Baked, Bread, Pork

Speķa Pīrāgi – Latvian Pork-Stuffed Buns (‘Gefüllte Hörnchen’)

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I love stuffed pork buns. In Germany, it is very common to fill pastries and buns with sweet fillings like jam or pudding. Savory versions are less popular which has always puzzled me a bit.

These pork buns are from Latvia and they are filled with pork belly. If something has pork belly in it, then it doesn’t really need a long introduction. Everything with pork belly in it tastes delicious. It’s impossible to make pork belly taste bad. It’s fatty, juicy, flavor-packed, and tender.

This recipe is adapted from the first draft of the fabulous book Hand Made Made Small Breads. There is also a second version in the book that uses chicken breast in combination with bacon for the filling. But come on: it’s chicken breast. Who wants to eat chicken breast if there is pork belly?

A visual guide to Latvian pork-stuffed buns

For the filling, you need to hand-mince the pork belly and gently render its fat until it is crispy and delicious. The onions will soak up all the excess fat and make the filling moist and delicious. The filling for these pork-stuffed buns is not too different from German “Griebenschmalz” which is produced in a similar way.

Rendering pork belly
Adding the onions to the pork fat

As always: The dough needs to pass the windowpane test! However, it shouldn’t be sticky.

Fully kneaded dough that passes the windowpane test

Shaping the buns is easy. The traditional shape is a half-moon. Always make sure that the seam-side is on the bottom of the half-moon so that your buns don’t burst open in the oven. And: be generous with the filling. Nothing is more horrifying than buns where the baker was stingy with the filling.

15 dough balls
Flattening the dough
Placing the filling in the center of the dough circle
Folding the bun
Elongating the bun by hand
Half-moon shaped bun

I like to bake these buns golden brown in the oven.

Latvian Pork Stuffed buns in oven

These buns have just the right amount of filling!

Latvian Pork Stuffed Buns cross-section


  1. … aber geizige Bäcker gibt es leider genug. Deine Füllung hat offensichtlich das richtige Mass ;-)!

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