Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes

Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes
Chef Ilona Szabo Reveals The Secrets of Hungarian Cooking

Tuesday, August 9, 2011



                              Bukta Photograph Courtesy of Barbara Rolek

Lekváros Bukta – or Hungarian Jam-Filled Sweet Rolls are in fashion again! This is a real Hungarian speciality. Bukta are oven-baked dumplings, made from a sweet yeast dough, sometimes served plain, but more often than not, filled with thick jam preserves. Bukta are a rather highly esteemed sweet dessert and are traditionally made all year round and available in countless variations with infinite possibilities for fillings.  They are baked in a large pan so that they stick together.

This recipe has always been a favourite of mine, since I was a little girl and allowed to help in the kitchen with cooking and baking in my mother’s Hungarian kitchen. The treat in the lunchbox was always a special surprise as well.  This recipe is especially old and secret family one. My mom filled them with thick preserves (Lekvar) plum or apricot or ground walnuts, poppy seeds and even farmer’s cottage cheese Túró.  The most popular filling appears to be the thick plum or apricot jam. Bukta are topped with powdered sugar or eaten plain and warm, but it get’s better, enjoy them with piping-hot vanilla home-made Devon custard.

This sweet delight is pronounced, "buukta” and oddly enough, the name means to “spill or fall out - haphazzardly”.  When the rolls are just out of the oven, they are flipped or spilled out from the baking sheet onto a pastry board. Letting them spill out means “Ki-bukni” They are enjoyed straight from the oven, when they are as fluffy as a baby goose down pillow or cold, or in my case, frozen. (left-overs get hidden in the freezer)

Originally, Buchteln were a Bohemian sweet dish. However, in the course of time they have become part of the traditional Austrian-Bavarian cuisine. Although we would like to claim them as truly Hungarian, and as is true of many of our Hungarian desserts which have their roots in Austrian dishes – we find that those Austrian roots go back to Bohemian roots (regions of the Czech Republic). These rolls in Slovenian are called buhteljni and in Czech buchty. And having said that, although considered home-dessert fair, one of the most famous Austrian Buchteln are served in the Café Hawelka in Vienna

Although many recipes for Bukta use a bready dough, my mother – Chef Helen Szabo uses a basic sweet dough prepared from sour cream. This versatile and very forgiving and workable sweet dough recipe is soft and silky and can be used for Cinnamon Buns and Braided Raisin Bread and of course – this special treat that I am sure you will enjoy –Bukta.

Yeast Proofing
2 Packets Active Dry Yeast
½ cup milk (lukewarm)
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp flour

Basic Sweet Dough
4 cups flour
4 egg yolks
½ cup milk (lukewarm)
1 cup sour cream
1½ tsp vanilla extract
1 stick sweet butter
½ tsp salt

Ground walnut meat
Ground poppyseeds
Apricot jam
Plum jam
Cottage cheese (farmers)

Extra Ingredients
1 stick sweet butter, melted (for brushing)
1 egg, beaten (brushing) (or whole milk)
Castor or icing sugar (for dusting)

(Yield between 26-32 rolls)
DIRECTIONS: In a medium bowl, combine yeast, sugar and lukewarm milk. Sprinkle with flour and let proof (about 20 minutes). Blend all other ingredients together, and then add yeast and remaining milk to form a soft dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume (about 45-60 min)

Remove dough from bowl and roll out onto floured surface to 2.2” thick. With a pizza roll cutter, cut dough into 2.5” X 2.5” squares (or smaller if you prefer) and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Place jam or preferred filling into a ziplock bag so you can pipe it right onto the squares.  Cut off plastic end and squeeze out about 1 tablespoon’s worth onto each piece. Alternately you can use 2 spoons to fill each square. When complete, brush parchment sheet with melted butter. Roll up the dough rolls and then place them rather snugly in rows onto a parchment lined baking sheet. 

When complete, generously brush rolls with melted butter so they won’t stick together. Cover and let sweet rolls rise for another 30 minutes until almost doubled in size. Finally, brush with beaten egg to create a light golden shiny crust. Bake in a pre-heated at 350oF for 25-35 minutes or until golden. Remove immediately from oven.  Let rest for about 5 minutes – then flip out onto a cutting board. Place sweet rolls onto a plate and dust immediately with icing sugar and serve piping hot.  For a special dessert –serve with hot vanilla Devon custard below.
Vanilla Custard
½ cup cream
¼ cup milk
1 vanilla bean
½ cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch

Bring milk, cream, sugar and vanilla bean to boil. Add starch. Whisk well sauce thickens. Beat with a whisk for about 5 minutes. Serve hot over Bukta!

For more Secrets of Hungarian Cooking - please visit our website to own your own copy of the famous
Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes - by Clara Margaret Czegeny and Chef Helen Szabo-Czegeny

For more recipes and photos...
Helens Hungarian Heritage Recipes TM

Bukta Photograph Courtesy of Barbara Rolek  - For Complete Story - follow the link below.

Barbara Rolek,  Eastern European Food Guide, About.Com


Mary Graff said...

LEKVÁROS BUKTA sound perfect for the cool mornings ahead--great for a weekend brunch.

Betty said...

These sound fabulous! If you put a tbsp of jam on a 2.5inch square, doesn't it all ooze out when you roll it up? Not getting the technique, but would love to try these!


Hi Betty - thank you for your question. The traditional Hungarian jams are not liquidy. The apricot and plum jams are very thick and called lekvar. They never run out but end up creamy and delicious. If you go to my website and contact me, I will gladly send you the recipe for the fillings. Blessings Clara