Not to be confused with Polish pierogi, Latvian piragi are little bread rolls typically filled with either a bacon or mushroom filling and occasionally with both. I went for the both option which was a great choice as Cosmin wolfed them down and went all Smeagol on me cramming as many of the little precious’ as he could into a bag to take into work the next day.
Cosmin declared that he could taste the love that went into my piragi, which was very sweet of him but what he was actually tasting was the annoyance of trying to stuff as much filling in as possible without rupturing the dough. An easy mistake to make.
The smaller the piragi, the more prized it is by the Latvians.
- 180 ml milk (0.3 pints / 0.7 cups)
- 50g softened butter (1.8oz / 0.2 cups)
- 2 tsp salt
- 15g dried yeast (0.5 oz / 1.5tbsp)
- 1 tsp caster sugar (superfine sugar, can be substituted with granulated)
- 60ml lukewarm water (0.1 pints / 3.5 tbsp)
- 1 egg beaten
- 380g strong white bread flour (13.4oz / 3 cups)
- 250g chestnut mushrooms (8.8oz / 2.6 cups)
- ½ onion
- 75g butter (2.6oz / 0.3 cups)
- 225g smoked bacon (7.9oz)
- Pepper and salt
- 1 egg beaten
NUTRITIONAL CONTENT PER PORTION
- Calories | 93
- Fat | 5.4g
Serves | 40 rolls
Prep Time | 2 hours 40 minutes (including proving time)
Cooking Time | 15 minutes
- Heat the milk to almost boiling. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter and salt until dissolved. Allow to cool to lukewarm temperature.
- Dissolve the yeast and sugar in lukewarm water. Cover and leave to activate in a warm draft-free place for 10 minutes.
- Combine the milk and yeast mixes and stir in the beaten egg.
- In a large bowl add the flour, make a well in the centre and pour in the liquids, whisking with a fork from the inside out gradually incorporating the liquid into the flour mixture until you have a dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for approximately ten minutes until smooth.
- Transfer to a clean bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm draft-free place for approximately one hour until doubled in size.
- Finely chop the bacon fry until crispy. Transfer to a chopping board, reserving the bacon fat in the pan.
- Finely chop the onions and mushrooms and cook together in the bacon fat and butter until golden. Turn out onto the chopping board with the bacon, discarding the excess fat. Season with pepper and chop together until you have a fine mix. Leave to cool …adding hot filling to the dough will kill the yeast.
- Portion the dough into 40 pieces and roll each into a ball. Flatten each and add a heaped teaspoon of filling. Pinch tightly together and shape into a crescent with the seam at the bottom.
- Leave to rise for a further hour in a warm, draft-free place ensuring that they are spaced far enough apart that they don’t merge during the rise.
- Preheat the oven to 210°c/410°f adding a deep tray of water on the bottom shelf (be very careful when removing).
- Glaze the buns with beaten egg and bake in batches for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
Based on a recipe found at www.grouprecipes.com