I'm Russian as well and make pirozhki pretty much the same way. Here is what I do differently:
I rub shredded cabbage with garlic salt in a large pot, and then pour boiling water over the cabbage covering completely. Boil the mixture until soft, usually around 15 min. Take the pot off the heat, drain the cabbage and return it to the pot, add spices, .5 to 1 spoon of butter(I use Smart Balance butter or other butter made with olive oil), and the eggs.
Also, after pinching the end together, I turn piroshok so that the pinched ends are on the bottom rather than on the side. It helps to keep not-so-well-pinched pirozhkis closed during baking and creates a nice symmetric shape. :)
After placing the pirozhki on the baking sheet, I let the dough rise just a little. Right before baking, I brush them with beaten egg yolk for glowing smooth look when ready.
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I'm Russian as well and make pirozhki pretty much the same way. Here is what I do...