Sunday, September 25, 2016

Buchta with Nuts and Raisins

In his photo book Journeys into Czech Moravian Texas, author Sean N. Gallup wrote a few paragraphs about food in contemporary Texas- Czech culture. During his fieldwork, he observed "Other Texas-Czech pastries [besides kolaches] include klobasniky.... and buchta, a larger fruit filled loaf.... " (Texas A&M University Press, 1998).

Though my grandmother made an apricot buchta (or she just called it a roll), more common buchty might be poppyseed or cream cheese. Less common seems to be the buchta I've made filled with nuts and raisins. The Czech word "buchta" doesn't seem to be surviving as well as the word "kolach" either, for though Gallup mentions it third in a list of common Texas Czech pastries, I've found it almost impossible to find a recipe in a community cookbook that actually uses the word buchta. Instead, I find recipes for "rolls".  Still, Westfest actually has a buchta category in it's annual baking contest. And poppyseed buchty and cheese buchty can be found in true Texas czech bakeries next to the kolaches, klobasniky, and strudels (but they're called "rolls.")

The recipe I use for the nut-filled pastry came to me from my first cousin once removed, Dorothy (Morkovsky) Fischer, and she does call the pastry a buchta. (Photo of us below at this year's Morkovsky reunion in Hallettsville.)


Dorothy's recipe is her mother's recipe, from my great aunt Mille (Bordovsky) Morkovsky (below).

My great uncle and aunt, Emil and Millie (Bordovsky) Morkovsky.
I personally think a nut buchta is a good replacement for a coffee cake on a weekend morning.  It takes almost an hour and a half of mostly continuous work from warming the milk to putting the buchty in the oven. So, if you're like me and wake up crazy early in the morning whether it's the weekend or not, it's a great thing to get done before the other members of your household are stirring.

Buchta

Dough
1 envelope dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup salted butter, melted, but not hot
1 egg, beaten
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Warm the milk to between 105 and 110 degrees and pour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and add the sugar. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and set it in a warm place. Let the mixture sit until the yeast proofs (foamy on top). Stir and add the melted margarine, beaten egg, that salt and the flour. Mix well with the stand mixer. You may need to add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Cover the bowl, set it back in a warm place, and let it double in size.



While the dough is rising, prepare the filling ingredients and have them ready to sprinkle onto your rolled out dough.


Filling
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans (I used the 6 oz. bag of HEB brand Organic Texas Pecan Pieces)
1 1/2 cups raisins, soaked in hot water and then drained
cinnamon (to taste)
sugar (to taste)
coconut (to taste)
vanilla (to taste)
posipka (recipe below)

Posipka
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup melted salted butter

Combine the flour and sugar well. Add the melted butter and use your hands to combine the three ingredients into a crumbly mixture.

When the dough has doubled in size, brush a jelly roll pan (baking pan with a lip around it) with melted butter. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Turn the dough out onto a well floured counter top and knead it for a couple of minutes.  Separate the dough into two portions. Roll one portion out into a rectangle a little shorter than the length of your baking pan.


Brush the dough with melted butter. Sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon, sugar, vanilla, posipka, coconut, half the pecans, and half the raisins. Drizzle with melted butter.



Roll the dough up jelly roll style, pinching the ends closed as you roll.


Lay the buchta seam side down on one side of your buttered pan. Repeat the process with the other half of the dough. Brush both buchty with melted butter and sprinkle the tops with posipka.  Let them rise in a warm place until puffy.



Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Brush them again with butter when you take them out of the oven. Let cool and then slice into 1" slices.

The process photos above were taken by my budding photographer son, Dougal, who doesn't like nuts or raisins, so wouldn't taste my beautiful creation. He can, however, eat an entire cream cheese buchta by himself. I have a recipe for that in a previous post here.

And I ran across a marvelous blog post about growing up with a Czech grandmother with a recipe for poppyseed buchta here.

2 comments:

  1. I can almost smell it baking already. Beautiful post with great instructions. Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mom. I have one in the freezer for Thanksgiving. :)

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