These buns can be used as appetizers, as part of a light lunch (with, say, a cup of bouillon), or as part of a smorgasbord.
They are best straight from the oven, but can be frozen and re-heated. They are absolutely delicious!
Meat Filling — Filling can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the fridge or freezer.
• 1 finely chopped onion
• 1/2 – 3/4 pounds bacon*, finely diced 225 – 350 gm
• salt & pepper, to taste (I prefer to pepper heavily)
I have not tried this yet but I have read some alternate recipes that say to include some Carraway Seed.
*For a lower calorie filling, use ham or pork jowl for half of the amount.
• ¾ cup milk 175 ml
• ¼ cup butter 50 ml
• 2 teaspoons salt 10 ml
• 2 tablespoons sugar 30 ml
• 1 pkg. (about 1 tablespoon) dry yeast 15 ml
• ¼ cup warm water 50 ml
• 1 beaten egg
• 3 ½ cups white flour 875 ml
• 1 – 2 tablespoons sour cream 15 – 30 ml (optional)
• 1 egg, beaten
• 1 – 2 teaspoons milk or water 5 – 10 ml
• ¼ teaspoon sugar 1 ml (optional)
Preparing the Filling
Traditional method — Chop/dice onion and bacon as finely as possible. Season with lots of pepper and salt, and mix well.
Low-calorie method — Chop/dice onion and bacon as finely as possible. Sauté in frying pan over low heat until about half the fat has melted (15 – 30 minutes). Drain off all but about a tablespoon (15 – 20 ml) of the melted fat. Season with lots of pepper and salt, and allow to cool.
Making the Dough
Heat the milk until a thin skin starts to form. Remove from heat, pour into a large mixing bowl, and add in butter, salt, and sugar. Let cool until lukewarm.
Put the yeast in the quarter cup (50 ml) of warm water (with the small amount of sugar, if desired). Wait until it starts to bubble up. Add it to the (lukewarm) milk mixture in the large mixing bowl.
Also add the beaten egg.
To this add about 1½ cups (350 ml) flour and beat until smooth. Now add the rest of the flour about a half cup (125ml) at a time, mixing well after each addition. If desired, add the sour cream after all the flour has been added. Sour cream makes for a lighter dough.
Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or towel and let the dough “rest” for 10 minutes. Meanwhile prepare a floured surface (board or clean counter) for kneading. After 10 minutes, turn dough out onto floured surface. Knead lightlyfor 5 – 6 minutes until the dough is smooth, but still somewhat soft.
Grease a large bowl. Put dough into bowl and turn it until all surfaces have been greased. Cover bowl with damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (30 – 90 minutes, depending on the warmth of the environment).
Making the buns (pīrāgi)
When the dough has risen, punch it down. Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C) . Prepare a floured surface for making the pīrāgi. Take meat filling out of fridge. Mix together all the glaze ingredients.
Cut off a large piece of the dough. Roll it into a rope about 1½ inches (4 cm) in diameter. Cut it into segments about 1½ inches (4 cm) thick. Make each bit into a small pancake, oval, or square. On one half of it, put a teaspoonful (or a little less) of the filling. Fold the dough over, pinching the edges together (or use a small glass to press down the edges). Make sure there are no openings left, or the filling will leak out of the seam.
Place the finished buns on an ungreased cookie sheet, with the seams underneath. Continue in the same way until all dough is used up.
Rising and Baking
Let rise in a warm place, until buns are almost doubled in bulk. Brush them with the glaze. Bake at 400° F (200° C) for 13 – 18 minutes, depending on their size, and how brown you want them to look. Golden brown is good.
Let cool 5 minutes, then remove from cookie sheet with a spatula. Place in a bowl and cover with a tea towel. Let cool 15 minutes or so; now, enjoy!