Fluffy dough and three hearty fillings are combined in this Russian coulibiac or kulebyaka. It tastes juicy, spicy, soft and is vegan. You can serve it as a main dish, as an appetizer or with soup instead of bread. You can find a detailed coulibiac recipe with exact quantities and step-by-step instructions here at the very bottom.
What is coulibiac or kulebyaka?
Kulebyaka (plural kulebyaki) is a popular Russian pie made of yeast dough with several layers of filling. A blini is placed between each layer so that they do not mix. In a coulibiac, the fillings can not only be stacked on top of each other in layers, but also placed next to each other in corners. The Russian pie usually has an oval elongated shape. The difference of the kulebyaka from the classic pirog is not only in the several different fillings, but also in the ratio of the filling to the total weight. In the pirog there must be much more filling than dough. The dough here plays the role of a container for the filling.
In the modern world, to save time, coulibiac is often made with only one filling, or several fillings are not separated with blini, but distributed directly on each other.
Ideas for vegan and vegetarian fillings
For a vegetarian or vegan kulebyaka, there are very many different fillings to choose from. Among others you can prepare it with
grains or pseudo grains cooked and seasoned – for example rice, buckwheat, couscous, bulgur, quinoa, amaranth, barley,
legumes cooked and seasoned – for example, lentils, chickpeas, beans,
vegetables steamed – for example, white cabbage with carrots and peppers,
hard-boiled eggs cut into cubes.
How to make coulibiac an eye-catcher on the dining table?
Instead of intertwining the surface of kulebyaki, you can shape and decorate them in other ways. A very popular way is to decorate coulibiac with various figures made from the dough, such as flowers and leaves, using a cookie cutter. To do this, spread the filling in the center of the rolled out dough, leaving some of the dough for the figures, join the sides of the dough together and glue them. Now turn the coulibiac upside down, pierce it in a few places with a toothpick so that the steam can escape, and place figures cut out of the dough set aside on its surface.
How to serve kulebyaka?
Coulibiac is served sliced so that each slice has all the fillings. It can be served as a main dish for lunch or dinner, as an appetizer, or with soup instead of bread. When the Russian pie is served as a main meal on the dining table, sour cream or sauce is added. It is also convenient to wrap and take with you on the go.
This coulibiac is
ideal as a main course, appetizer or instead of bread to soup,
easy to make with common ingredients.
Vegan coulibiac recipe
The recipe for the Russian kulebyaka is not difficult at all, but it requires some steps and takes some time because the yeast dough needs to rise sufficiently. Here you can get a rough idea of how the preparation is done and what you need for the recipe. You can find the exact quantities and step-by-step instructions for making the Russian coulibiac vegan in the box recipe below.
For the three fillings you need
some plant milk and vegan margarine,
salt and pepper
and vegetable oil for frying.
For the yeast dough you need
lukewarm potato water,
yeast – I had fresh yeast,
some sugar and salt.
How to make coulibiac: here’s how (Check out the detailed recipe at the bottom.)
First, prepare the fillings. To do this, boil potatoes, mash them and refine the mashed potatoes with plant milk, margarine, salt and pepper. Cut the mushrooms into slices and fry them, seasoning them with salt and pepper. Cut the onions into rings, fry them until golden and season with salt and pepper.
Now prepare the pre-dough from the potato water you got from the cooked potatoes, yeast, sugar and some flour and let it rest for a short time. Then add vegetable oil, salt and the rest of the flour and knead it into a firm dough, which you leave to rise for 1 hour.
Divide the dough into two pieces or more if you want to make several smaller kulebyaki. First, roll out one piece of dough into a long rectangle, layer the mashed potatoes in the middle along the long side, then the mushrooms, and then the onions. Cut the two sides of the rectangle into strips and pull them alternately from one side and the other crosswise over the filling. Repeat the same with the second piece of dough. Leave the kulebyaki to rise for 20 minutes, brush with plant milk mixed with a little turmeric powder and bake at 180 °C for about 35 minutes. Done!
How to make Russian kulebyaka: tips and tricks
Instead of potato water for the dough, you can use ordinary water or plant milk. They must also be lukewarm.
Instead of fresh yeast you can use dry yeast. For the recipe below you will need 7 g of it.
The amount of flour given in the recipe may vary. Therefore, add the flour in portions until the yeast dough has the right consistency. It should be firm and elastic, not mushy and not dry.
You can refine the fillings with any herbs and spices of your choice.
You can prepare (vegan) blini for the kulebyaka beforehand and use them to separate the fillings in the dough by placing a blini between each filling.
You can make more than two, but smaller kulebyaki from the dough. Then the baking time might be shortened.
Did you make coulibiac according to this recipe? I’m looking forward to your result, your star rating and your comment here below, how you succeeded and tasted the Russian pie.
Fluffy dough and three hearty fillings are combined in this Russian coulibiac or kulebyaka. It tastes juicy, spicy, soft and is vegan. You can serve it as a main dish, as an appetizer or with soup instead of bread. According to the coulibiac recipe you make the Russian pie vegan yourself.
Boil potatoes in water, take them out of the water (don't pour away the potato water!), add plant milk and vegan margarine and mash the potatoes.
Season the mashed potatoes with salt and pepper and let it cool.
Preparation of the mushroom filling
Slice mushrooms and fry them in a pan in vegetable oil over high heat, stirring, for about 10 minutes, until liquid is first formed and then evaporated.
Season the mushroom filling with salt and pepper and let it cool.
Preparation of the onion filling
Cut onions into thin slices and fry them in a pan in vegetable oil over high heat, stirring constantly, until translucent to golden (not brown!).
Season the onion filling with salt and pepper and let it cool.
Preparation of the pre-dough
Weigh out 250 ml of lukewarm potato water (from the potatoes cooked for the filling) and put it into a large mixing bowl.
Dissolve fresh yeast and sugar in the potato water.
Add flour, mix and let the pre-dough rise covered in a warm place for 20 minutes.
Preparation of the dough
Add vegetable oil and salt to the pre-dough and mix.
Add flour in batches and knead it into a firm dough. Then knead the dough for about 10 minutes to make it elastic and smooth, and let it rise covered in a warm place for 1 hour.
Preparation of the coulibiac
Dust the work surface with flour. Divide the dough into two equal parts and first roll out one piece of dough into a long rectangle.
Visually divide the rectangle from the long side into three equal parts. On the middle part, spread in layers first half of the potato filling, then half of the mushroom filling, and then half of the onion filling, leaving about 1 cm free at the top and bottom. Cut the two outer sides next to the filling slightly crooked (at the same angle on both sides) into strips about 1 cm wide. Now fold the edge at the top and bottom onto the filling and alternately pull the strips from the right and left crosswise over the filling (see pictures here above).
Now roll out the second piece of dough into a long rectangle and shape it into a second kulebyaka exactly as described in the previous step.
Place the two kulebyaki on a baking sheet lined with baking paper, leaving enough space between them, and let them rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
Mix plant milk with turmeric powder and coat the kulebyaki with it.
Bake the kulebyaki in a preheated oven at 180 °C top and bottom heat for about 35 minutes and then brush them alternatively with vegetable oil.
Instead of fresh yeast you can use dry yeast. You will need 7 g of it.
The indicated amount of flour may vary. Therefore, add the flour in portions until the yeast dough has the right consistency. It should be firm and elastic, not mushy and not dry.
The fillings can be refined with any herbs and spices.
Note the detailed tips and tricks for making the Russian coulibiac vegan above in the post.