Rilakkuma Pumpkin Buns (with custard and Nutella fillings)

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Really cute to look at and nutritious to eat with 100g of pumpkin purée added to the dough. This bun is made for kids!

You can leave them plain or wrapped in fillings which I did. The resulting buns are very soft, because of the pumpkin which helps to retain moisture. Surprisingly the difficult part for me are those 32 little ears, they were sticky and proofed in all directions.

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Recipe

  • 100g pumpkin purée (steam and sieved)
  • 300g bread flour
  • 130g milk
  • 30g water
  • 25g sugar
  • 3/4 tsp yeast
  • 25g butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder

Fillings

  • custard from here
  • nutella

Decoration

  • some white and milk chocolate ganache

Method

1. Line a 9″ square baking tin. Use a longer piece of paper as you will use it to lift the buns out of the tray.

2. Steam pumpkin, mash and sieve. Try not to boil as this makes the purée too wet and nutrients are lost. Measure 100g and allow to cool.

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3. Add all dough ingredients (except salt and butter), add in purée. Knead till a rough dough forms. Add in salt and butter and knead till elastic, but not yet smooth.

4. Take out half the dough (about 300g) to continue to handknead. Add 1 tsp cocoa powder to the remaining half in the mixer and knead on low speed.

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5. Knead both doughs till smooth and elastic. Then cover and proof for 1 hour in an oiled bowl as dough is rather sticky.

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6. After 1 hour, degas and divide into doughs of 30g each. Make 8 brown doughs and 8 yellow doughs. Make another two 25g doughs of brown and yellow for ears. There will be leftover for a little bun.

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7. Take a round dough with the smooth side up, roll out with rolling pin about 1/2 cm thick. Pat away bubbles at the edge and also press the edges thinner than the centre for easy wrapping later.

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8. Turn over. Place 1 tsp of Nutella in the centre or about 10g of custard, pinch the edges close. Roll the seam side gently and place in baking tray.

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9. Repeat for all the 30g doughs. Place them in alternate Colours in the tray. Proof for 1 hour.

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10. While the buns are proofing, prepare the ears. Roll out each of the 25g dough into long strips, cut in half and in half a few times till you get 16 from each strip, total of 32 ears.

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11. Roll them into round balls, they are super sticky, so use flour as needed.

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12. Place the ears onto the main buns. Use a skewer or satay stick to help.

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13. Bake at 170 deg C at the lowest rack for 20 to 25 min, so that they do not brown too much.

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14. Place buns on a cooling rack. Using a satay stick, draw on the white snout.

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15. Then pipe on the chocolate eyes and mouth and you are finally done!

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