Strawberry and Riesling Buchteln: The Adult Version of a Sweet Lunch

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Growing up in Germany, I loved the days when had sweet dishes for lunch instead of savory ones. This is by no means considered an uncommon practice (unlike breakfast food for dinner in America), but it still felt special. I think my favorites were rice pudding with apple sauce and pancakes with cinnamon and sugar. Another traditional sweet meal like this are Buchteln, also referred to as Rohrnudeln. I don’t think we ever made those ourselves at home. I was surprised to discover they’re pretty easy to make. And if you fill them with strawberry jam and serve them with a wine sauce, that kids’ favorite can turn into a pretty grown up meal…

opend_sauceBuchteln, empty or filled with all kinds of jam (make sure to try plum and apricot!) are often associated with South German and especially Austrian cuisine. However, I made them for the first time while stuck at a Czech language course in rural Bohemia with a group of Austrian retirees. While the memory of that summer course is traumatic, I guess it was a good language practice: today I confidently navigate Czech cooking sites. Referred to as buchty, the Czech ones, just like the ones made in Austria or Bavaria, all follow the same concept: buns made from sweet yeast dough filled with fruit.

Buchteln are often served with vanilla sauce, which is – no doubt – delicious. But I thought it might be interesting to make a Riesling sauce instead. I must say, my intuition didn’t mislead me here. The combination of flavors is lush – think strawberries and champagne!

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Strawberry and Riesling Buchteln/Rohrnudeln/Buchty. Makes ten pieces – lunch for two hungry people or dessert for 3-4.

For the Buchteln:

  • 1.5 tsp dry yeast.
  • 1/3 cup + 1.5 tbsp hand warm milk.
  • 2 cups flour.
  • 1 stick of butter, melted.
  • 5 tbsp sugar.
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk.
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest.
  • 1/3 jar strawberry jam.

For the Riesling sauce:

  • 1 cup of dry Riesling wine.
  • 5 tbsp sugar.
  • 2 eggs.
  • Juice from half a lemon.

Step 1. Make the dough. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in half of the milk and mix in a tbsp of the flour. Let rise in a warm place for 20 min. Add the rest of the milk, flour, half of the butter, sugar, eggs and lemon zest and knead a dough. Let rise for another 30 minutes. In the meantime, butter a baking dish.

Step 2. Shape the Buchteln. Knead the dough again and cut into 10 (more or less) equal pieces. Flatten them into rounds and put a tsp of jam in the middle. Carefully fold them over once and close them, then fold over once more, so you get nice little packages. Dunk them in the remaining butter and place next to each other in the baking dish with the “seam” down. They can touch each other, but don’t pack to tightly. Let them rest in a warm place for another 20 minutes, while heating the oven to 305 Fahrenheit.

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Step 3. Bake the Buchteln for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Before baking them, brush with the remaining butter. In the meantime, make the sauce: Put the wine, eggs, lemon juice and sugar in a bowl. Over a hot water bath, whisk vigorously for 10 minutes until everything has combined to a thick foam.

Serve sauce and Buchteln together – either while still warm or cold. Although who has the patience to wait for them to cool?

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