Kulebiak is a delicious regional dish made of yeast dough filled with sauerkraut and dried mushrooms (or other fillings), traditionally served on Christmas Eve in eastern Poland.
The Kulebiak pie has a long and rich history, with many stories about its origin. One of them says that the pie was invented in the 19th century by Natalia Kicka, the wife of General Ludwik Kicki, who distinguished himself in many battles for Poland’s freedom. General Kicka’s meat Kulebiak was prepared for special occasions and guests using products from local farms. Now known as “General Kicka’s Kulebiak,” this famous dish has become a landmark of the Lublin region and is on the list of traditional Polish products managed by the Polish Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, whose quality or unique features result from the use of traditional production methods.
🇵🇱 Poland: Kulebiak—Christmas Pie
- 2 Tbsp Dried mushrooms soaked for at least 5 hours
- 1 Medium onion finely diced
- 4 Tbsp Butter divided
- 1 ¼ Cup Sauerkraut
- ½ Cup Milk warmed, to 86-95° F
- 2 ¼ tsp Instant yeast
- 1 Cup Wheat flour + 2 Tbsp
- 2 Pinches of salt
- 1 Egg
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- In a small saucepan, cook soaked mushrooms until soft in the same water they were soaked in. Drain and chop finely.
- Melt half the butter in a skillet and cook the finely diced onion until golden brown and caramelized.
- Rinse sauerkraut in cold water, drain, chop and stew for about 50 minutes with the remaining butter. Add the caramelized onion and mushrooms.
- Allow the filling to cool completely. It is best to prepare the filling a day ahead and store it in the fridge.
- Combine warm milk (86-95°F) with yeast and a tablespoon of flour and set aside for 20 minutes.
- Pour the leaven into a stand mixer with a dough hook and turn on low, slowly adding the remaining flour, salt and egg. Once combined, add the butter and continue to knead at medium speed for about 10 minutes or until the dough starts to come off the bowl. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and let the dough rise for 45 minutes.
- Place the dough on a floured countertop and roll it out into a two-centimeter thick rectangle. Gently spread the filling over the dough, keeping a two-centimeter border around the edges of the dough. Roll the dough to form a loaf.
- Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let rise for 40 minutes.
- Bake at 350°F for about 40 minutes until golden brown.