We have a recipe for a Polish classic for you - Sweet Buns. They might look intimidating, but are quite simple to make. Ours are filled with a delicious blackcurrant jam, and are decorated with lukier - Polish version of the icing.
In our home, these buns always disappear from the baking sheets much before they had any chance to cool. Eaten not only in the morning, but also as an afternoon snack - even by the pickiest eater in my family (seriously!) - my brother, Michał. Give them a try, and let us know what you think!
Makes 8 buns
For the dough
- 500 g of all-purpose flour, plus a bit more for dusting
- 7 g (one packet) of instant yeast
- 2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
- 60 g of melted butter
- 90 g of granulated sugar
- 250 ml of lukewarm milk
- pinch of salt
For the filling
- Use your favourite jam! We love Łowicz jams, and used the blackcurrant jam for the buns in this recipe.
For lukier (Polish icing)
- 120 g of powdered sugar
- 10 g of lemon or lime juice
- 15 g of water
- Two medium sized bowls
- Kitchen scale
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
1. Combine a packet of instant yeast, with 250 ml of lukewarm milk, and 90 grams of sugar. Set aside to activate. You will see tiny bubbles appear when the yeast is active. Make sure that the milk is not too hot, otherwise the yeast will not activate. Our rule of thumb is that if the milk is too hot to touch, you need to let it cool down.
2. Melt your butter and let it cool down too so it is not too hot to touch.
3. Sift your flour and salt into a pile. Then, with your fingers, make a hole in the center. Your flour will resemble, as my brother calls it, a volcano. Combine your yeast starter with your flour mix, along with the melted butter, and two eggs plus one additional egg yolk.
4. Knead the now combined wet and dry ingredients into a smooth ball. This is the most time consuming step. Since this is an enriched dough (meaning it has milk, butter, and eggs), it does need a slightly longer knead time - about 10-12 minutes (perfect excuse to pull out your stand mixer). The dough will look very shaggy at first, but I promise it will come together. You'll know that it is ready once it is silky, smooth, slightly tacky, and bouncy. The dough is meant to be a bit tacky, but if it sticks to your hand after kneading for a while, add pinch of flour.
5. Transfer the dough to bowl. You can sprinkle some flour on the bowl, to avoid the dough sticking too much as it is rising. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place. Let the dough rise until it doubles in volume.
6. Once your dough has risen, flip it out onto a slightly floured surface, and divide into eight equal portions.
7. Preheat the oven to 180 C (or 356 F), and prepare your baking sheet by covering it with baking (parchment) paper.
8. Roll our each dough portion into a rectangle about 2 mm thick. Cover it with your favourite filling, leaving out about 5 mm from the edge. Then roll the dough onto itself, much like if you were making cinnamon rolls.
9. This is probably the most impressive part of the recipe - the twist. While impressive, I promise it is easy to do. Take your dough roll, and cut it length-wise. You will see all the layers of your filling. Twist the two dough rolls onto itself, and connect the ends to form a circle.
10. Place your buns on a previously prepared baking sheet. Beat the remaining egg yolk with a fork, and brush on the buns. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. If your buns are browning too quickly, simply cover them with a sheet of parchment paper.
11. To make lukier, whisk together powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water until combined. If you notice any clumps, it is likely that powdered sugar has not yet fully dissolved. Simply continue to whisk to get the clumps out. The consistency of lukier should nicely coat the back of the spoon. Once ready, drizzle lukier over your buns.