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Story behind this recipe

The recipe is for Latvian "piragi" (plural; "pirag" is singular), a small crescent shaped meat filled pastry. (Similar in some ways to Polish "piroge", only different.)
The recipe comes to us courtesy of my grandmother from Riga: Marta Upesleja.
Thanks for your enthusiasm.


4-5 slices bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup chopped cooked ham
Pepper to taste

3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup softened butter
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 envelope yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 egg beaten
3 1/2 cup sifted flour
Beaten egg for glaze

Serving size


Measuring units


Cooking Instructions

Make filling before mixing dough so it can cool and solidify. Fry the bacon and onion (not too crisp). Pour off most of the fat and mix in the chopped ham. Saute a few minutes. Add pepper to taste. Set aside.

Warm milk until just below boiling point. Add butter, salt and sugar. Mix until butter has melted. Add yeast to water and cover. When the milk mixture is lukewarm, add yeast and egg. Add half the flour and beat vigorously with wooden spoon for 2-3 minutes. Add the rest of the flour a little at a time beating vigorously after each addition. Cover and let rest for about 10 minutes. Turn out on floured board and knead for 5-6 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl and allow to rise for about 1 1/2 hours, until double. Roll out the dough. Cut in rectangles, about 7x10 cm or smaller. Place some filling on each and wrap into a crescent shape to form the "piragi". Place on cookie sheet, seam side down. Brush with beaten egg and bake for 13-18 minutes in a 400°F oven.

NOTE: If you don't have time or just don't want to make the dough, use Pillsbury buttermilk biscuit dough from your grocer's dairy case. I've done this often. The "piragi" are great while warm but don't keep as well as when made with above recipe.

Cheers (and good eating)!