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What are Buchteln?

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  • Written By: T. Carrier
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 25 September 2016
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Buchteln are a popular form of European pastry. These baked goods have many names: ofennudel, rohmudel, einback, and German brioche. They may be served either plain or with a sweet sauce or jam. The additions can be poured atop the bread or used as fillings.

Dumplings, or baked portions of dough, represent a common classification of buchteln. The dish may be further defined as sweet dumplings, due to a sweet, sugary taste. Some individuals also add vanilla-based sauces or fruit jams atop or inside the breads. The finished product typically has a gold or light brown color and a soft texture. In addition, the dumplings are often baked in a manner that facilitates them joining together, thus creating one continuous bread that can be separated upon serving.

Although buchteln recipes contain some variations in ingredients and cooking styles, certain substances are commonplace in most dishes. These include yeast, flour and sugar. Milk, eggs, and butter are also used. Any fillings or substances poured on the dish may require additional ingredients, such as vanilla and milk or cream. Two types of jams frequently used with buchteln are plum and lekvar jam; the latter is a thick, buttery form of jam made with ripe fruits.

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A historical part of the Czech Republic known as Bohemia can claim credit for creating buchteln. As time has passed, the dish has become a fixture of cuisines in central European countries, especially Austria, Hungary, and Germany. One famous distributor of the sweet bread is the Café Havelka, located in Austria’s capital of Vienna.

Since buchteln are baked goods with a raised flour and yeast base, they are a natural component of the pastry tradition. In contrast to many of their pastry counterparts made primarily in specialty bakeries, these baked treats boast a relatively easy creation process. While the breads may occasionally be served as a main course, they are also commonly found on breakfast and dessert menus. Breakfast meals in particular are a primary focus of cuisines in central Europe.

This sweet bread shares many similarities with other popular Austrian and Hungarian pastries as well. For example, the Apfelstrudel, or apple strudel, is another form of pastry with layers of fruit filling. Likewise, Palatschinken and Kaiserschmarrn are pancake-like pastries with sweet fillings, also reminiscent of buchteln. Portions of buchteln can even be incorporated into a popular Hungarian cake known as Arany galushka.

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