Simple and delicious Russian bread to celebrate the World Cup!

Bublik are the Russian equivalent to bagels.  The difference is that they are a little smaller and slightly sweet.  In Russia they have always been sold by the dozen, strung on a string.  In some rural communities you still see them sold that way.  Eaten as a pastry with a cup of coffee or tea, rather than as a honking great sandwich, these are fun to make and lovely to eat.  Make them really small so you can share them round when you watch Russia play today in the World Cup.


For the dough:
400 g strong white wheat flour
250 g milk (heated to boiling point and allowed to cool down again)
2 g instant/4 g dry/8 g fresh yeast
8 g salt 50 g tablespoons sugar
50 g butter

For the glaze:
1 egg beaten with a teaspoon of water
Poppy seeds

For the simmering bath:


Make a pre dough:

Measure the flour into a bowl and make a well.  Sprinkle in the sugar and the yeast and pour over the milk.  Close the well by flicking flour on the surface of the milk.  Let it sit for one hour.

Make the dough:

After an hour, add the rest of the ingredients and bring the dough together in a bowl.  Turn it out on the counter and knead well for 10 minutes.  Return it to the bowl and let it sit for 2 hours, covered with a damp tea towel or clingfilm.

To shape the bublik: Gently pull the dough out onto a non floury surface.  Divide it into 10-12 pieces depending on how big you want them and shape them into tight balls.  For guidance on how to shape tight balls, click here.  Let these rest under a dry tea towel for 15 minutes

Tight balls of bublik dough
Tight balls of bublik dough

Poke a hole in each piece by pinching it through the middle with your thumb and first finger and then poke your finger through the hole and gently stretch out each piece from the centre so that it is a circle.

Lulu opening up the bublik - don't be scared, it's stretchy
Lulu opening up the bublik – don’t be scared, it’s stretchy

Make the hole at least 4 cm in diameter because otherwise they will close up completely!  Do this for all the pieces and then let them rest for 30 minutes under a dry tea towel on a floury surface.

Bublik dough resting on a tray
Bublik dough resting on a tray

Bring water to a simmer.  Preheat the oven to 220 degrees c. Stretch the bubliks out agin if necessary so the hole is pronounced, and place each one into the water for 30 seconds.  Fit in as many as you can comfortably get into the saucepan.  Lift them out and place them on a baking tray that you have lined with non stick baking parchment.  Glaze each bublik and sprinkle them with poppy seeds. Pop them in the oven and bake them for 25-30 minutes depending on how big they are.  Let them cool completely before eating.  More butter is always a good thing but you can also make some great dips for that World Cup tear and share experience!

Bublik - delicious Russian buns for the World Cup!
Bublik – delicious Russian buns for the World Cup!

Like this and want to take a bread class so you can really get going with baking bread?  Click here to select a class near you!

Like this and want to see more?  This recipe was first published in the Book of Buns, available on Amazon.

The Book of Buns
The Book of Buns
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