Thursday, March 25, 2010

Baking at home with my mommy

I love to bake, but when I go home to the Czech Republic, my grandmother usually already has stuff that has already been baked and therefore does not need me to make any more because then there is too much. This time was a little different and so my mom and I offered to make something called buchty.


Buchty translates literally to buns. These "buns" are filled with either curds or with preserves, the norm that I am used to is curds, though. We decided to make buchty according to the original and first recipe which can be seen on the right. We edited it a little because, in all honesty, no one really wants to use a trillion eggs. So instead we only used 2 egg yolks instead of 3 and a whole egg. And instead of 1/3 liter of "good" sour cream we used 1/3 of milk. She seems to also put květ in there, which I am currently unsure of what it is in English, because the translation says flower, but I doubt that it is supposed to actually be flowers, needless to say, we didn't use that. Also I have noticed that in her recipes she doesn't specify the type of flour used, which can get confusing since I did stress in a previous post that the type of flour can affect how a food will turn out. Of course this cookbook book was written in the 1800s and the version I have is from around the 1920s, so around those time people could have already automatically known which flour to use, or in reality at that time there weren't 3 different types of flours in the Czech Republic as there is now, but maybe just one type. Nonetheless, for the flour we used the half course flour and the regular flour half and half according to the amount in the recipe. Also, it is not mentioned in there but we used a baker's cake cube of yeast (it is yeast in a literal cube, you can't miss it in the store). So without further ado, here is the recipe we used and how we made it. I unfortunately didn't get any pictures of the dough while it was rising, but it was pretty incredible. We let it rise about 3 times to make sure it was very light and airy.


1/3 liter milk
2 egg yolks and a whole egg
7dkg butter (melted)
4dkg yeast (1 yeast cube)
1tbsp sugar
1/2 kg flour (1/4 kg medium coarse flour, 1/4 kg regular flour)
a pinch of salt
a pan with high sides, see the pan I used

for the filling:

you can either use preserves
250g curds (also sometimes referred to are quark or farmer's cheese)
1 egg
1 packet of vanilla sugar
1 a packet of pudding (the kind that has to be cooked) (to thicken)
1-2tbsp sugar (to taste)

To start off, mix the milk with the eggs with a wooden spoon. Add the butter and mix well. Then add the yeast and the sugar. Then slowly add the flour. It will be sticky at first but keep mixing it until the dough stop sticking to the spoon. That could take anywhere from a half hour to an hour. Add the salt. NOTE: when mixing make sure to take the dough and pull it towards you and almost fold in air (the dough should sound like it is breathing heavily, no innuendo there). This is where working with my mom was really helpful because mixing the dough hurts your arms and so switching with someone after a while is useful. After the dough has been mixed and aired, place the bowl with the dough in a warm place and place a tea towel over it and let it rise at least 2 hours. After 2 hours, the dough should be about twice its size, now you can start working it from here but, my mom and I decided to push the dough around with the spoon until it falls a little and then let it rise again for another hour, and after that we did that once more.

Next you want to make the filling if you opt for the curds/quark way. The basic idea is to take all the ingredients, and mix them together. That's it. Honest. For us, the mixture was a little runny, so you will have to be careful and not put too much because you do  not want it to run out of your dough because then it will burn and your buchty will be empty. You can optionally put raisins into the mixture which could potentially make it hold together better, but I wouldn't know since my mom and I didn't put raisins in.

After letting the dough fully rise my mom now took it out and placed it on a floured board, such as can be seen on the left. You have to pulled the dough out and make it more cylindrical as is seen in the picture. Now is where our very common saying comes in: "dvakrát měř, jednou řež" which literally translates to "measure twice, cut once." We only wanted to make one pan-ful and our pan was big enough to do four by seven buchty, so we measured the dough out to be evenly spaced out into 28 pieces and then cut into those 28 pieces. To butter the pan, melt some butter (melt about half a stick for now, you will use more butter later), and pour a good amount into the pan. Then use a feather brush (usually used for brushing juice on meats) and spread the butter around the bottom of the pan and the sides. Make sure to use a high sided pan as the buchty need to bake upwards.

Then take each piece and flatten it, pretty thinly (not too thin that it falls apart, but reasonably thin). Take a spoonful of the filling and place it in the middle, make sure none of it gets on the edges because then you will never be able to close the dough and it will leak and be a complete mess, trust me, it happened to us as well. Close the dough around the filling and make sure it is closed perfectly with no possible holes for leaks. Then place the buchtu in the pan in a corner with the part where you closed placed downwards, try not to press it in but make sure it is in there nice and snug. Take the feather brush and dip it in the butter and paint the butter onto the top and sides of the buchta. Then make the next one. Place that one, directly next to the first with nearly no space in between. Also paint the top and sides with butter, to prevent them from sticking to each other. Do that for each individual buchtu. The pan should fill up and there will be slight holes in the corners in between the buchty, but there should be little to no space between (see following pictures).

See how they are on top of each other in the pan? That's about how close they should be. This is because, buchty should bake upwards and have height, otherwise, if they are not on top of each other like this, they will bake and kind of flatten. What is really cool is when you take them out of the oven, the buchty make a really awesome layer over the top, because they bake upwards and slightly spread out when they get larger, so all those holes in the corners fill in. So we will now compare the previous picture to the picture after the baking. By the way, preheat your oven to 350F, and then lower the temperature to 325F and bake for about 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown on the top, (I'm not sure if the time really is 30 minutes right now, so go by the golden brown thing, check after 10 minutes, and then decide from there).

 Before baking.

After baking.

Also, as you can see in the previous picture, all the way to the right, one of our buchty didn't close properly and flowed out and messed up. Oh well. That's why you should be using a high sided pan.

Now on to what the buchty look like after you take them out (you can see the first picture on the right). (By the way, to take them out, let them sit in the pan for about 5 minutes, then take a cutting board large enough to fit over the top of the pan, and put it on top of the pan, then flip everything over together. then carefully lift the pan up, if you buttered everything well, the pan should slide off with nothing sticking to it. Then you separate the buchty and they should separate from each other pretty easily if you just pull them apart lightly. Let them cool completely, we don't want us burning out tongues on the filling, then we wouldn't be able to enjoy the buchty as much.

The last three pictures I took as a view from each side (except the top and bottom views, since you should generally know what the top looks like, and the bottom is just the bottom, nothing too special.

Finally I have one more picture of the inside, unfortunately, since the filling we used is white, it blends in with the dough from the buchta and therefore is difficult to see, maybe if you click on the picture for a zoom, it will be more noticeable, but I wouldn't know, because my computer only shows be a smaller version of the picture when I open it in iphoto.

I also have a bunch of videos and when I finally get around to editing them, and figuring out how to add them to this article, I will add them in. They are just simple videos, several are of how to fill and close the dough. Another shows buttering the pan, and then there is also one which shows buttering the top and sides of each buchta. There is also one last video which will show taking them out of the pan and separating them to let all the steam out, what is really awesome about it is you can see the buchty almost smoking when you separate them, it is awesome.

And that is how you make original Czech buchty. They are sooo yummy and you really should try to make them, they are delicious.

Keep eating sweetly. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment