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OSSETIAN PIES Ossetian Pies Recipe For those who never made them We will need some ankhizhan,

which is a mix you can make. Also flour, oil, milk, salt, and water.

To prepare a cup of ankhizhan, mix one teaspoon flour, one teaspoon yeast, one teaspoon sugar, and 3/4 cup warm water. Use it in about ten minutes.

Ossetian cheese (see the article "Ossetian feta cheese").

We will need an aryng if you do not have a counter on which to mix and roll. This one was bought in an IKEA department store.

About six cups of all purpose white flour, enough to make three balls about the size of a medium grapefruit.

Add some salt.

Pour the ankhizhan into the large bowl of flour.

Adding warm water or 1/2 cup milk, start mixing it from the centre. Important: mix by hand. When it stops sticking to your hands, you have added enough liquid. Optionally, add an egg for richness.

It will taste better if you add 50-100 g of milk.

Dough is ready. If you add 30 g of vegetable oil it will be not that sticky.

Now cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise for a few hours.

It is time to prepare the filling. Let's make tsakharadzhyn this time - pies with beet tops and cheese.

We can also use dill, parsley and onions, though some Ossetians make tsakharadzhyn without them.

Cut leaves into very small pieces.

Same with other ingredients.

The dough has risen!

It is time to form the pies.

Put the dough on the aryng with some flour.

The dough balls for three pies.

Now we can salt the filling. It is not recommended to do this earlier.

Add 0.5 - 0.7 kg of fresh Ossetian cheese.

If the filling is too wet, some flour can be added.

Filling is ready.

Pre-heat the oven.

Roll out dough with your hands.

Put some filling on centre.

Pull the edges over the filling and stretch to the centre.

Connect them and cut the top off.

Now you roll it out again, from the centre toward the edges. The trick on thickness is that you should just be able to see the texture and color of the filling through the dough.

Flip it over and keep rolling out.

Put it on a metal cookie sheet or pizza pan.

Gently press it out to the rim of the pan. Pinch out a hole in the centre to prevent an explosion!

Time to bake.

Put the pan on the lower level and keep it there until the bottom of the pie does not stick to the surface of the pan. Then move it to the upper level and put the second pan below, unless your oven is very even.

Bake the pie until the top gets some browning, but do not overbake. After you take the pie out, use a stick of butter to make the top and sides soft.