Simple Ways to Make Pagash Pizza at Home

How to Make Your Own Homemade Pagash Pizza

Northeast Pennsylvania has many foods which are unique to our area, and after doing a little research, I found that Pagash Pizza, or Pierogi/Potato Pizza is a dish that is pretty exclusive to NEPA.  The food originated as a lenten dish in Slavic regions and and is most popular in our region.  A traditional pagash dish can contain sauteed cabbage which is where many pagash purists will generally draw the line betwee "pagash" (sometimes spelled pagach), and pagash pizza.  In this article we are focusing onthe pagash pizza and how you can make one at home.

Pagash pizza is really not all that difficult to make because it's made of really 3 basic ingredients: dough, mashed potatoes, and cheese.  For me, there are 4 primary ingredients because I believe a pagash requires fried onions because the onions break up the starches and add some excellent flavor contrast and texture.  Beyond the simple basics, there really are a lot of options as to how you can put your pagash pizza together based on your tastes.  So in this article, I'm not going to walk you through the process and help you customize a pagash pizza to your liking!  Two foods that I have never heard of anyone disliking are pizza and pierogies so putting them together has to be a recipe for success - right?!


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So the first thing you will want to do is decide what kind of crust you want and how much work you want to put into it.  I personally love to make my own dough which you can see how to do that in this video on my YouTube channel.  My tip in making your own dough is to add a tablespoon of lard to the batch to give the crust some additional flavor and crispness.  If you're not up to the challenge and mess of making your own dough you can certainly buy fresh or frozen dough at the store.  Whatever you decide here, just spread it in a pan evenly.  I reccommend using your bare hands, not a rolling pin because a rolling pin will squeeze out the air bubbles and make the dough a bit more uniform and lose texture and fluffiness.  One word of advice when using fresh dough, let it raise in the pan before baking and bake the crust until it's light brown BEFORE adding the mashed potatoes and toppings.

If working with these types of doughs are still too much, you can grab a tube of pillsbury pizza dough or even a buttery croissant dough to press in a pan.  For even less work, you can grab a premade round or square pizza shell at the grocery store.  These options will also get the job done, but for me they don't produce as good of results as a fresh piece of dough.  The other choices with the crust are do you want one crust or two?  You can add a top crust to make a giant pizza pierogi!  And there is no rule that says what the shape of the pagash needs to be - it can be round, square, or even a heart for that matter!


So after you have chosen a crust, you are going to need some mashed potatoes to put on the pizza since there is no sauce here.  You can use either fresh potatoes the old fashioned way or use instant flakes.  Of course, I prefer real potatoes, but seeing as you will need to peel 5-8 potatoes and boil them - flakes can save you some time and hassle.  Regardless of the method you choose, everyone has a favorite way to make mashed potatoes - I reccommend just using your normal recipe.  I like to add butter, a splash of milk, granulated garlic and some salt to my mashed potatoes.  The one thing you will want to do is add a little more butter and salt than you normally do in your potatoes because the dough/potato combination does get a little overwhelming.  I also reccommend adding some sharp (white or yellow) cheddar cheese to your mashed potatoes as your mixing to ensure the flavor is blended throughout.

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After you have your mashed potatoes mixed, it's time to spread them on the crust.  I prefer to sprinkle some sharp cheddar or mozzarella cheese directly on the crust and then spread the mashed potatoes on top to help bind the potatoes to the dough as well as add flavor.  You can even use a few slices of american cheese in this step to make for a gooey and delicious base.  After you have decided on cheese or no cheese, it's just like icing a cake, grab a spoon and spread out your potatoes.  The thickness depends on taste, but I reccommend if you have a thin crust then you can go thicker on the potatoes.  If you have a thick crust, don't go crazy with the potatoes because it will just be too much.



To wrap up the pizza, spread sharp cheddar cheese on top.  I prefer to use white cheddar with a little yellow cheddar mixed in just to give it some color.  If you are adding onions, simply slice the onions and add them to a hot pan with some olive oil until they are carmelized.  Drop them on top of the pizza and place in the oven at 425 degrees.  Since this pizza is so thick, it will take longer than a normal pizza to cook - likely 12 to 16 minutes depending on your oven and the thickness you chose.

If you want to kick things up a notch, you can turn the pierogie pizza into more of a "baked potato pizza" by leaving the skin on the mashed potatoes, adding bacon crumbles, chives, or any other toppings you would on a mashed potato.  It's really up to you!  As you can see, Pagash Pizza is very simple to make but there are many options as to how you can make it!  Choose your path and have some fun putting it together.  I hope this helps on your #pizzafriday!  Please let me know if you have any questions.  You can hit me up on facebook, twitter, instagram, YouTube, or email.


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