This is by far my most favorite soft buns to buy from the Chinese Bakery. I will always get a few to last me for a week. I am a fan of coconut and anything with coconut in it I will eat it. The coconut bun or cocktail buns (gai mei pau) is very popular in Hong Kong. It is a soft sweet bun and with rich buttery coconut filling in it. You can read the history of the cocktail bun here .
I did it slightly different. Instead of having the coconut filling on the inside I like the filling to be exposed on the outside. I just love the look of the tiny sparkles of coconut after baking it. They look so pretty. As for the dough it is just regular sweet bread dough and it is not as soft the next day like the tangzhong method dough but you can just warm it up in the microwave for 15 seconds and they will be soft again and taste just like freshly baked right out of the oven.
Ingredients for the dough:
400 gram flour
7 gram dried yeast
60 gram sugar
30 gram milk powder
½ tsp salt
50 gram soft butter
150-160 ml luke warm water (more or less)
1 egg – beaten
Ingredients for the coconut filling:
1 ½ cups sweeten desiccated coconut
1 1/2 tbsp custard powder
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp melted butter
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp milk (used 1 tbsp first, if the filling is too dry add in another tbsp)
1. In a large mixing bowl or mixer with a dough hook attachment, combine the flour, milk powder, yeast, sugar and salt. Mix well. Add in the egg, follows but the luke warm water. Add the water in slowly and the amount of water depends on your flour. You might need more your maybe less.
2. Mix and knead with a dough hook on low for a minute, and then high for 2 minutes. Then add the softened butter and knead on a medium high for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth. If you are kneading by hand it will take much longer.
3. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and allow the dough to rise for 50 minutes to an hour or until double in size. While the dough is resting, prepare the coconut filling.
4. To prepare the filling, just mix all the filling ingredients together in a bowl and set it aside. Get ready two baking sheet pan and line it with parchment paper.
5. After the dough is proofed, punch out all the air and divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll them into balls, cover and let it rest for 15 minutes
6. To shape the buns, simply roll each piece out into a long rectangle, about 10 inches long. Spread a layer of filling onto each…and roll it up lengthwise like a cigar. Cut the cigar in half lengthwise, leaving it attached at one end.
7. Open the cut dough up, so it resembles a long rope. Coil up the dough like a snail to make the buns, with all the little cut lines of dough and filling facing up (this is to expose the coconut filling)
8. Place onto the sheet pan, cover and let rise again for another hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and brush the buns with egg wash. Bake it for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on cooling rack.