Polish basic yeast dough. Old recipe, new exciting buns

I love the yeast dough as everyone in Poland does. It is not that difficult to make and is so versatile! Some are afraid of the rising time, unnecessarily. That is the pleasure to commune with a living organism. And to shape it into real doughnuts or to sink in some  sour rhubarb, sweet strawberries or succulent berries. Or to bake buns for an afternoon treat.

Marzipan apricot yeast buns

650 g flour
250 ml milk
40 g fresh yeasts*
100 g sugar
2 eggs
few drops of almond essence
100 ml vegetable oil
200 g marzipan, divided into 30 pieces
15 dried apricots, chopped into stripes

* Dry yeasts are also working but don't believe that all you have to do is to mix it with the flour!!! Handle them exactly as you would treat the fresh yeasts.

1. Warm the milk till tepid.  Dissolve yeast. In a bowl with sifted flour make a hole and pour in the milk. Mix with some of the flour until the mixture gets the thickness of a thick youghurt. Sprinkle with some flour, cover with a cloth and leave until frothy. 
2. Beat the eggs, sugar and almond essence well.
3. Using the electric beater (that is the cleanest way, traditionally you would use a hand or a wooden spoon) mix in the dough the egg mixture and oil. Take out onto a  pastry board and knead until smooth and flexible and then a few minutes more. Use some extra flour for kneading if necessary. Leave covered with a cloth in an oiled bowl for proofing. It needs to double the size.

4. Punch the dough and take out onto floured pastry board. Divide into four pieces, form logs of them, and divide each one into 7-8 pieces (about 40 g each). Place a piece of marzipan and a bit of apricot in the middle and close the dough over it. You can also roll it for a few seconds for a more regular shape. Place on an oiled parchment paper, facing the joint downwards. Cover with a cloth and leave until doubled the size.
5. Put to the hot oven, 180 degrees, for 20-25 minutes. Buns should be gorgeous brown, if you are not sure, check the bottom. If the bottom is fair, leave buns for some time more. It cannot be burnt, but can be really brown. 

This yeast recipe can be a base for many other cakes and buns, all you have to change is the shape. The dough itself is not too sweet so it balances well the marzipan, but for a fruit cakes you can use some extra sugar. For the doughnuts, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar when mixing the eggs with the leaven, later place a teaspoon of jam (preferably the rosehip jam) in every dough portion, stick well, leave to rise and deep-fry in a vegetable oil. We love the sweetened cottage cheese buns here. The even easier way is to roll out the dough for 1 cm, cut with a glass or a cutter circles of about 5 cm diameter, place a teaspoons of jam, fruits, or other filling on top and leaving these to rise. I also love to roll the dough thinly (about 0,5), spread it with jam, raisins, sugar and cinnamon, or whatever you have, form a Swiss roll, cut it into slices and spread the slices on a baking tray to rise.
I won't write anything else, you have to make it yourself, to play with the soft dough, to watch the proofing, to shape the small jewels, and to hold off yourself from the aroma appealing hot buns. I wait for your thoughts how you've made it.

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