Caraway Yeast Buns

Whilst doing some research on caraway,  I found that in 2011, Finland  produced over 25% of the worlds caraway.

So I thought why not a recipe from Finland!

This is a based on a recipe for pulla –  in Poland they would be called  bułeczki  – they are yeast buns and in Finland they are served with coffee.

These buns  are originally flavoured with crushed cardamon seeds – I have adapted this for caraway.

In Poland caraway is often added to rye bread but not usually added to wheat flour buns.

Ingredients

500g plain flour

50g butter

80g of granulated sugar

300ml tepid milk

1 teaspoon of dried yeast

1 egg beaten

1 tablespoonful of caraway seeds

1 teaspoon of salt

1 egg white, beaten, for glazing (does not burn as easily as whole egg).

Optional

Crushed sugar cubes.

Method

In a small dish start the yeast off with 2 tablespoons of the milk and 1 tablespoon of the sugar until it is bubbling.

Rub the butter into the flour.

Add the salt, caraway seeds, sugar, yeast mixture, milk and egg.

Mix thouroughly with a wooden spoon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover the dough with clingfilm or a cloth and leave to rise.

I left mine over night in a cool cellar and then followed by a few hours in the morning in a warmer kitchen.

Grease 2 baking sheets.

Take the dough out of the bowl – a special dough scraper is very good for this.

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Divide the dough into 12 pieces  – a dough cutter is most useful for this  and shape each one into a ball using floured hands – do not over work the dough or add flour – keep the mix as soft as possible.

Place the balls on the sheets – leaving room for expansion.

Cover and leave to rise.

Pre-heat the oven to GM 6 – 200°C

Brush the top of each bun with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with the crushed sugar if desired.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden – brown.

 

Getting ready for morning coffee

 

 

Enamelled coffee pot by the Cathrineholm ironworks in Norway  –  Lotus – from the 1960s,

Coffee cups and saucers by Elizabethan  – Carnaby – from the 1970s

The buns are on a hand-decorated  cake stand made by Fairmont & Main who were established in Huddersfield in 1994.

The pattern is Carnival and this is a recent birthday present from one of my friends.

Note

As with all yeast buns these will go stale quickly – if I have any left – I cut them in half and pack into bags and freeze them.

On de-frosting I toast them and serve with butter.

Drożdżówka – Yeast Cake

The Polish word for yeast is drożdże and drożdżówka is any sweet cake or bun made using yeast.

Often the cake is a large flat cake ( placek) made in a large roasting tin.

This yeast cake is made with plain flour not strong flour and the mixture is mixed with a wooden spoon to form a soft mixture and is not kneaded.

My late father has two cousins living in Białystok, North East Poland, they are both wonderful cooks.

This yeast cake is based on a recipe given to me by one of these aunties.

As with any recipe made with yeast, timings are so unpredictable depending on many variables including the room temperature.

I always bake with yeast when I am at home for most of the day with other activities to do whilst waiting for the dough to rise etc.

Ingredients

Yeast Cake

400g plain flour

250ml of tepid milk

1 egg

2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

1 tablespoon of sunflower oil

150g of raisins or sultanas

10g of fresh yeast or 5g of dried yeast

Crumble Topping

2 tablespoons of plain flour

1 tablespoon of butter

1 tablespoon of granulated sugar

Method

Mix the yeast with 2 tablespoons of the milk and 1 tablespoon of the sugar and leave this till it starts bubbling.

In a bowl whisk together the egg  and 1 tablespoon of the sugar.

Add the oil and whisk again.

Add the milk and the raisins or sultanas and mix well.

Add the flour and mix this all together with a wooden spoon to form a very loose, soft dough.

Cover the bowl with clingfilm or a cloth and leave in a warm place to rise.

Make the crumble topping by rubbing the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs and then stir in the sugar.

Grease and line a large roasting tin.

25cm x 34 cm or 22cm x 32cm.

Put the risen dough into the tin – use a spatula to spread it out.

Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top and leave to rise again.

 

 

Pre-heat the oven to  GM6 – 200°C.

Place the risen cake into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Then lower the temperature to GM5 – 190°C and bake for another 10 minutes – keeping an eye on this and cover with foil if it looks like it is burning.

You might want also want to move it down a shelf for the last 5  minutes.

Leave to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes then take it out and remove from the greaeproof paper – so it does not go soggy on the base.

 

Served on Sonnet by Royal Doulton, 1971 – 1998.

As with most yeast cakes this is best eaten as soon as possible as it will soon go stale – you might need to invite round lots of friends and family!

If all is not eaten on the day of baking, I cut the cake into slices and pack into a plastic container and freeze – these are then toasted and served with butter at a later date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toasted and buttered yeast cake served on Las Palmas by Aynsley from the 1960s.

Variations

The dried fruits added can be varied  and I have made this with raisins, mixed peel and 1 teaspoon of mixed spice.

 

 

 

 

Served on Counterpoint by Royal Doulton, 1973 – 1987.

Other dried fruit options can be used, such as apricots, cranberries, pears or prunes and so on,  chopping larger fruits into small pieces.

I made this with apricots, sultanas and a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla essence.

 

The dried fruits add sweetness to the cake and I think the small amount of sugar works well – you can if you like add a few extra tablespoons of sugar.

 

 

 

 

Mazurek – Using Yeast Dough

I came across this recipe for  a yeast dough mazurek in this little recipe book and was very intrigued by the method which is quite different from the usual yeast doughs and thought I would give it a go!

It turned out very well.

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Ingredients

450g plain flour

100g granulated sugar

200g butter or block margarine

50g fresh yeast or 25g of dried yeast

190 ml of milk

3 eggs

200g of bakalie (dried fruits including currants, raisins, peel, figs, dates, prunes etc)

Method

Warm the milk to hand heat and mix in the yeast.

Melt the butter on a gently heat.

In a bowl whisk the eggs with the sugar until they are light and fluffy.

Add the melted butter.

Add the milk and yeast mixture and mix thoroughly.

Leave in a warm place for 8 hours!

Grease and line a large baking tray 33cm x 24cm

Pre-heat the oven to GM5 – 190°C

Mix the bakalie(dried fruits) with the flour.

Mix the flour and fruits with the yeast mixture.

 

Place the dough into the tin – spreading it out evenly.

Place the dough onto the tray and put in the oven.

Bake for around 25 – 30 minutes.

Prick the surface of the cake with a fork in several places.

Leave it to cool in the tin for a while and then remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool.

Pour the hot chocolate topping over the top.

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Topping Ingredients

50g butter

30g of granulated sugar

2 tablespoons of cocoa

2 – 3 tablespoons of water

Note

You could double this amount if you want to it to cover all over and be a bit thicker.

Method

In a small saucepan gently melt the butter and sugar .

Add the cocoa and water and mix it till it is all blended together.

 

Note

You can decorate the top with dried fruit and nuts – you would really need to do double the topping ingredients for this,

 

 

Served on Royal Doulton – Counterpoint  – 1973 – 1987

Kołaczyki – Little Wheels

Sweet Yeast Buns

Kołaczyki means little wheels from the word koła which means wheels.

In a previous post –  Bułeczki – Sweet Yeast Buns– I gave a recipe for basic sweet yeast dough – since then I have tried out a slightly different recipe – nearly the same ingredients but a slightly different method – and I think these turned out to be the best yeast buns I have ever made – so this is  – Basic sweet yeast dough version two. 

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.

Older Polish recipes use fresh yeast. I have used dried yeast and have had very good results.  (I have not tried using easy bake yeast for this recipe).

Basic Sweet Yeast Dough Version 2

Ingredients

Leaven – Starter

100g plain flour

30g fresh yeast or 15-20g dried yeast

125ml  milk

Rest of ingredients

3 egg yolks

60g sugar

50g melted butter or block margarine

400g plain flour

1/4 tsp salt

Zest of 1 lemon

2-3 drops of vanilla essence

125ml milk

and

Save 1 egg white for use as a wash on the buns.

Method

Warm the milk slightly – so it is just warm to the touch – and add the yeast and mix together.

Put the flour in to a bowl and add the milk and yeast  mix it all together and leave it covered until it is double in size.

Melt the butter and leave it to cool.

Whisk the yolks and sugar until they are pale and fluffy.

Grease 2 baking sheets – You should get around 15 buns. – invite people round!

Into a large bowl put: the flour and the salt, the yeast starter, the yolk mixture, the zest of a lemon, the vanilla essence and the milk.

Mix it all together so that you get a soft dough that comes away from the side of the bowl – you do not have to knead it.

Then work in the melted butter (this is the hardest part) until it is all incorporated and you have a uniform shiny dough.

Cover the dough with a cloth and leave this to rise until it is double in size.

Onto a floured surface place the dough and form it into a rectangle and then roll this out until it is around  2cm thick.

Using a 8cm diameter cutter cut out circles of dough and place them on the greased baking sheets, leaving room for the dough to rise.

Gather together the left over dough and repeat the process.

Cover the trays and leave the circles to rise and double in size.

Pre heat the oven to GM5 – 190ºC

Use a clean napkin or tea towel and cover the base of a tumbler.

Use the covered tumbler and press down on the centre of each circle to form an indentation into which you will put a filling.

Fillings

These are the ones I tried –

Cheese mixture – similar to ones for baked cheesecake.

Mix together around 250g of cream cheese/twaróg/curd or yoghurt cheese, 70g icing sugar, 1 egg yolk and 2-3 drops of vanilla essence.

Blackcurrant jam (you could use any tart jam such as cherry or gooseberry )

English style sweet mincemeat – I use Delia Smith’s recipe (without the nuts)

Put a large dollop of the filling onto each circle.

Brush the exposed dough with beaten egg white.

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Topping

This is for the jam or mincemeat only – not the cheese mixture.

Kruszonka – Crumble Mixture

Ingredients

50g plain flour

50g butter

50g granulated  sugar

Method

Mix together the flour and butter to make fine crumbs then mix in the sugar.

Sprinkle around a tablespoon or so over the jam or mincemeat.

Bake the buns for around 15 minutes.

 

Tea plate pattern below is called Mayfair.

 

They were all delicious – the sweet cheese ones were my favourites!

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

*******

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).

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.

 

 

Polish Easter Lamb

The Lamb is a symbol of Christ Resurrected  – The  Lamb of God – The Saviour of the World.

In Poland there is a tradition of having a Lamb  on the table at Easter.  This would be made out of moulded butter or sugar or baked as a cake.  There are moulds available for making a lamb-shaped cake into which you pour the cake mixture before you bake it.

My auntie in America sent me the instructions for making a lamb using bread dough. I think the result is super.

I used my basic enriched bread dough (click here for link to the recipe).

You can use this or your favourite bread dough recipe using 500g of flour.

Make the dough until it is ready for shaping.

Shaping the Lamb

Grease a large baking sheet.

Pre-heat the oven to GM 5 – 200°C.

Prepare an egg white wash by whisking an egg white in a bowl or an egg white and 1 tablespoon of water.

Divide the dough into 3 parts.

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Use 1 of the pieces and shape it into a large oval – this will be the “body

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Chop 1 of the pieces into 4 parts

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Shape 1 part into an oval “head

Shape 1 part into an oval “tail

Shape the remaining  2 parts into long oval “legs

Attach these to the body by pinching them slightly together.

Cut a vertical slit in each leg.

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Using the remaining pieces of dough, pinch off small amounts to make around 24 x 2.5 cm balls and 11 x 1cm balls by rolling the pieces in your hand.

Arrange the larger balls over the body leaving a border of around 1cm uncovered.

Arrange the smaller balls between the larger balls and on the top of the head.

Insert a currant or a raisin for the eye.

 

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Brush with egg white wash and bake for 10 minutes.

Quickly brush on more egg white wash and sprinkle sesame seeds over the head and body.

Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or slightly longer until lightly browned on top.

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Bułeczki – Bread Rolls

First let me start by trying to explain a  little bit of linguistic confusion around the use of the word bread.

The Polish for bread is chleb and is used for rye bread and any bread which contains at least some rye flour.

The word bułka means a loaf and bułeczka means a little loaf or roll (bułeczki – is the plural) and these words are used for soft  wheat loaves or rolls.

So bułeczki are what in England are called bread rolls or bread buns.

However the word is also used for sweet dough yeast buns or sometimes small cakes in general.

The following instructions are for an enriched dough for bread rolls or buns – that is a dough with added milk, butter and eggs.

I will write write about sweet yeast buns in the future

A few pointers – learnt over the past few weeks

  • 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.
  • Strong flour gave me the best results.
  • Have the dough as wet & soft as you can handle – do not be tempted to add more and more flour as you form the dough at the beginning.
  • Knead the dough as much as possible – it can be quite relaxing once you get going.
  • Use the amount of salt as and when stated in the recipe, it gives the bread taste and controls the yeast.
  • An egg glaze often burns too quickly –  I have found an egg white or egg white & water glaze gives a better result.

The Polish recipes I have looked at make a rozczyn – a leaven in the form of a batter or starter to begin with – I have liked using this method very much.

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 Enriched Bread Dough 

Ingredients

Leaven

250ml tepid milk

25g fresh yeast or 15g dried yeast(1 tablespoon)

1 tbs sugar

100g strong flour

Dough

400g strong flour

1 egg

1 tsp salt

50g butter or margarine or 2 tbs vegetable oil

Wash

1 egg white or

1egg white  &  1 tbs water

Optional

Poppy seeds

Sesame seeds

 Method

Mix the yeast and sugar with the warmed milk – if using dried yeast leave for a few minutes to let the yeast start to work.

Put the 100g of flour into a bowl and add the milk and yeast mixture, mix it all in to form a batter.

Cover the bowl with a tea towel or cling-film and leave it to rise.

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Put the 400g of flour in a large bowl.

Whisk the egg with the salt.

Add the leaven and the egg mixture to the flour and bring it together by hand to from a ball.  You might have to add extra milk to get a soft ball – try not to add more flour.

In a small pan melt the butter and leave it cool

Turn the dough out onto a firm surface and knead until you have a nice smooth ball – one of my books says do this for 30 minutes! – knead it for at least 10 minutes.

Now this is the hardest part!

Flatten out the dough and pour the butter or oil over it.

Then incorporate the butter or oil into the dough  and knead it until once again you have a nice smooth ball.

Place the dough into a clean bowl and  with a tea towel or cling-film and leave it to double in size.

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Pre-heat the oven to GM5 – 200°C

Grease a large baking sheet.

Take the dough and on a floured surface roll it out into a rectangle.

The next part is to shape the dough, brush with an egg white wash and sprinkle with seeds as desired and bake for 15 minutes.

Three Traditional Shapes

Bułeczki – Kajzerki – Rogaliki

Bułeczki – Round Buns

This amount of dough will make 12 buns.

Use a sharp knife or a dough cutter to divide the dough.

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Stainless Steel Dough Cutter

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Divide the dough into 2, then each half divide into 2 again. Then divide each piece into 3 equal pieces so giving you 12 pieces. Roll each piece of  dough in your hands to make a smooth round ball.  Place these on the greased baking sheet with space between them for them to rise. Cover loosely with a cloth and leave them to rise.

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Pre-heat the oven to GM5 – 200°C

Make an egg white wash by whisking an egg white in a little bowl or an egg white and 1 tablespoon of water.

Use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the buns.

Sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds if desired.

Bake for around 15 minutes until they are golden brown – check a little earlier and move them lower in the oven or lower the temperature if the tops are beginning to burn.

Kajzerki

These are Kaiser rolls and originated in Austria – they are meant to look like a crown for the Kaiser. Cut a cross on the top of the dough using a sharp knife –  this expands  as the dough rises – or you can make 3 cuts to make a 6 pointed star.  However the traditions Kaiser roll does in fact have a 5 point cut at the top.

Make 12 buns as in the instructions above

Cut a cross in the top of each bun – cover them with a cloth and leave them to rise.

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Pre-heat the oven to GM5 – 200°C

Make an egg white wash by whisking an egg white in a little bowl or an egg white and 1 tablespoon of water.

Use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the buns.

Sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds if desired.

Bake for around 15 minutes until they are golden brown – check a little earlier and move them lower in the oven or lower the temperature if the tops are beginning to burn.

 

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A couple of days after making these rolls I went to Harrogate and saw this crown!

Rogaliki – Crescent Rolls

Rogaliki means little horns and these rolls are made into a crescent shaped which look like horns.

This amount of dough makes 8 rolls and you will need 2 greased baking sheets.

Take the dough and divide it into 2, take each piece separately and roll it out into a rectangle, as thinly as possible, and cut this diagonally across to make 4 triangles.

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Starting with the long end roll up each piece ending with the point at the top. Curve the shape around to make a crescent shape.

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Place these on the greased baking sheet with space between them. Cover loosely with a cloth and leave them to rise.

Pre-heat the oven to GM5 – 200°C

Brush with the egg white wash and sprinkle with seeds as desired.

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Bake for around 15 minutes until they are golden brown – check a little earlier and move them lower in the oven or lower the temperature if the tops are beginning to burn.

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