Butter Semmel Buns

  • 1 (¼-ounce) package dry yeast
  • ½ cup lukewarm water
  • 1 cup milk, scalded
  • 3 sticks butter, divided
  • 1½ cups sugar, divided
  • 2¼ teaspoons cinnamon, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 6 cups flour, sifted
  • powdered sugar for garnish

Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside, keeping it warm at 70°. Scald milk, and cool slightly. Add 2 sticks butter, ½ cup sugar, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, salt, and egg. As soon as yeast mixture begins to look foamy and rise, add to milk mixture. Stir in flour, and mix well. Let dough rise in a greased bowl about 2 hours until it doubles in bulk. Turn dough onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth, adding more flour as needed. Roll dough out to 1/8-inch thickness, and cut into 2- or 3-inch squares. Make a cinnamon-and-sugar mixture by combining 1 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Place a bit of butter and a teaspoon of cinnamon sugar in the middle of each square. Fold opposite corners of the square to the center, and press together. Place buns on greased baking sheets, and allow to rise 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm.

— Grace Robinson

With Heart & Hand

Home Moravian Church in Winston-Salem held its first love feast when it dedicated its new sanctuary in 1800. Even then, more than 2,000 visitors from denominations throughout the community joined the church’s 300 members for the occasion.

When the church marked its 200th anniversary in 2000, it celebrated its food traditions with the cookbook With Heart & Hand. Church members provided the recipes for the 414-page book, and organizers made sure to include Moravian staples, such as semmel buns, sugar cake, and Moravian chicken pie.

Pages also include tidbits from the church’s history, such as the fact that women dried their laundry in the church attic until 1812, when they realized the moisture was harmful.

To order With Heart & Hand, send a check for $30, made payable to Women’s Fellowship Cookbook, to Home Moravian Church, 529 South Church Street, Winston-Salem, N.C. 27101.

Additional recipes from With Heart & Hand that appeared originally with this one:
Salem-College-Styled Iced Tea

This story was published on

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