Perashki Kartoshkagiy (Potato Turnover)

For a sweet, sufganiyot-like variation, omit the potato filling and fill the turnovers with jam preserves before frying.

Makes approximately 40 turnovers

For dough:
4 teaspoons dry yeast
1/4 cup plus a pinch of sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil, plus 4 cups for frying
3 eggs
6 cups all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for dusting

For potato filling:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 1/2 cups)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Make the dough: In a large bowl mix together the yeast, a pinch of sugar and water; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add remaining sugar and salt, followed by the honey, 1/3 cup vegetable oil and eggs, mixing well to combine.

2. Add 5 cups of flour to the wet mixture and gently stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together but is still quite wet. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface; knead while slowly incorporating as much of the remaining flour as necessary to make a supple, elastic dough, 8-10 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a dishtowel and let rise until almost doubled in size, about 1 hour.

3. Meanwhile, make the filling: Heat olive oil in a 3-quart saucepan set over medium-low heat. Add onion and let cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add potatoes and 1 cup water, raise heat to medium and allow to come to a low boil. Lower heat, cover, and let potatoes simmer until very soft, 20-25 minutes.

4. Remove pan from heat. With a potato masher or a sturdy fork, mash into a smooth paste, then stir in salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.

5. Assemble perashki: Gently deflate dough and transfer to a floured work surface. Pinch off a 1-inch piece of dough, roll into a ball, then roll out into a 4-inch-diameter circle with a rolling pin. Mound approximately 1 tablespoon of filling into the center. Fold one edge over to the other and pinch edges firmly, making a half moon-shaped pocket of dough. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

6. Heat remaining 4 cups vegetable oil in a large cast iron pan set over medium-low heat. Fry perashki in batches, flipping once, until puffed and deep golden brown, 4-5 minutes total. If air bubbles form during frying, deflate them with the tip of a knife. Transfer perashki to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Serve warm alongside tamat (see next recipe).

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