Beef Meatballs in Buns – Kotleta v Teste

It’s an old Soviet meal, sort of our fast food. Cutlet in Russian often means pan-fried minced meat croquettes in boat-shape. There was a joke that kotleti in Stolovaya (Dinners) contains more bread than meat. So for easy eating to go or, more likely, for the disposal of unwanted kotleti were invented kotleta v teste: cooked meatballs almost wrapped in yeast dough and baked.

I made my own mini meatballs in Russian style (kotleti) specially for this meal. And I made yeast dough with potato flakes for more softness and taste.

Yield: 16 servings

For dough:

1 1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup Creamy Potato Flakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + more for dusting
1 tsp. dried yeast

For filling:

16 oz. ground beef (I used 96/4 Lean Ground Beef)
1/3 cup. red onion, finely chopped
2-3 slices of rye bread, crust removed
1 tsp. salt
pinch of ground black pepper
1/4 cup water (I used seltzer)

egg yolk for brushing
sesame seeds (optional)

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For filling: mix together water and crumbled bread, let stay until moisturized, add onion, salt and pepper and mix well, add ground beef and mix very good about 5 minutes. Divide in 16 parts and made small sausage-shaped kotleti. Brown on medium heated skillet with cooking spray on both sides. Set aside, let cool.

For dough: dissolve salt and sugar in water, add potato flakes, flour and yeast and knead about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Let rise in double, covered, about 1 hour.

Divide dough into 16 parts, roll each piece of dough (on flour dusted table) into oval and roll cooled kotleta into it, leaving the ends uncovered. Place into sprayed baking pan. Let rise about 45 minutes, brush with egg yolk,  sprinkle with sesame seeds (or nigella, or dried onion) if needed and bake in preheated (375F) oven about 25 minutes.

1 serving is about 90 calories

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