Pampushky Recipe: A Must-Have Addition to Ukrainian Borscht
Pampushky and Borscht
For many Americans and Western Europeans, Eastern Europe and its cuisine is a mystery. They may have tried it once or twice in a restaurant, but for those who liked what they tried, it becomes rather hard to find what it was and how to cook it. That's why I decided to write some articles with the recipes of the dishes I grew up with living in Ukraine and being Armenian by origin.
I have already written a borscht recipe. Actually, there are more than 30 varieties of borscht, but every Ukrainian knows that borscht is not a real borscht without pampushky.
Pampushky brushed with garlic sauce is a very tasty addition to borscht, and it's the best part. They don't take much time to actually cook, but getting the dough ready does take some time—you can make them while cooking borscht. In 2–2.5 hours, you'll be having a traditional Ukrainian meal: borscht with pampushky.
What Is Pampushky?
Pampushky are Ukrainian buns made of yeast dough. They resemble brioche rolls but differ in taste. Pampushky are brushed with garlic sauce and served with borscht. It's very important to note that pampushky are baked, not fried.
There are many western recipes for "pampushky" that call them doughnuts and fry them instead of baking. These are not pampushky, but pyshky, another Eastern European dessert. In this article, you'll learn about authentic Ukrainian pampushky and how to make them in the convenience of your own home—without going to Ukraine.
- 0.4 oz (11g) dry yeast
- 1 lbs (500g) flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 glass of water or milk
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- Mix yeast with flour. Add oil, sugar, warm water or milk.
- Knead the dough until it doesn’t stick to hands.
- Make a large ball from dough, cover it with a film and leave it in a warm place for 1 hour.
- Divide dough into small portions (1.5oz / 40g each) and make each portion into a little ball. Make these "balls" with lightly oiled palms, so that each "ball" is covered with oil.
- Place them close to each other on a baking sheet and leave for 30 min in a warm place. It's important to place them close to each other so that they grow in height, not in width.
- Brush pampushky with a beaten egg and bake for 30 min in an oven heated to 480F (250C).
- While pampushky are baking, prepare a sauce. Mash the garlic. Add oil, water, salt and mix thoroughly (you can do it in a blender). The sauce should be thick, like sour cream.
- When pampushky are ready, brush them with garlic sauce.
Traditionally pampushky are made plain with garlic, but once you have mastered pampushky baking, you can get creative and add different fillings. You can make pampushky with poppy seeds, brush them with honey instead of garlic to make them sweet, add jam, powdered sugar or cinnamon. It's your call.