Milk Buns with Coconut Cream
FOR THE STARTER:
1/2 cup of whole milk
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons of avocado oil (may sub for any oil)
4 cups of all purpose flour
1/4 cup of all purpose flour (to be added during kneading)
1/2 cup of sugar
1 cup of warm water (not too hot!)
2 packets of INSTANT yeast or 1 Tablespoon ( I recommend this brand for this recipe)
FOR THE COCONUT CREAM FILLING:
1 can (14 ounces) of COCONUT CREAM (do not use coconut milk)
1/4-1/2 cup of powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you like it!)
3 cups of prepared whipped cream (may sub for full fat cool whip or make your own. I use Rich’s Whipped Cream where I purchased from Cash N Carry)
desiccated coconut flakes (unsweetened)
melted unsalted butter
16 inch disposable decorating bags
1. Melt your butter in the microwave. Stir in your oil and set aside.
2. Make your starter/roux by combining 1/4 cup of all purpose flour with whole milk. Stir well and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Mix well. Microwave on high, again, for additional 30 seconds. Mix well. If your mixture has not thickened and isn’t resembling dense, mashed potatoes at this point, microwave for an additional 15 seconds. Mix well and allow for this mixture to cool down to warm (about 15 minutes).
3. Into your stand mixer, add in 4 cups of all purpose flour and sugar. Stir. Add in your yeast, warm water, melted butter/oil, and then your warm roux. (Make sure to follow that order.)
4. Using your dough hook attachment, knead for 1 minute. Add in your salt and 1/4 cup more of all purpose flour. Continue to knead for 8 more minutes until dough is soft and has formed a ball underneath the dough hook.
5. Place dough onto a clean work surface. Knead until you form a smooth ball.
6. Spray mixing bowl with some cooking spray. Place your dough into mixing bowl and spray over it with more cooking spray. Cover with saran wrap and wait for it to double in size.
7. Place dough onto the counter and punch it down to release any air bubbles. Using the fold-over method, knead the dough back down to its original size and until most of the air bubbles are gone.
8. Divide dough into 16-18 equal sized pieces. (Watch my video below for a visual.) Cover your unused dough pieces with a clean, dry cloth. Next, use your hands to make each little piece into a smooth ball, and then using a rolling pin (I use a plastic one used for fondant), roll it out a bit, but making sure to keep it in a circle. Pinch the sides up to create a taco shape, pinch to seal. Place the shaped buns onto a baking sheet fitted with some silpat or parchment paper. Repeat with the rest.
9. Cover your shaped buns with a clean, dry cloth and wait for them to get puffy (not exactly doubled in size; these will rise quite a bit during baking!), about 20-30 minutes.
MAKE YOUR COCONUT FILLING:
Into a large COLD mixing bowl (I put mine in the freezer for a bit), add in your coconut cream and powdered sugar. Whip for several minutes until thickened. (Coconut cream does not whip into stiff peaks.) Using a flat spatula, gently fold in 3 cups of prepared whipped cream. (Store bought, full fat whipped cream would be you your best bet because it’s more stabilized.) Place your coconut cream into the fridge until ready to use.
Preheat your oven to 350 Degrees F.
10. Bake your buns for about 20-25 minutes or until tops have become slightly browned.
11. Remove your buns from the oven, and one by one, brush the tops with melted butter and then coat in coconut flakes. Allow for these to cool for 30 minutes before slicing and filling. Taste best eaten the same day!
-Good yeast is important in this recipe. I buy Red Star’s Platinum Superior Instant Yeast w/dough enhancers from Safeway and will only use it for this recipe. It really does make the buns softer, but since it’s more expensive, I will not use it for everyday baking. But yes, you may use whatever brand of instant yeast you can get your hands on.
-I purchase Rich’s whipped cream from Cash N Carry. Pastry Pride is the other one that’s great for this recipe!
-My kids prefer these filled with some basic whipped cream. Works great for this recipe, too, because it’s more stabilized and not runny!
-Homemade coconut cream does not get stiff like heavy cream, just fyi.
-The coconut cream splashes EVERYWHERE so I would recommend using a stand mixer to whip it or whip half a can at a time to prevent a mess!
-If you DO NOT finish your buns with coconut flakes after they’ve come out the oven (I prefer it this way!) I would recommend leaving the buns on the hot baking tray on the counter, COVER the baking sheet with a clean dish towel, and allow for them to cool down for 30 minutes under the cloth. This method keeps the bread nice and soft!
-These are best eaten the same day, but if you want to keep these soft, I recommend wrapping up each one individually in saran wrap and then placing them into a large ziplock baggie. The following day, reheat the buns in the microwave for 15 seconds to soften them up a bit. Good as new!
-These make wonderful dinner rolls! Just shape into rounded balls and bake as directed! I would reduce the sugar and salt called for, though.