I love red bean bread, and so does everyone that I know of. Most Asian bakery out there offer red bean bread in their menu. Be it a Chinese bakery, a Korean bakery, or a Japanese bakery, it is almost impossible not to find red bean bread, it’s that popular. What’s not common though, is the combination of red bean paste and cream cheese. Well, I am telling you that since you are not going to find this combo in any bakery, you best bake some yourself since one bite is going to knock your sock off, and you will wonder why on earth none of those bakeries sell this in their stores.
By now, some of you have probably noticed that I mainly use 2 different bread dough recipe:
- Bread dough for red bean bread. This is the richest and most flavorful bread dough, with aroma closest to the ones you get from bakery. This dough uses milk, fresh cream, and egg, but no butter.
- Bread dough for killer toast bread like the one I use for my chocolate cream cheese killer toast bread. This dough use milk, egg (or cream cheese), and butter, but no fresh cream. This is a great dough to make when you are short on time since you only need one time of proofing.
I guess it comes down to personal preference. To me, I prefer the bread aroma from the first dough, but sometimes when I am short in time, I won’t hesitate going with the killer toast dough. Also, since the two bread dough uses different ingredients, sometimes it boils down to what I have at home decides which dough I go with. Both have really soft, fluffy textures, the likes that I associate with Asian bakery style bread. So if you are in doubt, picking the first one or the second one will yield a pretty close result, so just go with whatever ingredients you have in your kitchen.
For the cream cheese, I use one 8 ounce block and divide equally for 20 bread rolls. For red bean paste, I use this recipe, but you can use store bough one too like this or this. I stuff each bread with 1 tablespoon of red bean paste. I like the look of sprinkled toasted sesame seeds on each bread, but if you are not a fan of sesame seeds, skipping won’t change the taste of the bread.
- 1 cup warm milk (38 Celsius or 100 Fahrenheit)
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3½ cup bread (or all purpose) flour
- ½ cup cake flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- ⅔ cup fresh cream
- 20 tablespoon red bean paste (recipe)
- 1 block cream cheese (8 ounce), divide into 20 portions
- egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon water)
- toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- Mix 1 cup warm milk with active dry yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar. Set aside until foamy, about 15 minutes.
- Sieve together bread (or all purpose) flour, cake flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Make a well in the flour ingredients, then pour fresh cream, egg, and the foamy yeast solution into the well. Knead into a non-sticky, soft, elastic, and smooth dough. Hand knead is about 20 minutes.
- Place the dough in a mixing bowl, cover with a wet kitchen towel/plastic saran wrap. Let the dough proof until the volume is doubled, about 1 hour in a warm kitchen.
- Prepare 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Set aside
- Punch the dough to release air bubbles, knead for 2 minutes, then divide the dough into 20 equal portions.
- Take one portion of dough, roll into a circle, place 1 tablespoon of red bean paste and 1 portion of cream cheese at the center of the dough. Seal the bread and gently roll into round ball. Place onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat for the rest of the bread dough.
- Cover the bread rolls with wet kitchen towel/saran plastic wrap. Let the bread rolls proof until the volume doubles, about 1 hour in warm kitchen.
- Preheat oven to 200 Celsius (400 Fahrenheit). Brush the top of the dough with egg wash and sprinle with toasted sesame seeds (if using), then bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. You may want to switch the breads in top rack with the ones in bottom rack midway to ensure even baking.
- Best to consume within 3 days.