So I'm back. I make no promises about the frequency of posts, but I'm here. And I'll try.
When I moved to Nebraska, I noticed the restaurant Runza everywhere, but I managed to ignore it for a good five years. Then I tasted their ranch dressing, and it was over. I have decent self-control where fast food is concerned, and over time, I also came to know that Runzas are an old German food, typically celebrated in this state. They're a doughy pocket filled traditionally with ground beef and cabbage, though some versions have gooey cheese that's hard to resist. My hubby loves them, as does any Nebraska boy you talk to, and I knew somewhere out there a from-scratch recipe had to exist. I asked my Nebraska-born neighbor for her recipe, and on a lazy Sunday last weekend, we finally had time to try our hand at these. They're delicious. Also, I find kneading and rolling out dough cathartic, despite the flour all over my floor. I let this dough rise most of the day, and Kyle and I nailed the art of filling these after a few trials. What I love even more is that this recipe is perfect for popping these in the freezer, and having a warm meal reheated in three minutes. If you've got time on your hands or carbs on your mind, these are so fun to make!
2 packages active dry yeast
½ C. sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 C. warm milk
7-8 C. all-purpose flour
½ C. butter or lard, softened (I used butter)
2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 head cabbage, shredded, or 1 bag coleslaw mix
Salt & Pepper
*My neighbor said, “More salt than you’re comfortable with is the trick.” I added about 3 T. salt, and 2 T. pepper, but honestly, it could’ve used more of each.
To make dough, pour yeast, sugar, and warm milk into the bowl of a standing mixer, and let it sit 5 minutes. Mix gently, then add salt and butter; mix slightly, adding flour gradually. Knead dough with dough hook for 5 minutes.
Place dough in a greased, large bowl, and cover with a clean dish-cloth. Allow it to rise until it’s doubled in size. Punch it down, and allow it to rise again. The filling can be made as it rises a second time.
To make the filling, brown the beef with the onion. Add cabbage and seasoning once it’s browned, and season to your liking. Set aside.
Split risen dough into three sections to make it easier to roll out. Roll out a large rectangle on a floured surface to ¼” thick. Cut dough into 6-inch squares, and keep excess edges to continue adding to dough and rolling out.
To fill, take rolled out squares, and give them another roll to thin slightly and stretch. Put about ¼ C. filling in the center of the square, and bring the opposite corners together, pinching along the sides. Pinch dough together, and place seam-down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.
Rub tops with butter as they come out of the oven. Cool on a wire rack. To freeze these, allow them to cool completely, then keep in an airtight container in the freezer.