Writing about my grandma in December got me thinking about all the food she used to make. Some of the things she made are staples in our house like her potato salad. And somethings she made that were yummy, I’ve never made. So I decided this month I would learn to make one – Runzas.
I know you are asking what are runzas. In doing some research, I found that they are mostly found in Nebraska, but they are a German food. From what I have found, many Germans that were living in Russia that came to America moved to the upper Midwest region. And runza was a food they brought with them. As I’ve said before, each culture has their version of a dumpling. Mexicans have empanadas, Italians have ravioli, Chinese have potstickers and Germans have runzas. Runzas are basically rolls with meat & cabbage inside.
I have several friends living in Nebraska. One is a roommate from college. I went home with her a couple times in college. Once she took me to a restaurant called Runza. I was so excited. It reminded me so much of my grandma.
For my first attempt I made them traditionally. But I have plans to make breakfast runzas, and to add potatoes to the traditional ones. There are so many possibilities. I’ve seen suggestions of pizza runzas and Mexican runzas. While Germans tend to like bland food, these could be fun with spicier meat in them also.
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp dry active yeast
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 medium onion diced
- 4 cups chopped cabbage
- 1 cup beef broth
Heat milk, water, butter and sugar to 105 - 110 degrees. Stir in yeast and allow to proof for 10 minutes. In large bowl, stir together flour and salt. Once yeast has proofed, stir in flour mixture. Knead dough for 8 minutes or until dough is smooth and not sticky adding flour as needed. Place in a grease bowl, cover, and set to rise in a warm draft free place until doubled about an hour.
While dough is rising, brown ground beef with onions. Once browned and onion are translucent, stir in beef broth and cabbage. Allow to cook until cabbage is tender.
Once dough has doubled, divide into 12 even balls. Roll balls out into 5 - 6 inch circles. Place filling on dough and draw sides up to make a ball. Place on a greased sheet pan, cover, and allow to rise for an hour. You will need to place only six per sheet pan. You can brush them with an egg wash before baking but I found that it made my dough fall.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until light brown on top. Enjoy!
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