Tiny little folds of bread filled with jam (homemade of course) – don’t they just sound delicious.  Well they did to me, that’s why I decided to bake them…

These little buns come from Uruguay and Jane’s foreword about them says:-

“Get this: vigilantes are the snack of choice of the Uruguayan police force!  That has got to be reason enough to bake them”


  • 300g plain flour
  • 3/4 tsp instant yeast/1 tsp dry yeast/6g fresh yeast
  • 200g + 1 tbsp milk
  • 50g sugar
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 50g butter


  • Jam of your choice (in this case homemade red currant and gooseberry jam)


  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp water
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of sugar


220 °C, 425° F, Gas 7


First things first – the milk was put into a pan and brought up nearly to boiling point and put to one side to cool.  I think this is one of the things I love about this book, you can spread the whole bake out over the day to fit in with you.  It doesn’t seem to matter if you leave the mixture slightly longer than it states – well I don’t think it does, the buns I’ve turned out so far I’ve been more than happy with and so have the family  and they’re my worst critics, there’s no mincing of their words, if they don’t like it, then they tell me.  The speed in which the buns disappear, however, tell me that they’ve liked everything I’ve baked so far …

Anyway, on with the recipe.

Once the milk has cooledput the flour into a bowl and make a well, into which you add the sugar and yeast.  Into the well add the milk and flick the flour over the top of the milk.  Cover and put to one side for an hour.  As you probably all know by now, at this stage I normally take the dog for a walk – which I must admit is for more than an hour.  By the time I get round to the next stage the yeast has normally started bubbling.  I tend to use either instant yeast or fresh yeast for the buns and I definitely think the fresh yeast gives the buns a slightly better flavour and the bread appears to be softer.  That may just be a coincidence in the recipe I make with the fresh yeast.  Perhaps I ought to make the recipes again using a different form of yeast to see what I think!

The salt was then added and the mixture was brought together into a ball, at which point it was turned out and kneaded for 10 minutes.  I did find the mixture slightly sticky to start with, but I think my kneading skills must be getting better as it soon became smooth.  However it was at this point that the butter was added in small chunks, so it became sticky once more, but again after about 5 minutes the mixture stopped being sticky and became lovely and soft and smooth.  20 minutes of kneading in total for these recipes – that’ll tone my arms up in no time … hopefully!  The dough was returned to a bowl and covered and left to rest for 2 hours, which gave me plenty of time to do a little work!

photo 11

After 2 hours the dough had risen considerably so it was pulled out onto an unfloured surface.  I weighed the dough and divided it into 20 equal portions.  The work surface was then lightly floured and each portion was stretched into a little diamond shape.  I was a little unsure as to what size they should be but from the photos in the book you can roughly gauge how big to make them.  Mine were around 10cm square – I know that probably doesn’t make sense but basically I made them into squares and then put them on the work surface with a corner facing me, which made them into diamonds – didn’t it …

I did this with a few more and then put a little spoon of jam onto them, smearing it from the top corner to the bottom (see photo below).  The other two corners were brushed with a little water and then the left corner was folded over the middle and the right corner folded on top – a bit like wrapping a baby in a blanket!  Using my dough scraper these were gently picked up and transferred on to a lined baking sheet.  The process was repeated until all 20 had been made.  The buns were covered with a clean, dry tea towel and left for 45 minutes to rest.

photo 10

With 10 minutes to go the oven was put on to preheat and the ingredients for the glaze were beaten together.  The buns were brushed with the glaze and then popped into the oven.

Now here is where I have a confession to make.  I’ve actually made these twice.  The first time I made them I put the first tray into the oven and picked the second tray up to put in the oven.  I don’t know what I did differently, but the whole of the second tray slid off and went on the floor.  I was using a baking sheet with three slightly turned up sides and one open side.  As I bent down to put them in the oven I must have tipped the tray and they went all over the floor and yes, you’ve guessed they all landed ‘jam’ side down, messy!  My son came into the kitchen to see what had happened and we both burst out laughing – it was either that or I think I would have cried.  I shut the oven door on the 10 that had been successfully put in and cleared the other 10 up.  What a waste I thought.  I know you’re all thinking, well at least you saved half of them.  But no, I didn’t.  I was so worried about the mess on the floor and getting it cleaned up that I completely forgot to set the timer on the oven.  So after I had cleaned the floor up I stupidly set the timer for 15 minutes (as that is how long they were to cook for).  I had completely forgotten that it had probably taken me 10 minutes to clean and wash the floor and that they had already been in the oven that long.  I was after 10 minutes I began to think I could smell burning.  I rushed back into the kitchen opened the oven door, which promptly let a huge amount of smoke out into the kitchen, which then set the smoke alarm off in the hall.  The buns were black and didn’t look very appetising at all.  What a waste, what a day of baking!!

I did however, eat them.  Once you’d got past the burnt outside they did taste rather good, which gave me the incentive to bake them again a few days later.  This time I was very, very careful putting them into the oven and I watched them like a hawk whilst they were baking.  There was no way I was going to burn these for a second time.

The result was 20 lovely buns and believe me they were lovely.  I think they had all disappeared within an hour of making them.  They were so moreish, you couldn’t eat just one, you had to have another and …

I hasten to add I didn’t eat all of them I think they were shared equally out between the four of us!!

photo 9

Another favourite and one that will be made again and again in this household.




2 thoughts on “Vigilantes

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