Green Tea Red Bean Buns

I hope everyone’s had a blast. This weekend was easily among the worst I had in the recent months. Perhaps one could call it rather ‘blah’. Instead of cruising in the wind somewhere enjoying the sweet cool outdoors or lying on green pastures dreaming up cloud shapes, I spent it sick as a dog…while still having to run a household and needing to do some massive packing for our coming holidays (Yay to that by the way). Mentally, my head is already on vacation but in reality I was physically struggling to match a fragile body with an over-energetic, enthusiastic mind.

On days like these, I drink gallons of tea. Most of all, lemon-ginger-honey, and then there’s green tea, my life saver from chaos.

In my earlier posts I’ve confessed my addiction to green tea. I can hardly bear life without it—meaning I sip it, lick it, chew it and I even sometimes even wear it. A green tea perfume, which fragrances the air I step into like a sweetened green tea is brewing on the top of my head. There’s just something very calming and soothing about green tea that I can’t seem to get out of my head or my senses. It’s the sort of pleasure one finds rather vice-less except when sugar is added. Then I feel self-indulgent. It’s only too easy to alleviate the guilt. I do it by washing it down with another petite tea cup of steaming hot green tea…no harm was done, ha.

On most given mornings, I prefer an espresso (shocking it isn’t GT, uh-huh) but while others have water after that, I wash my coffee down with some green tea. When it’s a breakfast of carbs, one of my favourites would be buns with a sweet or savoury filling. Since moving to Oz, I’ve been a regular consumer of these green ‘matcha anpan’ buns sold at the popular asian bakeries here. If there’s a match made in heaven in the world of buns—it has got to be matcha and red bean, of course.

dough stage of GT bun
dough stage of GT bun

inserting red bean filling
inserting red bean filling

be generous! with the red bean
be generous! with the red bean

Here’s sharing my homemade recipe of Green Tea Red Bean Buns with you. Did I mention it goes really, really well with green tea? 🙂 Next weekend will be a blast, I know. I’ll be on a plane amongst the clouds.

Ingredients for Green Tea Red Bean Buns:
1 egg, beaten 
1/2 C full cream milk, warmed slightly
60g unsalted butter, melted
1/2 C tang zhong (see recipe below)
2 1/2 C bread flour or all-purpose flour
3 rounded tsp green tea powder
4 T sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast 

Red bean paste, readymade
(You may wish to refer to my recipe for homemade red bean filling)

Tangzhong (water roux):
1/3 C bread flour or all-purpose flour
1 C water

Directions for tang zhong:  
Whisk 1/3 C bread flour or all-purpose flour with 1 C water in a small sauce pan and let mixture simmer while stirring with a whisk continually.  Once the tang zhong mixture thickens to a gluey paste, remove from heat and allow to cool.  (This recipe yields enough to bake twice and should be refrigerated. It will keep about 1-3 days).

before baking
before baking

oozing with red bean goodness!
oozing with red bean goodness!

Directions for Dough:
Load all the wet ingredients first into your bread machine (liquids:egg, milk, butter before dry ingredients), then 1/2 C of the tang zhong before loading the dry ingredients (flour, green tea powder, sugar, salt, yeast). Add the yeast last through a little well to be stirred in using your finger, in the middle of the flour.

Set it to the dough cycle.

Let the dough knead and rise in the bread machine and once the dough cycle has completed, remove from the machine and punch it down to release the air.
Let the dough rest for about another hour or so in a medium bowl with cling wrap.

When the dough is ready, divide it into 12 pieces and flatten again with rolling pin.
Add the red bean filling to middle of flattened piece, then seal with fingers and roll into a bun shape. Repeat with remaining dough.

Transfer the buns onto a lined baking tray and let rise for a further 25 minutes with a spritz of water in the oven till doubled in size.

Remove from oven, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Insert the tray back into the oven. Bake for 13-15 minutes at 170 degrees (fan-forced). Remove the pan from the oven, allow to cool on a rack fully before serving.

You may also like the following green tea recipes:
Green Tea Ice-cream
Matcha Swiss Roll with Red Bean Cream

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