Bułeczki – this word can cause a little confusion as it can mean – little white bread rolls or a more sweet yeast bun.
This recipe has been used to make round buns with a filling – it can be used for a variety of sweet buns – all of which are very popular in Poland.
A few reminders when using yeast in baking
- Learn to be patient – you cannot control the timings exactly with yeast, it depends on the temperature of the room and the flour used and other variables.
- Do yeast baking on a day you are planning to be in & have other things to do, but ones you can break off from when needed.
- Heat the milk so it is at body temperature – use the finger test – too hot and you will kill the yeast – too cold is okay – it will just take longer.
- An egg glaze often burns too quickly – I have found an egg white or egg white & water glaze gives a better result.
The older Polish recipes use fresh yeast. I have used dried yeast and had very good results. (I have not tried using easy bake yeast for this recipe).
Basic sweet dough recipe
25g fresh yeast or 15g dried yeast
1 tablespoon of sugar
250ml milk – warmed
Rest of dough
100g granulated sugar
500g plain flour
2-3 drops of vanilla essence
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon of salt
60g of melted butter
Egg or egg white to glaze (whole egg tends to brown very quickly).
Jam – I used strawberry jam and also blackcurrant jam (made by my friend in Leeds) and I think the more tart blackcurrant jam goes better with the semi-sweet dough.
Mincemeat – I used my own mincemeat which is from the recipe by Delia Smith but without the chopped almonds. This of course in one way is very English, but it would be recognised in Poland if described as bakalie – which is a mixture made of dried fruits (often with figs or dates), nuts and honey.
Mix the yeast, sugar and warmed milk together and leave it till it doubles in size.
Whisk the yolks and sugar together until the mixture is pale and thick.
Put the flour into a large bowl, add the yeast starter, the yolks & sugar mix, vanilla essence, lemon zest and the salt.
Combine everything together and knead it together until the dough leaves the side of the bowl clean.
Add the melted butter and mix it in and then knead it well until you get a glossy smooth dough.
Place it back in the bowl and cover with a cloth and leave it until it doubles in size.
Grease 1 or 2 baking sheets to hold 16 buns.
Knead the dough again lightly, then cut in to half and half again and so on to give 16 pieces.
Roll each piece into a smooth ball, then flatten it and roll it out into a circle.
Put a small spoonful of filling onto each circle and then draw the edges of the dough circle together and pinch the dough to seal in the filling.
Turn the balls over so the seal is on the underside.
Place the buns on the baking sheets with room apart for them to double in size.
Cover the buns with a cloth and leave them to rise to double in size.
Pre-heat the oven to GM 5 – 190ºC
When the buns have doubled in size brush them with an egg or egg white wash.
I used whole egg in this case but since have found that egg white does not burn as quickly.
Bake the buns for around 15 minutes.
Leave to cool before serving.
Tea plates are Las Palmas by Aynsley from the 1960s.