Drożdżówki are Polish sweet yeast buns, a crossover between a bread roll and a small cake. They are very popular and you will find them in different versions in every bakery across Poland. This is a recipe for sweet buns with plums and crumble.
If you ever entered a bakery in Poland (piekarnia) you would have seen an array of bread loaves and rolls, pastries and doughnuts, layered cakes and cheesecakes, and glazed buns. Drożdżówki will most certainly be among them, easily to spot with their round or oblong shape and crumble topping.
Drożdżówka is the name for any sweet bun made with yeast. Drożdżówki come in different versions: sweet or savoury, with a filling in the inside or just on the top, with crumble or without, glazed or simply sprinkled with icing sugar. My favourite kind are, of course, sweet!
These pastries are wonderful to have for breakfast, but they can be eaten any time of the day. I love them in the afternoon as a sweet treat with a cup of coffee or tea.
I had lived in Poland for over a year without tasting these traditional sweet buns. Then one day I bought some from a bakery in Wroclaw called Gigi Cukiernia. Those soft pillows of joys filled with vanilla custard and cherries literally blew my mind. After that experience, I wanted to learn how to make drożdżówki at home so that I could share them with you all!
These buns are soft and buttery and the addition of fruit adds a slight sourness that breaks through the sweetness. I used plums, but other fruits – blueberries, cherries or blackberries – are popular fillings too. You can even make a marzipan or white poppy seed filling, which is something you see used in Poland very often.
The kind of drożdżówki you will make with this recipe are round buns topped with plum slices and a buttery crumble. To make an even more indulgent sweet treat, you can add a spoonful of Polish curd cheese (twarog) or ricotta cheese as topping (underneath the fruits and the crumble).
Making these Polish sweet buns is a bit time consuming as you allow for the dough to rest and rise. Don’t skip these steps or the buns won’t be as soft and light as they should be. The wait is worth it, I promise! You could always freeze half of the dough to use another time.
Polish sweet buns with plums and crumble
Makes around 10-12 buns.
- 125 ml warm milk
- 1 sachet of fast action dried yeast
- 1 tbsp of sugar
- 375g plain flour
- 50g white sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 medium eggs
- 75g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tbsp brown sugar or demerara
- 250g plums, pitted and quartered
For the crumble topping
- 50g butter, cold
- 5g white sugar
- 100g plain flour
- 1 egg, lightly beaten (for the egg wash)
In a large bowl, mix the warm milk, yeast and one spoonful of sugar. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Add flour, salt and sugar and combine. Add the eggs and butter to the mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon for about 10 minutes, until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Put the dough into a bowl lightly greased with vegetable oil, cover with a tea towel and let it rest for one hour (or until the dough has doubled in size).
Meanwhile, prepare the crumble by mixing the sugar, flour and salt in a bowl. Grate the cold butter on top and mix it all together with your fingers, working quickly, until you get small crumbs. Place the crumble aside in the fridge.
Transfer the dough from the bowl onto a floured kitchen counter. Divide it into 10-12 pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a ball, flatten it slightly and then place it on a lined baking tray (leaving around 10 cm between each bun as they will rise in the oven). Continue until you have used all the dough.
Cover the trays with clean tablecloths and set aside for 30 minutes to rise. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
After 30 minutes, top each bun with 4-5 plum slices and one spoonful of crumble. Brush the edges of the bun with the egg wash, then sprinkle the top with brown sugar.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the buns are lightly browned. Remove and let the buns cool down in the tray before eating. Store them in an airtight container for 2-3 days. You can also freeze the dough before you have added the topping or freeze the buns after baking.
Adapted from a recipe by Minta Eats.