Velikonocni Kruhki - Egg Free Slovenian Easter Buns
I am not very sure how to pronounce that either. In Slovenian, "Kruh" means bread and "kruhki" means little breads. Easter, in Slovenia, is called "Velica Noc", meaning great night. So that's what Velikonocni Kruhki means – Easter buns! Despite that rather complicated looking name, these Easter buns are very easy to make. I adapted my Velikonocni Kruhki from Eastern European Food.
These buns are made from slightly sweet yeasted dough and are described as somewhat like the hot cross buns without the decorative icing crosses. These buns are part of the Easter "zegen" basket which is blessed on Holy Saturday and eaten on the morning of Easter Sunday.
The zegen (or benediction) basket is an Easter tradition in many Eastern European countries, including Slovenia. Certain foods, including sweet bread, ham, egg and fruit, are put into a basket and covered with an embroidered cloth and taken to church on Holy Saturday ( a day of fasting) to be blessed. This blessed food is then given to every member of the family on Easter Sunday and the first food eaten that morning. More on Slovenian cuisine can be found here.
Most bread traditionally baked for Easter are usually rich (naturally as they are celebratory breads) and contain a lot of butter, sugar and eggs. Apart from the fact that these Slovenian buns are very easy to make, I chose them because they do not require eggs and they contain my favourite spice – cardamom.
I followed the original recipe but halved it to make 6 buns. I didn't have candied citron and did not glaze my buns with egg yolk, and baked them at 180C (350F) for 30 minutes.
The cardamom in the buns ensures that your kitchen permeates with a wonderful aroma when the buns are baking. They are indeed not too sweet and very lightly flavoured and make for very nice breakfast bread, if you would like to make them during the rest of the year.
I am not too sure what these buns are served with, but I found that they are pretty good as they are or quite nice with cheddar cheese.
- Mix the yeast, milk and sugar well in a small bowl and let it proof for about 15 minutes.
- Put 1 1/4 cups of flour, the cardamom, sugar, butter, vanilla, salt and the yeast mixture in the bowl of a processor. Combine until a soft dough forms. Add the remaining ingredients (except the milk) and knead well, adding as much more flour as necessary, till you have a smooth and elastic dough that’s not sticky.
- Form a large ball and let dough rise in an oiled bowl, covered, till double in size. Deflate the dough and knead lightly on a floured surface. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and form each one into a smooth ball.
- Let them rise for about 1/2 hour, then brush the tops with milk and bake then at 180C (350F) for about 30 minutes or till they’re done and golden brown in colour. Cool them on a rack.