In this video in this page you will see members of the Warsaw Slow Food Alliance training people to braid pierogi. Many of these women have won baking and cooking contests. I refer to them as pierogi masters.
The training session was held in a vault deep inside the 18th century Fort Traugutta in Warsaw Poland. The event was part of the European Union promotion of Polish regional food.
It was held on a cold day in December. Heat in the vault was provided by the boiling water in pierogi cooking pots and a portable heater.
The lighting was bad but the training great.
Braiding pierogi has an advantage over other types of sealing processes because the seal on the pierogi is very strong. So you can add an extra amount of filling and be sure that the seal will not break during the boiling process.
As you go through this video you will see that the process of braiding pierogi is rather simple. But it does take some practice to get the braid just the way you want.
The braiding process for pierogi is a pinch and fold process. To learn how to make the braids, it is best to watch this video while you have a pierogi in your hand. Try to duplicate the hand and finger motion that you see in the video.
There are some other details in this video that are very important to note.
These details make the difference between an excellent and a passable pierogi.
Note that there is almost no flour on the pierogi dough itself. Avoiding the use of flour as much as possible during the rollout and cutting processes makes it much easier to seal the pierogi.
A properly rolled dough is actually a bit sticky. See How To Roll Out A Pierogi Dough
Notice that the women sealing the pierogi often dip their fingertips in flour. Such dipping eliminates any problems with handling the dough because of sticky fingers that result by reason of touching the dough or the filling.
Note how thin the dough is rolled. And not only is it rolled thin, it is very elastic.
The dough being used is a blanched dough. In Polish it is called Ciasto Parzone. It is made with boiling hot water. The recipe for this dough can be found here.
The fillings are very stiff. Stiffness allows for easy handling and the addition of a large amount of filling to each pierogi.
And the women add enough filling to make a plump pierogi. After sealing the pierogi, they shape it so that is somewhat flat.
Why? People eat pierogi for the filling. And a flat pierogi assures more even cooking of the filling.