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Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes | Austrian Cuisine

Category Dessert recipes
Servings 15 - 20
Time prep: 1 hr, cooking: 30 min
Difficulty Easy


Originally, Buchteln were a Bohemian sweet dish. However, in the course of time they have become part of the traditional Austrian cuisine.

Grammatically, a singular form of Buchteln, namely Buchtel, exists. Yet hardly anyone would make use of the singular form; somehow, the plural, Buchteln, makes more sense. Some say that yeast dough is a rather challenging dough to prepare. Honestly, I do not know a lot of people who have problems with it. It is probably just me who thinks that. Why is that so? What makes it challenging?

One possible answer to that would be the use of yeast for the dough. In general, yeasts – indeed there is a plural form – can be classified as fungi. Their significant attribute is that they can ferment sugars in order to produce ethanol. They can be found on some plants and flowers, on the surface of skins as well as in the intestinal tract of warm-blooded species. It is important for us to know that yeasts are used, for instance, in the production of alcoholic beverages and in the baking industry. Firstly, in the production of beer, for example, two types of brewing exist: bottom-fermenting and top-fermenting. Top-fermenting yeasts, on the one hand, are able to produce a bigger alcohol level and need higher temperatures during the production process. Hence, they produce sweeter and ale-type beers. Bottom-fermenting yeasts, on the other hand, are able to ferment more sugars and need lower temperatures during the production process. These kinds of yeasts are used to produce lager-beers rather than ale-type beers. Secondly, in the baking industry yeasts are an important ingredient. Here, yeasts help with the fermentation of sugars that are either in the flour or added separately. The fermentation process emits two gases: ethanol and carbon dioxide. These two gases are the actual reason why bread dough or any kind of yeast dough rises significantly within some time. In order to get nice, fluffy dough, the right combination of flour, milk and yeast is needed.

Coming back to the introductory question why yeast doughs are rather challenging, you could add yet another obvious reason: they are - to some extent - time consuming. This is indispensable as dough – with the yeast in it – needs to rise, and this takes some time. Today, however, no one has time to do anything, let alone to make yeast dough.

The joy for cooking and baking should be in the foreground in today’s hectic society. So, take your time and try this traditional Austrian sweet dish that I picked for you. I promise, it does not matter if you use either the singular or the plural form. As long as it tastes good, you don't have to worry.


[note 1]
[note 2]
Baker's %
For the dough:
Flour 4 cups 500 100%
Yeast [note 3] 1 1/8 cakes 20 4%
Sugar 3 T + 3/16 t 40 8%
Butter 1/2 cup 120 24%
Eggs 2 large 100 20%
A pinch of Salt 1/16 t 0.375 0.07%
Lemon (lemon peel) 2 t 4 0.8%
Milk (as required) [note 4]
For the filling:
Jam (optional)
For the baking pan:
Cooking oil or butter
Formula 784.375 156.88%


  1. Scald milk by bringing it to at least 180 °F (82 °C) and let it cool.
  2. Put the yeast in a small bowl and add some lukewarm milk to it. Add a teaspoon of sugar. Let it rest for a moment, as yeast in general needs some time to ferment.
  3. When ready, add it to the bowl with the flour. Put the remaining sugar into the bowl. Before adding the butter, be sure it has reached at least room temperature. Add the eggs as well as a pinch of salt. Finally, add ground lemon peel.
  4. Knead it until you get nice, smooth dough.
  5. Take a cloth and cover the bowl. Let it rest until it has risen significantly.
  6. In the meantime, prepare a baking pan, preferably of about 5 to 10 cm height. Oil or butter the pan thoroughly. Don't spare.
  7. When ready, take the dough and put it on a clean, floured surface. Roll the dough to 1cm thickness. Divide it so that you get equal quads of about 4 x 4 square centimeters each. Fill each quad with your favorite jam. Bind the 4 angles of the quad and roll it in your hand. Place the small heaps side by side in a baking pan. Cover them with a cloth once more and let them rest for 20 minutes, then put them into the oven.
  8. Bake them until they are golden brown.

Extra Tip:

Put some powdered sugar on top.

For extra taste, you may also serve them with some vanilla sauce.

Conversion Notes[edit]

  1. Original weight-based recipe given in grams. Ingredient order preserved. Flour presumed as all purpose. Yeast type presumed as fresh compressed. Pinch defined as 1/16 tsp. Lemon was ambiguous, procedure texts suggests it and parenthetical means 1 lemon peel only, 1 lemon presumed to have 2 tsp of peel (minus pith). Milk, jam, and pan oil amounts unknown.
  2. Volumetric values are approximate, and were calculated from USDA National Nutrient Database data. To conserve column space, tablespoons were abbreviated as "T", and teaspoons as "t".
  3. This excessive amount of yeast will result in a strong yeast flavor. To reduce this flavor, it is recommend to use no more than 0.75% instant dry yeast expressed as a baker's %, alternatively, 2.5% cake yeast (compressed) or 1% active dry yeast, although you can expect fermentation time to increase somewhat. Further reductions will reduce yeast flavor even more, and those same reductions will result in longer times to rise during bulk ferment.
  4. A typical water amount would be 50-70% (based on flour weight), likely 57-62% depending on protein of flour, so 60% is a single average figure to work with. Eggs are 76% water, so 20% * 76% = 15.2%, which is the amount of water eggs have contributed. Butter is about 16% water, so 24% * 16% = 3.84%, or about 4%. 60% - 15% - 4% = 41%. Whole milk is about 88% water. 41% ÷ 88% ≈ 46.59%. Thus, baker's % whole milk value should be somewhere around the value of 47%. Values to try would be in the approximate range of 37-57%.