Buchty na páře/parené buchty

parene buchty

Have you ever eaten a Chinese steamed pork bun? Imagine a sweet version, and you pretty much have buchty na páře (in Czech) or parené buchty (in Slovak). Instead of spicy meat, the fillings here are usually jam, sweetened poppy seeds, sweetened cheese (tvaroh), or chocolate. Buchty na páře just means steamed buchty, and buchty are, well, what they are – a kind of soft bread roll. (It’s pronounced something like book-tee, say the ch softly like in Loch Ness.) There are also baked buchty, which maybe we’ll cover another time. The dough itself is quite soft, and develops a rather tough, chewy skin while it steams.

steamed dumplings before steaming

That sounds a little unappetizing, doesn’t it? But it’s delicious, I promise! They’re usually served topped with vegetable oil, sugar, and cocoa powder that you stir together as you eat to make a chocolate syrup. Yes, initially I was kind of put off by the idea of pouring oil directly on my food and used melted butter, which for whatever reason seemed more palatable, but ten years in Central Europe and now I’m totally fine with dousing foodstuffs in oil. Of course there’s no reason why you couldn’t use ready-made chocolate syrup or any other topping, really, but at least once you should try saying “slather some oil on my buchty, baby”.

filling the dumplings with jam

Buchty na páře/parené buchty
Ingredients

  • 1 cup/ 2.4 dl milk
  • 3 cups/280 grams flour
  • 1 sachet instant yeast (7 grams)
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg

For the filling:

  • jam, Nutella, or mini chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup poppyseeds ground together with 1/3 cup sugar

Method

  • Heat the milk until it is almost boiling (“scald” it; this makes the yeast work better). Set it aside to cool. Meanwhile, mix together the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. When the milk has cooled to lukewarm, pour it into the dry ingredients and mix. Add the egg and mix well with a wooden spoon or your hands; the dough will be very soft, but it should come together. If it’s too wet to work with, add a little flour.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place about an hour, or until doubled.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place about an hour, or until doubled.
  • In the meantime, prepare your steaming equipment. We have a flat-bottomed steaming insert for our big pasta pot, but any type of steamer works, including the kind that open like a flower. Brush some oil over the steamer, as the buchty can stick during cooking, and put a few inches of water in the bottom of a pot big enough to hold the steamer. I usually turn the water on while I’m making the buchty so they can cook straight away.
  • When the dough has doubled in bulk, turn it out onto a (very) well-floured surface and roll out to about a quarter-inch (0.5 cm) thickness. Cut into squares that are about 4 inches (10 cm) square, 3 inches (8 cm) if you want smaller buchty. Larger buchty are more authentic but smaller ones may be more practical if you’re serving them as a dessert. Dollop about a teaspoon of filling into the center of a square, then gather up the edges and pinch to seal at the top, making a rounded sort of package. Continue adding filling and making the buchty until you’ve used all the squares.
  • Now you’re ready to steam! Carefully place several buchty into the steamer; don’t crowd them, they’ll expand somewhat while cooking and can stick together. If you haven’t already, turn on the heat and once the water is boiling, put the steamer into the pot, cover and cook the buchty for 8-10 minutes and have developed a firm, slightly translucent skin. Using tongs or a couple of forks, gently lift the buchty out of the steamer and place them on plates to serve. You should cook all the buchty now, but you can freeze any that you don’t want to eat right away, and just steam them again (or even microwave them) to heat them through.

To serve

  • Valerian’s family tops buchty with a spoonful of cocoa powder, a heaping spoonful of granulated sugar, and then pours oil over the top. As you eat, you swirl the toppings together, delicious!

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3 Responses

  1. No, no oil please… Only melted butter in our family! A LOT of melted butter… I love your recipes, this blog is exactly what I’m asking my mum to do for a few years – to put together her everyday cooking (like paprikas, langose, halusky…). Well, parene buchty are not everyday cooking, as you spend a whole day by preparation, but then you can put them into freezer (cooked). My preferred are with walnuts or poppyseeds, and always filled with plum jam. It’s a pity that for French (where I live) this can be only a desert, no way to make them eat something sweet as main course (sniff).

  2. Yum! Thanks for posting! My grandma used to make them without filling and served them in melted butter with walnuts and sugar. She also made a plum filling version that she baked instead of steamed.

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