I love the cocktail buns from the Asian bakeries. I first had them at dim sum: they're the oblong sweet bread rolls filled with a coconut-butter-sugar mixture and sprinkled with sesame seeds on top. Not to be confused with custard buns that are the same sweet bread rolls but filled with pastry cream or custard. I don't go to dim sum that often so I never had them that much but then I discovered they sold them at the Asian bakeries and sometimes places like Ranch 99 in the hot-food-to-go section. Like anything else that I enjoy from bakeries and restaurants, I like trying to make my own version at home.
I got this recipe from allrecipes.com and it was pretty simple to make. The main mistake I made though was not rolling the dough out thinly enough. I ended up with too much filling and not enough dough. Which meant my cocktail buns, once they had gone through the second rising, were too much bread with not enough filling. So I know what to adjust for next time. I liked this recipe a lot though and the filling was almost exactly like what you could get at the dim sum places. There was just a tad too much of the dry ingredients so I would recommend cutting both the flour and the powdered milk from 1/2 cup each to 1/3 cup each. Otherwise, the flavor was just like what I buy at the Asian bakeries.
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, more if needed
1 cup milk
1/4 cup softened butter
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 egg, beaten
up to 1 additional cup of all-purpose flour for kneading, if needed (I ended up using 3/4 cup instead of 1 cup)
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder (I would recommend cutting to 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I would recommend cutting to 1/3 cup)
1 cup finely grated fresh coconut
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
- Place 1/3 cup sugar and milk in a small saucepan, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add 1/4 cup softened butter, and gently warm the mixture until the butter melts and the mixture is warm but not hot (no warmer than about 100 degrees F (40 degrees C)). In a large bowl, stir together the yeast with 2 1/2 cups flour until well blended, and pour the milk mixture into the flour-yeast mixture. Stir in 1 beaten egg, and mix until the mixture forms a sticky, wet dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead for about 10 minutes, gradually kneading in 1 cup of additional flour or as needed to make a smooth, elastic dough. Form the dough into a round ball, place into an oiled bowl, and turn the dough around in the bowl a few times to coat with oil. Cover the bowl with a cloth, and allow dough to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Cream 1/4 cup softened butter with 1/2 cup of sugar in a bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy, and stir in dry milk powder, 1/2 cup flour, and the coconut until the mixture is smooth and well blended. Set the filling aside.
- Working on a floured surface, punch down the dough, and cut into 2 equal pieces. Cut each piece into 8 equal-sized pieces (16 pieces total). Form each piece into an oblong bun, and flatten the bun with a floured rolling pin. Scoop up about 1 tablespoon of filling with a spoon, and place in the center of a bun. Pull and pinch the edges of the dough together to enclose the filling in the bun. Repeat with all dough pieces, and place the filled buns, seam sides down, onto the prepared baking sheets. Cover the buns with a cloth, and allow to rise in a warm place 1 hour.
- Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- For a glossy coating, beat 1 egg in a bowl, and brush each bun with a little beaten egg. Sprinkle each bun with a few sesame seeds.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the buns are golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool before serving. If the bottoms are too pale but the tops are golden brown, reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 5 minutes.