Thai Tea-Milk Bread Sticky Buns

So this recipe only came about because I had a ton of Thai tea powder, and I had to get rid of it somehow. I brainstormed a bunch of ideas, like macarons, panna cotta, ice cream, basque cheesecake, and pound cake, but then I realized it had been a while since I made anything with yeast. So I decided, screw it, let’s make some sticky buns. I really liked how the milk bread babka turned out when I made that, and with the Thai tea powder, which contains sugar and cream, it would be a perfect addition to a milk bread! I went with a sticky bun/cinnamon roll type of inspiration, with a filling made with both Thai tea and sweetened coconut flakes. Since Thai tea does contain a little cinnamon, it does actually echo the flavor of a cinnamon roll, although the other spices and that vivid orange coloring make these a very unique take on those.

I will admit that the majority of this recipe went well for me, although I did fumble on two steps. That resulted in the final appearance in mine coming out…I would say less than desired. The first step was with chilling down my dough. I went straight from proofing it into rolled and cutting it. Because of how warm my dough was, it was still relatively sticky and difficult to shape, and you can see that in how less-defined some of the swirls in my bread buns were. The second was the glaze. I had no idea what my final vision on these buns would be. So I started glazing the buns on the exterior, before deciding I did not like that, and covered it all in coconut flakes to form a sort of edible cupcake liner of sorts. Overall, despite those hiccups, the buns turned out fluffy and chewy from a bread standpoint, but the Thai tea flavor comes through, especially in that sweet coconut filling that is wrapped inside of these buns and the coconut cream cheese glaze turned coconut flake-liner glue that gives the dough a ton of sweetness!

For the tangzhong:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup coconut milk
1 packet Thai tea powder (with cream and sugar)
a pinch of salt

Whisk together your ingredients in a pot until combined. Switch to a heatproof rubber spatula and stir on medium-high heat until the mixture is thickened and the liquid is reduced by about half. Pour onto a nonstick surface and allow the tangzhong to cool down completely before adding it into your bread dough.

For the milk bread dough:
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast(1 packet)
1/4 cup lukewarm water
10 tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups bread flour

In a bowl, mix together the yeast and water and allow that to sit for 10 minutes. Mix the tangzhong with the oil and eggs first to combine, then add in the yeast mixture and finally, your flour. Knead the dough together in a stand mixer with a dough hook for at least 10 minutes, or until the dough comes together and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl anymore. Cover the dough and allow it to rest in a warm place for at least 1 hour. Then refrigerate the dough for another 20 minutes.

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
1 packet Thai tea powder (with cream and sugar)
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
a pinch of salt

Mix together ingredients to form an almost paste-like substance. Roll out the dough to be a 2 foot by 1 foot rectangle. Spread the filling onto the dough. Roll up the dough into a scroll along the wider side. Divide the dough into 12 pieces, cutting them along the width so that you have the swirly cross section. Line a muffin tin with coconut oil. Place the 12 pieces into the tins. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes. Allow the buns to cool down before attempting to garnish.

For the glaze:
8oz cream cheese
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 packet Thai tea powder (with cream and sugar)
unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted lightly

Whip cream cheese, coconut oil, and Thai tea together into a smooth consistency. Spread the glaze onto the sides of the buns(where the wrapper would cover on a cupcake). Then roll the buns in the coconut flakes to finish.

One Comment Add yours

  1. tanvibytes says:

    These look so delicious! 🙂 The cream cheese and coconut flavor together is different, but sounds amazing! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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