Viennese Jam Rolls


Preparation info

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At the venerable Café Hawelka, the witching hour is 10 P.M., not midnight, for that is when the pastry chef’s Buchteln hit the tables. In a matter of minutes, they magically disappear. Sure, you can enjoy these sweet rolls filled with preserves at room temperature at any time of the day, but served warm from the oven late at night, they are unsurpassable. They use a good amount of butter—in fact, many recipes say they should swim in the butter during baking. Thanks to Herr Schrammel at the Berufsschule für Bäcker und Konditoren for his recipe.



  • 1 ounce (½ cube) compressed yeast or teaspoons (about envelopes) active dry yeast
  • ½ cup milk (heated to 105° to 115°F if using dry yeast)
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup unbleached flour


  • ½ cup cold milk
  • cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • cups unbleached flour, as needed
  • 5 tablespoons (½ stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped candied citron, orange peel, or lemon peel (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • cup prune butter (lekvar) or apricot preserves, approximately
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for serving


  1. To make the sponge: Crumble the yeast over the milk in a small bowl and add the sugar. Let stand for 3 minutes. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until bubbly and doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
  2. To make the dough: Mix the sponge, milk, sugar, egg, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer. Attach the bowl to the machine and fit with the paddle blade. With the machine on low speed, add enough of the flour to make a soft dough that cleans the sides of the bowl. One tablespoon at a time, beat in the butter. Add 3 or 4 more tablespoons flour until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl again. Gather the dough into a ball. Switch from the paddle blade to the dough hook. Return the dough to the bowl and knead on medium-low speed until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky, adding a little more flour if necessary, about 5 minutes. During the last minute, add the chopped citron, if desired.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead to check the texture: If the dough doesn’t stick to the work surface, it has enough flour. Form into a ball and place in a large, well-buttered bowl. Turn the dough to coat with butter. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1¼ hours.
  4. Tightly wrap the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with aluminum foil (to prevent leaking butter). Pour the melted butter into a small bowl; it should be cooled but still liquid. Brush the pan generously with some of the butter.
  5. Turn out the dough onto a clean surface and knead a few times. Stretch and pat out the dough into a 9 X 6-inch rectangle. Cover with a large sheet of plastic wrap and let rest for 5 minutes. Using a rolling pin, and keeping the plastic wrap on the dough, roll out to a 15 X 9-inch rectangle. Cut the dough into fifteen 3-inch squares.
  6. Working with one square at a time, pat and stretch into a 4-inch square. Place a scant teaspoon of the lekvar in the center of the square. Bring up the corners of the dough to enclose the preserves and pinch closed. Pull the resulting four corners of dough up to the top and pinch closed, stretching the dough into a round bun. Turn the bun pinched-side down, dip in the melted butter, and place in the pan. Repeat with the remaining dough and preserves, placing the buns comfortably in the pan but allowing for some expansion. Slather the remaining butter over the buns. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, 20 to 30 minutes.
  7. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Bake until the rolls are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool the buns in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan. To serve, break the buns apart and serve warm, sprinkled with the confectioners’ sugar.