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buchteln

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Buchteln, Austrian baked, jam filled doughnuts

Really – what’s the big deal? These are soft, sweet buns baked with jam inside instead of spread on them after baking. Squished close together into a too-small dish. Like baked doughnuts.

Also, the name is nigh impossible to pronounce for your average Englishman without a smattering of German (which IS your average Englishman). ‘Book-tin’ is what The Weather Man manages to produce, and only because he wants them for breakfast. ‘Book-tale’ is another variation I’ve heard. Somebody else calls them ‘those little jammy puffybuns’ and I actually accept that as a descriptive enough moniker.

Of course – but OF COURSE – I can say them pitch perfect: ‘boogh-telln’. Some special Sundays my Austrian grandmother would fluff up the dough, butter a tin, find a jar of plum preserve in the larder (oh yes, LARDER) and magic them out of the oven an hour or so later. Served warm (BURNING HOT in my case) with obligatory vanilla sauce (custard to you and me as I discovered later). I didn’t much care for the sauce so I just stuffed my face with a warm Buchtel, plum jam running down my chin.

Austrian Buchteln

The feature in The Guardian reminded me of them but they missed a few important things, like brush the Buchteln with butter before baking, or to mention the vanilla sauce; but then I skipped the latter in my recipe so that’s all right.

  • INGREDIENTS
  • 150ml (2/3 cup) whole milk
  • 100g (a stick) butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g (¼ cup) caster sugar
  • 15g fresh or 1 ½ tsp instant yeast
  • 180g (1½ cup) plain flour
  • 150g (1 heaped cup) strong white bread flour
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 8 tsp good thick jam (I used strawberry, plum is traditional)
  • icing sugar, for dusting

METHOD
Heat up the milk and butter in a small pan or in a bowl in the microwave until the butter has melted. Let it cool down until just warm.

Stir in the sugar, the vanilla extract and add the yeast. Mix the flours with the salt in a large bowl or in the bowl of a standing mixer. Pour in the milk mixture, add the egg and the egg yolk and mix with the dough hook attachment or by hand, with a wooden spoon. Keep mixing or kneading by hand on a floured surface (it will be very sticky though) for at least 10 minutes or until the dough becomes smooth, elastic and clears the sides of the bowl or stops sticking to your hands. Place it in a clean bowl, cover and let it double in bulk in a warm place - it will take an hour.

Sweet yeast dough

Butter a round tin or a flan dish, about 30cm in diameter. Melt the remaining butter.

Turn the dough out onto floured surface and divide into eight pieces, 85g each. Flatten them, then spoon a teaspoon of jam in the middle of each one. Pull up the edges and pinch them well together, make sure there is no potential for leaks. Roll each ball around on the worktop to check if it’s sealed.

How to shape Buchteln

Brush each dough ball with a little butter; otherwise you’ll end up with one gigantic Buchtel. Space them evenly in the dish, cover with greased cling film and leave to puff up for 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. When the Buchteln have risen, brush the tops with any remaining butter and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Buchteln: pull-apart breakfast bread

Cool slightly in the dish, dust with icing sugar and serve warm - traditionally with vanilla sauce or custard.

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