Vatrushka Buns are soft, fluffy sweet buns filled with farmer’s cheese and are very popular in Ukraine. They can be baked completely, cooled and frozen for up to 3 months to enjoy later by thawing at room temperature.
In a glass measuring cup, combine and stir 1 cup whole milk, 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast and 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar. Let rest 10-15 minutes for the yeast to activate. Then pour the mixture into the bread machine basket.
Into the basket, add remaining ingredients: 2 large eggs, 1 egg yolk, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon fine salt, 3 tablespoons sour cream, 2 tablespoons oil and 4 cups all-purpose flour. Microwave to melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and pour it over flour. If making dough by hand or mixer, slightly cool butter before adding.
Set bread machine to dough cycle. Mine takes 2 hours 20 minutes to rest, mix, rise and fully prepare the dough to work with. When it starts mixing, peek in to make sure it doesn’t need more flour. You might need to add up to 1/2 cup more. (It depends on the flour and its moisture). The dough is perfect when it is no longer sticking to the walls of the bread machine basket. Do not add more flour past this point.
Line parchment paper with 2 baking sheets and set aside.
Once the dough cycle is complete, the dough will be tripled in volume. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Punch down the dough with your hands and knead it for 1-2 minutes.
Divide the dough into half and then cut each piece in half, then again in half and keep repeating until you get a total of 16 pieces from the entire dough.
Shape the dough into balls. Place 8 balls of dough per baking sheet, evenly spaced on your baking sheet (2-3-inches apart). Cover baking sheet with clean kitchen cloth and let the dough balls rise at room temperature, in a draft-free area for 45-60 minutes.
Press 2 cups farmer’s cheese through a strainer. Place few tablespoons at a time and press down with a spoon. This will ensure the cheese filling is really smooth.
In a large bowl, combine the pressed farmer’s cheese, 2 (8 oz) cream cheese, 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat with mixer until everything is fully combined and filling is smooth (about 2 mins).
Make egg wash by combining and whisking 1 egg and 1/2 tablespoon milk; set aside.
Push a round 2/3 measuring cup or a narrow drinking glass over the center of each dough round to make a well in the center. Wipe the bottom of measuring cup with oil if necessary to prevent from sticking (I usually don’t).
With your fingers, make the well wider again and spoon about 2 tablespoons of cheese into each well. Use a teaspoon to spread the cheese deep into sides. It would seem as there’s too much cheese and won’t fit, but it will work just fine. Let rise at room temperature for 20-25 minutes.
Preheat the oven to a 360°F. Brush the buns with egg wash. Bake 1 or both sheets at the same time for 20-22 minutes or until tops are golden brown. (I did 20 minutes). These are best fresh and warm. Store sweet buns at room temperature, covered with plastic food wrap.
%COPYYEAR% OLGA IN THE KITCHEN