A recipe for a sweet comforting breakfast. These buns are definitely best eaten straight away, while still warm …but I have discovered that they revive when lightly toasted. 🙂
A simple enough recipe, a bit of faff involved …particularly if you make your own adzuki bean paste (which is worth it I think…).
You can buy adzuki bean paste in a good oriental store…. but this recipe for Yokan includes the ingredients and method for adzuki bean paste if you want to try it out.
(click image for link)
There are many variations, plain sweet buns….or you could try using jam or a fruit compote instead of adzuki bean paste…. or else savoury buns (leaving out the sugar in the dough recipe and adding more salt), stuffed with something like a mushroom tapenade or crumbled tofu flavoured with miso…
But the adzuki bean paste has a lovely distinctive taste with a gentle sweetness….
CHINESE STEAMED BUNS FILLED WITH SWEET ADZUKI BEAN PASTE
- 100gms. adzuki bean paste
- 200gms. plain/all-purpose flour
- 60 gms. sugar (I used light raw muscovado)
- 7 gms. fast-acting yeast
- 0.5 tsp. baking powder/soda
- pinch of salt
- 100 – 110 ml. warm water (or 50/50 warmed non-dairy milk and water)
- 1 tsp. sugar
- Place 100ml. of warm water and 1 tsp. sugar in a bowl, and add the yeast. Stir.
- Leave for 10-15 mins. until the yeast has activated.
- It will be bubbly and foamy, and have a yeasty fragrance.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, the sugar, the baking powder and the salt.
- When the yeast is ready pour it slowly into the flour mix.
- Stir in and bring it all together to form a dough.
- Add a little more water (or flour) as necessary).
- Knead the dough gently for 8 mins. or so. It should be soft and very slightly sticky rather than too dry.
- Place in a lightly-greased bowl, cover, wrap the bowl in a blanket and leave in a warm place for about an hour, until the dough has doubled in size.
- When ready, place the risen dough on a lightly-floured board, and cut into 8 or 10 equal sized pieces.
- Take one piece and form a simple disc shape. 6-7 cm. in diameter. No need to overwork the dough.
- Place about 2 tsps. adzuki bean paste in the centre of the dough.
- Stretch the dough over the paste and close the bun with a twist to seal it completely.
- Repeat with each dough piece.
- Cut out small circles of baking parchment and place the buns, twisted side down on a circle of parchment (to avoid sticking), and then transfer to the steamer.
- Place the steamer containing the buns, over a suitable sized saucepan (or wok), filled with ample water to steam for 20 mins, ( I used about 700ml.). The water mustn’t touch the base of the steamer.
- Turn on the heat under the pan to the lowest setting, to create a warm moist environment for the buns to prove. After 12 mins., turn the heat up high, and bring the water to a rapid boil.
- Steam the buns for about 20 mins. (or about 16-17 mins. if you have made 10).
- The buns will be tough if they are over-cooked, but you don’t want them under-cooked either!
- When done, switch off the heat and leave them for 3 mins. before uncovering.
Serve immediately with tea or coffee….