Peanut Butter and Jelly Buns
These buns were imagined out of pure nostalgia and my husband's love of the Korean Soboro Bread. He's been asking me to make these forever and I'm just not quite convinced that they're that good. That sounds awful! But it's true. I'm Chinese and my husband is Korean and we've had an ongoing argument about who's bakeries are best. Chinese bakeries or Korean bakeries. I know I'm partial, but I just find Chinese buns and cake to be moister with a feathery texture. So this argument has been going on as long as our relationship (18+ years) He can't go past a Korean bakery or grocery store without buying a bagful... seriously a whole bag full of buns, including this Soboro bread. What is Soboro bread? It's a fluffy, spongy bun topped with a crisp peanutty topping. It reminds me a lot of the pineapple buns that I adore so much and so I decided to meld these two ideas together to create a fun twist on it with these Peanut Butter and Jelly Buns.
These buns are soft, fluffy, feathery and filled with grape jelly. Then topped with a sweet and crispy peanut crust. The topping is made of a mixture of butter, cake flour, sugar and crunchy peanut butter. You can also use creamy peanut butter, but I personally like a few little crunchy pieces in there! Once all the topping ingredients have been mixed together, I place it in the fridge to chill with the dough proofs.
To fill the buns, I find that the jelly is actually easier to work with than jam since its so much more gelatinous and holds its shape better, which makes filling the dough much easier. I must admit there were a couple of buns that I probably didn't seal well enough as some of the jelly leaked out as they were doing their final proof! But even with a slight leak the filling stayed intact after their bake! Woo hoo! Scroll below for more pics of the bun shaping process!
Once the buns are filled with jelly, I let them proof for another 30 minutes. Near the end of the 30 minutes, I rolled out their little peanut butter helmets. The topping dough is rolled into tiny balls about the size of a ping pong ball. I place it in between two sheets of wax paper and roll it out into a small disk. The disk doesn't have to cover the top of the bun, just big enough to place on top. Place the disk on top of the buns and brush with egg wash. Then back for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. I baked these in the middle and top of my oven and found that I had to rotate the sheet trays in the middle of the baking process to ensure an even brown color. I think its mainly because of my oven, but check them about halfway through the bake just to make sure.
Once browned, allow to cool on the sheet trays for about 10 minutes and enjoy. I love eating these warm, but they are also great room temp (as my husband likes to eat them) They stay fresh for about 2-3 days at room temp or you can microwave them for about 12 seconds to eat it warm! You'll never want a regular peanut butter and jelly sandwich again!
Peanut Butter and Jelly Buns
Yields 16 buns
The peanut butter crust:
- 4 tbsp (60 grams) of unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
- 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp of cake flour
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp of powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp of baking soda
- 1/4 tsp of baking powder
- 1 tbsp heavy cream
For the Buns
- ⅔ cup heavy cream (at room temperature)
- 1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon milk (at room temperature)
- 1 large egg (at room temperature)
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ cup cake flour, leveled
- 3½ cups bread flour, leveled
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 cup grape jelly
- Egg wash: 1 large egg + 1 tbsp of heavy cream + 1 tsp of water
Make the Crust
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until pale and creamy, approx 3 min.
- Add the egg yolk and heavy cream, and beat until thick
- Add the cake flour, powdered sugar, peanut butter, baking soda and baking powder, and mix until everything comes together into a dough. The dough will be similar to a sticky cookie dough.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
Make the Bun
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the all the ingredients (cream through salt) on a low speed until just combined. Increase speed to to medium low and knead for 13-15 minutes. You will know its ready by using the windowpane test. Spread the dough apart with four fingers if the dough holds together and creates a window that is thin enough to see through, you're good to go.
- Place the dough in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to proof for 1 hour.
- Once the dough has proofed, punch down the dough and turn it out onto your board. Divide into equal 16 pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball by pushing it though a circle created by your index finger and thumb. Cover with a cloth and allow them to rest for 15 minutes.
- Take each piece of dough and flatten it out, pressing the edges out and making an indent in the middle, about 4- 5 inches in diameter.
- Spoon about 1 tablespoon of jelly into the center of the bun and carefully seal it up pulling the edges of the dough out and then pressing the opposite sides together. Careful do not to touch the filling with the edges of the dough, because once it gets wet, the edges won't seal.
- Once tightly sealed. Turn the bun over and gently cup with your hands to shape it into a ball and place a parchment lined baking sheet. Do the same with the rest of the buns. Cover with plastic wrap and allow them to rise for another 30-40 minutes.
- Once almost done rising, take the crust dough out the the fridge and shape into small balls (approx 1 tbsp) flatten out the dough into a disk. Place the disk of dough onto the tops of the risen buns. No need to be perfect here! You want them to look a bit rustic and craggy. Repeat with all the buns.
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Brush the tops with a good amount of the egg wash and bake for 15-18 min or until golden brown.
- Enjoy warm!