Lemon Coconut Ginger Buns
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Ingredients to make the Dough:
3 cups plain flour
1 3/4 tspns instant dried yeast (I used Tandaco Dry Yeast sachets)
3 x 15ml tblspns white caster sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 lemon, zested
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, beaten lightly with a fork
Ingredients to make the Filling:
1/3 cup white sugar
2 lemons, zested
80g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 tspn lemon extract
1 x 20ml tblspn fresh ginger, grated
4 x 20mls tblspns flaked coconut
Cream Cheese Icing:
120g cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 tspn lemon zest
2 tspns lemon juice
1 1/3 cups icing sugar
Flaked coconut, to sprinkle
Making the Dough:
Set up a clean, flat, lightly floured area for your dough; I use a large wooden board. Find a large bowl and grease lightly. Find a 25cm square, tall sided baking dish and grease well (I used a ceramic one of around 20cm which was a bit small).
Sift flour, yeast, salt and sugar into a large mixing bowl; leave a well in the centre. Gently heat buttermilk and butter in a small pan over low/medium heat until luke-warm.
Add vanilla extract and lemon zest to pan with butter/buttermilk and whisk. Add to the flour mixture with the beaten eggs and use a wooden spoon to stir by hand until mixture comes together. Turn out onto prepared surface and knead for 5-8 minutes (try to use minimal flour so the dough doesn’t dry out), or until the dough is smooth, elastic and dough springs back when pressed. Place into prepared bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a damp tea towel and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for an hour or so or until it has doubled in size (I use my microwave oven).
Making the Filling:
While the dough is rising, prepare the filling; add sugar and zest to a small mixing bowl and rub mixture together using your fingertips until combined and you can smell the beautiful lemon fragrance. Add butter and extract and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Fold through ginger and flaked coconut until combined well. Set aside.
Once risen, punch dough down then turn out onto flat, clean, lightly floured surface and use lightly floured rolling pin to roll out into a rectangle of around 30cm x 20cm. Use a butter knife to spread the filling evenly over the dough, just up to the edge.
Starting from the long end closest to you, roll up dough firmly. Use a sharp knife to slice the dough evenly into thirds, then each third into three pieces (making nine pieces overall) and as you go, place the rolls into the prepared dish, squeezing each roll together gently so they filling stays in.
Cover the buns with a loose piece of plastic wrap and allow them to rise in a warm, draft-free area for another 60 minutes, or until they’ve doubled in size. If you wish to make ahead to bake the next day, wrap baking dish fairly loosely with plastic wrap straight after you place the buns in the pan and chill in the fridge overnight (up to 24 hours). The next morning, take them out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature for half an hour, then bake as follows.
Preheat oven to 190C. Bake buns for 30 minutes or until dough is golden and cooked through. Then remove buns from the oven and cool in baking dish on a cooling rack for 20-30 minutes before icing and scattering with coconut flakes.
Making the Cream Cheese Icing:
While buns are cooling, sift icing sugar if it’s lumpy – I tend to use the icing sugar mixture which is softer.
Add cream cheese to a medium bowl and use electric beater to beat on medium speed for 30 seconds or so until smooth then add zest, juice and icing sugar, beat on low to combine then increase to medium speed until smooth and creamy, around 1-2 minutes.
Served at their best warm from the oven (they don’t freeze well). Enjoy your Lemon Coconut Ginger Buns!
Note 1: rising times will depend hugely on the weather. In warmer weather these instructions will work very well however if it’s chilly, be prepared to allow the buns to rise longer.
Cooking time: 30 minutes minus prep/wait times
Makes: 9 buns
Adapted from the Kitch’n