This custard bun is probably the most popular bake good in my family. Nobody can resist it. When you take a bite, the tender and fluffy bread along with the sweet and creamy custard melt together in your mouth to create something amazing. If you can distill heaven into a bite, this might very well be it. Take of bite of this when you're having a bad day and you'll likely forget about it and realize that life is actually not so bad after all.
Custard bun is very popular in Taiwan, you can find it in every bakery. It's usually a round bun with a custard swirl on top of the bun as a decoration. After I came to the US, I was looking for custard buns but couldn't find it in any local grocery store. I was surprised that something so popular in many Asian countries was nowhere to be found here. But now that I know how to make a good custard bun, I can just make it whenever I want (yay!).
My 3-year-old daughter always begs me to make some custard buns for her. Since it's a sweet treat, I try not to give it to her too often (yeah, I'm that kind of mom), but I have to admit that I love her big ear to ear smile whenever she eats this bun. It melts my heart!
If this is your first time making Asian style bread/buns, then a lot of the information that you need to succeed in this recipe are including in this two post:
Here are some tips for making the creamy custard buns:
- Make the custard beforehand - Spreading out the work will make the entire process a lot easier. You can make it up to 3 days ahead.
- Using an ice cream scoop or piping bag to place the custard in the center of the dough to prevent it from touching the edge. If the custard touches the edge, it will be very hard to pinch the dough together.
- Rolling the dough out wider and stretching the edge of the dough just before quickly pinching it together makes it easier to successfully form the bun and avoid any custard related mishaps.
- For the best results, I like to fill in as much custard as I can, but If you are new to making stuffed buns, try adding less custard first and put the extra custard on top of the buns,
- Make sure to seal the dough tightly to prevent it from exploding.
If forming a round bun is too challenging, try rolling the dough out into an oval to ultimately form a half circle shaped bun. The trick is to lift up the top part of the dough and stretch it out before quickly folding down and pinching the edge together tightly. Basically you want to do it fast enough so that the custard won't get chance to flow to the edge.
It's super yummy, make sure you give it a try!
The buns taste the best within a day, if you want to keep it longer, the best way is to freeze it and thaw/bake it before enjoying.
IF YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE, DON’T FORGET TO TAG ME @COOKINGINCHINGLISH #COOKINGINCHINGLISH ON INSTAGRAM, I WOULD LOVE TO SEE IT!
Asian Creamy Custard Bun (Cream Pan)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 70 g sugar, ⅓ cup (or more based on your taste)
- 15 g corn starch, 2 tbsp
- 20 g cake flour, 2 tbsp
- 300 g milk, 1¼ cup
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 250 g bread flour, 2 cup
- 50 g cake flour, ⅓ cup
- 30 g sugar, 2 tbsp
- 20 g condensed milk, 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
- 80 g cold water, ⅓ cup
- 80 g cold milk , ⅓ cup
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 30 g cold unsalted butter, 2 tbsp, cut into 6 small cubes
- Pearl sugar
- In a heat proof mixing bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, corn starch and cake flour together until well combined.
- Heat milk in a sauce pan until it's steaming. Pour half into the egg mixture, whisk to combine before pouring in the rest and whisking it all together.
- Pour the egg and milk mixture back into the sauce pan, cook with medium low heat and whisk slowly constantly.
- Once it starts to get thicker (it starts to stick on the whisk), then whisk it quicker until it all thickens up.
- Remove the pan from the heat and continue to whisk quickly for another 30 seconds, this will ensure you end up with a smooth custard.
- Add vanilla extract and butter; stir to combine.
- Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge.
Making Bread Dough
- Add flour, sugar, condensed milk, milk, water, 25 g of the egg (about half of the egg, store the rest in the fridge for brushing) and yeast into the stand mixer and knead on low speed until the dough is formed.
- Cover the mixing bowl and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- When it's done resting, add salt and continue to knead for 1 minute.
- Add butter cubes one piece at a time and knead until the dough is smooth and passes the windowpane test. (This step takes me about 6 minutes, with 5 minutes on low speed and 1 minute on medium speed. The actual time it takes you depends on your mixer.)
- Form the dough into a ball (it will be very sticky, but if it's too sticky to handle, then add a little bread flour and knead for another 1~2 minutes) and put it in a lightly greased bowl. cover, and let it rise for 1 hour to 1.5 hour in a warm place (between 82°F to 90°F) until it's double in size.
- Transfer the dough onto a working surface and cut it into 10 even pieces. Form each piece into a ball, cover with greased plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Assemble the Buns
- Roll the dough out to a 3"- 4" round, place 40 g (or 30 g if you are new to making stuffed bun) of custard in the center of the dough. Lift up two edges ( 3 and 9 o'clock direction), and quickly pinch them together, do the same thing at the 12 and 6 o'clock direction and then pinch everything else together tightly.
- If you would like to do the semi-circle shape, roll the dough put to a oval that's similar to the size of your hand.
- Place the custard in the middle, lift up the top part of the dough, stretch and quickly (to prevent the custard from flowing to the edge) fold down before pinching the edge tightly. Make some decorative cuts at the edge if desired.
- Place the buns on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat, cover with greased plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until it's almost double in side. About an hour.
- In the last 10 minutes of proofing, preheat the oven to 375°F and brush the top of the buns with a thin layer of leftover egg mixture. Sprinkle some pearl sugar if using.
- When the temperature is reached, put the pan in the oven and bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let it cool down a bit before eating.