Easy Red Bean Buns, Tangzhong Method (Thailand)

japanese red bean 1I’m so good at this recipe I can make it with my eyes closed. Not really, impossible, but close. I can do it while little Alice is crying in the next room. She’s crying because I’m banging around in the kitchen, trying to find things. A Thai kitchen is no place for cooking, or at least no place for baking.

I’m pre-heating the clunker, the oven made in China. Last week it mysteriously rolled off the table. That was the highlight of the weekend, not sure why it happened, but before I knew it I had two hands holding a hot oven, and something was cooking inside, Maybe it was a slight shift of the earth below my feet, maybe the house tilted, wondering about the poor quality of the place I call home, and the two hundred and fifty dollars I spend on the place…

This weekend is a long one, a Buddhist holiday, so no beer–well at least for the next few days, and I really love my beer. I had some red bean paste in the fridge so I decided to try something new. The red bean Japanese sweet buns that I have been craving. An incredibly easy recipe, especially when you buy the bean paste already prepared (as I did).

japanese red bean 4I’m always talking up the Tangzhong method of baking. I really love it. Sure, if I were in the States I’d love a nice chunk of French bread, and wouldn’t waste my time on the ‘soft’ stuff.

But I’m here, and I’m making bread, and the time it takes to make French bread, well, I just don’t have it any more. I work, I take care of the new baby (or at least help), grade papers, and in my spare time teach myself very odd things like statistics thinking it will help me when I get back to the real world next year.

In the meantime, let’s make some bread.

This is the basic Tangzhong recipe that I have used before. I chilled the red bean paste so it’s easier to work with, filled my dough with about two tablespoons of red bean paste and then let the dough rise a bit. I made six cuts each with a scissor, and they look real nice before they go in the oven. Pre-heat, yes, stay there, no rolling today. The thing seems secure so in they go…!

japanese red bean 3About 20 minutes later they look good–golden brown, and just about perfect. They look like they belong in a cafe in Japan somewhere, and my wife is hoovering waiting to dig into the soft bread…

So let’s eat!


2 responses to “Easy Red Bean Buns, Tangzhong Method (Thailand)

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