Jun 23, 2013

Hong Kong Bun

I think this bun is called Hong Kong Bun in the states. In Hong Kong, it's called Cocktail Bun (literal translation). Until now, I had no idea why it had this name. I even asked my dad, and he had no idea either. I did a quick search on google, and came up with this from Wikipedia.

The cocktail bun is said to have been created in the 1950s in Hong Kong, when the proprietors of a bakery resisted the wasteful disposal of unsold but perfectly edible buns. The solution was to incorporate these buns into a new product to be sold fresh. The day-old buns were ground up, with sugar and coconut added in, to create a tasty filling mixture; fresh bread dough was wrapped around this mixture to make the first filled "cocktail bun".
Its name is said to have come from comparing the baker's mixture of hodgepodge of ingredients to a bartender's exotic mixture of alcoholic liquors, both formulating a "cocktail". The Chinese name is a literal translation of "cocktail", and is called a "chicken-tail bun".

How cool is that? I loved eating this bun when I was growing up in Hong Kong. When we moved to Hawaii, we found this place called Red Ruby that made wonderful Cocktail Buns. The filling was so buttery and coconut-y, it was such an indulgent bun! The bad part is the saleswoman (owner?) was so grumpy (I hope she's happier now in retirement!). She had a horrible attitude and would get so mad when you only wanted to buy one. Now the bakery is closed and I can't find a comparable version anywhere. Doesn't this seem like the theme of my blog? So here I am attempting to create my own at home. The results?! Not nearly as good as Red Ruby's, but not too bad for a first try. The bun is incredibly soft, but the filling is not nearly as indulgent. I probably need to add another pound of butter to create that filling. For now, it's a good substitute. Hope you enjoy it!!

Hong Kong Bun
adapted from Aunty Yochana

500 g Bread Flour
8 g custard powder
20 g milk powder
1/2 tsp salt
100 g Sugar
10 g Instant Yeast
230 g water
75 g unsalted butter, softened
1 egg, beatened
toasted sesame seed

250 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
250 g dessicated coconut, unsweetened
120 g plain flour
100 g milk powder
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

50 gm. unsalted butter, softened
20 gm. sugar
45 gm. plain flour

1. Combine the bread flour, custard powder, milk powder, salt, sugar and instant yeast in a large bowl. Gradually add the water until a rough dough is formed. Knead the dough briefly in the bowl. Transfer to a floured surface and continue to knead until a smooth dough is formed. Gradually knead in the butter until fully incorporated.

2. Roll the dough into a a large ball and let it rest in a greased bowl until double in size, about 45 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the filling together and set aside.

4. Divide dough into 20 portions. Roll into balls and let it rest for 10 minutes.

5. Wrap with coconut filling and seal the ends tightly. Arrange onto tray and let it proof for another 45 minutes.

6. In the meantime, combine all the ingredients for the topping and set aside. Glaze proofed buns with beaten egg, sprinkle with sesame seeds and then pipe lines on top using the topping mixture.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes or till golden brown.



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