Sunday, May 15, 2011

Who Needs Chinese Bakeries? Part I: Red Bean and Coconut Buns

The last time I visited my grandparents in China, my grandmother took me by the hand, looked me straight in the eye, and said "You know, you're almost twenty-five. It's time to get married..."

So, dear readers, seeing that I'm already twenty-five, I'm going to boost my husband-catching chances by learning how to make things he might like to eat, like these fluffy baked buns you might find in Asian bakeries. Surely I'll be able to lure a host of serious, steady-income potential husbands with my baked goods!

All joking aside, I wanted to learn to make these so I wouldn't have to venture out to the Boston Chinatown in the snow whenever I had red bean bread cravings.

I got the recipe for the bread dough from here. The technique involves making a water-roux (mixture of water and flour) cooked to 65C, which supposedly allows the flour to absorb more liquid, leading to a softer, more tender dough. I'll have to consult with Harold McGee later (his book, anyway).

I made two types of bread, red bean and coconut. The red bean is just filled with red bean past, the coconut is filled with a deadly mixture of butter, sugar, flour, milk powder, and coconut. It's so very dangerous.

 Next up, custard buns and Portuguese egg tarts!

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