This recipe comes from Charlotte Pribish Conjelko of Indiana who is a Orthodox Christian Carpatho-Rusyn. View this larger image of pagach and this image gallery of a Slovak Christmas Eve Velija. This recipe can be doubled to make two loaves (but then remember to double the fillings).
Makes 1 large loaf or 12 servings of Slovak Pagach
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
- 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
- Potato Filling:
- 2 cups diced potatoes, cooked and mashed
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese if not fasting
- Cabbage Filling:
- 1/2 pound cabbage, cored and chopped
- Salt to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons canola oil (or butter if not fasting)
- In 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 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 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 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.
- 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 dough.
- Cabbage Filling: Saute cabbage in oil or butter and season to taste with salt. Allow to cool before placing on dough.