Anpan (sweet buns filled with red bean paste)
 
Makes 8 buns
Ingredients
For the red bean paste: (This makes enough for 2 batches of dough)
  • 100 g red Azuki beans (1/2 cup)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 36 g white sugar (3 TBSP)
  • Water, for soaking and boiling
For the dough (recipe from Mamaloli.com):
  • 200 g all-purpose flour (1½ cups)
  • 40 g white sugar (3 TBSP + 1 tsp)
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 60 grams water (1/4 cup)
  • 20 grams milk (1 TBSP)
  • 1 TBSP melted butter
For the topping:
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 30 g water (2 TBSP)
  • Black sesame seeds
Instructions
For the paste:
  1. Place the beans in a bowl and cover with water. Let soak for 3 hours.
  2. Drain the beans and place in a pot. Fill with water so that it comes an inch above the beans.
  3. Bring to boil and then cover and simmer for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  4. Drain the beans and place back into the pot.
  5. Add the honey and sugar and stir until combined.
  6. Mash and let cool for 15 minutes.
  7. Boil uncovered for 5 minutes to remove excess water, until the paste has the consistency of re-fried beans.
  8. Transfer to a bowl and mash again until smooth.
For the dough (Do all the mixing in a Kitchenaid mixer if you have one, using a dough hook):
  1. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast together. Then add the water, milk, and beaten egg to form the dough. Add the melted butter and mix for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  2. Oil a bowl by putting a few drops of olive oil and spreading around with a paper towel. Place the dough in the oiled bowl and cover (you can use a towel or plastic wrap). Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
  3. Split the dough into 8 equal-sized balls and place on an oiled cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 15 minutes.
To assemble:
  1. With floured hands so the dough doesn't stick, gently flatten each ball of dough. Place a TBSP-sized ball of red bean paste on top of the dough and shape the dough around the paste until it completely surrounds it. Pinch together and place the bun (pinched side down) on a cookie sheet sprayed with Pam cooking spray.
  2. Once all the buns are formed, gently place a thumbprint in the center of each bun.
For the topping:
  1. Combine the beaten egg and water for the egg wash. Brush over the entire bun.
  2. Then spoon a few black sesame seeds into the thumbprint.
Baking instructions:
  1. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes, until golden.
Recipe by It's Always Someone's Birthday at http://www.itsalwayssomeonesbirthday.com/2014/01/breadit-asian-bread-challenge-anpan-aka-sweet-buns-filled-with-red-bean-paste.html