This was only my third attempt EVER to make a yeast bread. EVER. Give me a quick bread recipe, and I can whip it out with two hands tied behind my back and a blindfold on. Figuratively speaking. ;) But give me a yeast recipe, and I just recoil in fear. The first yeast bread I tried to make was a breadmaker recipe, and I really gave it a good try. It was Hawaiian bread. And although it tasted good, it was more like a rock than bread. But I've always wanted to continue giving yeast breads a try. I know the more I try, the more I'll get used to them and familiar with making them. So I took a big leap of faith making the bread for this meal.
I really thought I had completed bombed out, though. I didn't have any powdered milk and thought that I could substitute milk-milk from fridge. Which meant I had to increase the amount of flour for the recipe. I really thought that I was going to end up with rocks again.
But, surprise, surprise, they turned out great! Perhaps this is a "no fail" bread recipe...? Perhaps a higher being "had my back." Who knows? But hubs and Little Miss LOVED these Kraut Bierocks, and hubs told me to make it again. (He ate 3 of these!). Little Man ate the bread tops of the buns and refused to eat any of the meat filling. He definitely mised out because they turned out just fine!
You can view the recipe that I used here. Below is what I ended up making after my changes:
Kraut Bierocks (yes, I literally thought "rocks" is what we'd eat after my bread recipe changes!)
1 1/2 pkg active dry yeast
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups warm water
about 5 cups all-purpose flour (original recipe is for 4 cups flour, but I had to add almost a whole cup so I could work with the dough)
1/2 cup milk, room temperature (original recipe is for 1/2 cup powdered milk)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup shortening
1 lb ground venison (you can use ground beef like the recipe calls for)
1 lb ground venison sausage (the recipe says to use ground Italian sausage)
1 cup chopped onion
3 cups shredded cabbage
3 Tbsp prepared mustard
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
8 American cheese slices, each slice folded into 4 squares
To make Sweet Dough: In a medium bowl, combine the yeast, sugar & water, and mix together; let stand 10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine 4 cups flour, milk, baking powder and shortening, then stir in & kneed yeast mixture and more flour (since I used liquid milk instead of powdered, I added nearly an extra cup of flour), then knead for 10 minutes. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, then knead again. To make Filling: Meanwhile, brown ground meat & ground sausage with onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain any grease from the skillet, then stir in cabbage, mustard, salt & pepper. Cook until cabbage is tender to your liking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Flatten a piece of dough. Place a piece of cheese onto dough, and a large spoonful of meat filling on top of cheese square; fold dough over to form a round bun. Lay folded-side down in a lightly greased baking dish, then place a cheese square on top of bun dough. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning baking sheet around halfway through cooking to ensure even browning of buns.
If freezing: Prepare the meat mixture ahead of time, cooking up the ground meat & sausage with the onion, cabbage & seasonings, then place in gallon-size freezer bag and lay flat in the freezer. Thaw 36-48 hours in the refrigerator.
Again, these turned out really good. I guess I can make yeast breads after all! Well, I'm sure these buns turned out nowhere close to the intent of the original recipe, but they were still great. It just made my whole day to get such approval from my husband and little girl.