Beside bakery crescent zsemle or Hungarian bun is the other fundamental bakery product in Hungary. However, finding good zsemle in the stores is almost perfectly impossible, as hard as finding good bread. Things are a bit better in bakeries. If you are lucky and the baker is a conscientious representative of his profession, you can discover enjoyable and substantial buns instead of puffed up, chewy and spongy ones. But once you taste a homemade bun, you will realize that this is the best solution, and it’s unnecessary to go on searching.
The critical point that determines the quality of zsemle is the bun’s soft part. First of all it must exist, in many buns instead of dough there is air in the place of the soft part. Then it must not be crumbly and arid, its consistency must be light and firm, but not stiff. Zsemle can be made from all purpose flour or bread flour. If you choose all purpose flour, it should be combined with other kind of flour, or gluten should be added since the gluten content of all purpose flour is low. You can use leaven if you have time to make it, but plain yeast will also do.
Zsemle can be made into a sandwich for breakfast or mid-afternoon snack. But it also shows up in several Hungarian dishes, many recipes call for zsemle as a basis for various stuffings.