Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Purple Spiral Bun with Red Beans

Made with flipped dough

I first saw spiral buns on a Chinese website quite long ago. It was a plain mantou wrapped with a spiral dough skin. They looked very pretty.

I decided to borrow that idea and play with my own recipe. I want to fill the buns with red beans to match the spirals, LOL. I tried wrapping the dough with 2 methods, that is with the rolled side and the flipped side. Both sides yield buns that look different.

Made with non-flipped dough

After making cinnamon rolls, I do find a cold dough rolls out pretty well, and cuts even better. So, the dough is proofed in the fridge, don't be surprised.

The filling used for this is homemade. That is, I boiled a lot of beans for red bean soup and then scooped some out, cooked with sugar and a little bit of oil and tadah! My filling is done. Don't skip the oil, if not your filling will turn dry after the bun is kept for 1-2 days.

Made with flipped dough

Purple Spiral Buns with Red Bean Filling
Recipe source: WendyinKK

White Dough
7gm instant yeast (1 ¾ tsp)
150gm water
Small pinch of sugar
300gm pau flour
1tsp baking powder
30gm sugar
15gm shortening

Purple dough
3gm instant yeast (3/4 tsp)
1 Tbsp water
100gm steamed purple sweet potato
100-120gm pau flour
½ tsp baking powder
7gm shortening

480gm red bean filling.

1. Prepare white dough. Proof yeast with water and pinch of sugar until frothy. Mix everything together and knead until a smooth dough forms. Cover and put it into the fridge.
2. Prepare purple dough. Mix yeast with water until dissolved. Grate purple SP and mill with 100gm flour and baking powder until fine. Mix everything together (add more flour as needed) and knead until a smooth dough forms. Cover and put it into the fridge too.
3. While both dough are chilling, roll filling into 30gm balls. You will need 16 pcs.
4. Remove white dough from fridge and roll it into a rectangle about 1cm thick. Set aside.
5. Remove purple dough from fridge and roll it into a rectangle the same size as the white dough.
6. Place purple dough on top of the white dough and roll up along the long side.
7. Divide dough into 16 pieces.
8. Roll each piece of dough flat and wrap with a piece of red bean filling.
9. Let it proof for 45 minutes .
10. Steam on high heat for 12 minutes.

Here's how they look inside


  1. I'm first today? Heehee... Nice purple swirls. Will try this rolling method...maybe with red wine yeast. :))

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. im never good in pastry... buns... cakes... or anything to do with dough... :(

    needs lots of practice to be perfect

  4. Bee,
    hehe, give u medal ah, hehehehe.
    Red yeast sounds good!
    I have yet bought mine

    Everybody needs practice and patience.
    No one is born with skills, they are honed.
    Don't despair and one day you will be able to do it.

  5. Very nice..u posted few nice recipe lately, tak sempat nak ikut

  6. The buns turn out looking so it must be delicious too! Sometimes it is difficult to get the purple sweet potato.

  7. They look great Wendy. In the past few weeks, I have made two of your pau recipes and have had great success. Can't wait to try this one soon. :)

  8. you with the dough...hahaha under your creativity, you make a simple mantou bun looks great! Well done !

  9. Hi Wendy, I like your purple buns. They look so beautiful and delicious. Thank you for sharing.

    Have a nice day.

  10. I love this so much. Break the monotonous of the normal paus.Thanks for sharing. Book marking this.

  11. Oh gosh!! They look fantastic! U r amazingly creative. ;)

  12. Very cute and sweet looking buns!

  13. Hi Wendy

    How long is the first proof in the fridge, please?

    Wouldn't the baking powder lose its effectiveness whilst the dough is proofing?



  14. I love the swirls. Definitely a bonus for filled steamed buns :)

  15. like making spiral mooncakes. Flip or no flip, looks just as pleasing!

  16. Pei San,.

    Haha, nvm.. one day u will do them all.

    Hmm.. here it's quite easy

    Tina M,
    I'm glad the other 2 turned out great.
    Wish u success with this one too

    not mantou ler, ada liew inside.


    Too Mai Lin,
    Let me know if it turns out well

  17. Icook.Ibake.Ilive,

    My source was the creative one ;)

    Phong Hong,

    Modern baking powders are delayed effect baking powders that reacts upon contact with heat.
    Just chill until the dough feels cold. Cos you chilled the white dough while you were making the purple dough, it's already quite some time.
    About..30 -45 minutes, if I didn't remember wrongly. I didn't stop during the whole process, doing one after the other. The purple one remains in the fridge as you roll the white one, and even rolling it to a perfect rectangle takes some time, LOL.

    Vivian Pang,
    add more visual effect, heheh.

    yawoh, after I made this, I saw mooncakes with the same effect last year.
    Personally, I like the flipped one, has countour.. hehehe.

  18. Eat a few of these will surely "swirl" me too!!

  19. Looks so yummy with the red bean paste! I like the purplish colour of the man tou

  20. The buns looks so lovely! I got to try this!


  21. They look "swirly" good!
    We don't get pau flour here... :(

  22. Dear Wendy

    Do you knead everything by hand?
    Or can I use an electric mixer?


  23. Shan*,
    For these buns, I manually kneaded as the amount is not a lot

  24. Instead of shortening can you just use veg oil?

  25. Hi Wendy,

    My mum usually make buns without putting the dough in fridge before proofing, she would like to know the reason for putting it in fridge.


  26. Karen,
    So that the dough will be firmer and won't loose shape when it's being rolled and sliced.

  27. I always see these steamed bun recipes with Pau flour but here i the use it is pretty hard to find... do you think i would get similar results buy using bread flour and baking it instead of steaming

  28. Anonymous,
    You won't get anything similar but very different.
    Baked bread won't be white. You can try it with plain flour, try using one with 9% gluten content.

  29. Wendy, the photos for this post are not displayed? Perhaps broken link? Other posts are okay, at least the ones I have visited :) Would love to see the technique to make this spiral buns.

  30. Anita,
    I got a shock too, the pictures weren't there when I came by to respond to your comment.
    But I tried to republish the post, and I can see them now. What about you?


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