Coconut custard buns

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RECIPE: My husband loves custard, so what better than to bake a custard bun. At first I was going to try a custard scroll, then found this recipe. I chose to make it because I had yet to succeed with a truly light and fluffy white bread. I followed the recipe and used the syrup glaze.

PREPARATION: The tangzhong was very quick to make – don’t walk away from the stove because it thickens suddenly. I let it cool to room temperature then used it straight away. I made half a quantity and still had a little spare. The dough was very sticky so I was glad I used a stand mixer for less mess. It was no longer sticky but tacky when I left it to proof. It rose beautifully. Once deflated, separated into six portions and rested, I rolled them out. I used some flour to stop it sticking to the bench and the rolling pin, but was careful to not use too much. I spread the coconut custard mix on the rolled out dough with my fingers, as I found this easiest. I rolled the oval up and rolled it out once more, but didn’t repeat as I was trying to stop the coconut custard combining completely with the dough. I painted the syrup on just as I took the buns out of the oven (rather than five minutes earlier) and it was fine.

IMPRESSION: This was such a nice fluffy bread with a light taste of custard and coconut through it. The coconut custard was well combined with the bread, so much so that you got a custard flavour rather than a chunk of custard.

Recipe from Christine’s Recipes

Coconut Custard Buns

Ingredients of tangzhong  (the amount is enough to make two loafs)
50g (1/3 cup) bread flour
250ml (1cup water, could be replaced by milk, or 50/50 water and milk)

Ingredients of buns:
350g bread flour
55g caster sugar
5g salt
56g egg
7g milk powder (to increase fragrance, optional)
125 ml milk
120g tangzhong (refer to this recipe for making tangzhong)
5 to 6g instant yeast
30g butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)

Ingredients of fillings:
30g butter, softened
30g caster sugar
30g egg, whisked
60g desiccated coconut

Syrup (optional):
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp water

Tangzhong: Mix flour in water until lumps removed. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to prevent burning and sticking. The mixture will thicken. When your spoon leaves “lines” in the mixture, it’s done. Remove from heat and transfer to a clean bowl. Place cling wrap on the surface and let cool. The tangzhong can be used once it cools down to room temperature. The leftover tangzhong can be stored in fridge up to a few days as long as it doesn’t turn grey. If so, you need to discard and cook some more. The chilled tangzhong should return to room temperature before adding into other ingredients.

Fillings: Combine softened butter with sugar. Add egg, stir well, then add desiccated coconut and combine. Place in the fridge until you need it – chilling will help with later use. If chilled too long, bring back to desired temperature before use.

Bread: Combine all dry ingredients (flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast) in a bowl. Make a well in the center. Whisk and combine all wet ingredients (milk, egg and tangzhong), then add into the well of the dry ingredients. Knead until you get a doughy consistency with some elasticity, then knead in the butter. Keep kneading until the dough is smooth, not sticky. To test if the dough is ready, stretch the dough. If it forms a thin “membrane” that is transparent, it’s done. The time of kneading all depends on how hard and fast you knead. It’s possible to use a stand mixer to do the kneading. Add the wet ingredients, followed by the dry and then the yeast. Knead the dough into a ball shape. Place in a greased bowl and cover with a wet towel or cling wrap. Let it proof until it doubles in size, about 40 minutes. The best temperature for proofing is 28 degrees celsius. Transfer to a clean floured surface.

Deflate and divide the dough into six equal portions. Knead into ball shapes. Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes.

Roll out each part with a rolling pin into an oval shape. Place custard filling evenly onto the surface of dough. Roll from top to bottom to enclose the filling. Flatten dough with pin. Again, roll from top to bottom. Knead into a ball shape. Repeat this step of rolling and wrapping fillings with the rest of your dough. With seals facing down, place the six balls into a greased (or lined with baking paper) 20cm cake tin, cover with cling wrap or a wet towel. Leave it for the 2nd round of proofing, about 45 to 60 minutes, until doubled in size.

Brush whisked egg on surface of buns. Sprinkle sesame seeds if you like. Bake in a pre-heated 180C (356F) oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Five minutes before removing from the oven, brush syrup on the surface of buns. Once baked, transfer onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

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