Today in Austria, treats known as buchteln often house a heart of plum, known as powidl or pflaumenmus.
In Central Europe or Eastern Europe, every year at the end of August, the women gather to patiently make this confit of plums which, in Jewish homes, is part of all the sweets placed on the tables of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, along with apple and quince.
However, unlike jams, the sweetness of this fruit confit does not come from any added sugar but from the concentration of the sugars of the ripe fruits obtained by cooking them for a long time at low temperature. In its most authentic form, a powidl never contains sugar.
But, throughout history, bakers have studded the center of these brioche-like buns with a variety of ingredients, from apricot preserves, chocolate to poppyseed paste…to lottery tickets!
In fact, during the Biedermeier era of the 19th century, a time during which Europe’s middle class expanded considerably, buchteln were referred to as “lotteries” because of their filling.
Despite the treat originated in the Bohemia region of Czech Republic, today Austrians consider the warm, fruit-filled dessert, often served fresh from the oven, a local classic.
Not by chance, the original word for the same treat, “buchty”, is the plural form of the word buchta, Czech for “small roll” or “small cake”.
Traditionally bakers press jam in the middle, then they place the dough side-by-side to create the finished bread’s pull-apart effect, baked together in a mold, almost glued to each other, to form a single bun after baking.
Flour, butter, milk, salt, yeast, eggs, and a little sugar, are the ingredients of the traditional version and, like a good French brioche, sometimes will be added a zest of lemon, rum, and vanilla.
Home cooks also turn plain, unfilled buchteln into a real dessert by serving them in a pool of vanilla cream.
In any case the fluffy rolls absorb whatever sauce they touch, so it’s best to avoid attempting this style with a ticket-filled version….
Images from web – Google Research