Steamed pampuchy buns with hollandaise sauce and grilled asparagus

There are so many Polish traditional dishes that are originally vegan (or almost vegan), so many of them are based on white wheat flour. A good example is the steamed yeast buns called pampuchy (pampuch – singular), and for me this dish brings back some good 90’s memories. I remember visiting my grandmother and seeing the bowl full of yeast dough. I remember how that fast-growing white ball worked on my imagination. And all in all, it’s a bit of magic for me still: every time I prepare something with yeast (recently also with the wild one, cause I do a lot of sourdough bread experiments) I feel excited and satisfied just as I would feel when I was a child. Basically, cooking brings me a lot of childhood memories and often those more manual and experimental sides of kitchen work allow me to feel so carefree again. And this is something I enjoy the most.

Returning to the pampuchy, I remember them in two versions: the first one is sweet, with cream or yoghurt and seasonal fruit, and the second one is savoury, with meat and gravy, almost like the Czech „knedliki” style. But today, enjoying the asparagus season, I have decided to combine the well-known theme of the yellow hollandaise sauce with a steamed chubby pampuch. And I must admit, it has turned out great. And I have had a lot of fun too!

Vegan steamed buns – pampuchy (ingredients for 8 buns)

  • 250g wheat flour
  • 200ml plant-based milk (without sugar)
  • 1 flat tsp of sugar
  • 15g fresh yeast (or 3g dry)
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1 tsp of salt
  1. Mix two tablespoons of flour with yeast, sugar and lukewarm (not hot!) plant-based milk. Mix thoroughly and set aside for five minutes.

  2. Add the prepared yeast-mix, flour, oil and salt to a large bowl and mix it. Knead the dough for three to five minutes.

  3. Leave the dough for at least half an hour to rise (in the meantime, prepare the asparagus and hollandaise sauce).

  4. Divide the risen dough into eight small balls, and then knead each ball and set aside again for at least 10 minutes.

  5. Prepare a larger pot half-filled with water and cover it loosely with a clean kitchen cloth. The cloth will create a steaming surface for the buns.

  6. Put the buns on the cloth, allowing some space around them as they will expand. Cover the pot with the lid and steam the buns for about 10 minutes.

Grilled asparagus with mushrooms

  • bunch of green asparagus
  • 300g portobello mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • salt and pepper
  • oregano (fresh leaves will work great)

For serving: some extra fresh oregano leaves and strawberry halves (my mother says that strawberries get along with asparagus very well – so I trust her in this matter)

  1. Cut the mushrooms into halves (or quarters if the mushrooms are bigger)

  2. Tear off the asparagus ends, cut the rest in half.

  3. Pour a tablespoon of olive oil into a hot frying pan, and then fry the mushrooms for 5 minutes with a pinch of salt and pepper, stirring occasionally (that will make them tastier).

  4. Put the fried mushrooms in a bowl, repeat the procedure with another spoon of olive oil and chopped asparagus. They are most delicious when crunchy, so they will only need 2 or 3 minutes on the pan.

  5. Add the previously prepared mushrooms to the fried asparagus, season with an additional pinch of salt and a few leaves of fresh oregano.

Vegan hollandaise sauce

  • 100g cashews
  • 200ml vegetable milk (without sugar)
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt (the best would be: a half teaspoon of black kala namak salt for eggy taste, and another half of just regular salt)
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp apple or wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of yeast flakes
  1. Soak the cashews in water for at least 15 minutes. Strain.

  2. Add cashews, plant-based milk and oil to the tall blender container. Blend well (for now, it does not have to have a smooth consistency)

  3. Add all the other ingredients and blend again. This time we want to achieve the smoothest sauce possible. This should not be a problem with this double-blending process.

Tip: To achieve a thicker sauce, you can heat it in a pot. Remember to stir constantly as it sticks easily! But in this recipe, the sauce works very well at room temperature.

Serving suggestion:

Place the pampuch on a large plate. Spread the sauce around it with a spoon. Arrange the grilled asparagus and mushrooms on the sauce. Garnish with fresh oregano and strawberries. If necessary, add an additional pinch of salt and pepper.