The Fresh Loaf

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30% Rye Sourdough Buns - filled with Chinese Red Date paste

txfarmer's picture

30% Rye Sourdough Buns - filled with Chinese Red Date paste

Sending this to Yeastspotting.

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Chinese Red Dates (see wiki here) can be found in Asian markets, in dried form. They are often used in soup/congee dishes, supposely have great health benefits, especially for women. I love to make them into paste as fillings for buns/breads. The process is tedious since you have to peel off the skin one by one, but it's so incredibly smooth and delicious that the effort is worthwhile. You can also buy ready made red date paste/filling at Asian markets, but this homemade version is SO MUCH better.

For these buns I used the 30% rye sourdough lightly enriched dough I have grown to love. Since I buy big cartons of heavy cream from Costco, I am always trying to use it up before expiration, which is why I like to enrich my bread with heavy cream, not butter(those are saved for croissants!). In this dough, there isn't even milk/water, heavy cream and (a tiny bit of) egg provides all the liquid and enrichment. This dough is very soft and light, perfect for soft buns/sandwich loaves.

Note: makes 8 rolls
Note: total flour is 250g

-red date paste:
dried red dates without seed, 225g
water, 3 cups
brown sugar, 1/4 cup
oil, 3 Tbsp
tapioca or wheat starch, 1 Tbsp

1. boil dates in water until soft, about 30min
2. peel off skin
3. mash and put back into pan, heat and stir until most water is gone. Add sugar, stir until completely melted and absorbed. Slowly add oil in batches, until absorbed. Add tapioca stach, stir until smooth

rye starter (100%), 5g
water, 23g
medium rye 32g

1. Mix and let fermentation at room temp (73F) for 12 hours.

- Final Dough
bread flour, 175g
rye flour, 38g
egg, 30g (I just used one egg, it's more than 30g, but oh well)
sugar, 18g
salt, 5g
heavy cream, 180g
levain, all

1. Mix everything , knead until moderate level of gluten developement. A relatively thin windowpane can be stretched, but holes can appear. (If this dough is used for making Asian style soft sandwiches, it will need to be kneaded to full developement, a strong windowpane is necessary.)

2. Rise at room temp for 2 hours, punch down, put in fridge overnight.
3. Divide into 8 parts, round, rest for 1 hour.
4. Roll flat into oval, put in filling


Fold in half

Cut in the middle, leaving ends un cut

Flip open into heart shape

5. Proof at room temperature until almost fully. About 5.5hours at 80F. When pressed the dough should slowly spring back a little bit. Wash with egg or milk.

6. Bake at 375F for 15-20min.

Made one into flower shape, this one is easy -- just fill, round, press and cut. I decorated it with white sesame seeds in the middle.

Light and soft, with super yummy filling, perfect as breakfast or snack.


One other way for me to use up heavy cream is a "not so angelic" anglefood cake.

Note: fits a 17CM anglefood mold

cake flour, 80g
heavy cream, 160g
vanilla, 1/2t
sugar, 75g
egg whites, 5, about 150 - 180g

1. fold cake flour into heavy cream and vanilla
2. beat egg whites until foam, add sugar, beat until soft peaks
3. take 1/4 of egg whites and mix with 1 to lighten
4. take 1/2 of remaining egg whites and fold into 3, take care not to deflate
5. put 4 back into remaining egg whites, fold until even, take care not to deflate
6. fill mold, bake at 340F for about 40min

7. cool upside down, unmold.

It's softer and more moist than real angelfood cake, there's less sugar, so it's also not too sweet. Perfect without any icing.


Yet another good way to use up heavy cream, and left over egg yolks (probably from the cake above), is pot de creme. I especially like this maple syrup version

I highly highly highly recommend the Darigold Heavy Cream (>40% fat ratio), so creamy and rich. I found it in Costco at Seattle, apparently it's owned by Pacific Northwest diary farmers.


dabrownman's picture

collection of perfectly crafted foods.  They all look delicious txfarmer - as usual.  Nice bakes  - 3 ways!

txfarmer's picture

Thanks! We ate well last weekend :)

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss


I admire your skill and resourcefulness.


txfarmer's picture

Thanks Juergen, you are too kind :)

Janetcook's picture


Thanks, as always, for this blog.  I always learn something new from your postings here.

This time it is your use of heavy cream in the place of butter in your loaves.  Can you explain a bit more about why you do the substitution other than to use up the cream you have - or is that the only reason you do it?

 I am wondering what difference you find in a loaf made with the cream rather than with butter.  Both being dairy products and both containing lots of fat - one in solid form and one liquid.  The only thing I can guess at is the flavor since butter and cream have different tastes.  But wonder if there is a texture difference too.

I ask because I have been experimenting with making yogurt and different cheeses lately so I end up with extra cream that I hadn't thought of putting into a bread....until now.

Anyway, thanks for the post and photos.  I like the flower shape - especially this time of year when everything around here is coming into bloom :-)

Take Care,


txfarmer's picture

Hi Janet,

I use heavy cream only because I need to use it up, no other reason. The flavor and rising power may differe slightly from the loaves using butter, but since the fat ratio is not that high, I don't think it's significant.Hope this helps!


Janetcook's picture

Yes, it does help.  Nice and simple and stops me from having to do endless experiments trying to figure it out my own......  ie stops me from trying to complicate matters :-)

And you have given me a great way to use up the extra cream when I make yogurt again!