Great Day Kitchen, 3/8/18 - Bierocks

Chef Carolyn Ocheltree from Tree of Life in the Great Day Kitchen

Chef Carolyn Ocheltree, from Tree of Life Café & Bakery, located at 2139 Kern St. in downtown Fresno, visited the Great Day Kitchen to prepare some delicious food.

Click here to visit Tree of Life Café & Bakery online or call (559) 663-7776.

Click here to follow Tree of Life on Facebook.

Vegan Pizza Dough


  • 1 package (2 ¼ tsp.) dry active yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, warm water and sugar, mixing gently until combined.
  • Allow the mixture to rest for about 5 minutes, or until bubbly. (If your yeast does not bubble, toss the batch and do this step again, using different yeast. No bubbles often means the yeast is dead.)
  • Add the olive oil, flour and salt, adding more flour as necessary until forming a soft dough. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl and should feel just a little sticky.
  • On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 5 to 7 minutes, or until elastic.
  • Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl, covered, in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in bulk.
  • Moistening the air by placing the dough on top of a bowl of hot water will help it rise faster.
  • Once the dough has doubled in bulk, punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Knead the dough for several minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Use immediately to make pizzas or bierocks, or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

Yield: Approximately 6 (3 oz.) balls of dough


Vegan Bierock Filling


  • 2 cups cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup lentil sausage
  • ½ cup yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. black pepper (coarse grind)
  • Pinch of salt (to taste)


  • Remove core from cabbage and roughly chop 2 cups cabbage.
  • Sauté onion and cabbage on medium heat in olive oil until translucent.
  • Add lentil sausage and spices and continue sautéing for about 3 minutes, until flavors activate.

Yield: 3 cups

Lentil Sausage


  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 1 Tablespoon Liquid Smoke
  • 2 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage
  • Salt to taste


  • Cook lentils in 2 cups water: bring water and lentils to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes.
  • Put half the lentils in a blender with the spices and 1 Tablespoon olive oil, or more, if needed.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Add to remaining lentils.
  • Mix together.
  • Spread on parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, allowing moisture to bake out of lentil mixture and sausage to take on a crumbled “ground meat” texture.
  • Flip sausage and bake another 5 minutes (15 minutes total baking time).

Yield: 2 cups

Traditional Bierock Filling


  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • 1 head cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp. coarse ground black pepper
  • 2/3 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper


  • In a large pan, bring oil to medium-high heat, add cabbage and onion and sweat for about 4 minutes.
  • Add ground beef, spices and garlic and lower heat to medium and sauté ingredients until the cabbage is seared and ingredients are aromatic.
  • Take off heat and add to mixing bowl to cool slightly.
  • Remove any fat by draining mixture in a colander.

Yield: 4 cups or 8 bierocks


  • 3 oz. ball of Vegan Pizza Dough or other Pizza Dough
  • 4 oz. bierock filling


  • On a floured surface, roll out the 3-oz. ball of pizza dough to a 6”x6” square.
  • Place 4 oz. of bierock filling in the center of the dough.
  • Pull up opposite corners until they meet above the center.
  • Pull up other opposite corners, until all four corners are pulled to the center, above the filling.
  • Pinch the open slits closed with your fingers, using a little water, if necessary to seal the slits shut.
  • Shape the bierock, if desired, into a round shape, being careful not to get too much dough on the bottom side of the bierock.
  • Optional: Brush top of bierock with olive oil or butter for a crispy, brown top. If you are making different flavors of bierocks, you can sprinkle different dried herbs on top, to differentiate the flavors (i.e. Vegan=Dried Parsley Flakes Mexican=Chili Powder Italian=Parmesan Cheese with Dried Basil)
  • Bake bierocks on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 375 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes, or until top of bierock is golden brown and bottom of bierock is browned and makes a nice hollow thumping sound when flicked with the finger and thumb.

Bierocks can be cooled and wrapped in paper. Freeze bierocks for up to one month if desired. A frozen bierock can be fully thawed in the microwave oven by heating on high for 1 minute, or until hot in the center. A cold (thawed) bierock can be heated in the microwave oven for 1 minute on high.

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