Friday, December 12, 2014

Latvian Bacon Buns

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I love traditions, they evoke sentimental memories of family and friends.  Christmas is my favorite holiday and much of it revolves around food.  One cherished memory is of being at my best friends house when her mother was making these buns.  Her mom is from Germany and her father from Latvia. The smell of these buns baking is so good! One year she was asked to make these and provide a recipe for a Christmas bazaar featuring foods from around the world.  She came up with this recipe even though she never used one.

1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup water
2 cups milk, scalded
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp shortening
6 1/2 to 6 3/4 cup sifted flour
1/2 lb bacon
1/2 tsp onion chopped
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup milk

Soften yeast in warm water. Combine milk, sugar, salt, shortening. Cool to lukewarm. Add 2 cups flour, stir well.  Add softened yeast, stir. Add flour to make moderately stiff dough.  Turn out on lightly floured surface, knead until smooth and satiny (about 8 minutes). Shape into ball, place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover, let rise in warm place until double in bulk (1 1/2 hour). Punch down. Let rise again until double (45 min.) While dough is rising fry bacon and onion until most of fat has fried out but not crisp, drain. When done, dice bacon until in small pieces. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top and mix. Place in refrigerator until ready to use. Place dough on floured surface, roll out with rolling pin to about 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with doughnut cutter with center removed.

Put about 1/2 tsp of bacon mixture in the center of each circle, fold each circle in half and pinch edges together. Place buns on greased cookie sheet (I used parchment that I greased), cover, let rise in warm place until almost double. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush each bun with a mixture of 1 egg yolk and 1/2 cup milk. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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