For those whose bodies can't tolerate gluten and for those who choose to eliminate gluten from their diet for whatever reason, this gluten-free pierogi recipe could be the answer to a dumpling lover's prayer. Half-moon-shaped dumplings filled with everything from savory to sweet fillings are common to many Eastern European countries. Poles call them pierogi, Jews have their kreplach and knishes, Russians have their pelmeni and piroshki, Ukrainians call them varenyky and the Chinese have their potstickers and wontons, and Italians have ravioli. In fact, many Americans refer to pierogi as Polish ravioli.
One thing must be made clear -- gluten-free doesn't mean low-carb or no-carb. Eating gluten-free doesn’t cause weight loss. In fact, many gluten-free foods have just as many, and sometimes more, calories, carbs and sugar as foods containing gluten.
There are many gluten-free pierogi recipes out there that call for mixing flours and xantham gum, guar gum and other ingredients. I just went with a commercially available all-purpose gluten-free flour (Bob's Red Mill lists garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, white sorghum flour and fava bean flour as the ingredients in its all-purpose gluten-free flour) and it worked like a charm, although you might have to play with the amount of flour and water you use. The resulting dough is a little gritty to the taste and dense, but it beats not being able to have pierogi at all. Experiment with the use of xanthum gum (1 teaspoon per cup of flour for a pasta) to make the product lighter. In this case, that would mean adding 4 1/2 teaspoons of xanthum gum to the flour in this particular recipe. Read more about using xanthan and guar gum.
Remember to choose or make a gluten-free filling from this list of pierogi sweet and savory fillings by replacing any flour with a gluten-free product. I made these with Sauerkraut-Mushroom Filling.
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour plus more if dough is too wet and for rolling
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups warm water
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine flour, egg, oil, salt and 1 1/4 cups water. Mix until well combined. If dough is too slack, add more flour. If dough is too thick, add more water. Mix thoroughly until a soft, pliable mass results. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Alternatively, put in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
- Roll between two gluten-free-floured sheets of parchment paper to a 1/16-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch-diameter circle cutter or glass, cut rounds of dough. Add a dollop of your favorite filling, and pinch the edges together. Place filled dough circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover the pierogi with plastic wrap while you continue to roll, cut and fill.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Reduce the heat slightly so the water isn't boiling too furiously. Drop about 10 pierogi at a time into the water, stirring so they don't stick to the bottom of the pan. When they float to the top, cook for an additional 5 minutes. Use a skimmer to remove the pierogi to a buttered platter. Warm the pierogi in melted butter and serve. You can brown the pierogi in a skillet, if you like, but they might get a little too tough that way.