Ukrainian Beet Leaf Rolls Stuffed With Bread

Ukrainian Beet Leaf Rolls Stuffed With Bread

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Rising time: 3 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 8 to 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
255 Calories
16g Fat
21g Carbs
7g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 255
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 106mg 35%
Sodium 1073mg 47%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Protein 7g
Calcium 120mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for beet leaves stuffed with bread dough, or holubtsi z khlibnoho testu zapovnennya, is an interesting variation on Ukrainian holubtsi literally meaning "little pigeons" but better known as stuffed cabbage rolls. (Some people say holopchi.) Fillings vary—meat, vegetables, grains like buckwheat—but so do the wrappers.

In the summer, beet, lettuce, and spinach leaves can take the place of cabbage, and, in the grape-growing regions of Ukraine, grape leaves often are used.

This will work with any good bread recipe, thawed frozen bread dough, or the one provided below. If beet leaves aren't available, fill cabbage leaves with the bread dough. 

Ingredients

  • For the Bread Dough:​
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 1/4 cups water (warm, divided)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup milk (warm)
  • 1-ounce butter (melted)
  • 7 1/4 cups ​flour (all-purpose, divided)
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter (melted, or oil)
  • For the Rolls:
  • 2 bunches beet leaves
  • 3 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • For the Creamy Dill Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 cup vegetable (or meat broth)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons dill (chopped, fresh)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this beet dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Bread Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ukrainian Beet Leaf Rolls Stuffed With Bread ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, use a fork to combine yeast with 1/4 cup warm water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes.

    yeast, warm water and sugar in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. In a medium bowl, mix together milk, 2 cups warm water, 1 ounce melted butter, and yeast mixture.

    In a medium bowl, mix together milk, 2 cups warm water, 1 ounce melted butter, and yeast mixture

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Add 4 cups flour and mix just until well combined.

    dough mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour).

    dough left to double

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Punch dough down and transfer to a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, if desired.

    dough in a stand mixer

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. Add beaten eggs, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 3 1/4 cups flour.

    Add beaten eggs, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 3 1/4 cups flour to the mixture in the stand mixer

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  8. Knead until dough is smooth.

    Knead until dough is smooth

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  9. Smear top with melted butter or oil.

    brush the dough ball with melted butter

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  10. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again until doubled (about 1 to 2 hours).

    dough ball rising

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prepare the Beet Leaves

  1. Meanwhile, wash the beet leaves.

    wash the beet leaves

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds or until pliable (especially if using mature leaves).

    Blanch the beet leaves in boiling water

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Remove from water and shock with cold water to stop the cooking process. Let drain.

    Remove the beet leaves from water and shock with cold water

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Assemble and Bake the Rolls

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    beet leaves and dough

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. When the dough has doubled, punch it down.

    punch down dough

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Take a walnut-sized piece of dough, elongating it to a rectangular shape.

    Take a walnut-sized piece of dough, elongating it to a rectangular shape

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Place it on a beet leaf.

    place dough on a beet leaf

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Roll up loosely, as you would for cabbage rolls, except leave the sides open to allow for the dough to expand as it rises and then bakes. If you like larger rolls, use more bread dough but, remember, it will grow.

    roll the beet leaf around the dough

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Line the bottom and sides of a Dutch oven or other large pot with beet leaves.

    Line the bottom and sides of a Dutch oven with beet leaves

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. Place a layer of beet rolls in the bottom.

    Place a layer of beet rolls in the bottom of the Dutch oven

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  8. Brush with melted butter or other fat and salt.

    brush the beet leaf rolls with melted butter

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  9. Repeat layering, ending with melted butter or fat and salt on top.

    layer beet leaf rolls and brush with butter

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  10. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled (about 1 to 2 hours).

    let the beet leaf dough filling double

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  11. Heat oven to 350 F. When holubtsi have risen, remove the plastic wrap and cover with a layer of beet leaves and a tight-fitting lid whose inside has been brushed with butter or fat.

    cover the beet rolls with more beet leaves

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  12. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour and serve hot with creamy dill sauce.

    Ukrainian Beet Leaf Rolls Stuffed With Bread, with a side of dill sauce

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Make the Creamy Dill Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Creamy Dill Sauce ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. While the rolls are baking, make the sauce by melting 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan.

     melt butter in a small saucepan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Stir in 2 tablespoons flour and cook until mixture bubbles.

    butter and flour in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Add broth and, whisking constantly, bring to a slow boil. Cook until thickened, whisking frequently. 

    add broth to the flour mixture

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Place sour cream in a heatproof bowl and temper by whisking 1 or 2 small ladles of thickened broth mixture.

    sour cream added to mixture

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Then add tempered sour cream back into the sauce, whisking until smooth.

    add tempered sour cream back into the sauce

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. Add 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, and adjust seasonings. Keep warm until ready to serve.

    Creamy Dill Sauce in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Tip

  • If you have leftover dough, form it into a loaf and bake it after allowing it to rise.