Time: 90 minutes + 90 minutes rise time | Servings: 24 buns | Rating: ★★★★☆
For the Dough
- ½ cup butter
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 teaspoons yeast
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
For the Custard
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Topping
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- In a small saucepan, melt ½ cup of butter over medium heat. Add 3 cups of whole milk and heat until warmed through.
- Pour the milk mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer with 1 cup of granulated sugar and mix to combine.
- Sprinkle 5 teaspoons of yeast evenly over the top of the milk mixture and let it rest for 10 minutes, until the yeast begins to become frothy at the edges.
- Preheat the oven to 200°F.
- Stir in 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and ½ teaspoon salt.
- Then, one cup at a time, stir in the 6 cups of all-purpose flour, until a sticky dough forms.
- Using a bread hook, mix the dough on low to medium-low speed for about 5 minutes, until a smooth yet sticky dough forms. You may need to add a little bit more flour so the dough comes together, although it is still pretty sticky.
- Grease a bowl with oil and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover bowl with a damp towel and place in the warmed oven. As soon as you place the dough into the oven, turn the oven off and close the door. Leave to rise for about 1 hour, until doubled in size.
- While the dough is rising, whisk the 1 egg, 2 egg yolks, 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and ½ cup of granulated sugar together in a bowl.
- In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of whole milk and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
- Remove ¼ cup of hot milk and gradually pour it into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to temper the eggs.
- Repeat this step, adding another ¼ cup of hot milk to the egg mixture.
- Pour the egg mixture into the pan with the rest of the milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until a pudding-like consistency is achieved.
- Stir 1 teaspoon of vanilla into the custard and set aside to cool.
- After the dough has risen, turn out the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times.
- Divide the dough to make about 24 equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a ball, then flatten and create a dimple in the center—as if you are making large thumbprint cookies.
- Place the dough pieces on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cover the sheets with towels and allow the dough to rise for another 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Beat 1 egg and brush it over the surface of each bun, and fill the well in the center with about 2 tablespoons of cooled custard. You may need to recreate the well after the dough has risen the second time.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Place cooked buns on a wire rack and let them rest until completely cool, about one hour.
- While the buns are cooling, place 2 cups of powdered sugar into a bowl and gradually add ¼ cup of whole milk until you have a thick but pourable consistency. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and combine.
- Put 1 cup of sweetened shredded coconut in a shallow bowl.
- Transfer the icing to a plastic bag and snip off the end, about a ¼ inch diameter.
- Pipe the icing onto the buns around the custard center, then immediately press the sides of the bun in the coconut. Try to avoid the custard center. Enjoy!