|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
Ukrainian / Slovak pagac (puh-GAHTCH) is traditionally served at meatless meals as for Advent, Lent and the beautiful Christmas Eve supper known as velija.
It is a flat bread with a potato or cabbage filling and makes an excellent vegetarian entrée. Some people call this Slavic pizza.
Makes 1 large loaf or 12 servings of Ukrainian / Slovak Pagach
- For the Dough:
- 1 cup water plus 1/4 cup lukewarm water
- 4 1/2 teaspoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 tablespoons canola oil (or butter if not fasting)
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- For the Potato Filling:
- 2 cups diced potatoes, cooked and mashed
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese if not fasting
- For the Cabbage Filling:
- 1/2 pound cabbage, cored and chopped
- Salt to taste
- 1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil (or butter if not fasting)
In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water, 4 1/2 teaspoons sugar, salt and oil to a boil. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast and 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar in 1/4 cup lukewarm water and set aside.
Place flour in the bowl of a stand mixer or regular bowl and add the sugar-water mixture and the yeast-water mixture. Mix until well incorporated and then knead until smooth, about 7 minutes by machine and at least 10 minutes by hand.
Transfer to a greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled.
Punch down dough and turn out onto a floured surface and divide into 2 portions. Cover with greased plastic and let rest 15 minutes.
On a parchment-lined baking sheet, roll one portion of dough into a 9x13-inch rectangle or 12-inch circle. Spread either the potato filling or cabbage filling (see below) on the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge.
Roll the second portion of dough on a lightly floured surface and place on top of the filling and pinch the edges together to seal. Prick top all over with a fork to allow steam to escape.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Let bread rise, covered with greased plastic for 30 minutes. Bake 30 minutes or until browned on top and bottom. Cool on a rack.
Make the Potato Filling: season mashed potatoes with salt. If it's not a fast day, add grated cheese to hot potatoes and mix well. Allow potatoes to cool before placing on the dough.
Make the Cabbage Filling: Sauté cabbage in oil or butter and season to taste with salt. Allow to cool before placing on the dough.