My baking destination of choice this week
just had to be Japan, and as I wait for a Reykjavik guide book to be delivered
to the office (if they don’t knock it down before then) and secretly, or
not-so-secretly, go back over my steps and stare in a mixture of shock and
excitement at tickets for a plane that instead will take me half a world away
in under three weeks’ time, I kind ofsee a pattern there.
This time, your favourite escape (and bake)
artist (that would be myself. Hi) is sharing a recipe for some fluffy vegan Japanese
bread buns that are filled with sweet red bean paste, and do not contain any traces
of maple syrup, dates (that’s probably for the best), nor Atlantic halibut (definitely for the best).
Two mouthfuls and you can forget other people’s sinking ships and perhaps also your ones, and let your compass (head?) spin again for a little while.
2 tablespoons sugar
200ml (3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) lukewarm
soya milk or other non-dairy milk
1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
240g (2 cups) strong flour
60g (1/2 cup) cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon coconut milk powder or other
non-dairy milk powder (optional)
2 tablespoons margarine, room temperature
280g (9.8oz) red bean paste (use this stuff or
make your own)
Mix sugar, lukewarm milk and yeast together
in a bowl and let sit for 5 minutes or until it bubbles up. In a separate bowl,
combine strong flour and cake flour, and add to the yeast mixture. Add salt and
milk powder if using and knead on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes
or until smooth. Add the margarine and knead for another 4-5 minutes until completely
incorporated. Place the dough in a bowl, cover and let rise for about 1 hour or
until doubled in size.
In the meantime, divide the red bean paste
into 8 balls of about 35g each.
Once doubled in size, divide the dough into
8 equal pieces of 70g each then roll them into small balls. Cover and leave for
Flatten each ball of dough with a rolling
pin into a round. Place a read bean paste ball in the center of each round,
wrap the dough around it and pinch it to seal.
Place the buns on a baking tray lined with
parchment paper, brush them with soya milk and sprinkle some black sesame seeds
on top. Let rise again until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C (400°F)
for 12 minutes or until the buns turn dark golden brown.