⅓ cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar (3½ more tablespoons later)
2 tablespoons yeast
¾ cup butter
1½ cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
3½ tablespoons sugar
1 egg yolk (1 entire egg later)
1 tablespoon sour cream
5 cups flour (2 more tablespoons later)
INGREDIENTS – FILLING
1 pound bacon
1 small onion
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
INGREDIENTS – ASSEMBLY
2 tablespoons flour
2 cookie sheets
Makes 30. Takes 3 hours.
PREPARATION – DOUGH
Add 1 teaspoon sugar and warm water to mixing bowl. Whisk until sugar dissolves. Sprinkle yeast over sugary water. Let sit for 10 minutes or yeast becomes foamy.
While yeast foams, add butter to small pot. Melt butter using medium-high heat. Add milk, salt, and sugar. Heat until milk is almost ready to boil. Stir constantly. Remove from heat.
Add milk mixture into mixing bowl with yeasty water. Add egg yolk and sour cream. Gradually add flour. Blend with electric beater set to low until dough forms. Cover bowl with thin towel and let sit for 1½ hours.
PREPARATION – FILLING
While dough rises, dice bacon and onion. Add vegetable oil, bacon, and onion to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add pepper and salt. Remove from heat and let cool in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
PREPARATION – ASSEMBLY
While dough rises and filling cools, knead dough by hand or by bread machine for 20 minutes or until dough is elastic. Dust roller and flat surface with 2 tablespoons flour. Add dough to flat surfarce. Roll out dough until it is ¼” thick.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Separate egg. Make 3″ circles in dough. A drinking glass works well for this. Add 1 teaspoon to center of dough circle. Brush a thin strip of egg white along edges of dough circle. Fold dough circle in half. Use tip of fork to seal edges together. Repeat until all dough and filling is used. These are the piragi.
Put parchment paper on cookie sheets. Place piragi on parchment paper. Beat egg yolk with fork or whisk. Brush egg yolk over piragi. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 12 minutes or until piragi turn golden brown
1) “Piragi” is an anagram for “Air Pig.” It’s a hidden bit of history, but many of our commercial planes were once flown by pigs.
2) Oil prices soared during the Oil Embargo of 1973 So did the price of aviation fuel. Airlines became frantic in their search to reduce fuel costs. One way was to reduce of a fully-loaded plane. So, for a brief time, stewardesses threw passengers out the emergency door, starting with those who didn’t listen to the pre-flight safety instructions. The technique worked! Fuel costs plummeted.
3) So did ridership. A dead passenger is not a return passenger. Plus, people became skittish about booking a flight when it might mean being ejected over the Atlantic. Passengers became downright resentful toward stewardesses. Indeed, the very word “stewardess” became a curse word. This is the reason they are now called flight attendants. It’s kinda like calling used cars “pre-owned.”
4) The average feral pig weighs 125 pounds. (Only wild pigs can be trained to fly jets. Who knew?) The average man tips the scale at 170. A small difference to be sure, but enough over the course of millions of flights to cut fuel costs to the point of keeping air travel economically viable. Whew.
5) Unfortunately, the pig pilots buzzed workers at pork rendering plants. In 1974 alone, four crashes resulted from such behavior. This being the 70s, airlines listened to customer concerns and fired their pig aviators. There are persistent whispers, however, that shadowy governmental agencies still employ pig pilots in covert operations. These critters are tough. Don’t discuss bacon around them.
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com