Alrighty, let's get baking y'all! So this is the softest Red bean bread loaf with red bean bolo cookie crust topping. So much delicious red bean! It gives the bread such a natural, sweet flavor that really, nothing tastes better if you ask me! I had bought this cubic pullman loaf from a baking supply store in Taichung, Taiwan this summer. To all you baking lovers out there, this is actually heaven on Earth. No, it's not Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald, but there are so many different molds, gadgets, and plates in this particular place that you'll be overjoyed nonetheless.

Except, I'm not really into the whole 3x3x3 pullman look. I always, without question, opt for the "mushroom head" look. It's just really cute, the poofy bread look! Would you look at it! It's much less boring then a cubic sandwich bread, that is. Anyways, so I decided to use this mold for the very first time and let me tell you, it doesn't disappoint.

Tips & Tricks:

  • I've been using the Shirakiku Red Bean Paste for about 2 years now and I highly recommend it. Yes, you can make homemade red bean paste but you'll want to get an instant pot for that.
  • Because this mold is small, it's better to make less of a mess by placing the bolo crust on top of the bread dough once the bread dough is already in the mold.
  • Since I know many won't have this exact mold, I've made the recipe so that it will fit larger bread molds. You need not worry about not having enough bread!
  • Like all my other bread recipes, this one uses the Tangzhong method. This makes the bread product come out so soft and fluffy, you won't want to eat any store bought bread again. Trust me.

Ingredients:

For the Tangzhong:

  • 93g water
  • 30g AP flour

For the Bread Dough:

  • 320g bread flour, more if needed
  • 7g (1 packet) Instant Yeast
  • 55g white granulated sugar
  • 5g salt
  • All the tangzhong
  • 125g milk, more if needed
  • 1 egg
  • 32g butter, softened
  • 100g red bean paste

For the Cookie Bolo Crust Topping:

  • 60g butter, softened
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 60g egg
  • 55g red bean paste
  • 104g AP flour

The "How-Tos":

  1. For the tangzhong, mix the water and AP flour together. Cook on medium low heat until roux becomes thick and can coat the back of a spoon very well. Cool the pan quickly by running the BOTTOM of the pan in cold water. Place the tangzhong in the fridge for 5 minutes if necessary. We don’t want its heat to kill the yeast.
  2. Measure out the dry ingredients (minus the salt) and whisk them all together. After this mixture is well combined, add the salt. Mix well.
  3. Whisk the milk, red bean paste, and egg together. Add to the dry ingredients mixture.
  4. Knead this until combined.
  5. Add softened butter.
  6. Knead dough until the window pane test for bread succeeds. In other words, if you can take a small piece of both bread doughs and stretch out, and this does not break easily, the dough is good to go.
  7. Quick-proof your dough in the oven with a cup of hot water (microwaved for 2 min). Let the dough rise for 1-1.5 hour or until doubled in size.
  8. Make the cookies crust. Combined the softened butter, icing sugar, egg, red bean, flour, and salt.
  9. Fold the ingredients together until just combined and don't overmix.
  10. Transfer the mixture onto plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge until needed.
  11. After the dough in the off-oven has doubled in size, take it out and knock the dough down. Measure the dough on a scale (it should weigh about 820g). If using a cubic mold, split 550g of dough. If using some other rectangular mold, you can split the 820g dough into either 3 or 4 sections.
  12. Roll out the dough piece(s) and then roll it back up so that it can fit in the mold.
  13. Place the dough into the mold.
  14. Take out the red bean cookie bolo crust and split into 1 piece if using the cubic mold (80-100g). Cut off the sides into an oval shape that will fit in the tin. If using a rectangular mold, a rectangular shape with increased radius on the sides is permissible.
  15. Roll out cookie bolo crust topping from the fridge between two pieces of parchment paper of plastic wrap and place it on the bread dough.
  16. Preheat your oven to 350F. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top is golden brown or the bread is cooked fully in its interior.

I had extra dough and cookie crust, so I made two buns. You can either roll out the extra cookie crust dough and cut out cookies or make more buns with it! Two, to be exact. Please, give this softest fluffiest red bean bread a try!

-Emilyxx