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A Delicious Latvian Treat

Small bacon filled crescents

By Rasma RaistersPublished 9 months ago 4 min read

This little snack-sized roll in singular One pirags is made of baked dough stuffed with lean bacon, finely chopped onions and salt and pepper. If made right it isn’t greasy but downright delicious. In English they have been referred to as “bacon buns”. Piragi are usually baked on special occasions and holidays. However, sometimes I bake up a batch just to have something to munch on and it’s so much better than any of the usual snacks everyone is always noshing on.

Curious me

My mom loved to make piragi and made them for many different celebrations, and particularly for Christmas. It always felt so warm and inviting in the kitchen whenever mom chose to bake. Her troubles were that even though she had only one daughter, me, she was a very curious five-year-old when she first discovered how fascinating it was to watch mom bake piragi. So there I sat in the kitchen and made note of all that was going on in my little mind. I tried to eat some of the bacon that was chopped but not sauteed yet and mom got that away from me and said I cannot eat raw bacon. Then she sauteed the bacon and onions for the piragi and put them in a bowl so she could spoon them on the dough circles. Guess who grabbed a spoon? Luckily while mom wasn't looking I got only one spoonful and mom could already see by my greasy mouth what had happened. I was marched out of the kitchen.

About piragi

It’s unknown where piragi actually originated from but the tradition of making them goes back at least 1000 years. It is thought that in the old days in the country on the farms once harvest was done and livestock slaughtered. If the farm had a bountiful harvest – plenty of wheat with which to make flour and bacon from pigs for the piragi stuffing then the farmer’s wife would make up batches of these delicious rolls so everyone could see how well off they were. There are many different and various recipes for piragi but I go with my mom’s which is simple and easy and you can double and triple the recipe and so on. This recipe makes one baking sheet full. I usually put the piragi on vertically.

Dough for piragi

One package Philadelphia Cream Cheese (a package 500 gr. of a Feta type cheese also works well) or any other brand of cream cheese.

2 sticks of softened unsalted butter or margarine

3 cups of flour

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. The dough should be elastic and come off the hands easily. Then placed in the fridge for around an hour.

The filling

Take lean bacon and cut it up finely. This is best done the old-fashioned way by hand. Chop up onions finely. Fry them up in a pan just to make the onions limp and translucent and get the fat out of the bacon. Make sure you don’t crisp the bacon. Pour off the fat. Place in a bowl and add salt and freshly ground pepper. Since the dough has no salt you can add a good dash but do it to‌ taste. Once baked the piragi will be savory and delicious.

Putting together the piragi

Take a wooden cutting board and flour it along with a rolling pin. Now comes the artsy part. Pull off a piece of dough and roll it out. You want it to be thick enough not to have the filling come out of each pirags. So take a glass and cut out a round circle from the dough. Place a teaspoonful of the filling in the middle then fold the dough over it. I close up the edges with a fork. Now you have a nice filled dough crescent. Place it on a greased baking sheet and continue with the rest of the dough.

Once the baking sheet is full. Be sure you have a little space between the piragi. Brush them with beaten egg. Then place in oven at 350° for about 20 to 30 minutes. Once they begin baking and start giving out a wonderful smell they should be checked carefully. Once they are a deep golden brown they’re ready. Remove with a spatula to a bowl and they’re ready to be enjoyed. Their tops will be shiny from the egg.

My childhood tea parties

The main reason I love to recount my mom's baking piragi is because of another piragi incident. It was always hard to wait for them to get ready they smelled so good when baking. So one time I snuck a pirags that was ready to be baked but still raw. Off I went to play and discovered that such a pirags did not taste good at all. So since I had taken just a small bite I placed the rest on one of my plastic dishes. Then I set up all my stuffed animals and the very first doll I ever had as you can see in the photo around mom's coffee table and was ready for a tea party. I had already forgotten about that uneaten pirags and it wound up on the table along with my dishes and cups.

Mom came to see what I was up to and smiled to see me playing with my toys. Then she saw the uneaten pirags and got worried I might have had some others too and could not finish the one on the dish. She was worried I might have a stomachache and was glad when I said I tried it but did not like it unbaked. Soon the piragi were ready and mom called me into the kitchen to have a glass of milk. When I returned to my tea party I saw all my party guests had freshly baked pirags on their plates. For a little child, this was rather confusing. Then mom laughed and said she wanted to make sure I had plenty of piragi to eat and suggested that I put them in a bowl and have them whenever I wanted some.

Now I haven't made any piragi in a long time but I always fondly remember my time with piragi and my mom baking them.

cuisine

About the Creator

Rasma Raisters

My passions are writing and creating poetry. I write for several sites online and have four themed blogs on Wordpress. Please follow me on Twitter.

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Comments (3)

  • Esme Slabs8 months ago

    Congratulations Rama, your post will be featured on Monday at SSPS #284. See you again on Monday. Please share your URL's via email ([email protected]) with me and I will tag you.

  • Esme Slabs8 months ago

    Rasma, please let me know if you have an account on FB and Instagram please, you as I would love to tag you as our member of the week this coming Monday in InLinkz 284 Senior Salon Pit Stop

  • Esme Slabs8 months ago

    I will have to give this a try - oh my hat, my list is getting longer and longer. Thank you for sharing your links with us at #282 SSPS Linky. See you again next week.

Rasma RaistersWritten by Rasma Raisters

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