I think you know of my love of braided breads. They’re so much fun to make and they bring a smile to whoever you’re serving it too. Additionally, they serve the wonderful, all-important purpose of reassuring you about your creative skills.
About the fact that you are capable of more than just…
going about your work as if nothing happened even though you’d rather lie in bed massaging your back having tripped and fallen on yet another piece of crayon that appeared mysteriously while you were running all around the house trying to wrench your father-in-law’s mobile phone from your naughty two-year-old’s hand
cleaning the floor off the last bit of glass shards from your favourite two-piece crockery set that (not too long ago) adorned your living room showcase and, occasionally, the coffee table;
quickly stuffing crumpled clothes (that were neatly folded up in a pile just second before) into the bedroom cupboard just as your guests walk into the house;
smiling beatifically at the guests as they say “Hello!”, while your mind is ticking off a hundred options that your suddenly-silent-as-an-angel little boy could be up to in the kitchen (of all places!).
So you see, these buns are just the thing to bake when you get your day’s doze of peace and quiet when your little fellow’s asleep!
The bread dough is an easy one to handle. In the last few weeks I’ve been trying to go vegan, and I was finding very difficult to shape breads with dairy-free dough. But I really wanted to try this shape. So I just gave in and added milk to make the dough as the recipe says. It also calls for one egg, which I substituted with a quarter cup of curd. I’ve left out the egg in bread recipes that call for it and made up for it with any combination of additional liquid and fat, but this time I wasn’t in any mood to experiment. Curd has worked well for me in the past, so I simply stuck to that.
The only changes I made were to use fresh ground wheat (atta – using fresh ground wheat from the mill makes a lot of difference compared to using packed atta) in place of the all-purpose flour and oil in place of butter. The texture is dense, but the buns are very soft. My son enjoyed these for breakfast as well as in the evening as snack with some orange jam that I’d made at home. My hubby had it for breakfast with potato curry for breakfast and I had them with rasam for dinner!
The shaping is fun too. It is a simple two strand braid, but looks much more complex than that. See this link to see how this is shaped. You could also use this dough to make simple pav buns.
Kolachyky – Ukrainian braided buns
(Whole wheat, eggless)
Adapted from : Ukrainian Classic Kitchen
Whole wheat flour – 2 ½ cups (you can use APF or any combination of wheat and APF)
Active dry yeast – 2 ¼ tsp
Warm water – 1/4 cup (plus 1-2 tbsp. more, if required)
Milk – 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp (for brushing)
Curd – ¼ cup
Oil – ¼ cup (you could use melted butter too)
Sugar – 1 tbsp
Salt – ½ tsp
Dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm water and keep aside for 10 minutes or till it turns all frothy
Add milk, curd, oil (or melted butter), sugar, and salt
Slowly add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until a stiff dough forms. Cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Lightly flour your work surface with flour, place your dough on it and knead until dough soft, about 10 minutes. You may need to add an additional tbsp. or two of warm water or flour to get to a soft and pliable dough
Clean a large bowl and grease with oil. Add dough to the bowl. Turn over to oil top of the dough. Cover and let rise until doubled (about 1 hour)
Lightly oil your work surface. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces (you could divide it into 14-16 pieces for smaller buns) and each piece into 2 smaller pieces
Roll each piece into a rope about 6 inches long. Take 2 ropes and place one over the other in the form of a cross (+). Press in the middle so that they stick together
Take 2 opposite ends and cross them over each other. Then take the other 2 ends and cross them over the first 2.
Continue this way till you come to the end of the ropes. Pinch the ends together, and lay the entire thing on its side. You will now see the ‘braid’
Repeat thus for all of the rolls
Place the braids on a lightly greased baking sheet. Let them rise for 20 minutes
Brush the braids with milk. You could sprinkle the top with sesame seed or poppy seed if you wish
Preheat oven to 200 deg C. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden on top. Do not over-bake.
The buns stay really soft and moist on for about 24 hours. After that they start to dry out slowly. After 48 hours they’re still fine, but somewhat dry and crumbly
For more recipes from countries starting with the letter U, check out this link: