I was making my sheng jian bao the other day and was inspired to make these Mini Matcha Custard Buns.
These Mini Matcha Custard Buns have a pan-fried top and bottom and are filled with a luscious matcha custard.
Admittedly, my inspiration comes from imagawayaki, which is a Japanese-style wheel cake. However, these buns are not similar as they are made with dough, rather than batter.
WHAT IS A CUSTARD?
A custard is a mixture of egg yolks and milk with a thickener of flour and/or cornstarch.
It can range in viscosity — from thin to thick.
I love pairing custard and buns together, like in these Steamed Custard Buns.
INGREDIENTS IN THE MATCHA CUSTARD BUNS
There are 2 main components to the buns:
- bun dough
- matcha custard filling
- bao flour / or all-purpose flour + cornstarch
- baking powder
- whole milk
- active dry yeast
Bao flour vs. all-purpose flour
Bao flour is a specialty flour that is used primarily for making steamed buns.
The flour is lower in protein and in gluten, and produces a lighter, whiter and fluffier bun.
However, it can be difficult to find bao flour/mantou flour (usually found in Asian grocery stores).
In this case, you can use all-purpose flour and add in cornstarch to produce a lighter bun.
- egg yolks
- all-purpose flour
- coconut milk
- whole milk
- vanilla extract
I chose to add coconut milk since it adds richness and holds the custard at a nice viscosity while working with it at room temperature.
HOW TO MAKE THE MATCHA CUSTARD
First, whisk together the egg yolks and dry ingredients in a bowl.
Next, heat the milk separately in a saucepan.
Then, pour the the warmed milk slowly and gradually into the egg yolk mixture, while at the same time whisking the egg yolks. This process is known as tempering, which warms up the eggs without scrambling them.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and whisk over medium heat until thickened.
Chill the matcha custard in the fridge.
HOW TO MAKE THE BUN DOUGH
Combine the dry ingredients into a bowl.
Activate the dry yeast with warmed milk, water and sugar.
Knead the dough with your hands until it comes together, and add in the oil. Continue to knead until shiny and smooth.
Cover the dough and leave to rest until it doubles in size.
Roll the dough into a long log and divide into 12 equal portions.
Flatten each portion out into a circle with a rolling pin, leaving a slight raised hump in the centre, and thinner edges.
ASSEMBLING THE BUNS
Place a teaspoon of matcha custard into the centre of the dough, gather, pleat and pinch to seal the edges.
Repeat with the remainder.
COOKING THE BUNS
Preheat a dry flat-top griddle (with no oil) over medium heat.
Place the buns down on the griddle, lightly spray the tops of the the buns with water, cover with a lid and cook for 5-6 minutes, until lightly golden brown. (Adjust the heat if it’s browning too quickly).
Flip and cook on the other side for another 3-4 minutes.
SWEET LITTLE TREATS
Best eaten while slightly warm, the crust from the pan-fried exterior melds into a soft and creamy interior.
These Mini Matcha Custard Buns are creamy, slightly sweet, earthy, and gosh darn cute! They’re perfect as a little snack or dessert.
If you love matcha, be sure to check out my other matcha recipes:
Let me know if you try out this recipe — tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to see your re-creations!
Mini Matcha Custard Buns
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 2 egg yolks
- 25 g granulated sugar
- 6 g all-purpose flour
- 3 g cornstarch
- 5 g matcha
- 65 g coconut milk canned
- 60 g whole milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 90 g bao flour or sub with all-purpose flour
- 7 g cornstarch if using all-purpose flour
- 4 g baking powder
- 125 ml whole milk
- 15 ml water
- 4 g granulated sugar
- ½ tsp active dry yeast
- 2 g oil
Make the matcha custard:
- In a small glass bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, flour, cornstarch and matcha.
- In a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk and whole milk over medium heat until scalding hot.
- Gradually stream in the warmed milk while whisking the egg mixture (this is tempering the eggs so that they don't scramble).
- Pour the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan and place it on the heat. Continue to whisk over low heat until the custard thickens, about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Transfer the custard to a bowl and place a piece of parchment paper over the top (to prevent a skin from forming).
- Let cool, cover and chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
Make the bun dough:
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder.
- In a small bowl, add in the milk, water and sugar. Give it a stir. Heat (microwave) the mixture until lukewarm.
- Add the yeast to the liquid mixture, give it a stir and let it become bubbly.
- Pour the activated yeast mixture into the dry ingredients and knead the dough until it comes together.
- Add in the oil and continue to knead until the dough becomes soft and shiny.
- Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm location, about 40 minutes to 1 hour.
- Roll the dough out into a log and divide the dough into 12 equal portions.
- Flatten the dough into a circle, leaving the centre a little raised, and the edges thinner.
- Remove the matcha custard from the fridge. Divide into 12 equal portions.
- Place 1 heaped teaspoon of matcha custard in the centre of the dough, and pleat and pinch to seal the edges together.
- Place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Repeat with the remainder.
- Preheat a flat griddle over medium heat.
- Place the buns onto the griddle, spray the buns with a little water, cover with a lid and cook for 5-6 minutes until lightly golden brown on the bottom (you may need to adjust the heat). Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Best served warm or at room temperature.
- Store the buns in an airtight container and place into the fridge for up to 3 days. Lightly warm before serving.