RED BEAN PASTE BUNS
Red Bean Paste Buns go by a lot of names in a lot of countries, especially in the East Asian Region. Anpan, Dau Sha Bao and DanPatBbang are some of the names of these buns. In this lockdown period, my daughter has been baking a lot. And buns are a favourite here in our house. They are filling enough to be a good snack, but not so filling that you feel very heavy later. While most of the bun dough recipes are all quite similar, small variations in the quantity of yeast and water bring about the difference in the final product. When I was looking for something interesting to make as a snack, I found this recipe.
Red Bean Paste buns are made in different shapes all around the world. While some are just shaped as a ball with the paste inside, some are cut more elaborately. Initially, I was super skeptical about how I will be able to cut these buns. I was almost certain that I will somehow mess it up. But it turned out to be quite easy. I first made four cuts like a clocks 12,3,6,9 numbers. And then I divided each of those cuts into 2 parts. The result was very very beautiful, and much more of a delight than a normal ball. That being said, you can just make it in a ball shape.
I want to use active dry yeast instead of instant yeast. How to incorporate it ?
If you are going to use active dry yeast instead of the instant yeast that I have used. Active dry yeast needs to be activated first before kneading it with our dough. So, prior to preparing the dough, take the given amount of yeast, and sugar in a bowl. Mix the given amounts of milk and water, and heat it slightly Until it is hot enough that you can put your finger in it and it is bearable. Mix this milk mixture with the yeast and sugar, mix well and let it bloom for 10 minutes. In this time you will see that all the yeast granules have dissolved, and the mixture has become quite frothy. Incase yours doesn’t do that, then either the yeast is dead or the water was too hot that it killed the yeast.
To make these buns, we will first be preparing the red bean paste using soaked and boiled rajma/red kidney beans. And we will also be preparing the dough in the meantime. We shall then cook the red kidney beans paste with a little sugar until it looses all of its moisture. In this recipe, we will be proofing the dough twice. First when we knead it, until it doubles in size. And second, after we are done preparing the buns with the stuffing right before baking it. While baking the buns, I first bake them at 200 deg C with a milk wash for 25 minutes. Then I take them out and rub them with butter and bake again at 180 deg C for 4 minutes. This ensures that the top of the buns are soft, and golden brown.
Check out my other bun recipes for a different take on some delightful snacks.
Red Bean Paste Buns
For the red bean paste
- 1 Cup Red Kidney Beans/Rajma Soaked overnight
- 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
For the bun dough
- 1 3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour Maida
- 1 Tsp Instant Dry Yeast See Notes
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1/3 Cup Milk
- 3/4 Tsp Butter
- 1/3 Cup Water
- Black Sesame Seeds For topping
To make the red bean paste
- Drain the water from the soaked red kidney beans, and pressure cook it in a cooker for 15 minutes or until they are soft. Drain the water from the boiled beans, and take them in a blender. Don't discard the water.
- Grind the beans to a smooth paste, and if it is a little difficult, add a little of the water that we earlier filtered from the boiled beans. Take the paste, along with sugar and salt in a pan and saute till it loses all its moisture and starts getting a little tough. Take it from the heat, and refrigerate it until ready to stuff.
For Preparing the dough
- Take the AP flour (Maida) in a large mixing bowl.
- Add salt, sugar and yeast to the flour, and mix it with a spoon. Create a well in the centre.
- Mix water, and milk together and pour it into the well. Knead for 4-5 minutes until you get a soft dough.
- Now, add the butter to the soft dough.
- Knead again for 2-3 minutes until a smooth and soft dough with all the butter incorporated into it in obtained. Let it sit in a well oiled vessel for an hour or until it is doubled in size.
Preparing the buns
- Once the dough is doubled in size, gently punch it to remove the air trapped inside of it.
- Transfer it to a well dusted surface and knead for a minute. Then divide the dough into 8 parts.
- Roll out all the 8 parts into rudimentary circles and keep them aside.
- Check on your red bean paste, and divide them into lemon sized balls. Now, flatten the dough balls in your palm or on the work surface.
- Place the bean paste ball on the flattened dough.
- Seal it by bringing in the sides to the centre and pinching them together.
- Turn it upside down, and flatten it just a little bit. Now with a pair of scissors, cut the ball into 8 parts leaving the centre intact, like shown in the picture.
- Place it on a prepared baking dish. Prepared baking dish as in line it with a parchment sheet or if you don't have that at hand, rub butter or ghee well onto the plate. Sprinkle with sesame seeds on the centre, and brush with milk. Let it sit for 20 minutes.
- When the buns are proofing (resting), preheat your oven to 200 deg C, and bake the buns for 25 minutes. Take them out, brush them with a little bit of butter and bake at 180 deg C for 4 minutes.