Latvian Bacon & Onion-stuffed Rolls (Piradzini)

A celebration in the scattered Latvian communities of Canada often include these bacon-filled buns. They are fabulous with a salad for a quick lunch or, if you make them smaller, are great cocktail appetizers.This recipe was one of those that the late Tanya Barsevski shared with me years ago while she still lived in the farm town of Mount Forest and cooked at the local high school…a time when secondary schools had real kitchens.  

Dough:

  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup (250 mL) water
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsps (30 mL) butter
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups (375 – 500 mL) all purpose flour
  • 2 tsps (10 mL) instant yeast

Filling:

  • ¼ lb (110 g) lean side bacon, finely diced
  • 2 small onions, finely minced
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • ½ cup (125 mL) finely diced ham
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground pepper

Egg Wash:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) milk

In a saucepan combine the potato, water and salt. Cover and bring to a boil: reduce heat and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until tender. Drain, reserving liquid and mash thoroughly. Stir in sugar, butter and reserved water. Let cool till lukewarm.

Beat in 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the flour. Add yeast, beating vigorously till well combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Add enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead, adding flour as needed to keep from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 4 – 5 minutes. Place in a well-oiled boil, cover with a damp towel and let rise till doubled, about 1 to 1 ¼ hours.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In a heavy saucepan, cook bacon, onions, green onion, diced ham and pepper, until onion is softened and bacon begins to crisp. Let cool completely.

When the dough has doubled, punch down and divide into 16 pieces. Roll each piece to flatten slightly. Place a spoonful of the bacon mixture onto the centre of each bit of dough. With floured fingertips, pinch edges together to make crescent. Place each piradzini about 2” (5 cm) apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Slash tops with a sharp knife. Cover loosely with a towel; let rise until doubled, about 50 – 60 minutes.

Whisk the egg yolk and milk together. Brush over crescents. Bake in a preheated 375’F (190’C) oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until very well browned.

Makes 16.

 

 

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