Timberline Lodge Kraut Kunchen
1 cup milk, heated to lukewarm
11/2 teaspoons dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
11/4 cups ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 cups chopped green cabbage
About 2 teaspoons chicken base (available in supermarket spice section)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Maggi seasoning, to taste
Sweet-hot Russian-style mustard, for dipping (see note)
Combine the milk and 1/2 cup warm water (95 to 100 F), then sprinkle on the yeast and sugar. Let mixture sit until it bubbles and foams, 5 to 10 minutes.
Stir in 3 cups of the flour, the salt and butter, then turn out onto a floured board and knead in enough of the remaining flour to achieve a smooth and elastic dough. This should take about 10 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat, cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 90 minutes.
Meanwhile, brown the beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Part way through cooking, spoon off all but about 1 tablespoon of drippings, add the onion and continue to cook until onion is tender and transparent. Add the cabbage and chicken base, the pepper and Maggi seasoning, to taste. Stir to mix well, adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if necessary. (Filling may be prepared up to 48 hours ahead and refrigerated; bring to room temperature to use)
For entree-sized portions, divide dough into 6 parts. On a floured board with a floured rolling pin, roll out each part into a 10-inch round. Place a heaping 1/2 cup of filling on side of each round. For appetizer-sized portions, divide dough into 12 parts and roll out each part into a 5-inch round. Place a heaping 1/4 cup of filling on one side of each round. To seal rounds, dip your finger into a glass of water or milk and rub edge. Fold dough over filling and seal firmly by pinching or pressing down with tines of a fork.
Bake in a preheated, 350-degree oven until pastries are a nice, golden brown, about 30 minutes for entree size, 20 minutes for appetizer size. Serve hot or chilled with sweet-hot, Russian-style mustard.
Makes 6 entree servings, 12 appetizer servings.
NOTE: If you can't find a good Russian-style mustard, stir in a tablespoon or so of brown sugar into about 1/2 cup of a fine-quality, Dijon-style mustard.