Kielbasa Appetizer: The Ultimate Pig in a Blanket

Kielbasa is wrapped in seeded rye dough with mustard, sliced cheese, and sauerkraut. It is baked and then portioned into easy to eat slices. Serve these with tiny sour pickles, spicy mustard, and cold Pilsner beer. This is great party food.The secret ingredient in this recipe is high quality kielbasa. If you have access to a Polish market you know what I mean. The last time I was in Worcester, Massachusetts I purchased several rings of Kielbasa Podwawelska at Golemo’s Market. This is a noble kielbasa whose name comes from Vavel castle, and is a specialty of butchers from Krakow. It is made from finely ground cured pork, black pepper, marjoram, and fresh garlic. Once stuffed in casings it is simmered slowly, and then lightly smoked. Remarkably, it costs about the same as the supermarket version.

Rye Dough
1 pkt yeast
1 tsp sugar
½ cup water, skin temperature
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup rye flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp caraway seeds 

1 good quality kielbasa, 10 to 12 oz (this one is 15” long)
1½ cups sauerkraut, squeezed dry
4 oz sliced Swiss or other cheese
1 Tbsp prepared spicy mustard

1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp water
1 tsp caraway seeds

In a small bowl, mix the yeast with the sugar and water. Leave it for a few minutes until foamy. Sift the flours and salt into a mixing bowl.

Add the yeast mixture and work into a slightly sticky dough with a fork until it comes together. Add a little more flour until it will no longer stick to your fingers. Knead for a few minutes with your hands to develop the gluten.

Cover and leave until at least doubled in volume.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to rectangle just a little longer than the kielbasa and about 6 inches wide. Trim the dough with a knife to even the edges. I trimmed about 1 inch from the edges to make it even.

Brush a thin layer of mustard on the dough leaving ½ inch uncovered around the edges. Cover with a layer of sliced cheese, again leaving ½ inch uncovered around the edges.

Squeeze the excess juice from the sauerkraut and top the cheese with it. Place the kielbasa in the center. Brush the long edge of the dough that is away from you and the 2 shorter edges.

Roll the dough around the kielbasa, and seal the ends. You should now have a nice tight package containing all of the savory ingredients.

Place on a lightly oiled baking pan, and brush with the egg mixture.

Sprinkle the caraway seeds over the dough, and finally cut several small gashes through the dough to allow steam to escape during baking. Let it rest for 10 minutes so the dough can rise a bit, and then bake in a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The cheese will start to ooze through the slashes when it is done.

Cool at least 10 minutes before slicing. You can also make this ahead of time, wrap it in foil, and reheat in the oven until warmed through. Cut into ½ inch thick pieces. Serve with mustard, sour pickles, and cold beer.


2 thoughts on “Kielbasa Appetizer: The Ultimate Pig in a Blanket

  1. These look yummy

    May uncle owned a polish bakery on the south side of Chicago

    At Easter time, he would take a whole Slotkowski smoked ham, slather it with brown mustard, wrap it in rye bread dough and bake it in the bakery’s oven.

    That was a treat !

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