Kraut Bierocks – German Cabbage Burger Recipe

July 18, 2013Katie
runza recipe

As promised, Part 2 of my old family recipe for Kraut Bierocks (pronounced Krowt Beer-ocks), or German cabbage burgers.  Yesterday we made the quick version using crescent roll dough.  Click here  to find where you can find how to make the meat and cabbage filling.


Today we’ll do the genuine recipe for the dough pockets.  To see how to make the meat and cabbage filling, look here.

Today’s post features Mr. Wonderful.  Pastry extraordinaire, master dough roller, and all around good guy.


I just love him.  There’s just something really wonderful about a man who can roll out dough….as in, I don’t have to!

If I ever need dough rolled, he’s the man and I adore him for having that capability that I obviously lack.

Let’s get started, shall we?

One recipe will make 12 Kraut Bierocks.  I halved this recipe, due to using some of my filling to make the quick version. I am going to give you the full version in measurements, but mine may not appear correct in the pictures.

Add 2 cups of warm water to a large bowl.  We need the water warm to activate the yeast.


Take one packet of yeast and sprinkle it over top of the warm water and give it a little whisk.



This needs to set for 5 minutes.  So while you’re waiting….

In another bowl measure out 6 1/2 cups of flour.


Add 2 Tablespoons of sugar.


And also, add 2 teaspoons of salt.


Give your dry ingredients a whisk to mix them up real good.


Add 1/3 cup of room temperature butter to your dry mix.

Your butter will need to be room temperature and you’re gonna have to get your fingers messy on this one.  Reach into the bowl with your hands and begin to smoosh the butter into the flour with your fingers.


Keeping smooshing.  Until the butter mixes into the flour and becomes small crumbs.


And just in case you’re wondering, smoosh is a word…I just made it up!

Go ahead and wash off your hands, but don’t get too excited, you’re going to get them dirty again real soon!

Now you’re going to add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients.  Dump the dry ingredients into your water/yeast mixture.


Mix it with a strong spoon or spatula.


When you’ve mixed all you think you can with the spoon, get ready to dirty up your hands again.  Use your hands to push the dough around in the bowl and get all the flour mixture into the lump of dough.


You want to get all the dough and flour off the side of the bowl.

Lightly flour your counter or cutting board.


Then you want to knead your dough for several minutes by folding it over on itself and push it down with your palms.  I was alone making these and couldn’t really juggle both hands kneading and the camera, but really get in there with both hands and fold and press.


When you have your dough nicely worked through and it’s in a smooth ball, take a paper towel, put some canola or vegetable oil on it, and rub it around the inside of your bowl.  Plop your dough into the bowl, and turn it over once to coat the other side.  This is a very light coating of oil, not heavy.


Take a tea towel or light towel, and cover your bowl.    Put it in a warm non-drafty place for about an hour.


Go give yourself a manicure, pedicure, facial or if your prefer,  go watch your favorite one-hour reality tv show.  If you’re a man, please make it the Speed Channel or the Fishing Channel like my husband does, just to reassure yourself that you’re still full of testosterone.

Come back in one hour, and uncover your dough.  It should have swelled up and almost doubled in size.



Before                                                                           After

Again, lightly flour a cutting board or your counter.


Take your dough out of the bowl and put it on your floured board.


Enter Mr. Wonderful.

If you have a Mr. Wonderful, have him roll your dough out into a rectangle that measures 15 inches by 10 inches and about 1/2 thick.  You would do two of these rectangles by dividing your dough in half but remember, I’m halving this recipe.


If you don’t have a Mr. Wonderful,  you’ll have to roll it yourself .  I hope you don’t get as frustrated as I do when rolling dough.


Try to square off your dough at the ends and sides.  Mr. Wonderful is also Mr. Smartypants, and used a ruler.


Once you get your dough to the proper size, you can cut it into six, 5 inch by 5 inch squares.  A pizza cutter worked great for this.  First, cut straight down the center.


Now cut 3 even squares going across the other direction.  Again, if you’re a perfectionist, you can measure, if not, just try to make them reasonably even.


Your corners may be a little round, but that’s okay.  Do the same for your second rectangle of dough.  Put your dough squares on 2 large baking sheets, with space in between each dough square.

Take a large spoonful of your fillling, and put it in the center of your dough square.


Begin with opposite corners.  Draw the opposite corners together and give them a little pinch to stay.


Now take the other two opposite corners and pinch them up to the first two.


Begin pinching to seal all the seams on top of the pillow.


When you’re done, you should see no filling peeking out.


Continue doing the same to your other pillows.  When you’re done, flip them over, with some space in between them so that the seams now face downward.


Aren’t they just …too….adorably yummy looking?


Let them sit on your cookie sheet for 15 minutes to rise a bit.

Pop them into a 400º oven for about 15 minutes. They should be nice and golden brown when they’re ready to take out of the oven.

Once you have removed them from oven, you’ll need to brush them with a little melted butter.



I know, I know, butter,  calories – fat- DELICIOUS!  Just look at these wonderful little pockets.


We have always loved this recipe in our family.  I hope you add it to your list of fun things to make with your family!



Kraut Bierocks - German Cabbage Burgers
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 12
  • 2 c. warm water
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 6½ c. flour
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 2 t. salt
  • 2 T. butter, room temperature
  • Canola or vegetable oil for oiling bowl
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 head cabbage (green)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ t. salt
  • ¼ t. pepper
  • ½ c. melted butter (for brushing)
  1. Add water to large bowl. Sprinkle yeast over top.Mix with whisk. Let set 5 minutes.
  2. In another bowl, measure out 6½ cups flour.
  3. Add sugar and salt and using whisk, mix up dry ingredients well.
  4. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter add butter to dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Add dry ingredients into large wet ingredient bowl.
  6. Mix well with strong spoon.
  7. Switch to your hands and roll the forming dough around the bowl to pick up any leftover dry ingredients.
  8. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until the dough becomes a smooth ball.
  9. Lightly oil the inside of a clean bowl with a paper towel rubbed with canola or vegetable oil.
  10. Roll dough around in the bowl to coat lightly with oil.
  11. Cover the bowl and let sit in warm area to rise for one hour. (Dough should double in size)
  12. Remove to floured surface and roll out to two rectangles measuring 15 by 10 inches.
  13. Cut into six 5 x 5 inch squares.
  14. Preheat oven to 400º (after you've made your dough and filling)
  15. Chop cabbage, onion and garlic. Add olive oil to large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute cabbage, onion, garlic, salt and pepper in oil and cover, stirring frequently about 30 minutes. Cabbage should be soft and meat should be fully browned when done.
  16. Spoon about ½ cup of filling into center of each 5 x 5 square of dough.
  17. Take two of the opposite corners and draw them together and pinch.
  18. Take the remaining two corners of dough and pull together and pinch.
  19. Pinch all seams together tightly
  20. Flip bierock over and lightly sprayed or greased baking sheet (or use parchment paper.
  21. Let set on cookie sheet until they rise a bit (about 15 minutes)
  22. Bake in oven for 15 minutes
  23. Brush lightly with melted butter and serve!
  24. Brush with melted butter


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  • Glorybug

    December 18, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Great dough recipe. I used a different filling, because caraway and fennel seed were always in our Bierocks growing up. I subbed about one cup of rye flour in the recipe.
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  • Daniel

    August 22, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Great recipe. Very close to my paternal grandmothers recipe. She would use chopped roast beef. She also made "Depression Bierocks" occasionally too, all the same minus the meat and more onion and cabbage. During the Great Depression when one could not afford meat one made do especially with 6 boys and 2 girls.
    1. deborah l fries

      January 5, 2020 at 6:59 pm

      Very close to our family recipe also. We always used chopped roast beef in the filling, so delicious. I have kept up the tradition (I am 67 years old), as my sister, my daughter, and my niece and nephews go crazy over them!!!!! ...and am the only family member that still makes them.
      1. Katie

        January 13, 2020 at 1:15 pm

        Yum! Love your description!!!
  • Deborah Johnson

    October 4, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    Oh my gosh, I can't believe that I'm looking at the recipe my German grandma used to make these wonderful cabbage burgers when she lived in Milwaukee, WI. I am 66 years old but I can distinctly remember helping her make these in her kitchen many times when I was only 12-13 years old. Your pictures are exactly the way we made these! We would literally make dozens and dozens, as many family members would stop in to devour them. Thanks for posting, it brings back many fond memories.
    1. Katie

      October 5, 2018 at 8:25 am

      Deborah Johnson - I wonder if we're related? LOL I know it is such a fond memory of my early years as well. I'm so grateful it was handed down to me to make for my family now!
  • Amanda

    November 19, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    Hi, thank you for sharing this recipe!!! I notice that in your blog it says/shows that you use 1/3 cup room temp butter in the dough, but in the printable recipe it says to use 2Tbsp. I was wondering which is correct? Thanks :)
  • Deborah Ingram

    January 2, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    Do you put warm filling on the dough or do you cool the filling?
    1. Katie

      January 6, 2021 at 10:56 am

      Deborah Ingram - You can put it in fairly warm but I would let it cool a bit first.
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