Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Voisilmäpulla - Finnish "butter eye" bun

Tomorrow I visit my son's class to make a short presentation about Finland. Nah.. No culture can be truly experienced without tasting some of its culinary flavors, isn't it? :)
Plus, I'm sure the kids' won't mind. ;)

I chose to bake the voisilmäpulla because of two very simple reasons.
1) It doesn't contain much of anything to cause allergies, so even if there are kids allergic to nuts, this should be fine (not gluten or egg free though..)
2) I promised to bring some to the Vappu celebration at the Finnish house in Balboa park, and it is always nice to have a first trial with a less critical outcome.

Good enough reasons to bake, don't you agree?
I haven't made them ever here, neither in Finland, though of course I ate them at several famous "two o'clock Finnish coffee times" at Nokia.

The dough is the simple pullataikina, and I'm sure you will be fine with the half portion. Of course you can go for the whole portion and double buns, which of course I did, as there are 28 kids plus teachers, so 32 buns is the absolute minimum needed.

Ingredients (makes 16)
1/2 portion bun dough
60 g butter (1/2 stick) (for the middle)
50 g sugar (for the middle, add more if you have a sweet tooth)
1 egg for brushing

Ingredients (makes 32)
full portion bun dough
120 g butter (1 stick) (for the middle)
100 g sugar (for the middle)
1 egg for brushing

Prepare the dough. Let it rise for about 45 minutes, should grow to ~ double.
Divide it into two, make a thick roll and cut it into two, and again in two, to make all together 8 kinda equal portions. Repeat the cutting with the other half. Now take the small pieces of dough and work them in a smooth ball.
Place them on a tray with parchment paper, cover with a cloth and let them rise for additional 30 min.
Meanwhile take the additional butter out of the fridge and cut it into 16 (or 32) equal pieces.
Preheat the oven to 435 F, or 225 C.
Brush the top and side of the buns with the lightly beaten egg, press a hole in the middle and push one portion of butter in each hole.
On top add a small teaspoon of sugar. If you like them sweet add a larger teaspoon.

Bake the buns on the higher middle shelf for 10-15 min.
Place them on a rack for 1/2 min, and then cover with a cloth to keep the crust soft.

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