Chef Vid Lutz’s Speka Piragi

Latvian Bacon Turnovers

  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 packages active dry yeast (1/4 ounce)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound thick cut bacon, cut into 1/8-inch cubes
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 egg yolk

Begin making your dough by gently stirring milk, butter, 1/3 cup sugar, and salt over low heat in a 2-quart saucepan until sugar dissolves then set aside. In your mixing stand bowl whisk together the remaining sugar, yeast, and 1/4 cup warm water and let sit until foamy. In small batches, slowly add the flour and then milk mixture. Mix on low speed until dough forms, then increase speed to medium-high and knead until smooth. Cover the bowl with damp cloth and let sit until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

To make the filling, gently cook bacon and onions stirring frequently until fat renders and onions are lightly caramelized. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Then let cool completely.

Mix cream and egg yolk together in a small bowl to make an egg wash and set aside. When the dough has risen, punch it down. On a floured surface cut the dough into several large pieces and roll each into a rope about 1 1/2 inches thick. Then cut the rope into segments about 1 1/2 inches long and roll each bit into a small pancake, oval, or square.

On one half of the round, put a teaspoonful of the filling. Using your fingers, moisten edges of the round with the egg wash, fold over to enclose filling, and pinch edges together to seal. Place the finished buns seam side down on parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spaced 3 inches apart.

Let assembled buns rise in a warm place until they are almost doubled in size. Then using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash over each bun. Bake at 400°until golden brown, 12–15 minutes.