So, since a few of you asked for my plum bread/Buchteln recipe, here it is. :)
Buchteln are a traditional Austrian and Southern German pastry. My great-grandma made the very best ones. :D We usually fill them either with plums (the oval, violet variety) or apricots, but some people also use jam.
This recipe makes between 12 and 18 Buchteln, depending on how you like your ratio of plums to dough. I like them on the small side, with just a thin layer of dough surrounding the plums. My great-grandma made them big and fluffy, and served them with hot vanilla sauce, which is also wonderful.
30g fresh yeast (or one package dry yeast)
1 tsp. honey
200 ml milk (slightly warmed)
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1 tsp. salt
12-18 plums (or apricots)
12-18 sugar cubes
1 tsp. cinnamon
(Since I got the recipe from my mom, and I find yeast dough to be a bit tricky to get right, the instructions are rather thorough. If you're an experienced baker and know your yeast dough, feel free to make it the way you always make it, then stick the plums in. If not: hope this helps.)
As we're working with yeast, it's best if the ingredients are all at room temperature before we start. Eggs can be brought to room temperature by submerging them in warm water for 5 mins.
1. Warm up the milk and dissolve the butter in it. It shouldn't be hotter than body temperature, or it will kill the yeast.
2. Dissolve the fresh yeast and honey in 5 tbsp of warm milk, cover it and leave it in a warm place for 15 minutes. (If using dry yeast, you can skip this step.)
3. In a bowl, add the flour, yeast mixture, sugar, egg yolks, whole egg, salt and most of the milk-butter mixture and knead it into a dough. You can do this by hand or with a kitchen machine.Knead it until it is elastic and only slightly sticky, but not too dry. It may take a while. You may want to add more/the rest of the milk or a bit more flour to get the right consistency. If in doubt, it's better if the dough is too sticky than too dry, or the yeast won't rise as well.
4. Cover the bowl with a towel and leave it in a warm place for at least an hour. It should rise to roughly twice the size. Do a bit of sewing or knitting to tide you over.
5. Pit the plums/apricots. I usually slice them down one side and then pry out the pit. The two halves should still be connected on one side, because you're going to replace the pit with a sugar cube.
6. Melt the additional butter in a little pot or bowl and mix the sugar and cinnamon in another bowl.
7. Depending on how much dough you'd like around your plums, take pieces of dough between the size of a golfball (for a thin layer of dough) and a tennis ball (for a fluffy Buchtel), flatten them a bit and put them around your plum to form a ball. In my experience, it's smart to have the "seam" of the ball on the "whole" side of the plum, because the seam of the dough is going to be placed face-down in your baking dish, and that way the juices of the plum will stay inside and not run out (does that make sense?).