Buchteln (Jam-Filled Buns)

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Called Buchteln in Austria and Rohrnudeln in Bavaria, these are sweet, soft buns filled with a pocket of jam.  They’re pretty addictive, especially fresh from the oven, and well worth the time it takes to make yeasted dough.

Baking note:

  • I recommend measuring the ingredients by weight.

Original recipe


Buchteln (Jam-Filled Buns)
From LilVienna

Yield: 12 buns

  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (150 ml) warm milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (5 g) active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons (40 g) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 ½ tablespoons (77g) melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 325 g (about 2 ½ cups) all-purpose flour
  • About 5 tablespoons apricot jam with fine texture (no chunks)
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter for the pan
  • Confectioners sugar for dusting


  1. In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk and set it aside for 10 minutes for the yeast to dissolve and activate.
  2. Stir in sugar, egg, melted (lightly cooled) butter, vanilla, and salt with a hand whisk.
  3. Stir in about 1 ½ cups (200 g) of the flour to get a thick batter and stir vigorously with the whisk until no lumps remain.  Use a sturdy (wooden) cooking spoon to gradually stir in the rest of the flour.
  4. When all ingredients come together, fold the edges into the center for a couple of minutes. Keep your dough in the mixing bowl for that. The dough will be sticky, but refrain from adding more flour. It helps if you oil your clean hands before you knead a sticky dough. Knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.
  5. Let the dough rise, covered at warm room temperature until doubled in volume (about 3/4 to 1 hour).
  6. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 12 equal parts.  It is easiest to do this by weight.  Keep pieces you don’t need right away covered.
  7. Fold the edges of each piece into the middle a couple of times so you will get a nice ball with a smooth surface on the bottom side. Flatten each ball with your palm to a circle with a diameter of 3 to 3 ½ inch, keeping the center slightly thicker than the edges. Usually this part works without using any additional flour. If the dough keeps sticking to your countertop, add some.
  8. Put 1 teaspoon of apricot jam (not more) in the center of every circle. Wrap the dough around the filling, pinching and sealing it tightly. Round the buns again, creating a bit of surface tension. If you use too much filling, it’s difficult to seal them. Also avoid getting jam onto your edges, because this way it is almost impossible to seal them.  Put every Buchtel with the sealed side down onto a lightly floured surface until you have finished filling all of them.

    Troubleshooting: If you do get jam near your edges, remove it with a paper towel before you try to seal them. If the jam oozes out while pinching, clean your jammy hands and dough, and try to pinch it again. If this doesn’t work and you are close to throwing the whole Buchtel away, pinch off some dough of another unworked piece, flatten it and generously put this layer of dough atop the problematic area.  Try to seal it tightly and place it, seam side down, in the pan. You can just bake it in a paper lined muffin tin, seam side down.

  9. Melt about 2 ½ tablespoons butter (you might need a little more) in a small bowl. Brush a baking pan (such as an oval 11″ x 7″ ceramic pan or 9″ round glass dish) with melted butter, just until coated.
  10. Arrange Buchteln in the pan and brush each bun with remaining melted butter.  You can do this tightly packed (traditional way) or give them a little, but not too much space. They will still rise during the second proofing and baking. If you feel there are too many of them, you can place the remaining ones in a lined muffin tin.
  11. Let them proof a second time for about 20-30 minutes at warm room temperature until puffy. It is best to cover the whole pan with a lid or cling wrap in this step. If you have a rather shallow pan, don’t cover the Buchteln, since they will stick to the plastic wrap. If you couldn’t cover them and they seem kind of dry before baking, you can brush them another time with melted butter.
  12. Bake them at 375 °F in the preheated oven (center) for about 25 minutes (minimum 20 minutes). When they are golden-brown in color, take them out of the oven.
  13. Let the Buchteln cool for 5-10 minutes and serve them dusted with confectioner’s sugar. Enjoy!



Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

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I thought these rolls were amazing – soft, tender, just a little sweet.  The pumpkin flavor doesn’t come through, but the puree does give the rolls a nice color.  Although I didn’t try it, the original recipe suggests adding a couple pinches of cinnamon or nutmeg if you want to boost the pumpkin taste.

Original recipe


Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
From Woks of Life

Yield: 16 rolls

  • 1/2 cup (about 120 grams) pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup (158 ml) heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) milk, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (115 grams) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (70 grams) cake flour
  • 3 1/2 cups (500 grams) bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon (11 grams) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) salt
  • Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
  • A large handful of raw pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • Simple syrup (optional): 2 teaspoons of sugar dissolved in 2 teaspoons hot water


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add ingredients in the following order: pumpkin puree, heavy cream, milk, egg, sugar, cake flour, bread flour, yeast, and salt.  I highly recommend measuring the flour by weight to get the right amount.  If you don’t have a kitchen scale, make sure to tap the measuring cup against a hard surface to ensure there are no air pockets.
  2. Turn the mixer on to the lowest setting, and let it go for 15 minutes, stopping occasionally to push the dough down off the hook.  The dough is very stiff, especially at first.  If you’re in a humid climate and the dough is too sticky, feel free to add a little more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If you don’t have a mixer and would like to knead the dough by hand, extend the kneading time by 10 minutes.
  3. After 15 minutes of mixing, the dough is ready for proofing.  It should not feel tacky when you touch it.  Cover the bowl with a damp towel, and place in a warm spot for 1 hour.  The dough will grow to 1.5 times its original size.
  4. In the meantime, grease a square 11″ x 11″ pan or 9″ x 13″ pan on all sides with a stick of cold butter or cooking spray.
  5. After an hour of proofing, put the dough back in the mixer and stir for another 5 minutes on the lowest setting to get rid of any air bubbles.
  6. Next, divide the dough into 16 equal pieces on a lightly floured surface, ideally using a kitchen scale.
  7. Shape each piece of dough into a smooth ball and arrange them in a 4×4 grid in the pan.  In an 11″ x 11″ pan, the balls will have about half an inch of space between them on all sides.  In a 9″ x 13″ pan, the balls will be touching along the shorter direction and have about an inch of space between them in the long direction.
  8. Cover and proof for another hour until the buns grow to 1.5 times their original size.
  9. Prepare egg wash.
  10. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350ºF.  Brush the risen dough with egg wash, and sprinkle with the raw pumpkin seeds (if using).
  11. Bake for 16-18 minutes until the tops are golden brown.
  12. Prepare simple syrup.
  13. Take the buns out of the oven and immediately brush them with the sugar water to give them a nice shine and sweetness.  Serve warm.
  14. To store, put in covered container and microwave briefly before serving.



If you don’t live near a good bagel shop or if you just enjoy a challenge, these bagels are really fun to make and taste great.

To mix home-made high-gluten flour, we combined 98% King Arthur bread flour with 2% Bob’s Red Mill wheat gluten (which said it was 75-80% gluten) by weight.  Although I rarely weigh out my ingredients, this recipe is a lot simpler if you use a kitchen scale!

Original recipe


Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Yield: 12 bagels

For sponge:

  • 1 teaspoon (0.11 oz) instant yeast OR active dry yeast
  • 4 cups (18 oz) unbleached high-gluten flour OR bread flour OR home-made high-gluten flour (see above)
  • 2 1/2 (20 oz) cups warm water

For dough

  • 1/2 teaspoon (0.055 oz) instant yeast OR active dry yeast
  • 3 3/4 cups (17 oz) unbleached high-gluten flour OR bread flour OR home-made high-gluten flour (see above)
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons (0.7 oz) salt
  • 2 teaspoons (0.33 oz) malt powder OR 1 tablespoon (0.5 oz) dark or light malt syrup, honey, or brown sugar

To Finish:

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • Cornmeal or semolina flour for dusting baking sheets
  • Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, kosher salt, rehydrated dried minced garlic or onions, ground cinnamon, etc.


Day 1:

  1. To make the sponge, stir the yeast into the flour in a 4-quart mixing bowl.
  2. Add the water, whisking or stirring only until it forms a smooth, sticky batter (like pancake batter).
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the mixture becomes very foamy and bubbly.  It should swell to nearly double in size and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the counter.
  4. To make the dough, in the same mixing bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer), add the additional yeast to the sponge and stir.
  5. Then add 3 cups of the flour and all of the salt and malt.
  6. Stir (or mix on low speed with the dough hook) until the ingredients form a ball, slowly working in the remaining 3/4 cup flour to stiffen the dough.
  7. Transfer the dough to the counter and knead for at least 10 minutes (or for 6 minutes by machine). The dough should be firm, stiffer than French bread dough, but still pliable and smooth. There should be no raw flour – all ingredients should be hydrated. The dough should pass the windowpane test. If the dough seems dry and rips, add a few drops of water and continue kneading. If the dough seems tacky or sticky, add more flour to achieve the stiffness required. The kneaded dough should feel satiny and pliable but not be tacky.
  8. Immediately divide the dough into 12 (4.5-oz) pieces and form them into balls.
  9. Cover the balls with a damp towel and allow them to rest for approximately 20 minutes.
  10. Line 2 sheet pans with baking parchment and mist lightly with spray oil.
  11. Poke a hole in a ball of bagel dough and gently rotate your thumb around the inside of the hole to widen it to approximately 2.5 inches in diameter. The dough should be as evenly stretched as possible (try to avoid thick and thin spots.)
  12. Place each of the shaped pieces 2 inches apart on the pans. Mist the bagels very lightly with the spray oil and slip each pan into a food-grade plastic bag, or cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the pans sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
  13. Place pan in refrigerator overnight (it can stay in the refrigerator for up to 2 days).

Day 2:

  1. Position racks to divide oven into thirds and preheat to 500ºF.  While oven preheats, bring a large pot of water to a boil (the wider the pot the better; it doesn’t have to be very deep), and add the baking soda.  Have a slotted spoon or skimmer nearby.
  2. Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop them into the water, boiling only as many as comfortably fit (they should float within 10 seconds). After 1 minute, flip them over and boil for another minute.
  3. While the bagels are boiling, sprinkle the same parchment-lined sheet pans with cornmeal or semolina flour.  (If you decide to replace the paper, be sure to spray the new paper lightly with spray oil to prevent the bagels from sticking to the surface.)
  4. If you want to top the bagels, do so as soon as they come out of the water.  You can use any of the suggestions in the ingredients list or a combination thereof.
  5. When all the bagels have been boiled, bake bagels for approximately 5 minutes, then rotate the pans, switching shelves and giving the pans a 180º rotation.  (If you are baking only 1 pan, keep it on the center shelf but still rotate 180º.)
  6. After the rotation, continue baking for 5-10 minutes, or until the bagels turn light golden brown. You may bake them darker if you prefer.
  7. Remove the pans from the oven and let the bagels cool on a rack for 15 minutes or longer before serving.

Quick and Easy Pizza Crust


The beauty of making pizza at home is that you can customize it to your heart’s content.  This pizza dough is quick and easy to make (probably the most complicated step is rolling it out), and the spices make it particularly fragrant and delicious.

Original recipe


Quick and Easy Pizza Crust
Adapted from All Recipes

Yield: 12-13″ pizza crust

  • 1 (.25-oz) package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (110ºF if you want to be precise; I just stick my finger in it to check that it feels warm)
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning  (I use McCormick’s Perfect Pinch blend, which doesn’t have salt)


  1. Preheat oven to 450ºF.  Lightly grease a pizza pan, if it is not non-stick.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water.
  3. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in salt, Italian seasoning, and oil.
  5. Stir in flour and mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes.  If the dough feels sticky or tacky, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough should feel soft and smooth to the touch.
  6. Let dough rest in bowl for 5 minutes.
  7. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round.
  8. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out dough into a 12-13″ circle.
  9. Transfer crust to pizza pan and spread with desired toppings.
  10. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
  11. Let baked pizza cool for 5 minutes before serving.



This recipe is very straightforward and reliable.  It doesn’t require kneading or special tools.  It’s also remarkably difficult to mess up – even if you don’t do all the steps correctly, the bread still turns out well.  We discovered that it goes well with ribs, because you can use it to soak up any extra sauce.

Baking note: The bread takes 2 days to make: 1 hour the first day, and another 3 hours 40 minutes the second day.


Adapted from Peter Reinhardt

Yield: 1 loaf

  • 284g (2 1/4 cups) bread OR all-purpose flour
  • 227g (1 cup) warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil


Day 1:  Takes about 1 hr

  1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well (stir with wooden spoon).
  2. Repeat 4-5 times:
    1. Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm place.
    2. Wait 10 min.
    3. Lightly oil a work surface and wet your hands so they don’t stick to the dough as much.
    4. Remove dough from bowl and fold in thirds like a letter.
    5. Rotate 90º and fold in thirds like a letter again. The dough will be extremely wet and gloopy at first.
    6. Return to bowl with folds facing down.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for ~23 hours.


Day 2: Start at the same time as day 1, takes about 3 hrs 40 min

  1. Take dough out of fridge and set it in a warm place.
  2. Wait 1 hour.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and liberally flour it.
  4. Transfer dough gently to paper.  Try not to degas it, but it’s okay if it happens.
  5. Dust top of dough and hands with flour, and gently coax dough into rectangle shape.
  6. Fold like a letter, gently.
  7. Place seam down on parchment.
  8. Wait 2 hours.  Halfway through, preheat oven to 500ºF.  (You won’t bake the bread at this temperature, but it will help offset the temperature drop when you open the oven to put the dough in.)
  9. Reduce heat to 425ºF.  Quickly put baking sheet into oven. Bake for 12 minutes.
  10. Rotate baking sheet.
  11. Bake 15-20 more until bread is golden brown all over and sounds hollow when tapped.

Flour’s Famous Banana Bread


The toasted walnuts in this banana bread recipe from Flour Bakery in Boston really enhance the flavor.  Toasting the nuts first really makes a big difference and is well worth the extra 10 minutes.

Original recipe


Flour’s Famous Banana Bread
Adapted from Joanne Chang

Yield: 9″ x 5″ loaf pan

  • 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2-3/4 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you want it
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3-4 bananas, very ripe, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour


  1. Spread walnuts in the pan of a toaster oven and toast at 350ºF for 8-10 minutes.  Let cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper, or line entire pan with aluminum foil.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugar and eggs with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes.  (You could do it by hand too.)
  4. Beat in oil, mashed bananas, creme fraiche or sour cream, and vanilla.
  5. Beat in baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  6. Mix in flour just until blended.
  7. Fold in nuts.
  8. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  A thin knife inserted in the center should come out clean.

Chinese Hot Dog Buns


I’ve found that Chinese hot dog buns are great travel foods – you can pack them for a long car ride or plane flight.  They’re also good for lunch in general.  Of course you can find them in any Chinese bakery, but if you don’t live near one, now you can make them yourself.  The advantage to that is picking your favorite type of hot dog.  I prefer Hebrew International’s 97% Fat-Free Beef Franks…because they seem a little healthier.

Original recipe

Chinese Hot Dog Buns
Adapted from Woks of Life

For the bread:

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream, at room temperature or slightly warm
  • 1 cup+1 tablespoon milk, at room temperature or slightly warm
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose OR cake flour, tap measuring cup to avoid air pockets
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour, tap measuring cup to avoid air pockets
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

For the filling:

  • 12 hot dogs
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For the egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water

For the simple syrup (optional):

  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons hot water


  1. Fit a stand mixer with the dough hook.  In the bowl of the mixer, add heavy cream, milk, egg, sugar, all-purpose OR cake flour, bread flour, yeast, and salt, in that order.
  2. Stir them together with a wooden spoon until all the flour is moistened.  This way flour won’t fly everywhere when you turn on the mixer.
  3. Set mixer on “stir” for 15 minutes, occasionally stopping the mixer to push the dough together.  It will feel somewhat sticky.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until the dough grows to 1.5 times its original size.
  5. While the dough proofs, heat oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add hot dogs and allow them to crisp slightly.  (I found out the hard way that this step seals juices inside the hot dogs so they don’t make the surrounding dough soggy.)
  6. Line a plate with paper towel to absorb excess oil and put hot dogs on it to cool.
  7. After dough finishes proofing, return it to the mixer and stir for another 5 minutes to get rid of air bubbles.
  8. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or with aluminum foil.  If using foil, spray it with cooking spray.
  9. Flour a work surface, turn dough onto it, and cut it into 12 equal pieces.
  10. Roll each piece into a 12-14 inch rope, keeping the middle thicker than the ends.
  11. Roll each rope around a hot dog, tucking in the ends. Repeat until you have 12 hot dog buns.
  12. Place buns on baking sheet, spacing 2-3 inches apart.  Cover lightly with a kitchen towel or paper towel.
  13. Let buns proof in a warm spot for 1 hour, until they almost double in size.  After 45 minutes of proofing, position racks to divide the oven in thirds and preheat to 350ºF.
  14. Whisk egg with water to make egg wash.
  15. When buns finish rising, remove kitchen or paper towel and brush buns with egg wash.
  16. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown in color.  Rotate pans halfway through baking.
  17. If desired, dissolve sugar in hot water to make simple syrup.
  18. Remove pans from oven.  If using the simple syrup, brush buns with it to make them shiny and sweet.  (I skipped this part and the bread tasted good anyway.)  The buns taste best the first day.  If they last any longer, you can store them in the freezer in a Ziploc bag.  Defrost overnight and toast briefly.