Monday, April 18, 2022

P is for Pig Buns


#AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter

P is certainly NOT for pre-planning my A to Z posts, because while I had a handful of them planned and even executed well before the deadline, I kind of piddled out by "P." Thank goodness for Pinterest. 

Introducing...Pig Buns

There's a little video clip at the top of the web page for this recipe that hooked me, and if I were smart enough to be able to embed it on this post, I would. Just do yourself a favor and hop over to the site and watch it. It's only about a minute, and you will see what hooked me.

To make Pig Buns for an A to Z Challenge post that needs to be published tomorrow, you should have looked at the recipe before today. I imagine it's obvious I didn't, so it's 10 pm as I write this, and the project is barely started.

If I had read the recipe yesterday, I would have done the first step yesterday, which is to spoon strawberry jam (I'm using raspberry because I like it better and the end result should be the same) into ice cube trays and freeze for a minimum of 4 hours. When our refrigerator died in January and we had to buy a new one, among the many other things that went wrong with getting the refrigerator delivered and installed was that the ice maker was on back order for at least 6 months. As a result, we have two ice cube trays in the freezer at all times (we are big time ice users), so I had to sacrifice one of them to freeze the jam (I would have sworn we had some cheap, blue ice cube trays in the basement, but they were nowhere to be found). 

I had not realized how much this looks like congealed
blood until I saw the photo I took. Eww.

After the jam went into the freezer, I messed around in the kitchen with something for "Q" (no spoilers), washed some dishes by hand and loaded the dishwasher. When I got bored with that, I went upstairs and took a little cat nap in my big comfy chair, then wandered back down to the kitchen to start the dough. 

The recipe is from the UK, so all the measurements are in grams and milliliters. I am fortunate that our kitchen scale can be programmed to give weights in grams, or I would have been looking for another "P" project. It's a straightforward bread recipe: let the yeast proof in warm milk, then beat in eggs, butter, and sugar in a stand mixer, followed by the flour and some salt. Add red food coloring to make the dough pink, then use the dough hook to knead the dough about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a greased bowl (or turn the dough out onto a cutting board, wash and dry the Kitchenaid bowl, grease it lightly with cooking spray, plop the dough back in the bowl, cover it, and place the bowl in a warm place; in my case, I turned the oven on and set the bowl on the back of the stove to get warm, as my kitchen is cold).

Measuring in weight, not volume.

The dough coming together, food
coloring added

Pretty in pink.

After an hour, the dough had doubled in size, and I used my trusty scale again to help measure the dough into roughly equal portions of 85g (more or less). 

The portions of dough were flattened into a circle, and a frozen jam cube (just kidding - jam apparently doesn't freeze; it was just a slightly firmer version of itself and a pain in the ass to get out of the ice cube tray) was set in the middle. The dough was then gathered up kind of dumpling style and smoothed into a ball.

Not frozen jam cube

Pinching the dough around the jam.

Smooth as a baby's butt

When all the balls were placed on the baking sheet, ears and snouts were made with leftover dough and attached with water PER THE INSTRUCTIONS. The snouts got nostrils courtesy of the sticks I bought for the Easter kabobs, and black sesame seeds were added for the eyes, again, stuck on with a drop of water.

Ears and snouts added

Nostrils added with cute stick


My husband came into the kitchen at this point and said, "These are fantastic! They are the best thing you've ever made for this challenge!"

He went back upstairs, I popped the piggies in the oven and set the timer for 20 minutes. I was pretty excited about how cute they looked, but in less than 15 minutes of baking, they were really smelling bready, so I took a peek into the oven, and oh!


Their ears were getting too brown, their snouts were falling off, and they were bleeding out raspberry jam all over the baking sheet. I was devastated! Sadly, I removed them from the oven.

My husband requested one, in spite of the sad outcome.

One of the better specimens 

His verdict was they were the most amazing thing I've made from a visual aspect right up until they were baked. Obviously, water alone was not sufficient to stick the snouts and at least some of the ears onto the heads. The jelly oozing out gave more than a little bit of a gory aspect to the finished product. And my husband said they tasted fine, but they were just a hot roll with jelly and nothing special.

Inspiration photo lifted from the video

I'm feeling the need for a do-over, because I see potential for this, although you should ALWAYS be wary of cooking or crafting posts that only have a video for directions (especially when they are sped up), as they can edit the hell out of those. Stay tuned.


  1. Great idea and the unbaked piggies do look cute. I'm sure that with a bit of tweaking, this will be a fabulous recipe. Maybe you can use apricot jam so it doesn't look so gory :D

    1. They were SO CUTE unbaked! The jam was a pretty gory element, wasn't it?! I'm thinking about making them with a garlic butter center and having them just be a dinner roll. The dough isn't sweet, so why not?

  2. Oh poor pig buns ...but still they do look yummy. I first thought may b a pork dish...:) Outcome before oven is cute...with sesame eyes and curious about Q now!

  3. The unbaked ones look amazing! The baked ones look like something from a Holly Black novel... LOL.
    As a home cook, I'm guessing that your oven was too hot to get an even bake, the jam actually has to be as cold as possible as the sugar boils and breaks the crust during baking, and egg white is the go-to glue in cooking and baking. Good luck when trying this again!

    Ronel visiting for the A-Z Challenge My Languishing TBR: P

    1. The unbaked ones are adorable! I was SOOOOO disappointed in the outcome! I think the ears need to have little aluminum foil hats to keep them from burning, and I wondered if egg white would be a good glue - thanks for confirming that! I'm going to try a savory filling next time, maybe garlic butter?

  4. I was shocked when watching the video you links to when they smushed one of the pigs and they began to ooze "blood". Very cute. Hope your redo comes out perfecto. LOL

    1. That video link was something else! It's a miracle I made them at all (and I don't even like jelly!)

  5. They looked so cute before they went into the oven. It seems like there's going to be a certain level of gore because of the red jam, though.

    You're so ambitious with all of the cooking/baking projects you're doing for the A to Z Challenge.

    1. They were absolutely precious on the baking sheet! And then...the carnage! And thank you! I bit off more than I could chew (no pun intended) as usual. Maybe next year, I will plan EARLY

  6. Love the idea! I'll show this to my son who is a baker and see if he can do something similar for us!

    Tim Brannan
    The Other Side | The A to Z of Conspiracy Theories

    1. I'm sure a real baker could do this without ears burning and snouts falling off! I didexpect some leakage of blood, I mean, filling, but not THAT much!

  7. This is the first year that I've actually composed every single A to Z post ahead of time and it has been wonderful. I've been able to visit more blogs than I usually have done in the past.

    Don't know about those Pig Buns. They are cute and the idea sounds interesting. Now who's gonna make them for me?

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Every year, I swear I'm going to do that, and every year, I...don't! There's always next year! I would send you some pig buns, but if they leaked in transit, it might lead to an investigation :)

  8. With some tweaking, i'm sure you'll figure them out and they'll be cute as can be. It certainly sounds delicious.

  9. Worth another go I'd say. I picked this post of mine as one you might enjoy...

    1. Totally going to try again! And I'm TERRIBLY behind in reading and commenting on everyone else's blog posts, but I will get there!

  10. The before photo of them were so picture perfect... sad that you spent so much time on them to have their little snouts fall off and their ears burn, but hubby gave you the thumbs up on the taste. I'm sure you will perfect them... be awesome to take to a party! Do keep us posted on the do-overs.

    1. It was so sad when the little snouts fell off! And their poor ears! I swear I'm going to try again soon!