I love bakeries in Japan. You see everything from English loaves and French baguettes and croissants to kashi-pan (sweet bread). Many of the kashi-pan are buns stuffed with jam, or a soft filling of chocolate cream. Light yet satisfying, they are ideal for breakfast and snacks.
My boys go crazy over Melon Pan and Cream Pan. Cream Pan (pan means “bread”) is Japanese sweet bread buns filled with a thick vanilla custard. They are delightful.
I bake them at home. Here is the recipe.
To make 10 buns
For the custard cream
2 egg yolks
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp flour
250 cc milk
1/2 tsp vanilla oil
300g strong bread flour
1 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
To make the custard, place yolks in a medium sauce pan. Add the sugar and flour and mix well to incorporate into the egg yolks. Add milk and heat the cream mixture over medium to high heat.
See my hand whisk? I love this one! It has a little balls inside. It is cute and does fantastic job.
Whisking the custard constantly, paying special attention to the corners of the pan, until it is steaming and has thickened. You need very thick custard for this recipe. Keep on stirring. This can take good 10 minutes. Take it off the heat and add vanilla when it is still piping hot.
Tips: You are making thick cream paste rather than pouring custard so you need to cook it longer. It is runny when hot but once cooled, it should have jelly like consistency.
To avoid lumps, I stir vigorously with a hand whisk and change to a wooden spatula at the end. Continue stirring after it is taken off the heat, too. Little lumps may form during the early stage of cooling down period.
The custard will look like this when it is cooled.
Making bread dough is same as Melon bread:http://www.knitsbysachi.com/2014/03/19/melon-bread/
and Red bean bread: http://knitsbysachi.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/baking-with-childr
(Knead 15 minutes, proof 40 minutes, release gas and divide in 10 pieces and rest them 15 minutes.)
My dough resting.
Roll out each dough to 10cm diameter. Place the cooled custard paste in the center and fold the dough in half, encasing the paste.
It is better to have the top fold slightly longer than the bottom and seal is hidden on the base.
Now, you do not need to do this, but for some reason, we make slits like this for traditional cream bread look. Cut the edge with a bread cutter, keeping the cream away from the edge as much as you can.
You can shape it into any shapes of course.
Leave it for 20 minutes for the second proofing.
Brush with beaten egg and bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 180C (350F).
They are delicious warm or cold.