Mazovian Baked Pierogi with Sauerkraut and Millet Groats

Sójki Mazowieckie z Kapustą i Kaszą Jaglaną

‘Sójki Mazowieckie’ (literally: Mazovian jaybirds; pronon.: ‘Sueykey mah-zovyehs-key-eh’) are regional baked pierogi dumplings; filled with millet, sauerkraut, chopped bacon/lard and wild mushrooms. 

Baked ‘Sójki’ dumplings have a golden, crispy skin made of a dough based on yeast. At around 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, they’re larger than the regular pierogi we all know and love.

For the full list of ingredients & detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. But before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know below.

These oven-baked dumplings are a traditional dish of eastern Mazovia. The name ‘Sójki’ became popular in the 1950’s – before that time they were simply called ‘pierogi’.

If you would like to give them a try, they can be enjoyed at almost every festival in the vicinity of Cegłów county. But if you can’t travel right now, bake them at home!

The recipe you’ll find here is based on a traditional method by Anna Kotuniak, a well-known award-winning Sójki-baker from Podciernie village. This formula runs in Anna’s family for over 120 years! (Here’s the original recipe in Polish).

I’ve found some anecdotal reports about other fillings, such as grated carrots with rice and poppy seeds; and another consisting of sugar beets. As soon as I learn more about them, I’ll give them a try.

Fun fact: In 2009, Mazovian ‘Sójki’ dumplings were officially listed on the ‘List of Traditional Products’ of the Polish Ministry of Agriculture (a similar scheme to the Protected Geographical Status of the EU).

If you would like to try more pierogi recipes, try these next time:

Do you need any special ingredients to make these Baked Pierogi?

The ingredients that may be trickier to source are: millet groats, fresh yeast and high quality sauerkraut.

🇵🇱 In Poland, most of these ingredients are easily available at a larger supermarket. For the sauerkraut, I would recommend heading to a farmer’s market (‘bazar’, ‘targ’ or ‘ryneczek’ as we call it)

🌍 Internationally, millet can be purchased at large supermarkets, co-ops or health stores. In the US, it’s available at Whole Foods and online (for instance ‘Food to Live’ millet from Amazon).

This post contains affiliate links: Find out what that means.

When buying sauerkraut, make sure you’re getting the real deal – properly lacto-fermented, without any vinegar added. Alternatively, try making it at home. I don’t have a recipe posted here yet, but here’s a very good guide by Nourished Kitchen.

What should you serve with these ‘Sójki’ dumplings?

These Baked Pierogi are a full meal wrapped in a dumpling, and there is no need for any sides or dips.

But if you need some additional fresh veggies to brighten up your dinner, I would recommend Mizeria Cucumber Salad.

Can you make these Baked Pierogi another way?

This is the most traditional way to make these – but feel free to experiment with the filling. Why not try one of these pierogi fillings next time?

What diets are these Mazovian ‘Sójki’ suitable for?

If you would like to make this recipe suitable for vegetarians, replace bacon/pork lard with another ingredient – such as champignon mushrooms.

How long can you keep these Baked Pierogi in the fridge?

Once served, these ‘Sójki’ can be left out on the table for up to 2 hours. 

Baked pierogi can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

Can I freeze these Baked Pierogi?

Yes. Place them into an airtight freezer container, freezer bag or wrap them in cling film. Remember to label them with the description and today’s date. Eat them within 3 months.

How do I reheat these Baked Pierogi?

From chilled: For the best taste and texture, reheat these Pierogi in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Remove the dumplings from the fridge, and place it onto a baking tray. Put the Baked Pierogi into the oven and allow them to bake for 15 minutes.

After that time, cut into the center and check if the filling has heated thoroughly. If not, keep on baking for another 5 minutes and check again.

From frozen: Thaw the pierogi in the refrigerator, then follow the instructions outlined above.

Smacznego!

Polish Baked pierogi (made by following a regional Mazovian recipe) served on a red plate
Baked pierogi on a plate

Mazovian Baked Pierogi with Sauerkraut and Millet Groats

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

'Sójki' are regional Baked Pierogi dumplings from Mazovia. They're filled with soft millet, tangy sauerkraut, chopped bacon and delicious wild mushrooms. 

Forget Italian calzone, try our Polish 'Sójki'!

Ingredients

'Sójki' Dough

  • 0.9 oz (one and a half 0.6 oz cubes; 25 g) fresh active yeast (for dry yeast, check the notes)
  • 0.5 tsp sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp warm water (not hot!)
  • 8 cups (1 kg) all purpose flour
  • 4-5 tbsp canola oil
  • pinch of salt

Sauerkraut & Millet Filling

  • 1 cup (180 g) raw millet groats
  • A small handful of dried wild mushrooms
  • 5 oz (140 g) raw bacon or fresh pork lard, chopped
  • 21 oz (600 g) sauerkraut (real one, without any vinegar added)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • pinch of ground cumin

Egg wash

  • 1 small egg
  • 2 tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. [The night before] Soak dried mushrooms in water (just enough water to cover them up).
  2. Crumble fresh yeast into a bowl. Add half a teaspoon of sugar and a few tablespoons of warm water. Blend together with a fork. Set aside for 30 minutes (or longer) to get the yeast going.
  3. As you wait, cook 1 cup of millet groats according to the instructions on the pack. In general, you’ll need 2 cups of water for 1 cup of millet and cook for around 20 minutes until it turns fluffy. Drain the water and set cooked millet aside.
  4. Drain sauerkraut (keep the juices!) and chop it roughly. Grab a frying pan, add chopped raw bacon or pork lard. Fry for a bit, so that the fat gets released.
  5. Add chopped sauerkraut and fry until it softens - 15 minutes is usually enough, but please monitor the cabbage empirically.
  6. Slice soaked mushrooms into thin strips. Add to the pan. Add cooked millet and blend everything together with a wooden spatula or a spoon. 
  7. Fry for a few more minutes, so that all the ingredients inherit each other’s flavours. Have a taste. Season with salt and pepper. I’ve added a solid pinch of ground cumin too. 
  8. If you feel that the stuffing is too dry, add some sauerkraut juice and/or the juices left from soaking the mushrooms. Set aside and let’s get the dough going.
  9. Sift flour onto the work surface. I swear by my wooden pastry board, but you can totally use your countertop. 
  10. Add a pinch of salt, and 4-5 tablespoons of neutral cooking oil, such as canola. Pour the yeast in. Combine with your hands and keep kneading, until a dough starts to form.
  11. Roll out the dough. The original recipe didn’t specify the thickness, but I aimed at roughly ⅛ inch (4 mm), maybe a bit more.
  12. Cut out large circles - mine were at 4.5 inch / 11.5 cm in diameter. Add a few teaspoons of stuffing. Fold the dough over and press the edges together, assembling large dumplings.
  13. Grab a baking tray or a cookie sheet, line it with parchment paper. Place each dumpling on its “belly”. 
  14. Crack an egg into a small cup and add 2 tablespoons of milk, mix together with a fork. 
  15. Grab a brush - made of silicon or a regular one. Use it to cover each 'sójka' with the egg mix.
  16. Bake for 35 minutes at 360°F (180°C) until golden.
  17. These Baked Pierogi taste best while still warm.

Notes

  1. This ‘Sójki Mazowieckie’ recipe is based on a traditional method by Anna Kotuniak from Podciernie village in the municipality of Cegłów, running in her family for over 120 years. Here’s the original source in Polish. I’ve halved all the ingredients, since the original portion seemed too plentiful for our appetites :)
  2. If you’re trying to convert between dry and fresh yeast, here’s the ratio: 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active, instant, or rapid-rise yeast granules (usually one 1/4-ounce packet) = 0.66 ounce fresh yeast (source: kitchn.com). For this recipe, you’ll need 3 1/3 teaspoons (or one and a half packets @ 1/4-ounce each) of dry yeast.
  3. A pinch of ground cumin is my invention, feel free to skip it.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 449Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 97mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 10g

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Polish name:
Pronunciation:
Cuisine: Polish
Region / Subregion: Mazovia
Other traditional or regional names:
Also known as (including misspellings):