Haw Berries & Kumquats

Posts under ‘bread’

Pumpkin brioche red bean buns 南瓜布里欧修豆沙包

pumpkin brioche red bean bun - interior

I am quite ready to declare this to be the best brioche dough in the world. As cinnamon rolls, they’re divine. As a tart base, it’s pillowy and sweetly accommodating. In simple brioche form, the essence of the dough shines through: The crumb is light, airy, and moist; fragrantly rich but not at all heavy. And with red bean paste, it elevates the humble little red bean bun to new heights of deliciousness.

Baking bread in China, and a country sourdough

chad roberston country sourdough crumb

People are always surprised when I tell them that I bake bread in China. It shouldn’t, though, come as a shock, because flour, water and yeast are integral parts of north China cuisine. To me, there’s even more incentive to bake bread while living in China: the challenge is exciting, and the rewards – delicious bread and a new skill – are priceless.

Hot cross buns, haw berry style

_MG_4668 - hotcrossbuns

Or hot pagan buns? Hot nihilist buns? As they rather lack that defining cross, perhaps they really shouldn’t be called hot cross buns. But they’re not quite in the spirit of nihilism, either, being full of candied haw berries (but of course), along with some of the most delightful raisins I’ve come across. Usually I’m [...]

Sweet, sesame buns


Tanghuoshao (糖火烧) are sweet brown-sugar buns generously swirled with roasted sesame paste. Baked in an oven, they have a crunchy, nutty outer shell, and a warm, soft interior melting with sugar and buttery sesame. A cousin of the savory roasted sesame buns (shaobing 烧饼 ), they make a fine afternoon snack or breakfast – for me, they were part of the weekly breakfast rotation during the summers at my grandparents’ house.

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