Bułeczki – Sweet Yeast Buns

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

Ingredients

Yeast starter

  • 25g fresh yeast or 15g dried yeast
  • 1 tablespoon of  sugar
  • 250ml  milk – warmed
  • Rest of dough
  • 3 yolks
  • 100g granulated sugar

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  • 500g plain flour
  • 2-3 drops of vanilla essence
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

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  • 60g of melted butter

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  • Egg or egg white to glaze (whole egg tends to brown very quickly).

Fillings

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.

Method

Mix the yeast, sugar and warmed milk together and leave it till it doubles in size.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

Babka and Babeczki

A babka is a large cake and babeczki are small cakes.

For a general description on what a babka is  –  read my post – Babka.

The following cakes have been made using a creamed sponge mixture –using my mother’s friend’s basic recipe for a creamed sponge.

In this recipe you weigh the eggs in their shells and then use the same weights of butter (or block margarine), caster sugar and self raising flour.

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Weighing eggs

 

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Silver Tin at the front was used.

Marbled Babka

Pre-heat the over to GM4 – 180°C

Grease and flour the tin.

For this babka, 4 eggs were used.

After making the cake mixture, half the mixture was placed in the tin and to the rest 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder was added and lightly folded in. This cocoa mixture was then placed on top of the plain mixture and with a metal spoon lightly mix the two to give a marbling effect.

Bake the cake for 35 to 40minutes.

When the cake is ready, leave it to cool completely before turning it out of the tin.

 

 

The babka can be dusted with icing sugar or  you can use a chocolate glaze and allow this to dribble down the grooves.

Medium babeczki

I bought these tins a few years ago in Lidl.

You might be able to find find smaller babka tins like those in the photograph below. (I bought these many years ago in France – sold there as brioche tins).

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Grease and flour the tins.

I used 3 eggs to make these 6 babeczki with the addition of 75g of currants (25g per egg)

Bake these in a pre-heated oven a GM4 – 180°C for around 25 minutes.

Wait till the cakes are cool before turning them out.

You can dust them with icing sugar or drizzle a thin lemon icing over them.

I think the size of these makes them ideal for sharing!

Small babeczki

I bought these small mini bundt tins from Marks & Spencer in January 2016.

They are a good size for an individual small cake (of course you can always have two!)

Grease and flour the tins.

Bake these in a pre-heated oven at GM4 – 180°C for around 20 minutes.

I used a 2 egg mixture with the addition of one and a half tablespoons of cocoa powder for the marbling.

This mixture made  9 cakes. (If you use a 3 egg mixture and 2 tablespoons of cocoa and fill the moulds a little more you should get 12 cakes – I have yet to try this amount.)

Wait till the cakes are cool before turning them out.

Then dust them with icing sugar before serving.

 

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Babeczka – Small Cake – Little Bun

  • Babka is the name of a cake in Polish – or rather it refers to its shape – the name means grandma or little old lady – the shape is round and dumpy.
  • It can be a yeast cake or a sponge type cake. I will go into detail about these later in the year.
  • A small  bun or fairy cake can be called a babeczka (babeczki is the plural).
  • I have also seen the word mufinka now in Poland!
  • Using my various poppy seed recipes I have tried out some variations to make some babeczki.
  • These I made with a yeast pastry & poppy seed filling for Wigilia – Christmas Eve – a couple of years ago – using a different yeast pastry to the one in the traditional poppy seed roll.
Babeczki with Poppy Seed filling. The photo is dark as it was taken in the evening whilst getting ready for the special meal.
  • I used a simple sponge mixture to make 2 other types of poppy seed buns.
  • I have used paper cases – I am not sure if these are available or used in Poland but they are so useful and make the buns very portable and easy to eat.
  • You can use a basic Victoria sponge mixture made using 2 eggs, butter or margarine, caster sugar and self-raising – the recipe method and amounts such as in the Be-Ro  recipe book will work well.
  • This mixture should make about 12 buns.
  • I use a method  which I will write about in more detail later in the year, in this  the eggs are weighed in their shells and each of the other ingredients is then that same weight.
Weighing eggs

Buns – 1 – Using dry roasted poppy seeds To the sponge mixture you add dry roasted poppy seeds. The dry roasting  gives them a more nutty flavour. Note – Lemon zest  is not used in this recipe.

Buns made with Dry Roasted Poppy Seeds
  • To dry roast poppy seeds It is best to make this first before mixing up the sponge cake.  Weigh out the required amount of poppy seeds  – in this case 40 – 50g for a 2 egg cake mixture.
  • In a small dry  frying pan (ie without any oil or butter) fry the seeds for 5 minutes – stirring them with a wooden spoon or spatula – being careful not to burn them.
  • Tip the hot seeds into a bowl containing some cold milk. Once cool, pour the mixture into a fine sieve to separate the seeds from the milk.
  • Leave the sieve over an empty bowl, press down on the seed a few times to  remove as much milk as possible.

Buns -2  – Using the traditional poppy seed filling

Making the filling  is time consuming but only a small amount is needed to make 12 buns. So what I do is to make in the full amount with 200g of poppy seeds as in an earlier post Poppy Seed Cakes and Yeast Cakes  in advance and then portion this up into 2 or 3 portions and freeze them.

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Poppy Seed Mixture

 

Put the bun cases into the bun tray.

Now the next it is a bit fiddly and you have to judge the quantities by eye.

The idea is to:

  • put a spoonful of cake mixture into each bun case
  • followed by a spoonful of poppy seed mixture
  • followed by a covering amount of cake mixture.

I have found it easier to do each step for all 12 buns at a time – that is :

  • cake mixture into all the cases
  • then the poppy seed filling
  • then final cake mixture.

Bake the buns in the usual way  – GM5 – 190°C  – for around 15 to 20 minutes.

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Dust with Icing Sugar once they have cooled and before serving

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These have proved very popular!