These German Cabbage Rolls are best when started the day before baking them. You can make them in one day but the flavors will not combine properly and the taste will not be the same.
Day before baking:
2 medium size heads of green cabbage
1 large white onion
1 1/2 to 2 lbs of hamburger
salt and pepper to taste
Slice the heads of cabbage into rather large slices but do not dice. Place in a pan and barely cover with water. Bring to a boil and steam until soft but not mushy. Drain well.
Dice the onion. Fry the hamburger along with the onion until the hamburger is brown. Drain the hamburger/onion mixture very well.
Mix the cooked hamburger, onion and cabbage together in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Some people like it saltier than others. Just keep adding and tasting until you get a combination that tastes good to you. I tend to use about half as much pepper as I do salt. So if you use one tsp of salt, use 1/2 tsp of pepper.
Place this mixture in the refrigerator overnight in a covered bowl. This allows the flavors to combine.
Take the hamburger cabbage mixture out of the refridgerator. Let it set out for about an hour or so while you are making the white bread dough. Stir it occasionally so that it warms to room temperature.
You can use the following White Bread Dough Recipe or you could use a couple of boxes of Hot Roll Mix if you didn't want to go through the hassle of making the bread but again, it will not taste the same.
White Bread Dough Recipe
5 ¾ to 6 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 package dry active yeast
2 ¼ cups milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon shortening, butter, or margarine
1 teaspoon salt
Combine 2 ½ cups flour and the yeast in a large mixing bowl. Heat and stir milk, sugar, shortening, and salt until warm (120 to 130 degrees); butter will almost melt. Add to flour mixture and beat with electric mixer on low for thirty seconds (scrape bowl constantly). Beat on high three minutes more. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can with a spoon.
Turn dough onto lightly floured board and knead in remaining dough until smooth and elastic dough is formed (six to eight minutes). Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Turn once to grease dough surface. Cover and rise in warm place until double (approximately forty-five minutes).
Punch down the risen dough. Since it is difficult to roll out bread dough, here is the method I use. Get handfull of dough a little larger than the size of a baseball. Flatten the dough out in the palm of your hand stretching it so that it is larger than the size of your hand. Cup your hand and place about a half a cup (or more) of the hamburger cabbage mixture in the center of the dough. Fold up the dough around the mixture and seal the edges as well as you can. (sometimes this is difficult) Place the roll, sealed side down, on a greased cookie sheet. Continue in this way, placing each roll about two inches apart on the cookie sheet. One cookie sheet can usually hold six cabbage rolls.
Cover the cabbage rolls with a tea towel and let rise for about a half an hour. They might not raise much depending on the temperature of the cabbage/hamburger mixture.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 20 minutes until the top of the roll is nice and evenly browned. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter. Put on wire rack to cool slightly.
These can be frozen as well. When completely cool, wrap each roll individually in aluminum foil, place in a ziplock back and freeze.
I did not have a written recipe for this. I made them from memory and through trial and error so they might not taste the same as mine the first time you make them. It takes practice.