Slavic Stuffed Flat Bread Recipe - Adzimka, Hadzimka, Zelnik, Pagach

Making yeast dough
nimis69 / Getty Images
  • 60 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Yield: 1 Flat Bread (24 servings)
Ratings (6)

Eastern Europeans love to hide foods inside other foods, consider Polish pierogi, for example, so stuffing bread isn't much of a leap. There are many Slavic variations, names and fillings depending on the country of origin.

This recipe, which some Russians, Ukrainians and Carpatho Rusyns call adzimka or hadzimka, or even zelnik in Macedonian, is virtually identical to Slovak / Ukrainian pagach. Some cooks use a potato-and-yellow cheese filling, adding turmeric to intensify the yellow color of the filling, while others opt for sauerkraut, cabbage, spinach or vegetables. Take a look at Serbian / Croatian burek, which is made with filo dough instead of a yeast dough as this recipe does. It's just another example of a Slavic stuffed flat bread. And Georgian cheese pies, like megruli khachapuri, are not to be overlooked.

I provide recipes for two different fillings so you can change things according to your whim. This would make a good dish for vegetarians and for those who are allowed to eat dairy during fasting times.

What You'll Need

  • Dough:
  • 1 package/1/4 ounce yeast (active dry)
  • 1 3/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon canola (neutral oil like vegetable or canola)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 6 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Egg Wash:
  • 1 large egg yolk (beaten)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Potato-Cheese Filling:
  • 6 medium potatoes (peeled and cubed)
  • 3/4 cup cheese (yellow of choice [Gouda, Cheddar, etc.], grated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (ground)
  • Sauerkraut Filling:
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups sauerkraut (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 large apple (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish: caramelized onions or melted butter and coarse salt

How to Make It

  1. To make the dough: In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let stand until creamy and starting to bubble, about 10 minutes.
     
  2. Add the oil, sugar, 3 cups of the flour and the salt to the yeast mixture. Stir well to combine. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, knead by hand or by machine using the dough hook for about 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
     
  1. Let the dough rise in the mixing bowl so long as there is enough room for it to double in volume. Otherwise, grease a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. While the dough is rising, make the filling of choice.
     
  2. To make the Potato-Cheese Filling: Place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Place the drained potatoes in a bowl and mash while still warm. Combine with the cheese, turmeric, and salt and pepper well mixed. Cool before using.
     
  3. To make the Sauerkraut Filling: In a large skillet, fry the onion in the butter and, when it begins to change color, add the sauerkraut and apple. Cook over low heat for about 20 minutes. Add the brown sugar, salt and pepper, and continue cooking until the sauerkraut is golden. Cool before using.
     
  4. To assemble the bread: Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 14-inch pizza pan or baking sheet. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead a few times and then shape it into a round. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
     
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a circle slightly than the 14-inch pan and place on the pan. Spoon the filling of choice into the center of the dough leaving a 2-inch margin around the edges.
     
  6. Make the egg wash by combining the egg yolk with the 1 tablespoons water until well blended. Brush the egg wash around the margin of dough that has no filling. Begin folding the dough toward the center, pinwheel fashion, pressing to seal after each fold, covering the entire filling. Brush the entire bread top with the remaining egg wash.
     
  1. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees F. then lower the temperature to 350 degrees F. and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown on the top and bottom. Remove the bread from the pan and let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.