Pampushky is a delicious Ukrainian Garlic Bread made up of soft, fluffy yeasted buns or donuts brushed with a delicious garlic and herb sauce on top. It's a wonderful bread to soups and stews and sings with garlicky flavour.
Pampushka or pampushky (the plural of pampushka) is usually baked but is sometimes fried. It can be sweet or savoury and when made savoury it is often served with borscht soup. The word Pampushky is derived from the Polish word Pampuch which is a steamed dumpling in a similar round shape. Some say that German colonists in Ukraine brought the method for making these to the Ukraine where over the years it has become one of their most popular breads.
As soon as I saw a pampushka I became rather besotted by these garlicky buns. I loved the look of the burnished buns all nestled in together and the green garlic sauce on top. The buns have a lovely crust on the outside but are light and fluffy on the inside.
5 Tips for Making Pampushky
1 - I love these buns so much that I've made them half a dozen times in the last month. My favourite tip is to use a high protein bread flour. I use Provenance Spitfire flour but you can also find high protein flours at the supermarket marked bread flour. High protein contributes to a high rise and a good bread structure. You will still get good results with regular all purpose flour but IMHO they're crazy good with high protein flour.
2 - Bloom the yeast first in a bowl with lukewarm water and make sure that your water is lukewarm and not too hot as that will kill the yeast.
3 - Make sure to roll them into balls and ensure that there are no cracks on the bun (check the base). I cup my hand over the bun and then roll it in a circular motion on an unfloured surface. It can take a minute or two to achieve this per ball. If your dough is a bit sticky use a tiny bit of flour especially on your hand but not too much as flour inhibits the rolling technique. This rolling technique allows for the buns to have a consistent, light texture throughout the bun.
4 - A pampushka is garlicky and you brush them with a delicious mix of fresh raw garlic, olive oil, parsley and dill with a pinch of salt.
5 - Pampushky are traditionally served with borscht soup. Here is a link to an amazing borscht soup via a former colleague of mine who is Russian.
These treats are so popular in the Ukraine that there is also a Pampukh festival in early January in Lviv - well there used to be before this awful conflict started. I was asked to develop this recipe for a client and I settled on this Pampushky because I wanted to make something where I could donate some of the proceeds from developing this recipe to the Red Cross. It sometimes feels like there's so little we can do first hand but I hope that it helps. I can't even imagine what the Ukrainian people are feeling right now. And it's not only what is happening in the Ukraine but also other parts of the world. If we are up to full here contending with everything the last few years has thrown us, it feels unfathomable that people are dealing with displacement and the destruction of their homes.
So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever tried pampushky? And how are you feeling about everything going on in the world right now? Are you hopeful? Frustrated? Angry? Or something else altogether?
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Pampushky Ukranian Garlic Bread
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 5 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 1 tablespoon instant dried yeast
- 1/2 cup/125ml/4flozs lukewarm water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 400g/14ozs. bread flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 150ml/5flozs milk
- Beaten egg for egg wash
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/3 cup parsley
- 1/3 cup dill
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Step 1 - Place the yeast in a bowl and add the lukewarm water (make sure it's not too hot as hot water will kill the yeast) and 1 teaspoon of the sugar and stir. Cover and allow to sit for 10 minutes where the yeast will start bubbling up and foaming.
Windowpane effect showing the elasticity of the dough
Step 2 - Place the flour, salt and remaining sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and whisk to distribute. Add the yeast slurry mixture, liquid and all, and the additional milk. Knead for 7-8 minutes until very elastic. Grease a large bowl and shape the dough into a ball without any cracks on the top. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise to 2-3 times its size for 1-1.5 hours.
Before second rise
Step 3 - Punch down the dough and divide it into 7 even pieces (I use a scale just to make sure). Take a 22cm/8.6inch cast iron pan or springform tin and line with paper. Roll the dough pieces into 7 balls making sure that there are no cracks on the top. The best way is to cup each ball using your hand and roll it on an unfloured surface. It may take a minute or two of rolling to ensure there are no cracks. Repeat with the rest and place in the lined tin with one in the centre and the rest around it. They should be close and barely touching at this point (see pic above). Cover with a teatowel and allow to rise again for 30-45 minutes until they are puffy and touching.
After the second rise and glazed with egg wash
Step 4 - While they are rising, preheat oven to 220C/425F/Gas mark 7. Finely chop the garlic, parsley and dill and mix in a bowl with the oil and salt. Set aside until you need it.
Step 5 - Brush the balls with egg wash and bake for 20-25 minutes. Then remove from oven and add the garlic herb topping. Serve warm.