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Pot sticker/dumpling/pierogi dough....questions, issues

marys1000 | Feb 9, 201404:46 AM

My mother, having grown up starving in the Soviet Union/Ukraine made her varenyky (pierogi) dough with just flour, a little salt and water of unspecified temperature (who had eggs and sour cream?). She doesn't have measurements, she just works flour and water together a little at a time till done.

Recipe's for vareyky/vareniki/pierogi dough often have a couple eggs, sour, cream, I even saw one with baking soda. Now my mothers dough is sort of thin and tough vs. Mrs. T's and what others I've had which tend to be thicker, tender/soft and heavier.
1) I like a less dough to filling ratioand don't particularly like some of the restaurant ones I've had which just seem like to much everything (soft, thick heavy) although Mrs. T's aresort of in the middle and I eat them allt he time and 2) we tend to want what we grew up with.

Stumbling around on the web I found that pot sticker dough recipe's were just flour salt and water and I realized that my mothers outcome is very similar.

I tried to come up with something yesterday, starting with a mixer I used a recipe formula of flour, salt room temp to luke warm water and added just a tiny bit of egg and sour cream because I guess i wasn't brave enough to ignore all recipe convention. I kneaded it a bit, then let rest for 1/2 and hour.

It was pretty tough to roll, more like I used a roller to squeeze it thin. It was kind of a dense hard dough that snapped back a little bit although the rolling out was more of an issue. Eventually I got there and the results were ok, the finished product after boiling didn't look really smooth for some reason (maybe I need to stretch them more?). I saute in a little butter after boiling to get a little brown crust so maybe I didn't get the full critical taste results but they seemed ok to me. Not as thin or smooth as my Mom's and certainly less uniform looking! If Mrs T's made sauerkraut filling pierogi's I'm not sure I'd be doing this:)

So questions....pot sticker dough calls for hot water, is it something about hot water that would make a flour/water dough easier to roll? How do I get it thinner? It needs to be a little stretchy to make the varenyky. I'm not sure about the elastic snap back during rolling vs. stretchy.
Is this the sort of situation where you are trying not to work the dough? Is adding flour to water a little at a time key (I think this is what my mother did in the bowl by tilting the bowl) ? The other way around?
I was using King Arthur all purpose which is a little higher protein than some other all-purpose flours, its it better to use a lower protein flour?
What do adding eggs and/or sour cream add to varynky/pierogi dough? Did adding just a touch cause problems or help problems?

Thanks!

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