So, I found a recipe (I can't remember where) but it's really, really close to the restaurant product! So, here I am making 'one of those' food posts! I always swore I wouldn't do a baking post, and if I did, you wouldn't have to scroll thru 87 paragraphs, a life story, and 16 pictures of me chopping veggies to get to the recipe. So, here it is:
Start with the dough!It takes just a few minutes and you get some really great, elastic dough. That elasticity comes in handy later when you are trying to shovel in all that yummy beef & cabbage mixture!
So, take 1¾ cups flour, ½ cup sugar, 1tsp salt and the yeast and turn on the mixer. Let it stir all that together while you put ¾ cup whole milk, ½ cup water, and ½ cup shortening in a bowl and nuke it. Get it hot...somewhere north of 120º. Add the eggs to the dry mixture and the hot liquids. Mix it all on low speed for about a minute. Then, crank it up to medium for 2-3 minutes until it starts to look really elastic. Take it out of the mixer, spread a little flour on the counter and knead the dough for 6-8 minutes.
Grease up a bowl with shortening, toss the dough around in it, cover it with a light cloth (or plastic wrap) and set it somewhere warm (I put it on the stove-top with the oven set to 250º) for an hour or until it doubles.
The insides....simple as can be.Now, you just gave yourself an hour to get everything else ready. Dice up the onions and cabbage. DO NOT BUY MORE THAN ONE HEAD OF CABBAGE. A head of cabbage will yield like....8-15cups of diced up cabbage. Even if you are doubling or tripling the recipe.....one head of cabbage will be PLENTY. Trust me.
Get a big stew pot, throw the ground beef in and get it browning. Add the onions and cook until they are clear. Drain the mixture....and drain it well. You don't want the juices from fatty beef to come out in your Runza or you'll have a soggy bottom.
|Beef & Cabbage mixture|
After you've drained it well, add the cabbage and keep cooking until the cabbage is wilted. Add the seasoned salt (and you can use whatever seasoning you like), the garlic powder, and pepper. Be VERY liberal with the pepper....one teaspoon just isn't enough.
After an hour (or when it's double), punch the dough down. Divide it into 12 separate balls, place them on a baking sheet and cover them. Working with just one ball at a time, roll it out to a 6" square.
|Easily rolled out to 6" square.|
From here, I like to lay the cheese on the dough because that will be the top of the Runza and as the cheese melts, it will make it's way into the meat mixture. Cheddar cheese has worked best. I used Gouda, but it melts easier and gets kinda greasy. I haven't experimented with any pre-sliced cheeses.....I'll keep slicing from the block.
|Sharp cheddar cheese is my usual.|
|Gouda cheese for something different!|
Then, pile on ¾ cup of the beef & cabbage mixture. Yeah, it's gonna look like a lot, but it will barely be enough. And, your dough should be elastic enough you can pull it further out and close it.
From here, grab the ends and fold them on top of the mixture.
Now, fold the part furthest from you on top of the mixture. Pull the closest part to the top and overlap. The dough should pull and stretch enough to make it work. Tuck under the ends and pinch the seam closed.
Lay the seam down on a covered baking sheet. I manage to get about 5-7 Runzas per sheet.
Throw that sheet in the oven for 18-20 minutes. I like to set it for 18 minutes and check on them. If the tops aren't brown, I don't pull them out. Not golden or lightly toasted....brown. When they are brown, I get them outta the oven and onto a cooling rack ASAP.
|Finished product....browned to perfection!|
The tops will be brown and somewhat crusty. A quick tap on several of them with your fingernail will tell you that it's done.
That's it! It really isn't hard at all! An hour's worth of work can yield a pretty big supper for the family! And, you don't need to follow this recipe....experiment! I put together scrambled eggs, bacon, jalapenos, onions, tomatoes and spinach into the same dough and made a breakfast Runza that was to die for!
We will definitely be experimenting with more mixtures for the insides as the years go by. But, to me, nothing really beats the original cheese Runza, so there will always be plenty of those at my table. Everything from scratch in this recipe just makes it so much better!
|Make it right....make it from scratch!|