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Red Bean Flower Bread - 팥빵

I have an appetite like an old Korean lady. Not quantity wise... that would mean I equal 10 old ladies. But in the stuff that old ahjummas "old Korean ladies with a perm ;)" love to eat. Like red bean, boiled barley, pumpkin porridge, Korean rice cakes, cardboard tasting crackers...food that I can probably eat until I'm 90, because they can so easily be smushed between my toothless gums. Especially red bean. That's my one true love <3

Red bean between soft buttery bread. It's like a sandwich made for the gods. A lot of people seem to dislike it and I don't understand why! It is a little weird that beans can be considered dessert, but for christ-sake, IT IS NOT KIDNEY BEANS. I had to explain that at least a gazillion times. I never grew up with dessert after dinner concept (typical Asian), so red bean to me was the ultimate dessert.

The bread is super soft like brioche and SUPER stuffed with red bean paste. If you're too lazy to make the paste, you can buy it at any Asian supermarket. Don't hate on the beans before you've tried it!


Red Bean Flower Bread - 팥빵

makes 10-12 large buns

Red bean paste
2 cups dried adzuki beans
1.5-2 cups sugar (depending on taste)
pinch of salt

Dough
3 3/4 cups bread flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1.5 tsp salt
1 packet of active dry yeast
1/3 cup water
1 cup warm milk
2 eggs
5 tbsp butter, room temperature

Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water)

Red bean paste

  1. Rinse and soak beans overnight in a large bowl with at least 2 inches of water covering the top layer
  2. Drain beans and put in a medium-large pot. Cover with water until about 5 inches above the top. Bring to a boil and then let it simmer for about 1-2 hours with the lid on. Check the water level every now and then and add about an inch above the top when you see the beans exposed
  3. Check for done-ness by squishing the beans with your fingers. They should give in easily. If they are at that stage, don't add anymore water! 
  4. Dump in the sugar and salt. Start with a lower amount of sugar, because you can always adjust by adding more later. Stir with a wooden spoon, while mashing it a little too. 
  5. The consistency should get quite think and the water should keep evaporating. I used a stick blender here to blend it until it was smooth. If you don't own one, you can use a potato masher or pour it into your blender.
  6. Keep stirring on medium heat to evaporate the water and don't let it burn on the bottom. You should expect your arms to tire out so call in a friend ;) (this can take up to 1 hour, depending on how much water is left in your pot)
  7. It will be done when you scrape the bottom of the pot and there is a divide between the paste (aka not a liquid mess). Leave to cool outside with the lid off and it should become even more thick.

Dough
  1. In a kitchen aid mixing bowl, whisk together bread flour, AP flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Add water, milk and 2 eggs
  2. Using the dough hook, mix at low speed (2-3). You may need to add about 2-5 tbsp of water if the dough is dry. Let it mix for about 5 mins until it looks pretty well pounded together
  3. Add in the butter 1 tbsp at a time and mix low-medium speed for another 10-15 minutes. Check for elasticity by stretching the dough quite thinly between your fingers and it shouldn't snap too easily
  4. Put in a greased bowl and cover with greased saran wrap or a damp cloth. Let it rise for 45mins
  5. In the meantime, roll your red bean paste into golf sized balls (12) and set aside.
  6. Punch down the dough and split it evenly into 12 balls on a floured surface. Roll a ball it into a thin circle, place red bean paste in the middle and pinch to close. You can use a little water to help it stick
  7. Pat or roll gently the stuffed dough into a wide cylinder (like a tuna can) with seam side down. You don't need to apply much pressure! Don't squish it and let all the red bean squeeze out. Keep the height to about 3/4-1" 
  8. Refer to the picture above! Using kitchen scissors, snip 6 times at the edges and lay on a baking tray with parchment paper on top. Cover the compete buns with saran wrap and let it rise for about 15 minutes (they should look slightly puffy)
  9. Preheat oven to 375F. Brush eggwash over the buns and pop it into the oven for 13-18 minutes or until golden brown on top. This timing depends on how large you want to bake the bread. You can easily make more than what I did. I just like more red bean than bread.




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