Latvian Piragi!

With Easter upon us, I thought I would share with you all my families Piragi recipe.  Growing up, this delicious bread pocket, filled with bacon, ham and onion would make an appearance at any family gathering.  I would always love helping my mother, and grandmother make them a few days before easter.  The smell of bacon and bread wafting through the house for hours afterword.

This will make any Latvian you know super happy, and make everyone else jealous that they are only now finding that these exist.  This makes a perfect appetizer for any special occasion or a snack to munch on throughout the day.  If you double the batch, you can freeze some of them and warm them up throughout the year.

Some notes about the recipe.  I know that making any kind of dough can be a very daunting process.  However, all it requires is some patience as letting it rise and “proof” is essential to making it work.  If making the dough makes you break out in hives from nervousness, or you simply don’t have the time, don’t fret for you can use any pizza dough bought from the market.  Furthermore, if you want to make them full-blooded Latvian style and a healthy amount of fresh Dill to the filling.

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What you need:

Filling

  • 1 package lean bacon, chopped
  • 350 g Ham, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • Handful of fresh dill (to taste, optional)

Fry bacon until well cooked, pout into bowl and set aside.  Fry onion with small amount of oil, you can use some of the bacon lard if you want but I use olive oil.  Combine in bowl with bacon and ham.  Season with pepper and dill (optional). Set aside in fridge.

Dough

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp rapid yeast (1 envelope)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter (cold)
  • 3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs ( use 1 for brushing)

Activate yeast by combining yeast in the warm water and 1/2 tsp sugar.  Combine and set aside.

Bring milk, salt, 2 tbsp sugar to a boil, remove from heat and add butter.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes for butter to melt.  Combine yeast mixture to milk mixture, and beat in 1 egg.  Knead in flour, and continue kneading until mixture is smooth and no longer sticky.

Transfer to a lightly oiled, clean bowl and cover with a warm, wet towel or plastic bag.  Let sit until it has doubled in size.

Finishing:

Cut dough into quarters, working with one-quarter at a time, roll out dough.  Place spoonful of dough in one corner, fold dough over and cut with cup (so that cup pinches dough together) and repeat until all dough is used up.

Place on baking tray, poke holes in dough to allow venting and lightly brush with beaten egg.  Bake at 400 degrees fahrenheit for 15 minutes, or until Piragi is golden brown.

 

 

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