Thursday, September 15, 2011

Old-school Kaya Buns


I am still in a reminiscent mood. After baking some Old-school Coconut Buns last week, I decided to make some kaya buns following a different recipe for the bread dough. And I call them Old-school Kaya Buns bcos you can only find them in old-fashioned bakeries in Singapore.

I made the kaya (coconut egg jam) myself, using a fast-track play-cheat method via microwave. Most home-made kaya jams are made using the traditional way of slow-cooking and stirring in a bain-marie which takes 1-2 hours. But I was too lazy and impatient to stand beside the stove for 2 hours, so I opted for the fastest way of making kaya, which is not necessarily the best way. The resultant kaya jam was a bit lumpy and I had to blend it in a food blender to make the texture finer and smoother. If you are interested, the recipe is here, note that I reduced the amount of sugar to 220g which I still find it quite sweet. (Updated as of 21/09/11: here is a good recipe for the filling - my pumpkin kaya jam. Updated as of 26/09/13 - yet another very good recipe for pandan kaya - homemade kaya in 15 min.)

Anyway, back to my kaya buns. I made them using my tried-and-tested Sweet Bread Dough recipe. You have to prepare the dough starter 12 hours in advance or the night before. It is very easy if you have some basic experience of making bread, but it is not difficult even for a beginner, as this recipe was one of the recipes which I tried a year ago when I first started making breads. If you are kneading by hand, it will take you at least 40 min or so, and if you use a bread-machine, you would have to wait for 2 dough cycles (20 min x 2 for my machine), til the bread dough passes the membrane test and the poke-a-hole test as illustrated in my Sweet Bread Dough recipe.

The steps are quite simple, after the first proofing of 40 min to 1 hour (until doubled in size), divide the dough into 10 equal portions. Then take one portion, flatten it with the palm of your hand  or with a rolling pin into a small circle, and fill it with 2 teaspoonfuls of home-made or store-bought kaya jam. Then seal the buns properly by pinching the dough towards the bottom, mould them round, cover with greased clingwrap and let them rest (until doubled in size) for the second proofing. When the buns have finished proofing, brush them with some egg-wash and place them in a preheated oven at 180 degrees celsius for 12 to 15 min, or until they turn golden brown. 

This sweet bread dough is very versatile, you can stuff it with fillings such as kaya jam, coconut filling or red bean paste. Or you can stuff it with little pieces of hotdogs and make hotdog rolls out of it. The variations are limitless, just depending on how far your creativity can stretch. ;p


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