24 April 2011

Easter Piragi ... and Eggs!

Silly, but I still get excited when it's egg dyeing time ...

Yesterday, we woke to snow! What, you say? I was just waxing eloquent on how Spring was making its march into the Northeast in my previous post. What a cruel joke! No worries, though! I had an Easter bouquet waiting on the kitchen counter, hard boiled eggs ready for a kaleidoscopic dip, and piragis made for today's church fellowship and our Easter luncheon! To boot, the promise of Easter joy kept all right with my world.

little 'pigs in a blanket' served warm and spicy ...

I baked piragis, little sweet yeast rolls that are stuffed with a spicy mix of crispy bacon bits, buttery onions, black pepper and caraway seed. This recipe comes from a Connecticut baker, Juris Kupris, who contributed his recipe to Yankee Magazine's Great New England Recipes (1983). I have made these little rolls every Easter for at least 15 years. They are labor intensive, so I only make them at Easter. They are just the perfect little warm tidbit to serve as an snack, with a fresh green salad, or dipped in mustard and chomped along with the Easter dinner.

a sauté of onions and crispy bacon get the spice treatment

the bacon, onions, and spices sit for a while to incorporate flavors

sweet roll dough gets rolled and wrapped around a teaspoon of the filling ...

dozens and dozens get made ... this recipe makes 60 - 70 piragi ... invite a friend to help!

When all is said and done, I put a hot beanbag in the bottom of a basket, lay a clean cloth over the top, plop the piragi in, and cover them with another clean cloth. If they have to be kept warm for a while (like for the length of a church service), I cover the whole deal with foil and leave them until time to serve. So good ...

Latvian Piragi
a recipe from Yankee Magazine’s Great New England Recipes
Dough Ingredients:

2 tbsp. active dry yeast
1 ½ c. lukewarm water
½ c. shortening
½ c. sugar
2 tsp. salt
5 – 6 c. Flour (use 5½ c. in the dough and the other ½ c. for kneading)
½ c. buttermilk
Make the Dough:

1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water (109° F) . Add a pinch of the sugar and leave the yeast to ‘work’ for ten minutes.

2. Whisk the other dry ingredients together in a bowl.

3. Melt the shortening and set it aside to cool a bit.

4. Make a well in the dry ingredients, mix the buttermilk and shortening and pour into the well. Mix a bit and then add the yeast mix.

5. Stir until most of the flour is incorporated and then scrape the bowl’s contents onto a kneading surface.

6. Work the dough to incorporate the rest of the flour – use as much of the flour as needed to make the dough lose its ‘stickiness.

7. Grease a deep bowl and toss the dough ball to coat. Cover with a damp towel and place the dough in a warm place for 1 – 1 ½ hours.

Filling Ingredients:

1 ½ lb. bacon cut into small strips and fried until golden
1 medium onion, minced
3 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. caraway seeds,
generous sprinkling of black pepper
1 egg, beaten for brushing the prepped piragi.
Making the Filling:

1. Fry the bacon and drain it well on paper towels. Crumble it into a deep bowl and set aside.

2. Sauté the onion in the butter until it is semi-transparent, add the caraway seed, black pepper and scrape the contents into the bacon, mixing well.
Making the Piragi:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 375° F.

2. After the dough has risen, punch it down and divide the dough ball into 4 pieces.

3. Roll out each piece to about ¼ inch thickness.

4. Using a round cookie cutter that is 2 ½ to 3 inch in diameter, cut the dough into rounds.

5. Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each round and roll them into little crescent shaped ‘torpedoes’. Pinch the seal closed and place on greased cookie sheets, seam side down.

6. Keep the piragi about an inch apart and brush with some of the beaten egg.

7. Bake for 14 minutes until golden brown.

8. Remove from cookie sheets promptly and store in sealed plastic bags. Piragi can be re-heated in a warm oven.

Recipe makes about 6 dozen little rolls.

Happy Easter, folks!


  1. Oh those look wonderful! Just a perfect offering for a pot luck. I bet they are even good at room temp. Thanks for the recipe. And Happy Easter for those who are celebrating.

  2. What fantastic recipe; I am keeping this one; I have never heard of piragis but very interested. Hope you had a wonderful Easter.

  3. Happy Easter! These look great. Love the sheen!

  4. god these look so good... and so more-ish... really lovely Susan... Happy Easter x

  5. I've often thought of making these, but have never come across a recipe. Now I just need to find the time! But rolling and folding dumplings like these is definitely work to be shared. A Chinese friend told me that it's a very good activity for pregnant women- all that folding makes for happy healthy babies supposedly!

  6. Susan, I sent you an e-mail about the Bake Sale!
    No, it isn't too, late!

    Mother Nature often plays tricks on us, even at Easter. Your colored eggs and Piragi make a perfect Easter Treat.

  7. these sound like such yummy, savory little bites! what a great tradition :)


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