Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dampfnudeln: Milk-Steamed Buns with Prune Sauce

So this is a new vehicle for butter I hadn't heard of.  First off I have never seen a bread recipe with so little water.  For two cups of flour (9 oz) the recipe called for just a quarter-cup of water and the rest of the liquid came from eggs and butter.  And if that wasn't enough, the buns are cooked in a bath of milk and more butter.  Still not enough?  Okay, there's a pat of butter in the sauce.

If you like butter, these are awesome.  They're soft, rich, a little sweet, and a little puddinglike around the edges.  They expanded so much while steaming that I had to improvise a new lid for my skillet - an inverted Pyrex bowl.  I think the recipe called for too much milk for the steam-bath because I had to pour some off at the end; it was supposed to all evaporate.  Maybe my skillet had a smaller surface area than the one the authors used because I also had trouble fitting all of the dumplings in.  Since I used two cups of milk this time, next time I'd start with just one and add more liquid if it cooked off too quickly.

Speaking of which, the recipe said not to let the milk boil, but my stove just can't maintain a low enough temperature for that.  I don't think the dumplings minded too much.  It might make sense to get a wok ring one of these days, but it's not like I do this all that often.

Since I already made the vanilla custard sauce to go with the chocolate steamed pudding, I made the prune sauce (also included with this recipe) this time.  Made from prunes simmered with water, cinnamon, orange juice and a little sugar, it had just the right amount of sweetness to complement these buttery dumplings.

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