Saturday, 10 July 2010

Polish steamed buns in two acts

I love the fact that my partner and I come from completely different parts of Poland (I am from Silesia, he comes from Pomerania), which means that we talk different accents and call the same food different names. It makes me laugh quite often.

So, when he point out to me one day that he miss his grandma’s beef goulash served with savoury steamed buns I was bit puzzled, because first of all I do not eat them with meat but with butter, sugar and cinnamon, or seasonal fruit sauce or with fruit yogurt. Secondly because he used completely different name to call those buns that I would have used, this is why we struggled for a bit to understand what actually we want for a dinner.

Eventually, I have made two dinners – one for him with beef and wild mushrooms goulash and one for me with strawberry and vanilla sauce. Both were beautiful, even it was the first time I attended to make my own buns, but I still think mine was better.

Steamed buns

Makes 12

500g plain flour
250ml milk
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 eggs
7g dried yeast (I used fast action, do not need to be activated)
half tsp of salt
half tsp of sugar

I have placed all of the above in a bread machine and used “dough” programme. You can also make the dough using your hand or planetary mixer and leave it covered to rise in warm place until doubled in size.

Next place the dough onto a floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball, place on floured surface and cover with tea towel for about 20 minutes.

Boil the water in a big pan covered with a sieve like cover that prevents the fat splitting from a frying pan. I mean I bought it to cover a frying pan when frying but it is rubbish, although it is perfect for steaming stuff. If you do not have one of them, just cover the pan with clean tea towel and tie it with a string around the pan. This is how my Granny and Mum use to do it before electric steamers era. Or you can use electric steamer if you have one. The important bit is that the buns should not touch boiling water.

Steam buns for 10 minutes covered with another pan placed upside down, 3 at once because they will expand. Serve immediately, or leave it for later – reheat by steaming for 2-3 minutes. These suppose to freeze well, but I never tried to do this.

You can either serve it as a sweet dish, or dessert with:

Strawberry & vanilla sauce

100g of fresh strawberries (of any summer berries, or mix of them)
few drops of real vanilla essence
tsp of caster sugar

Liquidise all of the above, until smooth.

If you prefer savoury dish, serve buns with:

Beef & wild mushroom goulash

2 tbsp sunflower oil
200g stewing beef
2 small onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
200ml real beef stock
100ml ale or bitter (optional)
handful of dried porcini mushrooms
2 tbsp of sweet powdered paprika
pinch of powdered chilli
bay leaf
2 allspice
freshly ground black pepper

In an oven proof dish fry seasoned beef until browned. Remove with slotted spoon and fry the onions and garlic until soften. Next add the meat, mushrooms, paprika, chilli, beef stock, bay leaf, allspice cover and place in the oven preheated to 175C for about 1.5 hour. You can also leave it on the hob, but I prefer beef stews or goulash cooked in the oven.

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