Saturday, January 24, 2009

CNY: Taro buns

I said I was doing something with taro today. And I did. :) Another bake for CNY!

Item number 5: Taro buns!

First off, I had to make the taro paste. Oh, how disastrous it was! Right out of the freezer and into a medium pot, I put the frozen taro. Three pieces of large frozen taro. It took about an hour of boiling on low heat. I was kinda impatient.. so I put it up to med and high heat. And every time I did that, it would overflow from bubbliness. GAH. So then I made the second mistake. When I added some koh fun (fried glutinous rice flour) to the mixture to thicken it up, I lost most of the taro taste. BOO. :( I'm so devestated now. I didn't even add that much koh fun to the mix. And now it tastes like sweet koh fun. ARGHH! T__T

Taro paste
Makes one large noodle bowl full

1kg taro, cooked and mashed
1 1/3 cups sugar (I find it too sweet, but others say it's fine. Do a taste test to suit your sweet requirements)
1/3 cup corn oil
1/3 cup koh fun (fried glutinous rice flour. I will never put koh fun in when making taro paste. I'd rather substitute it with flour or something tasteless! Koh fun just ruins the taro taste..)

Mix oil with koh fun.
In medium pot, heat mashed taro with sugar for 10mins on low.
Add the koh fun mixture and mix for another 5mins.

Leave to cool and it will harden slightly. (I find that it the outer surface will harden and be less sticky, so I scooped the taro paste into little balls so they could harden enough by the time I use them in the buns)

Taro buns
Makes about 36 buns

5 1/2 cups self raising flour
3/4 cup sugar
14g dry yeast (2 packets)
1 tsp salt
1 cup +1 tbsp water
1 egg
1/3 cup + 3 tbsp corn oil
1/4 cup milk powder

taro paste (see above)
1 egg, lightly beaten for eggwash
1 tsp milk, for eggwash
roasted sesame seeds

Mix warm water, 1 tbsp of the sugar and yeast. Leave for 5 mins.

Sift flour, salt, milk powder and rest of the sugar in an extra large bowl.
Add in yeast mixture, egg and oil.
Knead for 15mins until smooth.
Cover and leave to rest in a warm place for 1hr, or until doubled in size.

The yeast I used wasn't so good. I left the dough to rise for over 2hrs... and it didn't rise much (probably slightly less than doubled). So I'm a bit disappointed by that as well.

Punch hole in centre, and knead for 5mins.
Divide into portions.
Roll out a portion of dough and enclose a ball of taro paste. (If paste is too sticky, add flour)
Place onto a lined baking tray.

Leave for 30mins before baking.
Glaze with eggwash (egg and milk) and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake at 160C for 10-12mins or till golden brown.
Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack.

They were a tad pale on the top still because of the bad heat distribution of the electric oven.
A few minutes under the grill, and they've got a tan! :)

Oh. I only made 28 of these taro paste filled buns. The other 8 were: 4 mixed through taro paste dough, and 4 sultana buns. I had sultanas left over from yesterday's cornflake cookies. (I initially put too many sultanas in so I had to pick them back out). As you can see in the bread, there's some cornflakes in there too! Haha.. :P

They're like raisin scones. Wahaha. :)

Update 25/1: I tried the taro buns today. I think they tasted okay. Everyone seems to like them. :) It's just that I put too much eggwash (because it was a hot yesterday and the dough was drying out).. and so when it cools and rests for hours (say, overnight), it likes to become sticky. :( But otherwise, the dough consistency was really good for making buns. I'll use this dough from now on! :D


  1. Will be wonderful warm from the oven, dipped in some hot teh tarik!

  2. NO WAY I am TOTALLY subscribing to your blog. I LOVE taro buns and I'm SO SO SO glad you posted a recipe for this. :) Now I don't have to depend on the bakeries in Chinatown! Thank you!!!

  3. Maya - These buns are actually better when they've cooled down. The paste on the inside gets a chance to harden and actually tastes better! I find the taro paste too mushy and too sweet when it's still hot from the oven. I'd suggest waiting for them to cool before you (or others) devour them. :)

    luckytastebuds - I love taro buns too! I decided the ones from the bakeries have added preservatives and who knows what else. So I tried making my own. I'm going to try this again with red bean/green tea or mung bean one day! :D

  4. Hi!! I was wondering if I can omit the koh fun when making the paste...or can I use another type of flour?

  5. Try replacing it with corn flour instead.

  6. I have no idea what these are. What I mean is I've never heard of them before but yours pictured here are absolutely gorgeous. Works of art.