This delicacy came to my knowledge while I was reading a blog about Café Hawelka in Vienna. The café was established just before WW2 by Leopold Hawelka, who was involved in the business until his death in 2011. Since the café’s opening the family ran café bakes it’s delicacy according to the secret recipe. So, since Catherine is a renowned sweet tooth, I simply had to introduce her to the realm of central European pastry. The task wasn’t as easy as we thought though, since we had to visit the place twice in order to succeed in finding our target to sink our teeth in.
UPDATE: I finally got the chance to cook some Buchteln this May, with the help of a little friend. So, here’s the outcome.
Buchteln are sweet yeast buns, filled with marmalade. Unfortunately, ours did not survive long enough to take a picture, so here’s a picture from the Cafe Hawelka interior instead. By the time we thought about it they were already gone away. So yummie! They originated in Central Europe and my version of them needs much work to even stand close to the ones we had tasted in Vienna. Nevertheless, Vienna is a long way from home and no matter the result of my efforts, preparing these rolls brings the memories of that place to life. I first baked them on a sunny Sunday morning a few weeks after our return from the trip and unexpectedly they were pretty good.
For the buns
250 ml warm milk
2 ½ cups flour
5 g dry yeast
2 – 3 spoons of sugar (I use 1 ½ since I don’t like it too sweet)
5 spoons of melted butter
Some lemon zest
Poppy seeds or powdered sugar to top them if you wish
For the handmade jam
Fruit of your choice for the handmade jam, I use pear or apple
Some sugar for the jam
Ginger and/or Cinnamon
To prepare the marmalade, peel the fruit, chop them and boil them with the fewest amount of water possible and some sugar (half the amount of the fruit, still I use less). Throw in a Cinnamon stick and ginger and watch the fruit pieces melt.
Or skip that step and use non handmade jam bought from a store
Ok, so now we got to prepare the yeast dough. Just let the yeast mingle with the milk for a while, nothing to worry, those two will be fine together. After ten minutes, add sugar, egg, vanilla, lemon zest, salt and butter and stir.
Then add the flour (use a strainer, since you do not want any lumps in the mixture)
Let the dough rise for about an hour
Now the tricky part. The dough is sticky so you need to oil your hands (you can use olive oil but you had better use butter). Stickiness is not the major problem though. Filling the buns is.
You need to flatten the dough and throw some marmalade in the center before closing them entrapping the jam inside the bun. DO NOT USE TOO MUCH JAM. Unless you are a buchteln expert that is. The marmalade tends to flow out, so you have to carefully seal it inside the buns. I add some extra dough on the sealing part, to prevent that and then let this point rest on flour.
Then you grease a pan with butter and place the buchteln in, carefully leaving space among them since they will grow in size. Coat them with butter and bake at 180 C for about half an hour, till they are golden brown. Let them cool and if you want sprinkle with poppy seeds or powdered sugar. Enjoy!