We do not know exactly how long bukta has been around for, but its origin dates back to the first desserts that were stuffed with jam. Its name originally comes from the German wuchtel, but there is no indication that the German linguistic area is the origin of the dessert itself. In a grandmotherly understanding, classic bukta has been the child of the Carpathian basin since ancient times, as the filling stuffed in the risen dough allowed for the practical transport of food.
Translated by Tamás Vaski
Countless literary works mention the dessert as an irrevocable requirement in the pockets of shepherds and herdsmen. Like many other foods, bukta lives two separate lives on either side of Hungary. While its jam-filled version is more popular west of the Danube (Dunántúl), a filling of dill curd is the more widespread option in the Great Plain region (Alföld).
Nowadays “bukta season” is considered a thing of the past, but back in the day the dessert had its own time of year, between early spring and lent. It was during this time, after all, that fresh fruits would become available, and the former year’s jam needed to be finished. The dessert’s name has become intertwined with Hitler Bacon, which the chemists of the Third Reich developed as part of an economical solution to the period’s expected famine. This sliceable, harder textured baking jam helped less experienced bakers ensure that the filling of their bukta would not spill out.
- 600 g fine flour (T55)
- 80 g melted margarin
- 80 g powdered sugar
- 30 g fresh yeast
- 3.5 dl lukewarm milk
- 1 egg
- A pinch of salt
For the filling:
- Baking resistant jam + 1 egg as a spread
Activate the yeast in lukewarm, sugary milk, then mix and knead it with the rest of the ingredients for the dough. The perfect dough can be separated from the surface of the kneading bowl but is still soft and a little sticky. (If it seems a little dry, add a little milk. If it is too soft, add a little flour.)
After this is done, raise it, covered with a kitchen towel, in a warm place, until it roughly doubles in size. This should take about 30 minutes.
On a flour-covered board, stretch and flatten the dough into a rectangle, then cut it up into smaller rectangles, each the size of the preferred bukta pieces. Flatten these smaller pieces of dough, and spread the jam filling onto them. Roll up each piece in a way that stops the filling from spilling out, both from the sides and from the bottom.
In a buttered baking sheet, tightly pack the bukta pieces next to one another, and leave them as they are for 20 minutes, so that they can be raised even more. Brush the egg on top of them evenly, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and bake for 25 minutes. Serve with powdered sugar and enjoy!
Photos and featured photo by Péter Csákvári/Hungary Today