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Recipe: Blackberry Buns with Warm Vanilla Sauce

Recipe & Photographs by Kathrin Koschitzki

Our recipe for Blackberry Buns with Warm Vanilla Sauce was passed down through generations in the writer’s family.

Buchteln is thought to have originated in the Bohemia region of the Czech Republic. This recipe for Buchteln, or Blackberry Buns with Warm Vanilla Sauce, was passed down to the author from her family. While so many things from generation to generation, there are certain things that remain the same, like red cheeks when coming home after a winter walk in the snow, the tinge of excitement in the air as a grandfather tells adventure stories to his grandchildren, or the familiar feeling you have when looking at old photos of your family. This delicious variation (also known as brombeerbuchteln mit warmer vanillesauce), given from generation to generation, may be baked in changing ovens, but its smell and taste will always remind us of the person that used to make it for us.

Vanilla sauce
1 tablespoon (15 grams) cornstarch
1/2 cup (80 grams) sugar
5 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean
2 cups (500 grams) milk
1 cup (250 grams) whipping cream

Just shy of 4 cups (500 grams) all-purpose flour
1 cup (250 milliters) whole milk
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
3 tablespoons (42 grams) fresh yeast
1 cup (200 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
Generous pinch of salt

1 1/4 cups (300 grams) blackberries
And some powdered sugar to let it snow

Pour the flour into a big bowl, and with your hands, form a small hollow in the middle. Warm the milk. Mix 5 tablespoons of the warm milk and 1 tablespoon of the sugar with the yeast and pour the mixture into the hollow. Allow to rise for about ten minutes.

Now add just over 1/2 cup of the butter, the remaining milk and sugar and the egg and salt, and knead with your hands until you get homogenous dough. Form a ball, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place free from drafts, for 40 minutes.

In the meantime mix starch, sugar and egg yolks in a separate bowl. Halve the vanilla bean and scratch out the pith. In a big pot boil up milk, cream, vanilla pith and scratched-out bean. Pour about 1/3 of the hot liquid into the egg-starch mixture; stir thoroughly, then pour this back into the original pot of milk-cream mixture and reheat. Stir thoroughly, until the sauce thickens. Remove from the stove.

When the dough has risen, knead again on the worktop. Form a roll and cut off about 20 equally big slices.

Press them flat individually with the palm of your hand and put 4–5 blackberries in the middle. Press the dough rims together to form a small ball. Put the buns into a buttered, oven-safe baking dish with the joined ends below (upside down). Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 15 minutes.

Preheat a convection oven to 350° F. Melt the rest of the butter, gently brush the buns and bake until golden-brown for 30–40 minutes. Let cool down and dust generously with powdered sugar. Serve with warm vanilla sauce.

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