RUSSIAN PLUSHKAS

INGREDIENTS:

DOUGH

  • 8 cups all-purpose unbleached flour (divided)
  • 2 cups milk (lukewarm)
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 40 g active dry yeast
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 225 g butter, melted, brought to room temperature
  • ½ tsp salt

FILLING

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup of poppy seeds or cinnamon or raisins

EGG-WASH

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbs water

Yields: about 24 buns

DIRECTIONS:

Make poolish: whisk 2 cups of flour with milk and sugar with yeast, cover and let raise for about 1 – 1,5 hours.  The poolish is ready after it reaches it’s peak height and drops.

Mix the dough: whisk eggs, sugar, salt, and butter together till everything is dissolved.  Add the mixture to the poolish.  Slowly add sifted flour.  Mix till all ingredients are incorporated.  Place the dough on a floured surface and knead (adding flour, if needed) till the dough stops sticking to your hands – for about 10 minutes.

Place into an lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rest for another hour.

Make the filling: mix sugar with poppy seeds or other ingredients on the list.  Set aside.

Make the plushkas: line a baking sheet with parchment paper and apply cooking spray.  Take enough dough for six plushkas.  Keep the rest of the dough in the mixing bowl, covered.

Separate the working dough into 6 balls (mine were a little smaller than tennis balls).  Roll each into a flat circle (about 4 mm thick) and apply a filling on top of it, staying away from the edges.

Roll the circle into cylinder (like a sushi roll).    Take the edges of the cylinder, and press them together in the center of the roll.  Turn it around, the edge seam side down, and place on the baking sheet.  With a sharp knife cut the new edge in half, stopping about 5 mm away from the center. Spread the cut into a heart-shaped opening.  Repeat with the second edge.

After all plushkas are on the sheet, cover them with a towel and let rest for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375⁰F/190⁰C, position the rack in the middle.

Prepare the wash: whisk the yolks with water.

Brush the non-sugared edges of each plushka with the wash and place the batch in the oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden-brown. Let cool on a wire rack.

Repeat with the remaining dough.