I believe these are slightly easier to make than my other cabbage roll recipe. I can never roll the leaves nicely for the others – my husband does this for me. Rather than leaves, the following are wrapped in a dough similar to calzones and the rice is omitted.
You can make the dough and tomato sauce ahead. After kneading the dough, cover and place in the fridge for four hours to overnight. Remove it a few hours before you want to bake the cabbage rolls and allow to return to room temperature. Then proceed with the dividing and shaping.
You can also skip the tomato sauce and serve with ketchup instead.
I plan to try a vegetarian filling next. Ideas are welcome!
For the sauce:
2 cloves garlic, small diced
2 15 oz. cans whole tomatoes
2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons brown sugar
2 bay leaves
For the dough:
4 teaspoons yeast
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons salt
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I often substitute a cup of wheat)
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 head cabbage
1 lb. natural beef
juice of one lemon
garlic powder to taste
salt and fresh ground pepper
In a medium stockpot, saute the garlic in oil briefly. While the garlic cooks, coarsely chop the whole tomatoes and add them and their juice to the pot, along with the salt, sugar, and bay leaf.
Whisk the yeast in the warm water. In a separate bowl, add 5 or 5 1/2 cups flour and salt. After the yeast proofs (it should froth and smell great), add the oil and flour / salt to the yeast mixture. Mix in bowl, adding small amounts of flour until you can scrape the bowl more or less clean. Turn out to a lightly floured surface and knead 5 to 8 minutes. The dough should be relatively firm but still “heal” easily as you knead. In the empty flour bowl, add about a tablespoon of oil. Add the dough ball, turning to coat. Place in a warm, draft-free place and allow to rise 1 to 2 hours.
As the dough finishes its first rise, turn the oven to 450. Wash and dice the cabbage. Add with a bit of oil to a roasting pan and cook, about 15 to 20 minutes until part of the leaves are crisping. While this cooks, brown the beef in a skillet and drain. Mix cabbage and beef, then add garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Set aside.
When the dough is done, divide it into 12 equal portions. Form each portion to a ball, then roll out into a circle about 7″ in diameter. Add 1/12th of the filling to the center of the circle and fold up edges, twisting closed. Set on a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 425 and let rolls sit for 20 minutes or so while oven heats. Bake 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown.
Serve with sauce on the side or poured on top.