Túrós ökörszem

by | Feb 17, 2017 | Breads, buns & biscuits

Even though there would be a demand for it since many people remember this pastry with certain nostalgia, you can find ökörszem in Hungarian bakeries very rarely. Ökörszem, which literally means ox’s eye in English and can also refer to the small bird Eurasian wren, is a soft yeast dough pastry with a creamy cottage cheese filling and some raisins on top.

Preparing the dough resembles brioche, the difference is that it’s rolled out and 4 inch circles are cut out. I used a hand blender to make the filling smooth and creamy, but if you prefer if the cottage cheese is more crumbly, just simply mix up the ingredients. Raisins are optional, if you don’t like them, feel free to omit them.

Túrós ökörszem
Túrós ökörszem – photo: zserbo.com

For the dough:

  • 500 g (~4 cups) flour
  • 100 g (~1/2 cup) sugar
  • 25 g (~3/4 oz) fresh yeast (2 1/2 tsp dry yeast)
  • 250 ml (~1 cup) milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • seeds of a half vanilla bean

For the cottage cheese cream:

  • 250 g (~1/2 lb) cottage cheese
  • 100 g (~1/2 cup) sugar
  • seeds of a half vanilla bean
  • zest of a lemon
  • 1 egg yolk
  • half a handful of raisins
  • 1 egg for the egg wash

Mix yeast, a tablespoon of sugar and 2 tablespoons of flour into tepid milk, and let it rise.

Place flour in a bowl, add egg yolks, vanilla, salt, sugar and activated yeast, and knead until smooth and pliable. Cover and leave the dough to rest for about an hour.

Soak the raisins in lukewarm water, then prepare the cottage cheese cream. Mix together cottage cheese, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and egg yolk using a hand blender to make it creamier.

On a floured surface roll out the dough until 1 cm/half inch thick. Cut out 10 cm/4 inch circles, place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover and let them rise for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 356°F.

Make a hollow in the middle of each circle with the bottom of a water glass.

photo: zserbo.com

Brush the top with beaten egg and spoon some filling in the hollows. Scatter some raisins on the top of the cream and bake the buns for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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