Voisilmäpulla (Butter Eye Buns)

voisilmäpulla - butter eye buns

Voisilmäpulla (Butter Eye Buns)

Ever on a mission to replicate my heavenly coffee shop experiences from my visits to Finland, I made voisilmäpullat this month.

I’d eaten a few of these buttery buns back in January, and doodled notes in my journal: they look like little butter volcanoes! Finish with raesokeri – it gives me immense joy that my nickname Rae means hail (or grain) in Finnish, and that when rae is added to sokeri it becomes the pearl sugar that goes on many Nordic bakes!

Caffeine cravings, and freezing temperatures, had me frequenting the many cafes of Helsinki, Turku, Tampere and Rauma, but it was the buns I really looked forward to.

It’s the cardamom in the pulla (buns) that does it for me, it makes them – regardless of their guise, be it korvapuusti, voisilmäpulla, laskiaispulla… – the perfect pairing for coffee.

These Butter Eye Buns (Voisilmäpulla) are made with a cardamom-scented enriched dough, and a filling of butter and sugar erupts from the golden top leaving a sweet moreish crunch.
VoisilmäpullaI’ve based the recipe on the dough for the Semla (laskiaispulla) I made last year as it has a higher butter content than the usual dough I use for pulla. I’ve tinkered with it a little, including increasing the cardamom. 

It’s a divine dough, light yet rich, and the cardamom tastes so Nordic. I could happily enjoy these buns baked simply, without the butter volcano but it really does take them to another level of deliciousness.
Voisilmäpulla
VoisilmäpullaI’ve finished these voisilmäpullat with pearled sugar crystals, but if you can’t get hold of these (I buy them online) you can either leave the buns plain or use chopped or flaked almonds.

To create the eruption on top of the buns, butter is pushed into the bun just before it is baked.

I found chilling the cubed butter in the freezer while I prepared the dough made working with them much easier, especially as the kitchen was really warm. I could easily push the cubes into the proved dough.

If I baked the buns at a slightly lower temperature then they didn’t erupt as much and left a cavity. I prefer the erupted finish so used a hotter oven. 
Voisilmäpulla

Voisilmäpullat (Butter Eye Buns)

Two baking sheets lined with baking parchment

  • 225 ml milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 100 g unsalted butter, sliced or cubed
  • 1 sachet (1 tbsp) (7 g) of fast-action dried yeast
  • 500 g strong white flour (I used 1/2 strong and 1/2 plain flour)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 1 free-range egg
To finish:
  • 50 g unsalted butter cut into cubes a little less than 1 cm and chilled
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • beaten egg for egg wash
  • Pearled sugar to decorate (optional)

Begin by scalding the milk: pour it into a saucepan and heat gently to almost boiling point. Take of the heat and add the chopped butter and the salt, stirring to melt. Leave to cool.

Into a large mixing bowl sift the flour and the ground cardamom, stir in the yeast and sugar.

Beat the egg and add to the cooled milk/butter.

Add most of the liquid to the flour mix and begin to bring the dough together. You will probably need all the liquid, add a spot more milk if you need to.

Once the dough has come together, knead it for around 8 to 10 minutes until soft and smooth.

Place into a clean bowl, slash the top to help it relax and cover with cling film or a tea towel, allow to prove for up to an hour in a draft free corner of the kitchen, until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 200º C / 400º F / gas 6, line a large baking sheet or roasting tin with parchment.

Once it has proven, punch the air out of it in the bowl then turn it out onto the work surface. Now divide the dough into 12 equally sized pieces and roll each into a ball: I do this by placing the piece onto the work surface and forming a ‘claw’ over it with my hand, rolling into over the work surface, it forms a perfect ball.

Place the buns onto the prepared baking sheet and cover loosely with a tea towel. Allow to prove for 20 to 30 minutes.

Once the buns have plumped up from the second prove, use your thumb or finger to make a deep depression into each of them. Push one of the chilled cubes of butter into the hole and repeat with all the buns.

Brush egg wash over the exposed dough around the cube of butter then sprinkle half a teaspoon of caster sugar over the top of the cube of butter.

Scatter some pearled sugar around each bun if using.

Bake in the preheated oven for around 10 to 12 minutes until risen and golden, the butter bubbling.

Cool on a wire rack and devour fresh.

These buns freeze well.

Voisilmäpulla
Print
Ingredients
  1. 225 ml milk
  2. 1 tsp salt
  3. 100 g unsalted butter, sliced or cubed
  4. 1 sachet (1 tbsp) (7 g) of fast-action dried yeast
  5. 500 g strong white flour (I used 1/2 strong and 1/2 plain flour)
  6. 1 heaped tablespoon ground cardamom
  7. 75 g caster sugar
  8. 1 free-range egg
TO FINISH
  1. 50 g unsalted butter cut into cubes sightly smaller than 1 cm and chilled
  2. 50 g caster sugar
  3. beaten egg for egg wash
  4. Pearled sugar to decorate (optional)
Instructions
  1. Begin by scalding the milk: pour it into a saucepan and heat gently to almost boiling point. Take of the heat and add the chopped butter and the salt, stirring to melt. Leave to cool.
  2. Into a large mixing bowl sift the flour and the ground cardamom, stir in the yeast and sugar.
  3. Beat the egg and add to the cooled milk/butter.
  4. Add most of the liquid to the flour mix and begin to bring the dough together. You will probably need all the liquid, add a spot more milk if you need to.
  5. Once the dough has come together, knead it for around 8 to 10 minutes until soft and smooth.
  6. Place into a clean bowl, slash the top to help it relax and cover with cling film or a tea towel, allow to prove for up to an hour in a draft free corner of the kitchen, until doubled in size.
  7. Preheat oven to 200º C / 400º F / gas 6, line a large baking sheet or roasting tin with parchment.
  8. Once it has proven, punch the air out of it in the bowl then turn it out onto the work surface. Now divide the dough into 12 equally sized pieces and roll each into a ball: I do this by placing the piece onto the work surface and forming a ‘claw’ over it with my hand, rolling into over the work surface, it forms a perfect ball.
  9. Place the buns onto the prepared baking sheet and cover loosely with a tea towel. Allow to prove for 20 to 30 minutes.
  10. Once the buns have plumped up from the second prove, use your thumb or finger to make a deep depression into each of them. Push one of the chilled cubes of butter into the hole and repeat with all the buns.
  11. Brush egg wash over the exposed dough around the cube of butter then sprinkle half a teaspoon of caster sugar over the top of the cube of butter.
  12. Scatter some pearled sugar around each bun if using.
  13. Bake in the preheated oven for around 10 to 12 minutes until risen and golden, the butter bubbling.
  14. Cool on a wire rack and devour fresh.
Notes
  1. I freeze the cubes of butter to make them easier to handle, especially in a hot kitchen.
Vagabond Baker http://vagabondbaker.com/
Voisilmäpulla

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voisilmäpulla - butter eye buns. These Finnish buns are delicious with a cup of tea or coffee.

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Why I’m Learning Finnish I’ve finally fallen in love with a language, I want to learn it!

Authentic Dundee Cake Dundee Cake based on the original 1700’s Scottish recipe!

By Rachel A Davis   Follow on Bloglovin

 

Have you tried Butter Eye Buns?

8 Responses

  1. Mmm… my favourites! I am originally from Finland and my mom used to bake these. We called them tissipulla (you can look that up 😉 ) They are so good. I do bake sometimes too but I usually make korvapuusti or karjalanpiirakka. So glad I found your blog, and good luck with your Finnish studies. Have you considered to applying to visit Finland as a blogger guest since you like the country? I am not the organiser but just happened to see this link. https://www.lyyti.fi/reg_2016/nberegistration

    • Rachel Davis says:

      Hi Paula!
      That sounds like delicious baking! I visited NBE in January of this year, I didn’t manage to get onto any of the experiences as my blog is pretty tiny compared to a lot of the applicants. I still went along to the stuff in Helsinki, it was great to meet up with some of the Finnish bloggers I’ve been in contact with. It was great fun and I’m definitely applying again for this next one! Thanks for commenting!

  2. These look like such perfect teatime buns Rachel, no wonder you looked forward to them during coffee shop visits there! Ps love the description, butter volcanoes
    Shikha (whywasteannualleave) recently posted…A Mad Hatter’s Brunch in LondonMy Profile

  3. I need these buns in my life! Just printed off the recipe :)
    Suzanne – Travelbunny recently posted…Hello St Kitts – the Authentic Caribbean IslandMy Profile

  4. Lucy says:

    Your Finnish adventures always sound so exciting! I would love to try these buns. I’ve never heard of butter eye buns before but they sound delish.
    Lucy recently posted…Slow Cooked Challenge April 2016 RoundupMy Profile

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