Piragi are traditional Latvian filled mini-buns, commonly served at special occasions
and holidays. They're wonderful as an hors d'oeuvre, or with soup; serve at room
temperature, or warm from the oven.
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast or 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon Lora Brody Dough Relaxer (optional, but very helpful)
- 5 to 6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 pound fully cooked ham steak, diced in 1/4-inch cubes (2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- 1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Dough: In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1/2
cup of the water. Set aside. (If you're using instant yeast, skip this step;
add the yeast along with the flour.)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining sugar, salt, and 2 1/2 cups
of the flour.
- Cut in the butter, then add the yeast mixture. Stir in enough of the remaining
flour to make a soft dough.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface until it's smooth and
elastic, about 5 minutes.
- Place the dough in a large greased bowl, turning to grease the top, cover
with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. Prepare
the filling while the dough is rising.
- Filling: In a small pan over medium heat, cook the bacon. Drain it, chop,
and set aside.
- Sauté the onion in the butter until soft but not brown.
- Add the ham, stirring till it's combined with the onions. Stir in the caraway,
pepper and bacon, and remove from the heat.
- Assembly: Punch the dough down, and divide it into four pieces. Working
with one piece at a time (cover the remaining pieces with plastic wrap), roll
each piece of dough into a 1/8-inch thick circle. If the dough "fights
back" (the dough relaxer helps prevent this), give it a 5-minute rest,
and resume rolling.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut the dough into 2 3/4-inch rounds. Place 1 teaspoon
of the filling mixture into the center of each round, fold in half (to make
a half-moon shape), and pinch the edges closed.
- Place the piragi on greased or parchment-lined cookie sheets. Shape them
into crescents, and brush with the egg wash.
- Bake the piragi in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for 10 to 15 minutes,
or until golden brown.
- Remove them from the oven, and cool on a wire rack.
Yield: 75 to 80 piragi.
Posted by Olga at Recipe Goldmine March 21, 2002 11:59:38.