Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cranberry Cream Cheese Buns Recipe

I don't make bread often. I like and tend to stick with quick, fuss free recipes - chiffon cakes, cupcakes, muffins, tarts. But on one of those rare occasions, I make bread and today, I present to you Cranberry Cream Cheese Buns.

My bread family all "dressed up"

Don't get me wrong, I like bread. I have bread almost everyday for breakfast, albeit commercial ones. Nothing fancy, just normal loaf bread slices with butter and kaya spread or sugar and butter. Making bread is a time consuming process, with at least 2 rounds of proofing and lots of kneading by head (no bread machine). But there-in lies the beauty of home-made bread - made with lots of love (and ermm sweat).

I'm not kidding in terms of the amount of arm power required in manual kneading. But it is also a therapeutic process. Maybe I will get more efficient in kneading if I made bread more often...

I spent a lazy, rainy Sunday making these buns and I was rewarded with these lovely golden buns exploding with cream cheese goodness. They are delicious warm and remained soft in the next days.

My recipe is based on Joey's strawberry cream cheese flat bun from her lovely blog thelittleaccidentsinthekitchen. If you are wondering, mine clearly look nothing like hers because I didn't weigh my buns down with another tray when baking. Mine had golden brown tops which gives a nice firm bite. Same-same but different. I'm sure you will have a version you like.

(makes 17-18 buns)


For water-roux
50g bread flour
250g water

For cream cheese filling
450g cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp caster sugar (Feel free to add more for sweeter filling)

For main bread dough
4 tsp instant yeast
113g whipping cream
540g bread flour
85g castor sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tsp milk powder
1.5 eggs (I used large eggs)
110g unsalted butter (50g melted, 60g softened)
100g dried cranberries

1. In a saucepan, combine bread flour with water and cook till mixture is sticky in consistency. You will be able to see traces of stirring. Leave aside to cool

2. To prepare cream cheese filling, beat cream cheese and sugar together. Leave chilled in fridge till use

3. Heat up whipping cream in microwave till hot to touch. Add in yeast and leave aside for 10-15 minutes.

4. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, milk powder. Add in beaten egg, yeast-cream mixture and water roux, made in step 1.

5. Knead till combined and add in melted butter. The dough will appear to come apart but will come together after kneading several times.

6. Knead in softened butter in 3 batches. Again, each time you add butter, the dough will come apart. Continue kneading and it will come together 

7. Knead in cranberries in 3 batches to ensure that the berries will be evenly spread throughout

8. Leave dough to proof in bowl covered with cling wrap for 1h. The dough should double in size.

9. Take out dough and separate into smaller dough buns. I made 17 buns, 75g each.

10. Flatten each dough bun and place a scope of cream cheese in the middle. Fold in sides of dough and pinch seams to form a bun. Leave on baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover tray with cling wrap and proof for another hour.

11. Bake buns in pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes or till tops are golden brown or dry to touch.

I made 17 buns in total, 25-30g of cream cheese wrapped in 75g of bread dough

Use block cream cheese as they tend to hold their shape better. You don't want to be battling with a gooey wet filling. 

Cream cheese filling can be made in advance or during proofing session 1. Keep in the fridge/chilled till use so that they can be shaped easily when stuffing into the bread dough

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