Chinese Coconut Buns (aka Honey Buns)
So lately I’ve been thinking about these Chinese coconut buns (or as I’ve always known them, “honey buns”)
These buns are rich, sweet and filled with a mixture of coconut, butter and honey that seems to almost melt into the bread dough and leave a dense layer of sweet coconut filling.
Whenever we get a chance to visit Victoria, we stop at the Bakery in China town to bring home bean buns (for my dad) and we often scoop up some sweet buns. The place is a tiny hole in the wall and I have a feeling I don’t want to know what the kitchen looks like but they sure do make amazing sweet rolls!
(photo from HistoricPlaces.ca)
These rolls will never be quite as good as the real thing from the Victoria BBQ House Bakery but they will sure tie me over until I can have the real thing!
The recipe I used comes from Jun-Blog, it was the best looking recipe I could find and it actually used honey as an ingredient, many I searched contained no honey at all!
Chinese Coconut Buns (Honey Buns) makes 12 recipe from Jun-Blog
2 tsp instant yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup unsalted, melted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 to 3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
for the filling:
- 1 cup shredded, dried coconut
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- 5 tbsp honey
- 1 egg yolk (reserve the white for egg wash)
- reserved egg white mixed with 1 tsp water
- sesame seeds
Begin by dissolving the yeast and the 1 tsp of sugar in the 1/4 cup of warm water. Let this sit until the yeast bubbles so you know it is active. (I often skip this step and add the remaining ingredients right away but as I was starting a new package of yeast I wanted to be certain it was active)
If using a mixer, add the eggs, sugar, melted butter (that has been cooled) and milk to the yeast mixture and begin mixing using a dough hook. Mix the salt into the first cup of flour and add flour one cup at a time, mixing it in until you have a soft, but not sticky dough. I only needed to use 3 cups.
*You can also easily mix and knead this dough by hand.
Set the dough aside in a bowl greased with vegetable oil, cover and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
While the dough is rising you can assemble the filling.
Pulse the shredded coconut in a blender or food processor until it is quite fine.
Mix the coconut with the melted butter, honey and egg yolk.
Set the filling aside.
Once the dough has risen, remove it from the bowl on to the counter and divide it into 12 equal pieces. For each piece, using a rolling pin or your hands, into a 5X3″ rectangle.
Place about 1 and 1/2 tbsp of filling down the middle of each pice of dough, lengthwise.
Fold the dough over and pinch the seams to seal. Tuck each end underneath pinching to seal in in place….you should have dough that resembles a twinkie shape 🙂 Place rolls about an inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover to rise for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
*I stacked two baking sheets together to create a pocket of air under the pan so the bottoms of the buns wouldn’t become too browned.
Bake for 15- 20 minutes or until golden brown. After 18 minutes I popped them under the broiler for a minute so they would brown up nicely on the tops.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!