Heyyyy honey buns, how you doin? What? I was talking to the buns.
Okay, so the story about honey buns. Years and years ago, I worked at a grocery store that was owned by a Chinese family. It was a regular old grocery store, but they had a large assortment of Chinese vegetables, meats and specialty Chinese baked goods. One of the things that they had in the bakery were Honey Buns. Basically they were oblong shaped sweet buns with a sticky coconut filling. I loved ’em. When I had to work the opening shift, I would always get a Honey Bun on my first break and devour it.
About 3 years after the store opened it ended up closing down and I have been without these Honey Buns since then. Every now and then I think about them and dream of their sweet coco-nutty filling. So when I instagrammed this and this, that was me creating Coconut Honey Buns! PS Add me on Instagram I’m @missdelish
Okay so side story. Mr. Delish and I met at said grocery store. He worked in the produce department and I was a cashier. We started dating and a few of the cashiers heard about it. So one quiet evening, when there weren’t any customers in the store (no wonder it closed, duh) I was chatting with some of the other cashiers. They asked me if I was dating “that” guy over in the produce department. I turned around, and there is a young Mr. Delish tossing a watermelon up in the air and catching it as he’s walking back to the back area. Right as I turn around, he drops the watermelon on the floor and it literally burst into a million juicy pieces everywhere. I turned back to the girls and confidently said…..”ummm no that’s not him, I don’t think he’s working today.”
I apologize because this is going to be the longest post ever, but I have been asked to add in some tips about bread making. Bread making can be very touchy, I just recently had an epic fail with croissants, so trust me we’ve all been there! Here are some of the things that have worked for me:
- Make sure your house is warm when you are making bread. If your house is really chilly the yeast will have a hard time activating
- When I’m mixing the yeast and water, I always warm up the bowl that I’m mixing it in first. Usually I just run some hot water over it. This works especially well for the metal bowls from Kitchenaid Mixers. Just make sure to dry the bowl off and then get the yeast and water in there quickly after that.
- While your yeast is activating in the warm water/milk make sure that it is in a warm place, if it’s sitting in a cool environment, there is a chance the liquid can cool down so much that the yeast won’t activate.
- If the yeast has been in the liquid for 10 minutes and it is not all frothy and bubbly, it is not activating and you need to start over.
- Once you have your yeast activated and you start mixing your dough, use warm hands to kneed the dough. If you tend to have cool hands, just warm them up by running them under warm/hot water for a few minutes.
- Once your dough is kneaded for the time stated in the recipe. You will want to let it rest. Again make sure your bowl is not cold. Cover with a teatowel and place in a warm spot. I usually turn our gas fireplace on and then place the bowl of dough on a chair in front of the fireplace.
- If you try all of these things and your dough is still not working out properly, check the date on your yeast. If it is expired or close to expiring, it may have gone bad.
And that’s all folks. I am in no way a professional baker, those are just some of the things I do!
You can breathe a sigh of relief because I am going to stop talking now and just show you these Coconut Honey buns….
Coconut Honey Buns:
Makes 12 Buns
For the Dough:
1/3 cup very warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup boiling water
1 egg, beaten
2 1/4 cup flour
Extra flour for kneading
For the Filling:
3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
2 egg yolks
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp liquid honey
1 tbsp warm water
For the Dough:
In a small bowl, mix together the warm water and the 1 tsp of sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast on top and set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together 1/3 cup sugar, salt, and oil. Add the boiling water and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in the beaten egg and yeast mixture. Slowly stir in the flour until you get a soft dough. Remove from the bowl to a floured surface and begin kneading. Knead for 10 minutes or until the dough becomes soft and elastic.
Transfer dough to a greased bowl and cover with a tea towel. Place in a warm spot and let rise, until doubled, about 2 hours.
For the filling:
In a food processor or blender, add the coconut and sugar and blend until very fine. Remove to a bowl and mix in the melted butter and the egg yolk.
To Fill and Bake:
Punch down the dough and then cut into 12 equal pieces. Using your hands, roll and stretch out the door until it is a 5 x 3 inch oblong shape.
Spoon about 1 1/2 tbsp of filling in the center of the dough. Fold up the short ends and then fold in the long sides and pinch to seal. Set on a greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining buns. Again, cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm spot for 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water for the egg wash. Brush each bun with egg wash. Bake for 15 minutes until nice and golden.
As soon as you take them out of the oven, mix together the honey and water in a small bowl and brush over each bun.
Eat them warm or let them cool and eat them at room temperature.