Several years ago, I posted a fancier version of pigs in blankets two ways—in one I had made homemade sausage. In America, “pigs in blankets” can refer to either a sausage baked into a bun—what the British would call a sausage roll or bun—or a breakfast sausage rolled up into a pancake. Today, I am switching chicken breakfast sausages for pork.
Tag Archives: baking
I love stuffed breads, whether you call them a samsa, a pasty, a samosa, or a bierock. While making them can be a lot of work—you are first making some kind of stew, letting it cool, making the dough, and then filling the dough with the stew, before baking them all together—the payoff is well worth the added labor. Packet breads are a convenient, grab-and-go meal for lunches and I usually get two, or even three, meals for three people out of one recipe.
Readers of my blog may be beginning to feel that I am in a rut with so many bierock recipes, but these pocket breads are really good and open to a wide variety of fillings. Wife Jan did not like boring German bierocks—beef, onion, and cabbage in a raised bread wrapper. When she found Volga German bierocks she changed she mind—seasonings are good. She then asked that I make Uyghar bierocks—while she like there she would have preferred that I had used chicken rather than lamb. This morning she asked for chicken curry bierocks.
The first time I made bierock—German pocket breads—I made it the way it would be done in Germany, with a minimal ingredients list—mostly beef, onions, and cabbage. Wife Jan was unimpressed. She found a Volga German recipe with a fair amount of spices added—these she liked much better. Jan then had a fancy—What if a Volga German traveled east on the Silk Road to Kashgar. What kind of bierock would he make then?
I decided that I wanted biscuits and gravy for breakfast, but I did not have my usual sage pork sausage—which wife, Jan, does not really prefer. I did have some Trader Joe’s chicken sausage in the freezer, so I decided to go with that. I did not used to make this kind of thing—except on special weekends—but I just had a hankering.
A bierock—German stuffed bread—is not now, nor has it ever been haute cuisine, it is essentially a workingman’s lunch. When you are working, traveling, or having some kind of festival event, you do not always have time to sit down for meal. Having a meal in a neat, sealed package that you can slip into a pocket or pouch is a solution that many cultures have discovered.
Bread is mostly flour mixed with a liquid. However, because of the complex chemistry of the starches and gluten in the flour, small changes in handling techniques and additional ingredients can make a big difference in the texture of the final product. A few weeks ago I posted my updated recipe for light and flaky biscuits. I had been making these biscuits for years, so throwing them together was second nature. However, when I tried to make these biscuits as I had written the recipe they came out tough and dense.
Adapted from a King Arthur Flour recipe
I do not make dinner rolls very often, because several family members are avoiding carbs or white flour breads. Jan’s friends came to Stitches and I was making them a Brazilian seafood stew. Jan’s friends are not avoiding white bread and I decided that pull-apart rolls would go well with dinner.
The prospect of fresh hot bread is one of the joys and reasons to get up in the morning. Most cultures have some form of baked good, but in the end it is mostly flour mixed with some kind of liquid and then baked—or fried. However, because of the complex chemistry involved in exactly what other ingredients you add—and how you treat the resulting dough—it produces amazingly different results.