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Bierocks - Old Fashioned Volga German Hamburgers


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!!

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  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 (.25-ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup margarine, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound German sausage-casings removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 head cabbage, shredded (not diced or chopped!)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup melted butter


Servings 10
Preparation time 10mins
Cooking time 80mins


Step 1


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.


In a large skillet, brown hamburger and sausage together. Drain, saving drippings in the skillet, and set aside.

Add the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Saute onion, garlic, salt, lemon pepper, and mustard for 1 to 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-inch thick square on a lightly floured surface and add filling (2 to 3 tablespoons for appetizers; 4 to 5 tablespoons 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 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Brush with butter (if not already done) and serve warm.


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