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Metaz: Circassian Baked Dumplings in a Creamy Sauce

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Vanessa – @vanessa.baking.bee
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Metaz is a unique baked dumplings recipe you don't want to miss.

INGREDIENTS
 

Dough:

Filling:

Dressing:

MY NOTES

baked dumplings recipe
Credit: @vanessa.baking.bee

Can I use canned beets instead of fresh beets?

Yes, you can use canned beets instead of fresh beets for this recipe. Canned beets are pre-cooked and can save time in preparation. Simply drain and rinse the canned beets before blending them into a smooth mash. Keep in mind that canned beets may have a slightly different flavor and texture compared to fresh beets, but they should work well as a substitute in the dough. Adjust the seasoning if necessary to achieve the desired taste.

baked dumplings recipe
Credit: @vanessa.baking.bee

Freeze the baked dumplings for later use

To freeze the baked dumplings for later use, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, ensuring they do not touch. Freeze until solid, about 1-2 hours. Once frozen, transfer the dumplings to a resealable plastic bag or airtight container. Label with the date and store in the freezer for up to three months. When ready to cook, do not thaw; simply boil or bake directly from frozen, adjusting cooking time as needed.

baked dumplings recipe
Credit: @vanessa.baking.bee

Is it possible to make the dough for the metaz in advance?

Yes, you can make the dough in advance and refrigerate it. After preparing the dough, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to prevent drying out and place it in the refrigerator. Let it chill for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight before using. Chilling allows the dough to rest and firm up, making it easier to roll out and shape later. Before using, let the dough come to room temperature for about 10-15 minutes to soften slightly for easier handling. This method provides flexibility in meal preparation while maintaining the dough’s quality.

baked dumplings recipe
Credit: @vanessa.baking.bee

How to prevent the dough from sticking when you roll it out

To prevent the dough from sticking when rolling it out, ensure your work surface and rolling pin are lightly floured. Begin by dusting the surface with flour and coating your rolling pin as well. Additionally, divide the dough into smaller portions to work with manageable sizes. Rotate and flip the dough periodically as you roll, adding more flour underneath and on top as needed to maintain a non-stick surface. If the dough becomes too sticky, refrigerate it for a short period to firm up. This method helps maintain the dough’s integrity while ensuring it rolls out smoothly without sticking.

baked dumplings recipe
Credit: @vanessa.baking.bee
baked dumplings recipe
Credit: @vanessa.baking.bee

Can I use a food processor instead to mash the beets?

Yes, you can use a food processor instead of a blender to mash the beets for this recipe. Start by roughly chopping the beets into smaller pieces to facilitate even processing. Pulse the beets in the food processor until they reach a smooth consistency, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Be cautious not to over-process, as this can lead to a watery texture. Using a food processor may require slightly more monitoring compared to a blender but is an effective alternative for achieving a smooth beet mash suitable for the dough.

baked dumplings recipe
Credit: @vanessa.baking.bee

Ensure the dumplings stay sealed during baking

To ensure the dumplings stay sealed during baking, it’s crucial to properly seal them before placing them in the oven. After placing the filling in the center of each dough circle, gently fold the dough over the filling to create a semi-circle shape. Press the edges firmly together with your fingers to seal them tightly. Ensure there are no gaps or openings where the filling could leak out during baking. If the edges don’t stick well, lightly moisten them with water to help them adhere. Proper sealing before baking ensures the dumplings maintain their shape and keep the filling securely inside as they cook.

baked dumplings recipe
Credit: @vanessa.baking.bee

What is the ideal thickness for rolling out the dough?

The ideal thickness for rolling out the dough for these dumplings is about 1/8 inch (3-4 mm). This thickness allows the dough to be thin enough to cook evenly and not overpower the filling, while still being sturdy enough to hold the filling without tearing during folding and sealing. Use a rolling pin to achieve an even thickness throughout the dough. Too thick, and the dough may not cook through properly; too thin, and it might tear or break when handling. Aim for a consistent thickness to ensure uniform dumplings that cook to perfection.

baked dumplings recipe
Credit: @vanessa.baking.bee
baked dumplings recipe
Credit: @vanessa.baking.bee

How to prevent the beets from staining

To prevent beets from staining your hands and kitchen surfaces, wear disposable gloves when handling them. Alternatively, coat your hands with a bit of cooking oil before working with beets; this creates a barrier that makes it easier to wash off the stains afterward. Use a separate cutting board for beets to avoid staining other surfaces, and clean utensils and countertops promptly after use. If stains occur, scrub surfaces with baking soda or lemon juice to lift the color. Quick action and protective measures help minimize beet stains and keep your kitchen tidy.

baked dumplings recipe
Credit: @vanessa.baking.bee

Use this dough recipe for other types of dumplings or pastries

Yes, you can adapt this dough recipe for various types of dumplings and pastries. The basic combination of flour, beet mash, olive oil, and salt forms a versatile dough base. Adjust the filling ingredients and shapes to create different types of dumplings, such as meat-filled, vegetable-filled, or sweet fillings. For pastries, modify the dough by adjusting the thickness and shaping it into desired forms like turnovers or hand pies. The dough’s soft and smooth texture, enhanced by the beet mash, lends itself well to different culinary creations, making it a flexible choice for experimenting with various recipes.

baked dumplings recipe
Credit: @vanessa.baking.bee
baked dumplings recipe
Credit: @vanessa.baking.bee

What to if the sauce turns out too thick or too thin?

If the sauce turns out too thick, gradually add small amounts of milk or cream while stirring over low heat until you reach the desired consistency. Alternatively, if the sauce is too thin, mix a small amount of flour with cold water until smooth, then gradually add it to the sauce while stirring constantly. Allow the sauce to simmer gently, stirring continuously, until it thickens to the desired consistency. Adjust seasoning as needed. By carefully adding liquid or thickening agents, you can easily adjust the sauce to achieve the perfect texture for coating the dumplings and enhancing their flavors.

baked dumplings recipe
Credit: @vanessa.baking.bee
baked dumplings recipe
Credit: @vanessa.baking.bee

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