I’ve been craving bread. Sweet and impeccably soft Japanese bread in particular. Not quite sure what started this recent desire for pillowy soft buns, but with a severe lack of Japanese bakeries on the Gold Coast, I’ve been forced to get into the kitchen and bake whenever the craving strikes. I guess that’s not such a bad thing.
Anpan are essentially delicious Japanese bread rolls filled with sweet, moist, melt-in-your-mouth anko (red bean paste), and honestly, they taste much better when baked at home. Nothing beats warm, fluffy, fresh-out-of-the-oven anpan! That satisfaction when you bite into one and find that gooey, sticky, sweet red bean centre… so indescribably good.
If you’ve never had anko before, it’s a rather dense paste made by boiling and mashing earthy red beans (also known as azuki beans). Sugar is than added to sweeten the paste. It is a very popular ingredient featured widely in Asian desserts. For this anpan, I used the chunky version of the paste (https://milkanddust.com/tsubuan). If you prefer a smoother paste, look for koshian. Both of these can be easily made at home or found in certain Asian supermarkets.
Just look at how cute the little anpan are, especially with those itty bitty sesame seeds sitting pretty on top! I’ve found that these buns make a great breakfast, accompanied by nice hot coffee or smooth hōjicha to cut through the sweetness of the anko.
Anpan あんパン (Japanese Sweet Red Bean Buns)
soft bread buns filled with sweet red bean paste | yield: 8 small buns
1 1/2 cups bread flour (high protein flour)
3 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon milk powder
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons egg, beaten
100ml water, warm
2 tablespoons butter, softened
for the filling & topping:
350g anko (red bean paste/azuki bean paste)
Egg mixed with a bit of water, for egg wash
Sesame seeds, for sprinkling
The full recipe has been moved to our new website, Milk & Dust.
Check out the recipe here: https://milkanddust.com/lifestyle/recipes/anpan-recipe-japanese-red-bean-buns/