Buchteln: A Sweet Treat from Tirol

Last updated 02.07.2020KlausKlaus
Herrlich

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.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Preparation time (not including baking and resting time): 25 minutes
Portions: 12 Buchteln

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.

Further ingredients

  • Apricot jam
  • Icing sugar
  • 50g butter (to grease the baking tin and glaze the top of the Buchteln)
Tips for all those making yeast dough for the first time

Making yeast dough for the first time can be a frustrating experience. Welcome to the Champions League of pastry baking! You will need to pay attention to a few things to end up with a good dough. Make sure you knead the dough thoroughly. Then leave it to rise in a warm place. Knead it again, mould it into the right shape, leave it to rise again and then put it in the oven. It’s also a good idea to avoid using cold ingredients. That’s it. Simple, really.

Preparation

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 two eggs, vanilla sugar and apricot schnapps. If you are making the Buchteln for a children’s birthday party, you can leave out the alcohol.

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!

Klaus

Having worked overseas for years, Klaus Brunner came back home to explore Tirol with camera and microphone in tow. Home is where your heart is.

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