Many, many thanks to my friend Michaela for being a part of this week’s post! Michaela is one of the most beautiful people that I’ve ever met, inside and out. She is brilliantly clever, stylish, and creative; a renaissance woman of sorts. I am not even sure if there is anything that she cannot do!
The first time I befriended Michaela was while in graduate school through an online program. Michaela is originally from the Czech Republic, where her hometown is the city of Brno. Over time, we bonded over our love for animals and the fact that we’re devoted pet parents to our dogs, among other things. We eventually met in person during a group project and have been friends ever since.
When I asked for Michaela’s support on a blog post, she suggested I try making a traditional Czech Easter pastry, which was aa sweet bread that was molded and decorated to look like a lamb. Unfortunately, I did not have a lamb-shaped mold and have yet to unleash my artistic prowess (I’ve none), so I was hesitant. The other option was Buchty, a traditional Czech pastry. Now, all the more reason to branch out to try cake decorating on this blog some day!
[Update, I later found out from Michaela that Buchty is not an Easter pastry but just a traditional Czech pastry instead.]
Last year, I spent a week in Prague while on vacation and as a guest at Michaela’s wedding. Buchty reminded me of the poppy seed-filled pastries that I ate while there and I absolutely loved them. Ah, I miss Prague. Such a beautiful city…
Thanks to this delicious pastry, I’ve completely derailed my low carb diet. I say, screw it! It’s a holiday weekend, and I’ll get back on track after it.
This post will not include a recipe as it was one from a cookbook that Michaela sent me a screen shot of. I had failed to ask what cookbook this Buchty originated from so I will have to do a follow up on that.
The photo from Michaela’s recipe book had the Buchty baked individually in a sheet pan of small squares. While doing a little research, I saw that a lot of recipes baked the Buchty in a deep casserole dish. Traditionally, the shapes are supposed to be rectangular. Mine came out on the rounder side, certainly because the casserole was an oval shape and I kept the dough round. I thought it was kind of cute, as the Buchty reminded me of Easter Eggs.
Michaela’s recipe called for a “damson cheese” to mix in with the poppy seed filling. I hadn’t a clue what that was… Damson? I later found out that damsons are prunes (duh!), and that Damson Cheese is a type of prune preserve! For some reason, I imagined damson cheese to be some sort of a cream cheese or a kind of Quark. Nope. Not even close. Instead, I used a different recipe for the poppy seed filling, which is available here. So now, I doubt that I made an authentic Buchty. Nonetheless, this was a huge hit with my family. Next time, I hope to make a damson cheese to use with the poppy seed filling. It sounds absolutely delicious.
Prior to baking, the filling was a luscious black sludge that would move quickly when being filled into the dough. I decided to add some lemon zest and my homemade vanilla extract to the filling for some extra flavor. It tasted so much better after you baked the filling with the dough. The filling alone had this herbaceous medicinal flavor, which was a little difficult for me to handle straight up.
I used French pastry flour (T45) for this recipe. You can find the flour on Amazon if you’d like to take a look or try it. This company does not sponsor me at all, but I am a devoted fan. I really think the quality of this flour is unmatched when compared with its American counterparts (sorry, America). The dough was like a brioche. There’s this satisfying experience of being able to pull apart the bread from the casserole too, which I absolutely love. Dense… Pillow-y… Egg-y. YUM.
The pictures I took this week were okay. Still not there yet… It was difficult shooting in direct sunlight, also with an Iphone. I still need to buy a camera. Also, I think I need glasses! Merp.
Please send in a request for to make something your favorite dish from wherever you are in the world. I’ll try and recreate it! The Contact section of The Sprightly Kitchen has a form where you can make the request. I remain hopeful that someone will submit one!
For those that are celebrating, I am wishing you a Happy Easter!
Lots and lots and lots of love,