- 40×35 cm baking tray,
- lined with non stick baking paper
- 25 g strong white bread flour, protein 12,2 % – Tesco 12,6 % seems best
- plus some flour for dusting
- 125 ml water
Dough (makes twelve buns):
- 375 strong white bread flour
- 25 g caster sugar
- 7 g easy-blend/easy-bake dried yeast
- 125 ml luke warm milk
- 1 egg white
- 25 g soft unsalted butter
- 4 g salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 500 ml can azuki beans (health shop)
- 100-200 g caster sugar
They were in Tokyo, my son and an English collegue and they stayed in a traditional hotel: paper walls, go splishy splashy in a deep barrel together, fine dining at a low table.
The Englishman could stand everything but that breakfast of miso soup with tofu, kelp and pieces of fish .. no! Then better such a ‘hamburger bun’ An Pan from the baker’s shop.
Japan did not know an own bread until the end of the 19th century. Portuguese and Dutch merchants had their bread baked by fellow-countrymen, but this was not to the taste of a Japanese. Until an unemployed Sumo wrestler got the idea to use sake yeast for pan-dough as soft as butter (pão = Portuguese for bread) and to fill it with sweet azuki bean paste: an. These soft buns became very popular.
Soft bread is also made by adding a wheat porridge made at 65 ˚C. Another Japanese invention, in the whole of South East Asia known under the Chinese name Tangzhong since the nineties of last century.
- Tangzhong: Whisk flour and water to a smooth consistency in a small pan. Beat in a double boiler over a low flame until the whisk makes furrows (then the gluten is swollen). Take from the heat immediately. Let cool.
- Dough: Mix flour, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a food mixer. Add milk Tangzhong, egg white and butter, stir, then add salt. Knead for 10 minutes. Clean the bowl. Put the dough in it, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise at room temperature for an hour.
- An: Drain the beans over a bowl. Spoon in a small pan with enough cooking liquid to cover the bottom. Over a moderate heat add the sugar gradually. Reduce while stirring to a coarse porridge. Let cool.
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400˚F/gas 6.
- Not filled buns: On a lightly floured work surface press out the risen dough to a rectangle. Cut 12 pieces. Roll balls. Put on the baking tray. Cover with the cloth and let rise 15 minutes. Then brush with egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water. Bake for about 12 minutes in the middle of the oven.
- An Pan: Press the dough balls by hand to 10 cm rounds. Brush off the flour. Put on a dessertspoon of an. Fold the dough around it. Squeeze the rim. Put on the baking tray, fold underneath. Cover and let rise for 15 minutes. Brush with egg yolk and bake as above.