Butter, schnapps, sugar, flour and eggs: the ingredients for Buchteln are enough to make a dietician run a mile, but we don’t care. We’re talking real soul food. Buchteln are one of the tastiest sweet dishes from Tirol and a real favourite of ours. They look a little bit like miniature clouds when they come out of the oven – and if you get the dough right, the taste is heavenly.
Rattenberg in Tirol is officially Austria’s smallest town. Half way between the old town gate and the coach park is Café Hacker. That is where I last came across Buchteln. Much harder to find in Tirol than their better-known cousins like Apfelstrudel and Sachertorte, Buchteln are a classic dish with a long and rich history dating back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Here is the recipe for all those who fancy making their own.
Ingredients for the dough
- 320g wheatflour
- 2 eggs
- 100ml milk
- 1/2 cube fresh yeast
- 30g butter
- 40g sugar
- 1 sachet vanilla sugar
- 1 tablespoon apricot schnapps (optional)
- 1 pinch salt
There are lots of different fillings you can use, from plums and poppy seeds to apples and cinnamon. We’re sure they all taste great, but for the purposes of this recipe we will stick to the classic version and fill our Buchteln with apricot jam.
- Apricot jam
- Icing sugar
- 50g butter (to grease the baking tin and glaze the top of the Buchteln)
Slightly warm the milk. Crumble the yeast and mix it into the milk.
In a separate bowl, mix the sugar with the flour.
Add the milk-and-yeast mixture.
Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place – for example next to the oven – for around 30 minutes.
Add the butter and a pinch of salt.
Mix with a hand mixer or a kitchen mixer until small bubbles appear on the surface of the dough.
Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to rest for another 20 minutes.
The resulting dough should look a bit like this. The volume will have at least doubled.
Knead the dough gently by hand, then roll it out on a flat surface sprinkled with flour. The dough should be around 1cm thick.
Using a round cookie cutter, cut out circles around 8cm in diameter.
Place a dollop of apricot jam onto each circle you have cut out.
Carefully fold together each circle to form a ball. Place the balls into a baking dish with the folded section facing down. If you want you can grease the dish using a little butter. Tip! Small lasagne dishes are perfect for this.
Place the individual balls close together in the dish to create the typical Buchteln look. Melt a little butter and brush it onto the top of the Buchteln.
Cover the dish with a tea towel and leave for another 20 minutes in a warm place. In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 160°C. Bake the Buchteln for around 30 minutes.
The aroma as you take them out of the oven is wonderful. Leave the Buchteln to cool for a few minutes, then cover with icing sugar and serve warm. If you want you can add a little custard on top.
Bon appétit, or as we say here in Tirol: Mahlzeit!