheeses, or heaven forbid-a frozen dough, but the old German ladies never did!!

Ingredients

FOR THE SWEET DOUGH
2 cups warm water
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
½ cup milk
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup margarine, softened
2 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
8 cups all-purpose flour
teaspoons baking powder
½ cup shortening(I use Crisco)
FOR THE FILLING
1 lb ground beef
1 lb German sausage-casings removed(Italian sausage is easier to find-don't tell my aunt Maggie!)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp salt
tsp lemon pepper
2 tbsp prepared mustard
1 head cabbage, shredded(not diced or chopped!)
1 cup water
½ cup melted butter

Directions

PREPARING THE DOUGH In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Mix in milk, sugar, margarine, eggs, salt, baking powder, and 1/2 of the flour. Beat until smooth; add shortening and remaining flour until dough pulls together. Place in oiled bowl. Cover and let rise for 1 hour. PREPARING THE FILLING In a large skillet, brown hamburger and sausage together. Drain, saving drippings in the skillet, and set aside. Add the 2 tbsp olive oil. Saute onion, garlic, salt, lemon pepper, and mustard for 1-2 minutes. Add the cup of water, cabbage, and meat mixture. Simmer 30 minutes. Drain any excess fluid. Cool until lukewarm-about the same time it takes the dough to rise. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Punch down dough and divide (20 pieces for appetizers; 10 pieces for entrees). Roll each piece of dough into a 1/8-1/4" thick square on a lightly floured surface and add filling (2-3 tbsp for appetizers;4-5 tbsp for entrees). Fold corners to the center and pinch to seal edges. Place on prepared cookie sheet with pinched edges down. Let rise for 1 hour. If desired, brush dough with melted butter or egg wash (1 egg white with 2 tablespoons water). Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with butter(if not already done) and serve warm.

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