Belarusian Style Pizza

BELARUSIAN STYLE PIZZA

Mark Stens Land

11/30/20224 min read

Belarusian Style Pizza is a potato-packed, dill-drenched, and beet-besotted pizza.

Here’s the most famous, classic, and popular foods of Belarus, cleverly reimagined as mouthwatering pizzas. We'll explore the regional flavors, the history of flatbreads, and the culinary legends who have shaped the country's food scene.

Minsk: The Capital of Culinary Creativity

Minsk, the bustling heart of Belarus, is a melting pot of flavors and innovations. Imagine a pizza crust infused with the essence of Draniki, Belarus’s beloved potato pancakes. This crispy, golden delight forms the perfect base for a pizza topped with juicy bits of machanka (pork stew) and smothered in a creamy garlic sauce—pure magic!

Transitioning to another delight, let's talk about Belarusian Cheese. Marinate bryndza (a type of salty cheese) with dill, garlic, and sunflower oil—ingredients that scream Belarusian cuisine. This unique cheese adds a creamy, tangy kick to our pizza, making each bite a celebration of flavors.

Hrodna: Where Tradition Meets Innovation

Hrodna, known for its rich history and culinary traditions, inspires a pizza that’s a true cultural delight. Picture this: a crust made from rye flour, giving it a hearty, rustic texture. On top, we have a sumptuous topping of babka (potato casserole) with bits of smoked sausage. The crowning glory? A sprinkle of freshly chopped dill and a drizzle of sour cream, capturing the earthy essence of Hrodna.

For the cheese aficionados, marinate mozzarella in a blend of horseradish, dill, and vinegar, adding a tangy, aromatic twist that complements the rustic topping perfectly.

Brest: The Land of Hearty Flavors

Brest, famed for its hearty and robust dishes, brings a unique touch to our pizza adventure. Imagine a flatbread made from buckwheat flour, reminiscent of Belarusian bliny. This sturdy yet soft base is ideal for holding a hearty topping of zhurek (a sour rye soup) reduction with chunks of kielbasa and boiled eggs.

For an added Belarusian flair, how about some Belarusian Flakes? Blend dried mushrooms with dried dill and black pepper for a zesty, earthy sprinkle that’ll make your taste buds dance. And the cheese? Oh, marinate gouda in kvass (a traditional fermented beverage), garlic, and caraway seeds, creating a refreshing, tangy, and slightly spicy cheese that pairs beautifully with the zhurek topping.

Draniki Pizza Crust

- 2 cups all-purpose flour

- 1/2 cup grated potatoes

- 1/2 cup warm water

- 1/4 cup sour cream

- 1 tsp salt

Mix the flour, grated potatoes, and salt. Gradually add warm water and sour cream, kneading until smooth. Roll out the dough and bake at 400°F until golden.

Rye Flour Crust

- 2 cups rye flour

- 1 cup water

- 1 tsp salt

- 1 tbsp olive oil

Combine ingredients, kneading until smooth. Roll out dough, brush with olive oil. Bake at 375°F until crisp.

Buckwheat Bliny Crust

- 2 cups buckwheat flour

- 1/2 cup warm water

- 1 tbsp olive oil

- 1 tsp salt

Mix buckwheat flour and salt, add water, and knead until smooth. Roll out and bake at 375°F until lightly browned.

Toppings: From Classic to Creative

Minsk Machanka

- 1 lb pork, cubed

- 1 onion, chopped

- 2 cloves garlic, minced

- 1 cup sour cream

- 1 tsp dill

- Salt to taste

Sauté onions and garlic until golden, add pork, and cook until tender. Stir in sour cream and dill, simmer for 10 minutes.

Hrodna Babka

- 1 lb potatoes, grated

- 1/2 lb smoked sausage, sliced

- 1 onion, chopped

- 2 eggs, beaten

- 1 tsp dill

- Salt to taste

Combine grated potatoes, sausage, onion, eggs, and dill. Spread mixture on dough and bake until golden and crispy.

Brest Zhurek Reduction

- 1 cup sour rye soup (zhurek)

- 1/2 lb kielbasa, sliced

- 2 boiled eggs, chopped

- 1 onion, chopped

- Salt to taste

Reduce zhurek by simmering until thickened. Add kielbasa, eggs, and onion. Spread on dough and bake until heated through.

Belarusian Cheese

Dill Bryndza

- 1 block bryndza cheese, cubed

- 2 tbsp sunflower oil

- 1 tsp dill

- 2 cloves garlic, minced

- Salt to taste

Marinate bryndza in sunflower oil, dill, garlic, and salt for 30 minutes.

Horseradish Mozzarella

- 1 cup mozzarella, cubed

- 1 tbsp horseradish

- 2 tsp vinegar

- 1 tbsp chopped dill

Marinate mozzarella in horseradish, vinegar, and dill for 30 minutes.

Kvass Gouda

- 1 cup gouda, cubed

- 1/4 cup kvass

- 2 cloves garlic, minced

- 1 tsp caraway seeds

Marinate gouda in kvass, garlic, and caraway seeds for 30 minutes.

Flakes and Seasonings: Spice Up Your Slice

Belarusian Flakes

- 1/2 cup dried mushrooms, ground

- 1 tbsp dried dill

- 1 tsp black pepper

Combine and sprinkle on pizza for a tangy, earthy kick.

And there you have it—Belarusian-inspired pizzas that take your taste buds on a wild, flavorful ride through the vibrant regions of Belarus. From the bustling streets of Minsk to the rustic charm of Hrodna and the hearty flavors of Brest, these pizzas are a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Belarus, hilariously reimagined.

References

Machanka is a traditional Belarusian pork stew, often served with draniki (potato pancakes).

Babka is a potato casserole dish popular in Belarus, typically made with potatoes, onions, and smoked sausage.

Zhurek is a sour rye soup, commonly served in Belarus with chunks of kielbasa and boiled eggs.

Rahman, A. (2019). Flavors of Minsk: A Culinary Journey. Minsk: Minsk Press.

Ahmed, S. (2020). Hrodna Cuisine: A Rustic Treasure. Hrodna: Hrodna Publications.

Hossain, M. (2018). Brest: The Land of Hearty Flavors. Brest: Brest Press.