Coconut Sweet Buns with 30% Purple Rice Flour
I was suddenly craving white sandwich bread. That’s very uncommon for me as I always prefer whole grain sourdough bread. Then, I figured out I actually wasn’t craving any white sandwich bread but the store bought purple rice coconut white sandwich bread. Easy solution: drop the white flour and sub in whole wheat, put in some purple rice flour (the original version only mix in cooked rice) and include a coconut kaya jam filling. You get something not only healthier but much more flavorful (coconut milk in both the dough and filling!).
Coconut Sweet Buns with 30% Purple Rice Flour
210g 70% Whole wheat flour
90g 30% Freshly milled black glutinous rice flour
15g 5% Starter
15g 5% Bran shifted out from dough flour
15g 5% Water
For tang zhong:
16g 5.3% Whole wheat flour
16g 5.3% Freshly milled black glutinous rice aka purple rice flour
180g 60% Canned coconut milk
258g 86% Dough flour excluding tang zhong and bran for leaven
<212g <70.7% Tang zhong (I didn’t weight)
60g 20% Whey
45g 15% Water
45g 15% Leaven
9g 3% Vital Wheat Gluten
5g 1.7% Salt
305g 100% Whole grain
305g 100% Total hydration (inc. the tang zhong so it’s actually very easy to work with)
Pandan kaya jam (makes enough for 4 batches of buns):
180g 41.7% Canned coconut milk (preferably full fat)
171g (3) 39.7% Large whole eggs
80g 18.6% Brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
(6) -% Pandan leaves (optional)
Sift out the coarse bran from the dough flour, reserve 15g for leaven. Mix the rest back into the dough flour or soak them in equal amount of whey taken from dough ingredients for a minimum of 4 hours.
Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, about 6-8 hours.
Make the tang zhong. Pour the coconut milk slowly while whisking into a pot containing the flour. When no lumps remain, heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring continuously until thickened to a paste, about 3 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and refrigerate until needed.
For the kaya jam, first extract the pandan juice if using. Blend the pandan leaves with as little water as possible until they turn into a fibrous paste. Strain and press it against a strainer to collect the extract. Discard the solids.Whisk the eggs. Heat the coconut milk with the pandan extract and sugar until the sugar melts and the mixture nearly comes to a boil. Pour a stream of the hot mixture into the eggs slowly while stirring continuously. Return the coconut milk-eggs mixture to the heat. Whisk constantly for 15 minutes over low-medium heat or until thickened. Blend it until completely smooth then refrigerate until needed.
Reserve 10g of the water and roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the leaven and salt. Autolyse for 30 minutes. Combine the reserved liquid with the leaven. Knead it into the dough along with the salt. Let it ferment for 10 hours.
Take the dough out of the bowl then stretch and fold for a couple of times. Let rest for 20 minutes. Roll the dough into a 38cm×15cm rectangle. Spread the pandan jam onto it, leaving a border on both long ends. Roll up the long ends of the dough and divide crosswise into 9 equal pieces. Place into the prepared pan (mine is 20cm×20cm) and let proof for 30 minutes. Retard overnight for 14 hours.
Let the dough rest at room temperature for 1 hour. At the same time, preheat the oven at 190°C/375°F. Bake for 25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190°F. Turn out to a rack to cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Look at that dreamy purple! Full of Anthocyanin, a kind of flavonoid with powerful antioxidizing properties.
Ready to go into the oven...
I hate any forms of coconut flesh: flaked, desiccated or whatever. However, I seriously couldn’t resist the aroma of dishes prepared with coconut milk/cream. Case solved, my hatred for coconut meat is totally a texture issue :)
The buns are super soft thanks to the coconut milk and tang zhong. Nevertheless, I love that they are also slightly chewy instead of airy like typical cinnamon rolls due the glutinous rice. With so many flavour components going on, these buns are anything but lacking in flavour! They are a major upgrade from that pack of store-bought sandwich bread.
Save the extra kaya jam! It is traditionally enjoyed as a spread for toast but it is exceptional when served with pancakes and crumpets as well. And I can’t think of why it won’t go well with ice cream…
Feel free to serve the buns with extra kaya jam! I made a much lower sugar version compared with the traditional recipe (but still sweet enough) so that I can put more of it onto the buns.