Speķa Rauši (Ham Rolls)

2016-03-15

A Latvian version of pīrāgi these rolls have ham and onion in them but you can substitute anything you like. A popular substitution is bacon instead of ham but you can use any cheese meat and vegetable that sounds good to you. Just keep the amount of filling you add to the roll the same. If using a meat that should be cooked first like sausage let it cool completely first before wrapping it in the dough.

Back in the early 1980s our church wanted to be involved in the Ethnic Expo (try-cool-food-fair) in Columbus IN and the city of Columbus hooked us up with this lovely Latvian lady who shared the recipe with our church. My Dad liked them so much he has made them every Christmas since then. Because it is a big production, he doubles the recipe and freezes most of them to share with family and friends. All you have to do is heat a couple in the microwave for about 15 seconds and you have a fast breakfast or quick snack. Don’t forget to dip it in some hot mustard.

Ingredients

  • ⅔ pound cooked ham
  • ½ medium white onion
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs, divided
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 envelope dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon cream

Directions

Step 1

Dice ham into 1/8th inch cubes. Some fat in the ham makes the rolls moist. Chop up onion. Stir onion and black pepper into diced ham and set aside until dough is ready to be filled.

Step 2

Mix the yeast with a teaspoon of sugar and a half cup water to start the yeast.

Step 3

Combine milk with butter, salt, sugar, and warm in sauce pan until butter has melted. Remove from heat and allow liquid to cool 2-3 minutes. Slowly add half the flour to the liquid. Next Stir in one beaten egg. Add the yeast. Finally add the remaining flour. stir until chunks begin to pull away from the spoon. Dough should be moist and sticky. Set dough aside and allow to rise until double in size.

Step 4

After rising, sprinkle flour over dough ball and roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut 2-1/2 -3 inch diameter circles of dough. Spoon on 1 teaspoon ham-onion filling and fold dough over to form a crescent-shape roll. Seal the edge of the roll with a fork and then puncture the top of the rolls three times with a fork.

Step 5

Place ham-filled rolls on cookie sheet and allow to rise 15-30 minutes. Beat the other egg with the cream. Lightly brush it on the tops of the rolls and then place in 350 degree oven until golden brown 15-20 minutes.

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