Friday, 01 November 2013 22:05

Truly Austrian food - baked yeast dumplings

Yes, they do have them in other countries and they are popular in Bavaria too, but to me they are truly Austrian - Buchteln - yeast dumplings baked in the oven.

After all they used to be made at the famous Café Hawelka in Vienna by Mrs. Hawelka herself - I suspect the hard work of beating that dough kept her fit to an old age. They are even mentioned in a song by a famous Austrian songwriter and I personally  had them every Friday - freshly baked by my mom during most of my childhood. In fact, I watched their making so many times, I still have very clear images in my mind of all the required utensils and steps.

A lot of Austrian food is baked in the oven and a lot of it is baked in a ‘Reindl’. When I make them nowadays, I usually use the easy (or lazy) version  with a dry yeast  kneaded dough version, but the ‘real’ version of  this wonderful Austrian food is by using fresh yeast and beating  the dough with a wooden spoon.

They can also be filled with plum jam or baked on a bed of thinly sliced  apples. Adding vanilla sauce is clearly a ‘modern twist’ to it - when I grew up we just had a cup of milk with them.

Ingredients for Buchteln - the quintessence of Austrian food

  • 500 g flour
  • 1 cube fresh yeast (about 40 grams)
  • 50 g sugar
  • 150 ml milk
  • 80g butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Flour for your working area
  • 100 g melted butter
  • 1 egg yolk with a few spoons of mild for brushing on top


- Pour flour into a large bowl, make a small indent in the middle, put yeast, a sprinkle of the sugar and dissolve with a few spoons of the warm milk

- Sprinkle some of the flour from the sides of the bowl lover the middle

- Cover with a cloth and let rest in a warm spot for about 15 minutes

- Mix butter with salt and eggs and add to the flour-yeast mix

- Beat thoroughly with a wooden spoon until the dough is smooth and forms small air bubbles on the surface

- Let rest for 1 hour

- Knead dough once more and roll into a strand

- Cut into pieces to form balls of about 25 dm diameter

- Roll in melted butter and place in a baking pan, leaving some space in between as they’ll rise again

- Cover once more and let rest for another 15 minutes

- Mix the egg yolk with milk and brush the mixture gently on top of your Buchteln

- Bake for 20-25 minutes at 200 °C

And even  if this is the only Austrian food you’ll ever make and even if you don’t speak German,  just because it’s so beautiful to watch…

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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