Custard Buns

Who can say no to an espresso and pain à la crème on a sidewalk in Paris? I assure you, you might be in your own home but your tastebuds will be fooled into believing you were there….

325g bread flour
3,7ml salt
150ml milk
40g butter
10g instant yeast
35ml sugar
1 egg

Crème pâtissière:
40g corn flour
500ml milk
4 egg yolks
50g + 50g caster sugar
5ml vanilla

Egg wash: 1 egg and 15ml water whisked together

For the buns:
Line a large baking sheet with baking paper and put aside.
Add the flour and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
Warm the milk until tepid and pour it into a mixing bowl.
Add the butter, instant yeast and sugar to the milk and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Turn the mixer on to a low speed and add the liquids. Mix/knead for about 3 minutes. The dough will be very sticky!
Turn the mixer to medium speed and knead for another 6 minutes. You are aiming for a soft, smooth, elastic dough.
Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces – weigh them on a scale, they should be around 60g each.
Roll each portion into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheet.
Flatten the dough ball slightly with your hand.
Now make an indent with a small cup/glass, pushing down onto the dough.
Spray some plastic wrap with cooking spray and cover the buns lightly.
Set aside in a warm place for 90 minutes.

For the crème pâtissière:
Add the corn flour to a small bowl and pour a small amount of milk in to the bowl while stirring. You want to make a slurry, which is basically a runny, pourable paste. Put aside.
Add the egg yolks and 50g caster sugar to a mixing bowl.
Stir the corn flour slurry into the egg mixture. Set aside.
Pour the milk into a small saucepan and add the other 50g caster sugar.
Place the saucepan on medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Take the saucepan from the heat as soon as tiny bubbles start to appear around the edges of the pan.
Drizzle the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture while whisking vigorously. Pour slowly, whisk quickly!
Now pour the mixture from the mixing bowl, back into the saucepan and place it on a medium-low heat.
Stir continuously until the mixture has thickened.
Allow to cook for 30 seconds before removing it from the heat.
Add the vanilla and stir to mix.
Pour the crème pâtissière into a shallow bowl and place some plastic wrap directly on the surface. This will prevent a skin from forming while the custard cools down. Place in the refrigerator and allow to cool completely.

Preheat your oven to 180℃.
Take the same cup/glass that you used to make the indents in the buns, and press down onto the exact same area again.
Brush the buns with egg wash.
Whisk the cold créme pâtissière to soften it.
Spoon about 20ml or more if you can, of crème pâtissière into each round indent you have made.
Bake the custard buns for 20 minutes. The custard filling will rise up as it bakes but do not panic, it will fall back on itself once it cools.
Cool the buns to room temperature.
Sieve with icing sugar and serve with coffee.

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