Vatrushka Sweet Cheese Buns (Ватрушки) pronounced Vat-roosh-ka is a delicious Russian baked sweet yeast bread filled with Tvorog, also known as Farmer’s Cheese or Quark. It’s a childhood favorite which I remember my mum and grandmother making.
Vatrushka Buns (Ватрушки) are sometimes called Shaneshki (Шанежки), however there are they are different recipes. The sweet yeast dough pastry (сдобное sdobnoe) and the filling is the same in both recipes, but when making a Vatrushka, you make a well and fill it with the Tvorog Cheese filling. When making Shaneshki, the cheese filling is simply smeared across the top the the sweet yeast dough.
The cheapest and easiest way to make Farmer’s Cheese is from scratch. It can be hard to find store-bought Farmers Cheese or Tvorog, you can substitute quark if that’s available and you don’t want to make you own homemade tvorog cheese.
Bread Machine or Traditional Dough?
It can be time consuming to make the Russian sweet yeast dough (сдобное sdobnoe). We are all so time poor, so I use a Cuisinart Bread Maker to speed up the process. There is a dough cycle which does all the mixing, kneading and raising for you. I simply throw in all the ingredients, turn it on and in 90 minutes, I’m ready to start making the Vatrushka Russian sweet buns. You can see the video below on how to make the basic Sdobnoye Sweet Yeast Dough recipe, if you dont have a bread machine!
I make a variation of this recipe I called Russian Pastry with Strawberries. It’s kind of a cake/pie/bun with the same ingredients, with added sliced strawberries. Perfect for something different during strawberry season. Some recipes and Russian expressions are really hard to translate into English, but it’s worth checking out!
A Russian classic, baked sweet buns filled with sweet cheese Tvorog, Farmer’s Cheese or Quark. A Russian brioche style bun (сдобное sdobnoe), a delicious and healthy treat. Vatrushka Sweet Cheese Buns (Ватрушка) Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Vatrushka Sweet Buns (Ватрушки)
A Russian classic, baked sweet buns filled with sweet cheese Tvorog, Farmer's Cheese or Quark. A Russian brioche style bun (сдобное sdobnoe), a delicious and healthy treat. Vatrushka Sweet Cheese Buns (Ватрушка)
Sweet Yeast Dough ingredients
- 1 cup milk lukewarm
- 2 medium eggs
- 7 tablespoons sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon sour cream room temp
- 4 tablespoons melted butter - using 15ml measure
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3⅓ cups of flour
- 2 teaspoons yeast - slightly less than a ¼ oz. bread machine yeast packet
Cheese Filling ingredients
- 1 lb/450g tvorog or quark
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 small eggs can use 1 large egg
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- egg wash
Place the Sweet Yeast Dough ingredients in the order listed up until the yeast into your bread machine and select the dough program. This will take around 90 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
To make the tvorog cheese filling, Mix together the tvorog, vanilla bean paste, egg, sugar and sour cream.
When the dough is ready, cut into 12 even pieces. Using your palms, roll each piece into a round ball. Place on parchment paper on a baking tray.
Using the bottom of a drinking glass, press down in the middle of the dough ball, making an indentation like a well, to hold the tvorog cheese filling. Spoon in the tvorog cheese to fill the pastry. The vatrushki will be around 5" round. Allow to rise in a warm place for about 15 minutes. Make an egg wash with one egg and 2 tablespoons milk. Brush the edges of the vatrushka with the egg yolk.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown.