August 18, 2022

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Baked Coconut Buns (椰絲包)


Thank you to Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring this publish!

This Chinese bakery-inspired coconut bun recipe has been a very long time within the making. My preliminary inspiration got here from a sliced coconut bread that Mama Lin used to purchase from Chinese bakeries. The bread was like Japanese milk bread with ribbons of candy coconut operating inside and on high of the loaf. It was considered one of my favourite treats and I needed to recreate that nostalgia at dwelling. 

However, making an attempt to develop a recipe for that bread has confirmed to be tougher that I imagined. Although I baked one loaf efficiently, I haven’t been in a position to replicate that success. The loaves consistently cave inwards through the cooling course of, most likely from the load of the filling.

For now, that recipe is on the again burner. Instead, I reconceptualized the coconut bread and turned it into 6 twisted coconut buns. The buns ship loads of aromatic taste with out being too candy. The bread has hints of milky taste. You additionally get coconut taste from Bob’s Red Mill’s Unsweetened Shredded Coconut and wealthy vanilla notes from vanilla bean paste. 

One fast word earlier than I get to the recipe: these coconut buns usually are not the identical as Chinese cocktail buns (雞尾包). The filling in cocktail buns are often extra moist and candy. Also, they often don’t have vanilla taste.

Twisted Coconut Buns with Bob's Red Mill

HOW TO MAKE COCONUT BUNS

INGREDIENTS FOR THE DOUGH

For the dough, you’ll want Bob’s Red Mill’s Artisan Bread Flour. If you’re aware of my Asian bread recipes, you’ll understand how a lot I really like utilizing Bob’s Red Mill’s flour for my bakes. The texture of my breads are persistently good after I use Bob’s Red Mill’s flours. Moreover, their flours are often simply accessible in grocery shops. Here are a number of different bread recipes that I developed utilizing Bob’s Red Mill flours: Japanese milk bread, pineapple buns (bolo bao), and baked scallion bread

In addition to bread flour, you’ll want entire milk, sugar, yeast, powdered milk, melted unsalted butter, and an egg. I choose entire milk as a result of it provides the bread richer taste and the fats content material helps make the bread mushy. The powdered milk enhances the milky taste of the bread. In my different bread recipes, I’ve used condensed milk as a substitute of powdered milk and sugar. Many individuals have requested me for a dough recipe that doesn’t use condensed milk. That’s why I developed this model utilizing powdered milk as a substitute. Plus, leftover powdered milk is less complicated to retailer for a very long time. 

ACTIVATE THE YEAST

The first step in making the dough is activating the yeast. To try this, pour the milk right into a microwave-safe bowl or a measuring cup and warmth on excessive for about 30 seconds. The milk needs to be heat however not scalding scorching, someplace between 100ºF to 115ºF. In earlier recipes, I stated that the milk needs to be between 110ºF to 120ºF. Having baked extra of this type of bread, I’ve discovered that it’s okay if the milk is barely cooler.

Activate Yeast

Once you warmth the milk, add 35 grams (3 tablespoons) of sugar and the yeast to the warmed milk and stir collectively. Technically, you don’t want to make use of all that sugar to activate the yeast. However, I could be forgetful and can omit the remaining sugar in a while if I don’t take care of the sugar without delay. Let this milk and yeast combination sit for five minutes. After the resting interval, the yeast develops a skinny foamy layer on the high (see picture above, proper), which is a sign that the yeast is lively. If you don’t see any foaming exercise in any respect, your yeast could have expired.

USING INSTANT YEAST

If you’re utilizing on the spot yeast, you do not want to activate it. In different phrases, you do not want to warmth the milk and blend the yeast with the milk. Simply add the moment yeast together with the opposite components for the dough into the bowl of your stand mixer. Then, begin mixing and kneading the dough. Note that when you used milk straight out of the fridge, dough may not rise as excessive as a result of the dough is colder.

Ingredients for dough

MAKE THE DOUGH

When you have got measured and ready all of the components for the dough, add them into the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix the dough on low till you don’t see any free flour on the perimeters of the bowl. This ought to take 30 seconds to 1 minute. If you begin out utilizing a excessive pace to combine the flour, the flour will fly out throughout your counter.

Mixed dough around dough hook

Next, improve the pace to medium-low and work the dough for 8 minutes. The dough will wrap across the dough hook. Once the dough has blended for 8 minutes, it ought to really feel supple and calmly moist. However, the dough shouldn’t stick with your fingers once you squeeze it and let go. 

Even although I present weighted measurements for the components, I do know all of us work in several kitchen circumstances, which may have an effect on the hydration ranges of the dough. If the dough feels very sticky once you squeeze it together with your fingers, add one other tablespoon of bread flour and work the flour into the dough. Then check the feel of the dough once more with clear arms. If the dough continues to be very sticky, add one other tablespoon of flour and work it in. Conversely, if the dough is dry (and you’ll inform as a result of the dough isn’t wrapping across the dough hook persistently), add 1 tablespoon of milk and work it into the dough.  

Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto a floor and knead just a few instances. I don’t often flour the work floor as a result of the dough doesn’t stick with my arms or the work floor. If the dough continues to be feeling sticky, calmly mud your work floor and knead the dough a number of instances.  

Dough going through first rise

Shape the dough right into a ball and place the dough inside a greased mixing bowl (picture above, left). Cover the bowl with a moist towel (or a silicone lid) and let it rise in a heat place for about 1 hour, till the dough doubles in dimension (picture above, proper).

A DOUGH WITHOUT TANGZHONG

If you have got made my different Asian bread recipes, you’ll know that I typically use tangzhong, a paste product of water and flour heated collectively. Tangzhong provides bread a mushy and pillowy texture.

When I examined this coconut bun recipe, I observed that the tangzhong-based dough overvalued an excessive amount of through the second rise and whereas the buns baked. As a outcome, the twisted knot within the coconut buns would unravel or lose its definition. That’s why I made a decision to omit the tangzhong right here. To make sure that the buns are mushy, I’ve included satisfactory quantities of fats from the butter and entire milk.

Ingredients for filling

MAKE FILLING

The filling consists of Bob’s Red Mill’s Unsweetened Shredded Coconut, sugar, floor turmeric, melted unsalted butter, an egg yolk, and vanilla bean paste. I really like the way in which the feel of the shredded coconut contrasts with the mushy texture of the buns. To improve the yellow coloration of the filling, I added a hint quantity of floor turmeric to the filling (1/16 teaspoon). However, you’ll be able to omit the turmeric when you don’t prefer it. I additionally needed a robust vanilla taste within the buns, so I used vanilla bean paste for the filling. If you don’t have vanilla bean paste, you need to use vanilla extract as a substitute.

After you combine the components for the filling, chill the filling within the fridge for 20 to 25 minutes. It’ll make the bun shaping course of much less messy later. The filling can harden within the fridge when you go away the bowl uncovered for an extended interval (over an hour). If it hardens, let the filling sit out at room temperature for 20 minutes or so to melt it barely. You may also cowl the bowl, which helps to maintain the filling from stiffening. 

Stacked baking sheets

PREPARE BAKING SHEETS

Line a big sheet pan (13×18 inches or bigger) with parchment paper. If you have got one other baking sheet of the very same dimension, I like to recommend stacking it beneath the lined baking sheet. When you stack 2 baking sheets of the identical dimension, the edges of the sheets will contact, however there will probably be a spot between the highest and backside sheets. The hole helps to maintain the bottoms of the buns from overbrowning.

Bottoms of Bao

You can see from this experiment I did with my baked Chinese BBQ pork buns the distinction the sheet stacking makes. The bun on the left was baked on stacked sheets whereas the one on the best was baked on a single sheet.

SHAPE THE BUNS (VIDEO DEMONSTRATION IN RECIPE CARD)

Measured out coconut filling

Take the chilled filling and divide it into 6 equal items of about 25 to twenty-eight grams every, about 1 1/2 tablespoons. I often use a medium cookie scoop to divide the filling. 

Rolling out dough for buns, steps 1 and 2

Punch down the risen dough to take away extra air. Divide the dough into 6 equal items of about 112 to 115 grams every. Shape the dough into an oval. Cover 5 items of dough with a dry towel whilst you form the primary bun. 

Roll out one piece of dough till you get a rectangle of about 10 to 10.5 inches lengthy and 4 to 4.5 inches broad. I don’t often flour the floor earlier than I roll out the dough. When I mud the floor with flour, the dough usually shrinks again as I roll it out, particularly at first. However, when rolling the dough on a naked floor, the dough grips onto the floor simpler and it doesn’t shrink again as simply. 

Adding filling to dough and folding it over

Take 1 piece of the filling and unfold it over half of the rectangle, alongside the size of the rectangle. See picture above, left, for reference.

Fold the aspect of the rectangle with out filling over the half with filling. You ought to have an extended and skinny rectangle. The rectangle would possibly look a bit lopsided, however don’t fear an excessive amount of about it. You received’t discover the imbalance when you form the bun right into a knot.

Cutting strips inside dough

Using a knife, make 2 or 3 lengthy cuts contained in the rectangle, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch border alongside the quick aspect of the rectangle uncut. The border ensures that the strips are connected collectively, making the subsequent step simpler. By now, you must have created 3 or 4 strips contained in the rectangle, relying on what number of cuts you made. 

When testing the recipe, I believed that the sample of the coconut buns would look extra intricate with 4 strips as a substitute of three. However, when you twist the dough and tie it right into a knot, you’ll be able to barely inform the distinction between the 2 variations. The dough is less complicated to deal with once you make solely 2 cuts contained in the rectangle, however be happy to experiment with each strategies. 

Finishing tying dough into knot

Grab a maintain of the quick ends of the dough and twist it a number of instances. Then tie the twisted dough right into a knot (see the images above or the video within the recipe card for reference). Transfer the knotted dough onto the lined baking sheet. Continue shaping the remaining items of dough.

Cover the knotted buns with a layer of plastic wrap and let the buns rise for an hour, till they double in dimension.

Prepared coconut buns before second rise

BAKE COCONUT BUNS

Once the buns are almost completed rising, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Position an oven rack to the middle place.

Whisk an egg with 1 tablespoon of milk for the egg wash. If you don’t need to crack open one other egg for the egg wash, you’ll be able to truly use the leftover egg whites reserved from the filling. Thin out the whites with 1 teaspoon of milk. The buns received’t look as golden as soon as they’re baked, however the whites will add some coloration to the buns.

Gently apply a skinny layer of egg wash over the risen buns. Place the coconut buns within the oven and bake for 22 to 25 minutes, till they’re golden brown on the high. I prefer to rotate the baking sheet after quarter-hour to make sure even browning.

Coconut buns on cooling rack

Take the coconut buns out of the oven. Let them cool on the baking sheet for five minutes earlier than transferring them to a cooling rack. These coconut buns are greatest consumed whereas they’re nonetheless a little bit heat.

WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER EGG

I often mix the leftover egg whites and egg from the egg wash. I’ll both scramble them on their very own or use it for fried rice.

Baked Coconut Buns

MAKE AHEAD DIRECTIONS FOR COCONUT BUNS

You could make the dough and the filling a day forward. Right after you have got labored the dough within the mixer for 8 minutes, switch the dough to a greased mixing bowl. Then, cowl the bowl with plastic and switch to the fridge to rise in a single day. You DO NOT have to let the dough rise in your counter first. Similarly, after getting blended all of the components for the filling, switch the filling right into a container and refrigerate.

When you’re able to make the buns the subsequent day, take the filling out of the fridge and contact it to check the feel. If it’s rock stable, let it sit in your counter for 25 to half-hour to melt barely. Once the filling feels extra malleable, you’ll be able to take the dough out of the fridge and form the coconut buns. You shouldn’t have to heat up the dough earlier than rolling it out. However, when you discover the items of dough are consistently shrinking again as you roll them out, let the dough sit for 15 to twenty minutes earlier than persevering with to roll them out. 

STORING AND REHEATING COCONUT BUNS

I often retailer the baked buns in a container and go away them out on my counter. They ought to maintain for two or 3 days. If you don’t assume you’ll be able to end the coconut buns inside 2 or 3 days however will eat them inside per week, retailer the coconut  buns within the fridge. When you’re able to eat the buns, warmth them within the microwave on excessive for 10 to twenty seconds. This is the best strategy to reheat the coconut buns whereas sustaining their mushy texture.

CAN I FREEZE THESE BUNS?

Yes. If you need to maintain the buns for longer than per week, freeze the baked buns and retailer them in a freezer bag. When you’re able to warmth them, bake the frozen buns at 350ºF for 10 to 12 minutes. You don’t have to thaw them beforehand.

Coconut Buns

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Servings: 6 buns

Coconut Buns (椰絲包)

Sink your tooth into these pillowy Chinese bakery-inspired coconut buns. These milky mushy buns are laced with aromatic ribbons of coconut and vanilla taste.

I typically weigh many of the components (besides salt) with my bread recipes as a result of I discover quantity measurements to be fairly inconsistent. If you have got a scale, use it right here! Note that the amount measurement of the bread flour is predicated on the spoon-and-sweep methodology. Read extra about it in Note 1. Make-ahead and freezer instructions are additionally supplied within the notes part.

Prep Time50 minutes

Cook Time25 minutes

Resting Time2 hrs

Ingredients

Dough

  • oil for greasing bowl, any impartial flavored oil
  • 175 grams entire milk, 3/4 cup
  • 35 grams sugar, 3 tablespoons
  • 3 grams lively dry yeast, 1 teaspoon
  • 360 grams bread flour, 3 cups measured with spoon and sweep methodology (see word 1)
  • 5 grams powdered milk, 1 tablespoon
  • 2 grams kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon
  • 55 grams unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 massive egg

Coconut Filling

  • 50 grams unsweetened shredded coconut, 1/2 cup
  • 40 grams sugar, 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1/16 teaspoon floor turmeric (optionally available), (see word 2)
  • 40 grams unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons, melted
  • 1 egg yolk, from a big egg
  • 6 grams vanilla bean paste, 1 teaspoon, can substitute with vanilla extract

Instructions

Make the Dough

  • Lightly grease a big mixing bowl with oil. Set it apart.

  • In a microwave-safe bowl, warmth the milk within the microwave on excessive for about 30 to 35 seconds. Use a thermometer to test the temperature of the milk. It needs to be someplace round 100ºF to 115ºF. If the milk is just too scorching, rapidly whisk the milk and let it cool for a number of minutes.

  • Add the sugar and yeast to the milk. Stir to hydrate the yeast. Let it sit for five minutes whilst you put together the opposite components. After 5 minutes, you must see a layer of froth on the highest (a sign that the yeast is lively).

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the bread flour, powdered milk, salt, foamy milk/yeast combination, melted butter, and egg.

  • Fit the mixer with the dough hook. Mix the dough on low till you don’t see any free flour on the perimeters of the bowl. This ought to take 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then, improve the pace to medium-low and work the dough for 8 minutes. The dough ought to really feel supple and moist however not overly sticky. If it is vitally sticky, add one other tablespoon of flour and work the flour into the dough. (See word 4)

  • Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto a floor and knead just a few instances. If the dough is feeling cheesy, calmly mud the floor with flour and proceed kneading just a few instances.

  • Shape the dough right into a ball and place contained in the greased mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with a moist towel (or a silicone lid) and let it rise in a heat place for about 1 hour, till the dough doubles in dimension.

Make the Filling

  • In a bowl, combine the coconut, sugar, and turmeric. Then, add the melted butter, egg yolk, and vanilla bean paste. Mix all the things collectively till mixed.

  • Transfer the bowl to the fridge to sit back the filling whereas the dough rises (about 20 to half-hour). If you allow the bowl contained in the fridge uncovered for over an hour, the filling can harden. Either regulate the time or cowl the bowl earlier than refrigerating.

Shape the Buns

  • Stack 2 massive baking sheets of the identical dimension (13” x 18” or bigger). Line the highest sheet with parchment paper. Stacking the baking sheets ensures that the bottoms of the buns received’t brown an excessive amount of. (See word 5 for extra info)

  • Take the chilled filling out of the fridge and divide it into 6 items of about 25 to twenty-eight grams every (about 1 1/2 tablespoons). I often use a medium cookie scoop and measure out a scant scoopful of filling for each bit.

  • Punch down the dough to launch extra air. Divide the dough into 6 equal items, about 112 to 115 grams every. Shape the dough into an oval. Cover 5 items of dough with a towel whilst you form the primary bun.

  • Roll out one piece of dough till you get a rectangle of about 10 to 10.5 inches lengthy and 4 to 4.5 inches broad. I don’t flour the floor earlier than I roll out the dough. This method, the dough grips onto the floor as I roll it out with out shrinking again considerably.

  • Take 1 piece of the filling and unfold it over half of the rectangle (alongside the lengthy edge). See images within the weblog publish or the video beneath for reference. Pick up the aspect of the dough with out filling and fold it over the half with the filling. You ought to now have an extended and skinny rectangle. It’s okay if the rectangle doesn’t look good at this stage.

  • Using a knife, make 2 or 3 lengthy cuts contained in the rectangle, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch border alongside the quick aspect of the rectangle uncut. The border ensures that the strips are connected collectively, making the subsequent step simpler. By now, you must have created 3 or 4 strips contained in the rectangle. It’s as much as you what number of cuts you need to make as I believe the completed buns look very comparable both method.

  • Grab a maintain of the quick ends of the dough and twist the dough just a few instances. Then tie the dough right into a knot (see video beneath or images within the weblog publish for reference).

  • Transfer the knotted dough onto the lined baking sheet. I additionally prefer to ensure that among the coconut filling is uncovered by opening up calmly pulling aside among the layers of the twisted bun. Continue shaping the remaining items of dough into buns.

  • Cover the knotted buns with plastic wrap and let the buns rise for an hour, till they double in dimension.

Bake

  • When the second rise is almost completed, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Position an oven rack to the middle place.

  • Whisk an egg with a tablespoon of milk. Gently apply a skinny layer of egg wash over the risen buns. (See word 6 for what to do with leftover eggs).

  • Place the coconut buns within the oven and bake for 22 to 25 minutes, till they’re golden on the high. I prefer to rotate the baking sheet after quarter-hour to make sure even browning.

  • Take the coconut buns out of the oven. Let them cool on the baking sheet for five minutes earlier than transferring them to a cooling rack. These coconut buns are greatest consumed whereas they’re nonetheless a little bit heat.

Storing Baked Buns

  • I often retailer the baked buns in a container and go away them out on my counter. They ought to maintain for two or 3 days. If you don’t assume you’ll be able to end the coconut buns inside 2 or 3 days however will eat them inside per week, retailer the coconut buns within the fridge. When you’re able to eat the buns, warmth them within the microwave on excessive for 10 to twenty seconds. This is the best strategy to reheat the coconut buns whereas sustaining their mushy texture.

  • Freezing: If you need to maintain the buns for longer than per week, freeze the baked buns and retailer them in a freezer bag. When you’re able to warmth them, bake the frozen buns at 350ºF for 10 to 12 minutes. You don’t have to thaw them beforehand.

Video

Notes

  1. Spoon-and-sweep methodology of measuring flour: If you would not have a scale, use a fork to fluff up the flour within the bag or container. Then, use a spoon to scoop flour into the measuring cup, till it’s overflowing with flour. DO NOT faucet the measuring cup on the counter to attempt to get extra flour into the measuring cup. Sweep the highest of the measuring cup with a knife to stage the flour. Finally, switch the flour to the bowl of the stand mixer.
  2. To improve the yellow coloration of the filling, I added a hint quantity of floor turmeric to the filling. However, you’ll be able to omit the turmeric when you don’t prefer it.
  3. If you don’t need to crack open one other egg for the egg wash, you’ll be able to truly use the leftover egg whites reserved from the filling. Thin out the whites with 1 teaspoon (as a substitute of 1 tablespoon) of milk. The buns received’t look as golden as soon as they’re baked, however the whites will add some coloration to the buns.
  4. Even although I present weighted measurements for the components, I do know all of us work in several kitchen circumstances, which may have an effect on the hydration ranges of the dough. If the dough feels very sticky once you squeeze it together with your fingers, add one other tablespoon of bread flour and work the flour into the dough. Then check the feel of the dough once more with clear arms. If the dough continues to be very sticky, add one other tablespoon of flour and work it in. Conversely, if the dough is dry (and you’ll inform as a result of the dough isn’t wrapping across the dough hook persistently), add 1 tablespoon of milk and work it into the dough.
  5. If you have got one other baking sheet of the very same dimension, I like to recommend stacking it beneath the lined baking sheet. When you stack 2 baking sheets of the identical dimension, the rim of the sheets will contact, however there will probably be a spot between the highest and backside sheets. The hole helps to maintain the buns from over-browning on the backside.
  6. I often mix the leftover egg whites and egg from the egg wash. I’ll both scramble them on their very own or use it for fried rice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bun | Calories: 471kcal | Carbohydrates: 60.8g | Protein: 10.6g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13.7g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 162mg | Fiber: 2.7g | Sugar: 15.5g

Did you make this recipe?Tag @hellolisalin or go away a star ranking and touch upon the weblog!

© Lisa Lin

Disclosure: This publish was sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill! To study extra about their merchandise and to get extra recipe inspiration, follow them on Instagram or Facebook.





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