It's Lithuanian Week here in The Little White Kitchen!
Christmastime around these parts only means three things... Krupnikas, Kugalis, and Bacon Buns. To heck with the ham, green beans, and carrots at Christmas dinner. All I need is Bacon Buns. I can't find the words to describe these magical little buns of delight. So I won't try. All I know is that once you try them, you'll be hooked.
I've been a devotee of this culinary treasure from my heritage since I was a wee girl.
Every Christmas and Easter my father carefully crafted the bacon buns. He would start in the early morning working the dough. The simple pairing of bacon and onions boiling on the stove all day filled the house with a heavenly aroma enjoyed only by the truest of bacon lovers. Punching down the dough was always my job. It certainly was one of the more satisfying parts of the all-day process. And in the late afternoon, as the sun was getting low in the winter sky, we would roll the dough out on the heavy wooden cutting board and cut large circles with the rim of an old beer glass. Placing the perfect amount of bacon mixture onto the center of the bun, I would then wrap it up like a tiny Christmas present just waiting with anticipation to be opened.
So you see, when I want to get in touch with my Lithuanian roots, this is where I turn.
No one is saying that these old Lithuanian favorites are any good for you - remember the multiple liters of Everclear and pounds of honey in the Krupnikas? And now with the Bacon Buns we've got pounds of bacon grease to go along with all that sugar and alcohol. But I must say, there is a certain satisfaction in eating comfort food that cannot be measured in calories or cholesterol. Since I only make these once a year as a Christmas Eve tradition I will show no restraint when considering the health stats on these things. Bring. It. On. It's worth every bite.
An important aside about my gluten-free bacon buns:
With tears and mourning, I gave up my Christmas Eve bacon bun tradition the year our family went gluten-free. With my dismal success in the gluten-free baking department I decided it wasn't worth the effort to spend all day slaving over something that was going to taste like cardboard with bacon packed inside.
This year was different however. I had suffered enough. I was not willing to go another year without bacon buns. I couldn't stand it any longer. I consulted friends. I triple checked the back side of packages. I trial tested three versions of my dough on the eve of Christmas Eve.
And I succeeded! Surprisingly enough, my family ate gluten-free bacon buns that would give wheatful bacon buns a run for their money any day. These little treasures were so good that they barely had time to make it to the dinner table, most of them disappeared right out of the oven. Whomever wasn't in the kitchen when the buns were ready sadly missed their opportunity to partake in the best thing to come out of my oven all year!
And with that, I will bring you my bacon bun recipe tomorrow. Same time, same place. Be there or be square.
And don't worry all you hardcore bacon bun fans, I'll be bringing the wheatful and the wheat-free recipes for your enjoyment.