Living on a foreign land and being a stranger can be a bit difficult at the times... well, at least nowadays no one force us to choose where we live... however, we’re still far away from our families and friends... Me and Karolka are a living proof of the long, beautiful friendship at a distance... separated by thousands of miles and so we meet together to bake... Today, we return to our native Eastern European traditions... we see each other in a small window of Skype, on a laptop laid on the kitchen table... carefully studying Karolka’s great-grandmother recipe for Buchty. Buchty are one of the most famous baked buns filled with marmalade, ideally plum marmalade. They are one of those recipes that you pass from generation to generation and this is how Karolka got hers from her grandmother, who apparently had received it from her mother...
I love our long lasting conversations on the Skype... we're gossiping, sharing the news of recent days, disputing about cooking, gardening and medicine, our men, politics (sometimes as it always makes us very angry)... hehehe in a meantime, we’re mixing all the ingredients: flour, milk, yeast, melted butter. We’re drinking tea with lemon (don’t confuse it with lemon tea), we’re talking about flowers and herbs. When buns are prepared and they doubled their size, we shove them into the oven and wait. We've got a moment to gossip about everything and nothing... the weather today is beautiful, better than in a summer. There is something strange going on with the weather in our part of globe, we can’t believe that a few days ago we wore an autumn, heavy cardigans... Ok, our buns are ready, they smell lovely, let’s take them out – we say. We’re taking pictures, showing our buns to each other... we’re so excited and feel as if we were right next to each other... like those little buns in a baking tray...
‘Buchty’ Buns with homemade plum marmalade.
1 / 8 l milk
20 g fresh yeast
75 g sugar (at your discretion)
80 g butter
250 g plain flour
Pinch of salt
120 g plum marmalade (I used my own home made marmalade)
Extra: ½ cup butter melted in a pan
For crust: 2 tablespoons butter, dissolved in a little pot, 4 teaspoons sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar. Mix all ingredients to a lumpy consistency.
Heat the milk. Combine crushed fresh yeast in a bowl and mix with half of the preheated milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. In a large bowl, sprinkle the bottom of the same pinch of salt (in our case about ½ teaspoon) Add flour. Make a small hole in the flour and pour yeast mixture into it and sprinkle them with flour. Allow to rise for 15 minutes in a warm place.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter.
To the bowl with the flour and yeast, add 1 egg yolk and 1 egg. Combine with remaining sugar and milk. Using wooden spoon, mix all the ingredients together by moving the spoon from the bottom to the top of the dough to form a smooth dough. You never knead your yeast dough in a machine, the whole secret is in the mixing with the wooden spoon so you can see a bubbles on outer side of the dough. Then pour warm (not hot) butter on the walls of the bowl and doing the same movements with a spoon from the bottom quickly form a smooth dough. The dough should be thick so you can easily form a small balls. Optionally, you can add raisins previously soaked in milk and dried. Cover and place the bowl in a warm place for at least an hour. The dough should double its size.
Preheat the oven to 180 ° C. Then smear the baking tray with butter and sprinkle with flour.
Melt an extra 100g of butter in a pan and use it to cover your hands so the dough is not sticking to the skin. Gently press the dough and divide into 8 large servings. Take each ball and push a teaspoon of plum jam inside it. Each of the balls, dipped in butter and put in the tray. Allow to double the volume for 15 - 30 minutes. Then, using a kitchen brush to smear each ball with egg white and sprinkle with the crumble.
Bake for 30 minutes. Great warm or cold with a Glass of milk.