The method of preparing our sweet Slovenian buhteljni buns is near identical to that of the Albanian pie of pies the mantija; stuffed dough balls packed tightly together in a circular dish. But whereas the mantija is savoury pastry, the buhteljni is sweet bread. I got a little excited during Albania week, reeling off different variants I'd like to make, one of which the Russian roulette theme immediately came to mind when I discovered buhteljni. I.e. they all look the same and you don't know what flavour you've picked until you've taken a bite.
Fear not, there are no bullets in my bread, there is not even the risk of a nasty mouthful as I've stuck with the inoffensive trio of nutella, jam and lemon curd.
There is some debate over whether the buhteljni should be cooked seam side up or seam side down, As far as I can tell seam side up appears to have originated from a French blogger who has inspired other uppers. You can get some pretty effects that way, but I'm going for what I believe to be the most authentic method ...which is additionally the best way of hiding what you've stuffed inside adding to the surprise element.
- 250ml milk
- 1 tbsp dried yeast
- 50g caster sugar
- 500g strong bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- Finely grated zest of one lemon
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg
- Icing sugar
- Lemon Curd
NUTRITIONAL CONTENT PER PORTION
- Calories | 297
- Fat | 5.9
Serves | 10
Prep Time | 1 hour 45 minutes (includes raising time)
Cooking Time | 25-30 minutes
- Gently heat the milk to lukewarm temperature (too cold and the yeast won't activate, too hot and you'll kill the yeast). Stir in the yeast and caster sugar, cover and leave in a warm draft free place for ten minutes until the mix is frothy.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt and lemon zest. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture together with the eggs.
- Using a fork whisk the liquid from the inside out, gradually incorporating the wet into the dry. When a dough starts to form, tip out onto a work surface and knead for ten minutes until you have a smooth dough.
- Place in a clean bowl, cover and leave in a warm draft free place for one hour until the dough has doubled in size.
- Roll the dough into a square 0.5cm thick and using a pizza cutter or sharp knife slice into 40 equally sized squares.
- Put a teaspoon full of your chosen filling into each of the squares. Fold the corners into the centre, pinch together the seams to seal and place seam side down in a baking tray. They should be placed closely together.
- Cover and leave to rise in a draft free place for 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 215°c and place a pan of water at the bottom of the oven to create a steam.
- Glaze the tops of your buns with whisked egg yolk and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden (you may need to cover them during cooking to stop them from colouring too much).
- Dust with icing sugar to serve.