Sourdough Bierocks (Runzas): A Recipe from the Farm

Last Updated on November 1, 2023 by TheFarmChicken

Bierock cut in half on a board

These homemade Bierocks are filled dough pockets that are hearty and delicious. They are popular throughout the Midwest and are especially popular in Nebraska where they are called Runzas. In the rest of the Midwest most people refer to them as Bierocks. What is stuffed in these hearty little pockets? Let’s find out and learn all about the sourdough version: Sourdough Bierocks (Runzas): A Recipe from the Farm.

A little pocket, with a seasoned meat and cabbage filling, onion and sometimes cheese and sauerkraut. Would you add sauerkraut? We like the added flavor that the sauerkraut brings to the bierocks, so I do add it to ours. These little dough pockets take some work but are worth it!

These would be perfect for game days, if you are into that thing! They also work well for freezing and reheating. Just put them in a freezer bag and take them out when you need a filling quick meal. If you farm this is a great field meal option as they are easy to eat with one hand and aren’t that messy. They also stay warm well and are like a little pocket sandwich!

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The Dough:

This dough is easy to make up and is perfectly tender for using to make these Bierocks. You can even mix this dough up the day or so before if that is more convenient for you. Just leave it in the fridge and it will be ready for you the next morning.

up close of cut bierock

Bierock Ingredients:

Active Sourdough Starter:

Sourdough is such a unique and flavorful ingredient/technique. Do you have a sourdough starter? If not, Agnes would love to teach you all about it! Make sure to ask any questions you may have. There is a learning curve, but sourdough just gets easier with time and practice…like most things!

Water:

Like all my sourdough recipes I use distilled water. This allows the sourdough starter to thrive. Any NON-chlorinated water should work.

Flour:

My favorite flour to bake with is Dakota Maid Flour. It is milled right here in North Dakota and is a high-quality flour. I buy both Dakota Maid’s all-purpose and bread flour and like them both!

I would like to try these sometime with a little bit of whole wheat flour in place of some of the bread flour. A heartier option and healthier too!

Seasoning Salt:

This recipe doesn’t need any regular salt, it just uses seasoning salt. I use the Morton brand, but I imagine any seasoning salt would work just fine.

Cabbage:

We like a fair amount of cabbage in this dish. I usually will use part of a whole cabbage. First, you will want to wash and chop it up (Either by hand or a food processor would work well) but if you would rather you could use boughten shredded cabbage too.

Ground Beef:

The ground beef is cooked with the onions, garlic, and seasonings and then the cabbage and optional sauerkraut is added to the pan and cooked down with it.

Sauerkraut:

This is optional but we really do like the extra flavor it adds to the Bierocks. I use an 8 oz can. I love how it uses the whole can, so I don’t have any waste or leftovers!

Shredded Cheese:

Another optional ingredient. Some people prefer them without cheese, and they are good that way too. We like sharp cheddar best, but you can use your favorite shredded cheese.

Onion:

Another ingredient that brings so much flavor. Choose a medium onion and chop it up and add it to the ground beef while it is frying.

Assembling the Bierocks:

  1. Take and divide your dough into 12-14 (90 gram) pieces.
  2. Starting with one piece of dough flatten it into a rectangle by hand.
  3. Next, take 2 scoops of the meat mixture and place it in the center of the dough.
  4. Sprinkle with cheese if desired.
  5. Then you will take and fold and seal the edges of the dough.
  6. Flip the dough pocket over and lay on a parchment lined or greased baking sheet pan.
  7. Bake!

Ways to serve them:

We like to serve bierocks with fries and dipped in either mustard, ranch, or Chik-Fil-A sauce. A fruit and/or vegetable as well; like a side salad or carrots, apple, etc. Another great way to serve them would be with a soup like Kneophla, Potato soup or Broccoli Cheese Soup.

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Pinnable Image of Bierock

Sourdough Bierocks (Runzas): A Recipe from the Farm

Bierocks on a board

The Bierock Dough Recipe:

  • 260 g active sourdough starter
  • 185 g distilled or filtered water, room temperature
  • 30 g sugar
  • 623 g bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 125 g whole milk or 2%
  • 55 g canola oil or olive oil
  • 15 g kosher salt

Bierock Filling:

  • 1 lb. hamburger, thawed
  • ¾ cup onion or 1 medium, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 6 cups cabbage, chopped
  • 1 can (8oz) sauerkraut, optional
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)

Directions for the Bierock Dough:

  • In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer weigh out the starter, water, and sugar and mix with your hand or a spoon until it is combined.
  • Next add the flour, milk and oil to the large bowl and mix with a dough hook in the stand mixer for 1-2 minutes or until the dough has come together enough to be shaggy.
  • Cover with a tea towel and let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Then add the salt and mix/knead on low speed for 7 minutes.
  • Transfer to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Then put it into the fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  • While the dough is in the fridge you can make up the filling.

Directions for the filling:

  • In a large frying pan or cast-iron pan fry your hamburger, onion, and garlic. As it is frying add the black pepper and seasoning salt. Cook until it is no longer pink.
  • Drain the fat off the meat and discard the fat.
  • Next, add the chopped cabbage and optional sauerkraut. Saute this until the cabbage cooks down and incorporates about 5-10 minutes on medium heat. You want the cabbage to be well cooked and not crunchy. The filling is done!

Assembling:

  • Now that the filling is done you can start assembling the bierocks. Take the dough out of the fridge and divide it into about 90g dough balls. If you want large bierocks use more like 120 g of dough. (Note: It is a more workable dough when it is a little cold.)
  • Then using your hands flatten the balls of dough into a rectangle, working one at a time.
  • Place 2 portion scoops or about 1/2 cup of meat and cabbage mixture into the center of the Bierock dough and sprinkle with a little bit of cheese if desired.
  • After you have added the cheese take the sides of the dough and seal the edges by pressing them together.
  • Then flip the dough pocket and place seam-side down and place on a parchment paper lined or greased baking sheet. Grease the baking sheet with cooking spray. Repeat with remaining filling and dough pieces.
  • Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with French fries or your favorite soup.

Sourdough Bierocks (Runzas): A Recipe from the Farm

These homemade Bierocks are filled dough pockets that are hearty and delicious. Perfect for a tractor meal or any meal. A little bit of work but they are worth it!
Print Recipe
Bierock up close cut in half

Ingredients

The Bierock Dough Recipe:

  • 260 g active sourdough starter
  • 185 g distilled or filtered water room temperature
  • 30 g sugar
  • 623 g bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 125 g whole milk or 2%
  • 55 g canola oil or olive oil
  • 15 g kosher salt

Bierock Filling:

  • 1 lb. hamburger thawed
  • ¾ cup onion or 1 medium chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 6 cups cabbage chopped
  • 1 can 8oz sauerkraut, optional
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded (optional)

Instructions

Directions for the Bierock Dough:

  • In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer weigh out the starter, water, and sugar and mix with your hand or a spoon until it is combined.
  • Next add the flour, milk and oil to the large bowl and mix with a dough hook in the stand mixer for 1-2 minutes or until the dough has come together enough to be shaggy.
  • Cover with a tea towel and let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Then add the salt and mix/knead on low speed for 7 minutes.
  • Transfer to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Then put it into the fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  • While the dough is in the fridge you can make up the filling.

Directions for the filling:

  • In a large frying pan or cast-iron pan fry your hamburger, onion, and garlic. As it is frying add the black pepper and seasoning salt. Cook until it is no longer pink.
  • Drain the fat off the meat and discard the fat.
  • Next, add the chopped cabbage and optional sauerkraut. Saute this until the cabbage cooks down and incorporates about 5-10 minutes on medium heat. You want the cabbage to be well cooked and not crunchy. The filling is done!

Assembling:

  • Now that the filling is done you can start assembling the bierocks. Take the dough out of the fridge and divide it into about 90g dough balls. If you want large bierocks use more like 120 g of dough. (Note: It is a more workable dough when it is a little cold.)
  • Then using your hands flatten the balls of dough into a rectangle, working one at a time.
  • Place 2 portion scoops or about 1/2 cup of meat and cabbage mixture into the center of the Bierock dough and sprinkle with a little bit of cheese if desired.
  • After you have added the cheese take the sides of the dough and seal the edges by pressing them together.
  • Then flip the dough pocket and place seam-side down and place on a parchment paper lined or greased baking sheet. Grease the baking sheet with cooking spray. Repeat with remaining filling and dough pieces.
  • Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with French fries or your favorite soup.
Servings: 14 bierocks

FAQ’s:

What is the difference between a bierock and a runza?

There are different thoughts on this but in general they are the same thing but with a different name. Bierocks are usually more commonly a round shape, whereas runzas favor a more rectangular shape. If you live in Nebraska, you are more likely to call them runzas the rest of the Midwest, Bierocks.

Can I freeze sourdough bierocks?

Yes, sourdough bierocks can be frozen. I would freeze them after they have been cooked. Then, to defrost place in fridge overnight and reheat in the oven at 275 degrees. You could also reheat them in a toaster oven or pizza cooker.

Do both bierocks and runzas have sauerkraut in them?

From what I know about the matter sauerkraut is more commonly seen in Bierocks. The runza sandwich generally does not have sauerkraut added to their filling.


This Sourdough Bierock (Runzas): Recipe from the Farm is a fun and filling one. If you have any questions let me know below. I’d also love it if you left a review. Thanks for stopping by TheFarmChicken!

Mariah N. | TheFarmChicken

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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars

    It is tradition for our family to enjoy Bierocks on New Year’s Day! This recipe received rave reviews from my critic family! The bread was perfect and so easy to make. (I made it the day before, so I wouldn’t spend all day in the kitchen.)

    1. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment! This made my day! I’m so happy to hear they were enjoyed by your family. We love them, even our little ones do!

    2. 5 stars

      I have never heard of runza or bierock. I stumbled upon this recipe when looking for sourdough recipes. Decided to make them this weekend. Turned out really great! We are a sauerkraut loving household, so I added a little extra. And also went heavy on the cabbage. Added red pepper flakes for a little kick. Weighed out my dough pieces to 120g, and got 11 bierocks. Loved everything about it, especially all the textures!!! This is a keeper recipe and one I’ll be making throughout the year! A great recipe for potlucks and parties. Thank you!

      1. I’m so glad you found it! My little girl just loves these and we do too. I like your spin on them with the red pepper flake! Thanks for leaving a comment! Love reading about people making the recipes and how they enjoy them with family.

  2. 5 stars

    This was the best feeling dough I’ve ever worked with! I’m new to sourdough, so there’s that. But this dough was so easy to work with! I love Runzas, but am now thinking of all the other things I can make with this dough! My question is this…could I make this up ahead of time and freeze it instead of refrigerating it, until I’m ready to use it? If so, any suggestions for thawing a rising?

    1. It really it such a delicious and easy dough. I’m glad you love it. My pizza dough recipe is similar to this dough in case you want to try that too.

      I haven’t tried freezing it but I have heard other people have success with freezing sourdough. I would say maybe just freeze half the dough that way if it doesn’t work you didn’t just loose all your dough.

      When you go to thaw it I would recommend thawing it in the fridge and then once it’s thawed let it sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes to warm some before using it.

      Hope freezing works for you and thanks for reaching out! Welcome to TheFarmChicken! ☺️

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