Pampushky is traditional Ukrainian garlic bread made from yeast dough, topped with garlic dill oil and served with borscht. Quite easy to make and are to die for!

Ukrainian garlic bread slathered with garlic dill oil in a baking dish.

Pampushky are an epitome of comfort food in Ukrainian cooking. They are fluffy, soft Ukrainian garlic bread rolls that smell heavenly and melt in your mouth.

My grandma was a doctor and worked afternoon shifts. I have fond memories of grandma making this Ukrainian garlic bread to serve alongside borsch or chicken noodle soup that she whipped up before going to work.

Those were the best food days! Good thing, we can repeat history with food. This pampushky recipe is very easy, let’s make it.

What Is Pampushky?

Word “pampushky” in Ukrainian or “pampushki” in Russian means literally gorgeous, plump woman. Therefore the name, because you just want to squeeze these soft yeast rolls! That’s how fluffy these pillowy soft buns are.

These Ukrainian yeast rolls are similar to North American soft dinner rolls. Once bread has finished baking and is golden, it is slathered with salty mixture of oil, crushed garlic and fresh dill while still warm. Your kitchen will smell heavenly!

The texture of the bread is soft and fluffy, with slightly sweet flavor on the inside and robust salty, garlicky herb oil on top of glistening golden crust. Yum!

Ingredients You Will Need

To make pampushky, you need just 9 simple ingredients you likely have on hand right now.

All-purpose flour, garlic, dill, eggs, yeast, salt, oil, sugar, milk.
  • All-purpose flour: I do not recommend to use any other flour as recipe will not work. Baking is a science. Use plain regular white flour.
  • Dry yeast: You can use regular active dry yeast or quick-rise instant yeast. Same amount.
  • Milk: Whole milk that is warm. Water or any dairy-free milk will work too just will change flavor of pampushki slightly.
  • Eggs: One egg is for the bread dough and another egg yolk for brushing on top.
  • Oil: Sunflower oil is traditional choice in Ukrainian cuisine. You can also use olive oil or avocado oil.
  • Sugar: White sugar or cane sugar to help activate the yeast.
  • Salt: Kosher salt or I like to use himalayan pink salt.
  • Fresh dill: Finely chopped fresh dill. Fresh parsley or green onions will work too although won’t be a traditional Ukrainian bread. Still delicious.
  • Garlic: Lots of freshly minced garlic. Add more or less to your personal taste. I like to use Russian garlic as it is more potent than regular garlic.

How to Make Pampushky

Here is a detailed step-by-step guide how to make pampushky from scratch. It is quite easy process if you follow the recipe. Just plan ahead for 2 hours of dough rising.

Proofing yeast and ready to use dough in a glass bowl.
  • Heat up milk: Warm up milk in small pot on the stove or in microwave until lukewarm, warm to the touch but not hot.
  • Activate the yeast: In a large bowl, add warm milk, sugar and sprinkle yeast on top. Whisk and let mixture sit for 10-15 minutes until foamy. If yeast mixture isn’t foamy, your dough won’t rise.
  • Make the dough: Add egg, salt, oil and whisk well. Then add flour in small portions and stir the dough with spatula in a bowl. When too thick, transfer on a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until elastic and barely sticking to your hands, about 4 minutes.
  • Let it rise: Transfer to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise. Your dough is ready when it has doubled in size.
Pampushky dough in a baking dish and egg wash in a bowl.
  • Divide the dough: Grease 9 x 13 ovenproof dish with oil. Divide the dough into 15 equal pieces, roll each one into a ball and place in rows, leaving space in between. I ended up with 3 rows of 5 dough balls in each.
  • Do the second rise: Cover dish with plastic and let balls of dough rise until almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  • Make the egg wash: Prepare the eggs wash by whisking one egg yolk and a teaspoon of water in a small bowl.
  • Bake pampushky: Brush the tops of rolls with beaten egg and bake uncovered in preheated oven to 375 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Make the garlic oil: While bread is baking, whip up the garlicky oil mixture by combining oil, minced garlic, fresh dill and salt in a small bowl.
  • Top pampushky with oil right away: Remove buns from the oven and spoon garlic sauce on top of them right away. While pampushky are hot, they will absorb all the flavors. Enjoy!

Tips for Foolproof Results

Here are a few tips for foolproof results and to make you the confident yeast dough baker.

  • Foamy mixture: Make sure your milk is between 105 F and 115 F, which is ideal for proofing dry yeast according to Fleischmann’s. Check with an instant read thermometer. Too cold milk – yeast won’t activate, too hot – yeast will die. Also check your yeast for expiry date and do not use expired product.
  • Active dry yeast versus instant yeast: According to Masterclass, you can use both yeasts interchangeably as long as they are both dry. The only difference is how long it takes for yeast to activate and dough to rise. It’s slightly faster results with quick-rising yeast.
  • Warm place: Yeast dough rises faster in warmer place. How warm it is, will affect the rising time. Warm place is by the stove, a heat register or any source of heat. You can also place double folded blanket on top of the bowl to speed up dough rising.
  • Do not add too much flour: Add flour as directed in the recipe and knead the dough. If you add too much, your pampushki will be too dry.
  • Knead the dough: Knead the dough with your hands on well-floured work surface or in a bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Knead until elastic and almost not sticking to your hands. If the dough is not sticking to your hands at all, you have added too much flour.
Three bread rolls on a plate served next to borscht.

What Do You Serve Ukrainian Garlic Bread with?

Ukrainian garlic bread is served alongside soups for dipping. Vegetarian borscht or green borscht would be the classic ones.

You can also serve pampushky with any soup or stew. I find it goes well with chicken noodle soup, white chicken chili or even beef stew.

Storage Recommendations

Store: Place leftovers in an airtight container or tightly cover baking dish with plastic wrap and store them for up to 3 days on the counter. Reheat in a microwave or in air fryer until warmed through.

Freeze: Freeze pampushki in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a countertop for a few hours.

FAQs

Why Ukrainians use sunflower oil?

Sunflower is a national flower of Ukraine and a symbol of peace. It is widely cultivated and sunflower oil is the most common oil like olive oil in Italy, for example. You can use any other mild-tasting oil.

Why you don’t let dough rise overnight?

There is no need to. This is an easy recipe unlike other recipes on the web may suggest to make the sponge first.

Can I make rolls vegan?

Some pampushky recipes do not require the use of eggs. In my tests, rolls with eggs came out more fluffy and moist. You can omit the egg, add a bit extra oil and be ready for more dense results.

What else can I top pampushky with?

Instead of garlic try finely chopped garlic scapes in summer. Sprinkle sesame seeds or poppy seeds on tops before baking. Brush with honey glaze or maple glaze after baking for sweet pampushky. Add chopped bacon or use other fresh herbs like basil.

More Tasty Bread Recipes to Try

Side view of Ukrainian garlic bread with dill garlic garnish in baking dish.
Pampushky with garlic dill oil on top in a baking dish.

Pampushky (Ukrainian Garlic Bread)

Pampushky is traditional Ukrainian garlic bread made from yeast dough, topped with garlic dill oil and served with borscht.
5 from 4 votes
Servings 15 rolls
Calories 202
Diet Vegetarian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Dough Rising 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

For Dough:

  • 1 1/3 cups milk warm
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast regular or quick rise
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons oil like olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour more for dusting

For Egg Wash:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon water

For Garlic Oil:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 4 large garlic cloves minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, add warm milk, yeast and sugar. Whisk and set side for 10-15 minutes until mixture is foamy.
  • Add 1 egg, 3 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt and whisk to combine. Add flour in small portions while stirring with spatula. Transfer dough on a well-floured surface and knead until elastic and just barely sticking to your hands, about 4 minutes.
  • Place dough back in a bowl, cover with plastic and let proof in warm place until doubled in size, about 1 -2 hours.
  • Grease 9×13 inch ovenproof baking dish and set aside. Divide dough into 15 equal size pieces, roll into balls and place into baking dish, leaving some space in between. Cover with plastic, place in warm place and let rise until almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a small bowl, add 1 egg yolk and 1 teaspoon water and whisk. Brush on top of proofed pampushky and bake uncovered for about 30 minutes or until tops turn golden brown.
  • While bread is baking, make garlic oil by combining olive oil, garlic, dill and salt in a small bowl.
  • Remove pampushky from the oven, top with garlic oil evenly while hot and serve with borscht.

Notes

  • Store: Place leftovers in an airtight container or tightly cover baking dish with plastic wrap and store them for up to 3 days on the counter. Reheat in a microwave or in air fryer until warmed through.
  • Freeze: Freeze pampushki in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a countertop for a few hours.
  • Foamy mixture: Make sure your milk is between 105 F and 115 F, which is ideal for proofing dry yeast. Check with an instant read thermometer.
  • Active dry yeast versus instant yeast: You can use both yeasts interchangeably as long as they are both dry.
  • Warm place: Yeast dough rises faster in warmer place. How warm it is, will affect the rising time. Warm place is by the stove, a heat register or any source of heat. You can also place double folded blanket on top of the bowl to speed up dough rising.
  • Do not add too much flour: Add flour as directed in the recipe and knead the dough. If you add too much, your pampushki will be too dry.

Nutrition

Serving: 1roll | Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 248mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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