Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ever heard of Holopchi?

This month was hosted by Kat from A Good Appetite with Giz & Psychgrad from Equal Opportunity Kitchen. For this month's recipe they chose a Ukrainian dish called Holopchi.

I hadn't heard of holopchi until I joined Recipes To Rival this month. The recipe calls for beet leaves. Since I'm the only one I knew for sure would eat beets in my house, I opted to use swiss chard. It's got a great flavor and is so pretty. It worked out great.
After making the dough, you wrap the leaves around smalls dough balls. Since swiss chard leaves are so much bigger than beet leaves, I had to cut them down. First I removed the middle rib out. This left me with two halves. I then cut those in 2-4 pieces depending on how big they were.
After that I put them in my roasting pan and baked them for about 1 hour. I put just a little of the sauce over top for the last 15 minutes to cook in a little extra flavor.
I should also mention that I only made a quarter batch of dough. A full batch would have made way too much for one family. The quarter batch still gave us plenty of leftovers. I did make the full sauce recipe though. We like sauce around here. Especially when it's has all that cream and butter in it.
The bottom line is: Yes, I would make these again. Meg, Braden and I loved them. Jade didn't like them, but she doesn't like anything new. Rob didn't even try them. I don't think he would have liked them anyhow.

Here's the recipe.

Beet Leaf Holopchi
from The Keld Community Ladies Club in Ashville, Manitoba. The last publishing of this cookbook was 1976 and I doubt it's even in circulation anymore.

This is not your usual cabbage roll - can you imagine a bread dough wrapped in beet leaves and baked in a creamy, garlic, onion and dill sauce.

Bread Dough:

2 pkgs. yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 cups scalded milk
4 cups warm water
1/4 cup melted butter
8 cups flour
3 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp Sugar
6 1/2 cups flour
a couple bunches of beet leaves

Note: When I first saw this recipe I thought it was wrong - how many recipes need THAT much flour. I used the recipe and indeed had to add more to get the right consistency. AND I ran out of dough before I ran out of beet leaves.


1. Dissolve 1 ts. sugar in 1/2 cup tepid water, sprinkle with yeast and let stand for 10 minutes.

2. To the milk-water liquid add the melted butter, dissolved yeast and 8 cups of flour. Let rise in a warm place until double in bulk (about 1 hour)

3. Add salt, beaten eggs, sugar and remaining flour.

4. Knead well until dough is smooth and top with melted butter or oil.

5. Place in a warm place and let rise until double in bulk. It will take about 2 hours. Punch down . When dough has risen to double in bulk, place a piece of dough, the size of a walnut on a beet leaf and roll up (leaving sides open)

6. Place holopchi loosely in a pot to allow for dough to rise to double in bulk again.

7. Arrange in layers, dotting each layer with butter.

8. Cover tightly, bake in a moderate oven of 350 F for 3/4 to 1 hour. Serve with dill sauce or cream and onion sauce. (I like to cook the holopchi with the sauce but you don't have to. You can add it later - just make sure you have enough butter in roasting pan before layering your beet leaf rolls.)
(I baked mine longer - about 1 1/2 hours and was happy with the result)


1/2 cup butter
2 cups whipping cream
8 small onions (I used chives)
2 handfuls of chopped fresh dill (this makes the whole dish)
2-4 large cloves of garlic, chopped fine

Melt butter in saucepan. Add onions (chives) garlic, dill and cream.
Let it come to a boil and then turn down the heat.
I like to cook the holopchi with the sauce but you don't have to. You can add it later - just make sure you have enough butter in roasting pan before layering your beet leaf rolls.

This is not a 5 minute recipe. When you commit to making it - it's an adventure - most definitely a worthwhile one. This recipe filled an open roaster and a turkey sized roaster.


~Chris~ said...

Boo on Rob for not even trying, lol. Actually I was surprised that Dave tried them. I'm saving that recipe too. We shall eat them together. :)

giz said...

You did a great job. I'm loving the swiss chard. It's an unusual recipe for sure and the flavour is all in the sauce.

Temperance said...

The swiss chard is so pretty. Sounds like it was a hit at your place. great job

Christa said...

It looks good to me--let me know when you have it again--invite me over!!

Chicken Momma said...

Christa-You just let me know when you will be here and I'll make sure I have some made. :o)

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