How to Make Ukrainian Pampushky

These soft yeast rolls are perfect for soups and stews, and while they come in plenty of flavors - these garlic Pampushky are a real crowd pleaser.
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Tom Charman
Dec 19
2 mins
Dec 19
2 mins

If you ask me - no Borsch is complete without a side-serving of pampushky - small, round bread rolls fried in oil. Often likened to a ‘Ukrainian donut’, these versatile, fluffy balls of dough can be served savory or sweet, and like many Ukrainian dishes - you’ll often find them with a dollop of sour cream on top. Other than Ukraine, it’s not particularly clear where pampushky originated, but many believe that they were traditionally made with a yeasted dough, and fried with oil. Over time, chefs and cooks around the world have pimped their pampushky and taken them to new heights. Variations including garlic, herbs, spices and even sweet jellies have appeared across the whole of Eastern Europe for lots of culinary festivals that are devoted specifically to making pampushky. Talking of jellies - one of the traditional dishes that you’ll regularly find on the table for Syvat Vechir in Ukraine are cherry-filled, or jam-filled pampushky - the perfect dessert after a warm hearty meal.

With all that said, here’s a list of ingredients that you’ll need to create my favorite pampushky with garlic at home:

  • 1 cup (235ml) of warm water
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) of active dry yeast
  • 2 cups (250g) of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) of salt
  • 2 tablespoons (40g) of sunflower oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of vegetable oil (470ml) (or similar) for frying

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And here’s how you’ll create your own garlic pampushky

  1. In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Stir until the yeast has dissolved, then let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, until it becomes foamy.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the yeasted water. Stir until the dough comes together, then turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic.
  3. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until it has doubled in size.
  4. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it into small balls, about the size of a golf ball.
  5. Heat the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until it is fragrant.
  6. Heat the 2 cups of vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Dip each ball of dough in the garlic oil, then carefully place it in the hot oil. Fry the pampushky for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are golden brown and crispy.
  7. Remove the pampushky from the oil and let them drain on paper towels. Serve them warm, either on their own or with a dollop of sour cream on top. Enjoy!
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