One of my most favorite places to be is a Korean bakery. If you have not been to one before, please get yourself to the nearest one ASAP. You will be amazed. On cloud nine. In a state of pure bliss. Okay, so maybe I’m the only one who gets overly excited at Korean bakeries, but I promise it will be a delightful experience. They offer a wide variety of Korean-style breads, cakes, and pastries, and many sell bubble tea, frozen yogurt, and shaved ice as well. It’s like heaven on earth :)
There are dozens of different types of delectable baked goods, but my favorite is the simple red bean bun. Unfortunately, there are ZERO Korean bakeries in Cleveland, so I don’t get to devour red bean buns to my heart’s content as often as I would like. The last time I had one was when the boyfriend brought me a bunch back from his trip to Washington DC last month. Although there are similar buns at the Chinese bakery in Cleveland, they are not quite the same.
I often go weeks without my beloved red bean buns, so I practically jumped for joy when I saw this recipe. Light and buttery pumpkin brioche filled with sweet red bean paste? What could possibly be any better than this? These buns were INCREDIBLE. The kitchen smelled heavenly when the buns were baking, and the brioche was amazingly soft and fluffy. I can’t believe I was able to produce something so wonderful out of such simple ingredients.
Although these are not the typical red bean buns found in Korean bakeries, they are a totally worthy substitute. The next time I make these (and there will DEFINITELY be a next time), I will increase the spices to bring out the pumpkin flavor a bit more, but other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing. I can’t even describe how spectacular these pumpkin brioche buns are – you MUST try them for yourself.
Pumpkin Brioche Red Bean Buns
- 3 cups flour (I used Gold Medal “Better for Bread” Flour)
- 1 large egg, cold
- 1 egg yolk, cold
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 1/2 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 can sweet red bean paste
- 1 egg white
- sesame seeds
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, eggs, pumpkin, yeast, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Mix at low speed for about 4 minutes. Dough will be very stiff.
2. With the mixer on medium speed, beat in the sugar in 3 increments. Mix for about 2 minutes following each addition. Continue to beat at medium speed until gluten reaches full development. You should be able to stretch dough into a paper thin, translucent “windowpane.”
3. Turn mixer back to low speed and add the butter all at once. Mix for one minute on low speed, then increase the mixer to medium speed and beat until butter is completely incorporated. Dough should be soft and smooth, but also strong and elastic.
4. Transfer dough to a lightly greased, covered container and ferment at room temperature for one hour. Punch down dough and refrigerate overnight (8-12 hours).
5. Divide dough equally into 12 balls, then cover and refrigerate for 2o more minutes.
6. Remove dough balls from refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one dough balls into a flat disc, about 3-4 inches in diameter. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of red bean paste onto center of the disc. Bring edges of the dough toward the center and seal. Smooth out seam and place bun seam side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough balls.
7. Gently press sesame seeds on top of buns in a decorative pattern. Brush buns with lightly beaten egg white. Allow buns to proof in a warm place for about 1 hour. Dough is done proofing when it springs back slowly after being poked with a finger.
8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.