A classic staple of bakeries in Singapore.
It starts with a basic enriched dough.
You add some chopped toasted walnuts, which by the way makes the dough a loooot trickier to work with. But so worth it.
Decorate with the prettiest walnuts of the batch on top, just to signpost that yes, this bread does indeed contain walnuts.
The classic flattened disc shape of the bread is achieved by placing a lightweight pan on top of the bread as it bakes in the oven.
And you get a surprise tangy cream cheese filling in the middle. Yeah check out that awkward wrist bending.
I got the base recipe from here, but used walnuts instead of cranberries, changed the method a little, used a different recipe for the lemon curd, and changed the shape of the bread entirely.
Ingredients (makes 9 buns)
Lemon curd (do this first)
- 4 egg yolks
- 68g sugar
- Juice and zest from 2 lemons
- 38g unsalted butter
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 250g strong white bread flour
- 50g plain flour
- 5g instant dried yeast
- 1 egg + another egg for the egg wash (so…2 eggs)
- 50g sugar
- 130ml milk
- 40g salted butter, softened (or unsalted butter with a pinch of salt)
- About 200g walnuts
- 200g cream cheese (softened)
- 60g icing sugar
- 4 tbsp lemon curd (chilled)
- Mix the yolks with the sugar vigorously. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix.
- Microwave on medium-high for 1.5 mins. Stir.
- Repeat on medium or medium-high at 1 mins interval, stirring every time after you heat until the curd is thick.
- Sieve the curd into a container and chill.
- Mix the flour, yeast and sugar together and mix.
- Create a well in the middle and gradually stir in milk until well blended.
- Add an egg and mix.
- Knead well until soft and elastic.
- Knead in the butter until (even more) elastic.
- Cover with floured cling film and let rise until doubled in size, about an hour (see notes).
- To make the filling, mix the cream cheese, icing sugar, and 4 tbsp of the chilled lemon curd together. Chill the filling.
- Meanwhile, reserve 9 of your best looking walnuts for decoration later. Roughly chop up the rest of the walnuts and toast the walnut pieces at 180°C for about 10 mins or until aromatic. Let walnuts cool.
- After the dough has doubled in size, knead in the chopped toasted walnuts until well incorporated. Divide the dough into 9 pieces. Cover and let rise for 20 mins or until slightly expanded in size.
- Flatten each dough ball out, and place about 1/2 tbsp of filling in each bun. Seal the edges and place each dough ball seam side down on a lined baking sheet.
- Cover and let each dough ball double in size again, about half an hour.
- Egg wash the dough balls and decorate with the pretty walnuts that you reserved earlier.
- Place a piece of baking paper and then a lightweight baking pan on top of the dough balls. Bake at 200°C for about 10 mins, or until browned.
- The times given for proofing the dough are a rough guide, since it is very dependent on temperature. Follow the visual cues (ie doubled in size) rather than the exact timing.
- Make sure to seal the edges well or the filling will leak out. However given that the walnuts themselves sometimes create an opening in the dough for the filling to leak out, a little bit of leakage is unavoidable (unless you chop up the walnuts finer, but I prefer the texture of chunky walnuts).
- A variation which I’ve tried before is to replace the walnuts with dried cranberries. Also nice.