Growing up in Singapore with a neighborhood bakery on every corner, I'd spend my pocket money after school purchasing one of these "anpan" or red bean stuffed buns. Best when warm out of the oven, these buns were a special treat and something I always looked forward to.
I recently started making my own bread at home, typically making Japanese milk bread because for a non-bread baker like me, I needed something practically foolproof! And so this recipe is exactly that. Tasty, pillowy-soft and easy to make, I decided to make a Nutella-stuffed bun using this bread recipe. This bread recipe is a typical one for shokupan or Japanese milk bread. I've tweaked this recipe several times to my family's tastes and this is my go-to for when I want home-made bread either in loaf form (using a pullman pan) or formed into buns for stuffing. If you do decide to use a chocolate spread for the stuffing over the traditional red bean paste typically used, make sure you freeze the individual chocolate balls used as stuffing for at least two hours otherwise you'll end up with a very messy scene on your hands :)
Traditional "Anpan" or red bean bun is stuffed with sweetened red beans (also known as adzuki beans in Japan). Other stuffing suggestions include lotus seed pastes, green bean pastes (using green mung beans) and of course chocolate spreads.
Since bread dough does need to rise, I usually start this recipe in the morning and allow the first rise to occur over 1.5 to 2 hours. I then form the dough into balls and allow an hour for the second rise before baking. On this schedule, you could have your buns ready for afternoon snack time. You could split the labor over two days and allow the dough to rise in the refrigerator overnight. If you're interested in this schedule, I would start the recipe in the evening and place the formed dough for the first rise overnight. I'd leave the dough on the counter the next morning and allow it to reach room temperature before proceeding with forming the dough into individual balls. The second rise should be done at room temperature.
These cute little buns filled with Nutella are the perfect afternoon snack treat for hungry kids coming home from school!
Thanks for stopping by. This is where I infuse culinary influences from my Singaporean and Indian pantry into cocktails and recipes easily adapted for weekday cooking. Hope you'll stick around!
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