How we wish we were back in Munich right now.
Saturday marked the start of a huge, two week long celebration of German culture, heritage, and tradition.
Some of you may be thinking, “Wait. I thought Oktoberfest was all about the beer?”
Ok, fine. People from around the world have gathered in Munich to celebrate these things through one more specific thing: BEER.
This 16-day festival, held each year in Munich, Germany is considered the world’s largest fair, bringing over 6 million people to that Bavarian city each year.
To the locals the festival is known as “die Wiesn” after the name of the festival area ” Theresienwiese (meadow of Therese). The history of this festival goes all the way back to 1810, but we’ll go into the rich history later this week.
Of the attendees, almost 3/4 are from the surrounding Bavarian region, with the last 1/4 being made up of visitors from all over the world. These visitors consume liters upon millions of liters of Oktoberfest beer, which must meet special purity requirements.
We thought these bierocks would be a great way to kick off the next two weeks, since, what goes better with beer, than a hand-held all-in-one meal?
The bread that surrounds the cabbage, beef, and onion filling is dense, eggy, and so delicious it could be a meal in itself, but it is only made better by the savory insides.
- 1 c milk
- 2 Tbsp butter
- ¼ c white sugar
- 2 ¼ tsp (1 pkg) active dry yeast
- 4 c flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ lb lean ground beef (80% or better)
- ½ onion, diced (1/2 c)
- 3 c shredded cabbage (about ¼ of a medium head)
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp milk
- Place milk and butter in a large bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time until butter has melted.
- Add sugar and whisk to dissolve. Whisk the mixture until it has cooled to between 100⁰F and 110⁰F. (Liquid over 110⁰F will instantly kill the yeast.)
- Sprinkle yeast over the milk mixture and let set 5-10 minutes, until yeast softens and starts to foam. Whisk mixture to combine and whisk in 2 c of flour.
- Add egg and salt. Whisk to incorporate.
- Stir in remaining flour ¼ c at a time until the dough comes together. Turn dough onto your counter and knead, 10-15 min, until a soft, smooth dough forms, adding flour as needed. (Your finished dough should be tacky, but not stick to your hand or your kneading surface.)
- Shape dough into a round; place it in a greased bowl, turning to coat the dough. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel and place in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- While the dough rises, make your filling. In a large non-stick frying pan, brown meat over medium high until mostly cooked, 5-7 min.
- Drain as much of the grease from the pan as you can, while not losing the meat from the pan. Return the pan to the heat and add onions. Cook 2-3 min, until they begin to soften.
- Add cabbage and cook 7-10 minutes, until cabbage is tender.
- Remove filling from heat and season with salt and pepper.
- Knock back the risen dough and turn onto your work surface.
- Divide dough into 8 balls (roughly 3 oz each). Flatten each ball to a circle 4-5” in diameter. (If the dough springs back, flatten as much as you can, cover, and let the dough rest for 3-5 min before attempting to flatten further.)
- Spoon 2 large tablespoons of filling onto the center of each circle, leaving the edges clear. Bring the edges together and pinch them to seal the dough completely. Continue until all the dough and filling has been used.
- Place the shaped bierocks on a greased baking sheet and let rise, covered 30-45 min, until roughly 1.5x their original size.
- During the last 10 minutes of rising time preheat your oven to 375⁰F.
- Brush the bierocks lightly with milk and bake for 20-25 min, until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped.
- Remove from oven and let cook on a wire rack.