Steamed Buns with Cocoa and Jam

My earliest memories of Steamed Buns with Cocoa and Jam come from the time when I first became aware of what was put on the table. Buchty na pare, as these delicious buns are called in Slovak, is a classic dish that will probably never lose its appeal for children and sweet-toothed adults. At least here in Slovakia, a country that keeps ignoring the latest trends of cooking without flour.

As you might expect from its descriptive English name, Buchty na pare or Steamed Buns with Cocoa and Jam use yeast-leavened dough, but don’t let that put you off. The link in the recipe below will take you to a step-by-step guide of preparing it.

And yes – you’ll also need a steamer, or just a colander placed over a pot of boiling water. In the latter case, make sure the colander is the right size to fit in the pot but not to touch its bottom. Also, you’ll have to cover the pot with a lid or a suitable bowl to keep the steam in.

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Steamed Buns with Cocoa and Jam

Serves 4

For the dough:

  • 300 g fine flour (plain wheat combined with wholemeal in 2:1 ratio)
  • 200 ml milk
  • 21 g fresh yeast*
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

For the topping:

  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon castor sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (unsalted)
  • homemade jam as required
*If you can’t get hold of fresh yeast in your country, use the dried or instant one (21 g fresh = 7 g instant), and follow the instructions on the packet.

Method:

  1. To prepare yeast-leavened dough, follow the instructions here.
  2. When the dough has risen, transfer it onto a floured surface and roll out until it is 1 cm thick. As you’re doing so, dust your hands or the dough with flour whenever it feels sticky. With pastry cutters, cut out the buns and let them sit for 15 – 20 minutes to rise.
  3. Meanwhile, get the steamer ready. If you’re using the colander, fill the cooking pot with just enough water not to touch the holes of the colander when immersed. Grease the inside of the colander with a little oil to prevent the dough from sticking to it.
  4. Bring the water to the boil and reduce the heat to keep a slow but steady flow of vapour through the steamer/colander. Place a few buns onto the steamer basket/colander, leaving about 1 cm space in between them, as the buns will increase their volume during the cooking. Cover with a lid or a bowl and steam for 10 – 15 minutesDSC_0033 (2)
  5. While the buns are cooking, mix the cocoa powder and the castor sugar in a small bowl.
  6. Transfer each batch of cooked buns into a large clean bowl and cover to keep warm.
  7. To serve, arrange 5 – 6 buns on a plate and put a dollop of the jam in the middle. Dust with the cocoa mixture and pour some hot melted butter over the top.
    DSC_0032 (2)
    Buchty na pare or Steamed Buns with Cocoa and Jam

    I have done a Google search to see if there are variations on our Buchty na pare in other cuisines, but couldn’t find any. I don’t think steamed buns is a purely Slovak thing, so if you’ve come across anything similar elsewhere, just chip in with your comments.

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