The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Cinnamon bulkas

JonJ's picture

Cinnamon bulkas

Our recent babka community bake gave me a hankering for what my grandmother would call 'bulkas/boolkes/bulkes' - yeasted cinnamon buns made with milk.

They are simple, soft and buttery, and not too sweet or as complex as babka. Lovely to eat when spread with butter. We also like to have them as the perfect food for breaking the Yom Kippur fast.

Orna Purkin has a great recipe which uses commercial yeast. She has an interesting YouTube channel that has a couple of variations and a clever technique for shaping the buns.

They're easy to make with commercial yeast, but I do like my yeast water lately, which also seems fairly osmotolerant and can handle the sweeter doughs. These were made with apple yeast water (pictured below) and I did a double build before using in the final dough. For the first build 50g of apple yeast water was mixed with 78g of bread flour and left for 8 hours. This was then used in the second build for which an additional 148g of bread flour and 94g of water was added, this was then left in the proofer at 27 deg C for 12 hours and used in the final dough the next morning.

Fizzy apple yeast water

The final dough formula was adjusted to take into account the yeast water levain. All of the second build yeast water levain was used (about 370g). To accomodate this, the amount of milk in the final dough was reduced down to 107g of full cream milk, when compared to Orna's recipe, and the total amount of flour was reduced to 314g. Another adjustment was that I used some cake flour which gives a softer crumb that I tend to prefer, so that 314g of flour was 206g of cake flour and 108g of bread flour. Because I was using the yeast water I didn't deliberately degas the dough prior to shaping, but since shaping involved rolling it flat with a rolling pin some degassing couldn't be avoided!

Fermentation times were 2 hours for the bulk ferment, after which the dough had risen in size by about two-thirds. The bulkas were then shaped (the dough unfortunately cooled a little in my cold kitchen). It then went back into the proofer for about another hour or so to bulk up. Had nice oven spring too.

These are lovely and quick. The crumb below is crying out to be eaten with butter whilst still a little warm!

Bulka crumb


Sabina's picture

Those look yummy!

Kistida's picture

I've just made some cinnamon-y bakes this week! But, I'm adding this one to my list of "next bakes". Thank you for sharing the recipe, Jon :D

- Christi

Benito's picture

These are neat Jon, I’ve never seen cinnamon buns shaped this way, they look scrumptious.