In the Czech kitchen: Mini buns with vanilla custard are a childhood favorite

The sentimental value of 'buchtičky se šodó' is nearly as sweet as its comforting aroma and flavor of vanilla, sugar, and butter.

Ambiente

Written by Ambiente Published on 31.05.2024 14:14:00 (updated on 14.06.2024) Reading time: 3 minutes

International Children’s Day is here, which can only mean one thing – it’s time to whip up a sweet meal cherished by all Czech children (and their parents!). If you don’t have kids, fear not. We promise you’ll fall in love with these irresistible mini-yeasted buns drizzled with creamy vanilla custard.

One of Prague’s oldest confectionery shops, Myšák, where Buchtičky se šodó is a menu staple, hosts an annual Children’s Day workshop on June 1, where kids can learn how to fill cream rolls, decorate muffins, make marzipan animals, and sample the ice cream and sprinkles station.

Lukáš Pohl, head pastry chef at Myšák shared his recipe for making buchtičky se šodó at home as well as his thoughts on this beloved Czech classic: "Some dishes carry immense sentimental value, evoking childhood memories, whether from the school cafeteria or visits to grandma's house. This is one of those dishes."

Mini yeast buns with creamy vanilla custard

ingredients (buns)

For the buns
620 g of sifted plain flour
250 ml lukewarm milk
32 g yeast (fresh)
75 g semolina sugar
5 g salt
grated rind of one lemon (not chemically treated)
2 small eggs
4 cl rum (or rum extract)
140 g butter + 50 g melted butter for dipping the buns
For spreading
Butter and honey in a 1:1 ratio
Rum or extract, to taste

Instructions

  • 1.Place the flour in a bowl and create a well in the center. Pour in the lukewarm milk and crumble in the yeast.
  • 2.Stir in the sugar and salt, ensuring they do not come into direct contact with the yeast. Remember, salt can slow down yeast activity and hinder the rising process.
  • 3.Add the lemon zest, rum, egg, and finally the butter.
  • 4.In a food processor, knead the ingredients for 10 minutes until a smooth dough forms and the gluten is activated. Then, increase the speed slightly and continue kneading for an additional 5 minutes until the dough tightens.
  • 5.Transfer the processed dough onto a floured surface, cover it with a bowl or damp cloth, and let it rest for 20 minutes.
  • 6.Divide the dough into 80 g portions and roll them out. Then, roll each portion into a log, cut into 10 equally sized pieces, and reshape each piece by rolling again. This helps to firm up the dough and allows it to absorb oxygen, facilitating better yeast activity and rising of the buns.
  • 7.Dip the prepared dough balls into melted butter, arrange them side by side on a baking sheet (leaving slight gaps between each), and cover them with a damp cloth. Allow them to rise until approximately doubled in volume.
  • 8.Preheat the oven to 165°C (325°F) and bake the risen buns until they turn golden brown, which usually takes about 45 minutes.
  • 9.Once baked, brush the buns immediately with a mixture of melted butter, honey, and rum for added flavor and shine.

Ingredients (Sauce)

1 l of whole milk
45 g cornstarch
175 g sugar
¼ vanilla pod
4 large egg yolks
250 ml cream
20 ml rum (or rum extract, or apple juice)

  • 1.Pour 100 ml of milk into a separate bowl and stir in the cornstarch until smooth.
  • 2.In a saucepan, bring the remaining milk to a boil along with the sugar and vanilla pod.
  • 3.Once the flavored milk reaches a boil, gradually pour the cornstarch mixture into the pot and boil briefly. Be careful not to overcook the cornstarch; a minute of boiling is sufficient. Overcooking may affect the sauce's taste and texture.
  • 4.Remove the saucepan from the heat. Pastry chefs typically wait for any foam to disappear from the liquid's surface.
  • 5.Gently whisk the egg yolks and slowly pour them into the milk, stirring constantly. Be cautious, as warm liquid can cause the eggs to curdle, resulting in an undesirable flavor. Similarly, cold milk won't pasteurize the yolks. Aim for a pot temperature of around 80°C to avoid these issues.
  • 6.Finally, add the cold cream and rum to the mixture, stirring thoroughly. Strain the mixture through a fine colander to remove the vanilla pod and any egg strands.
  • 7.Serve the buns in a deep plate in a pool of the of custard. Each serving typically requires around 400 g of sauce.

In the Czech Kitchen is a weekly column written in cooperation with Ambiente's culinary experts. Established in 1995, the Prague-based collective of pubs, restaurants, and fine-dining outlets has transformed the Czech culinary landscape and contributed to the widespread awareness of quality food service and production in Czechia. Follow their socials or book your table at www.ambi.cz.

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