Do you know what Pappa Roti is? It is a Malaysian chain that makes coffee buns and a variety of teas. The bun itself has a crisp thin coffee flavored exterior and then right in the middle of that pillowy goodness is a pat of melty butter. I made several batches of these buns last week to get to the right Pappa Roti Recipe.
My love for these buns comes from Karachi trips which always involve multiple trips to Dolmen Mall. For the longest time Pappa Roti was on the main floor of the mall and a regular Jafri hangout. It was one of the things everyone liked to eat and I have spent many hours sitting at those wicker tables and chairs hanging out with the people I love most.
Last weeks Pappa Roti bun obsession was probably fueled largely by the people I was missing not the buns we ate together. It is hardly the thing I should have been baking with Ramadan preps seeming to be the theme of the day, but Bakers Gotta Bake and so two batches of bun and three variations on the coffee topping later here we are -at the Pappa Roti Recipe that gives me straight up JOY.
What Goes in a Pappa Roti Bun?
A Pappa roti bun has basically three components - none of which require anything fancy
- Dough - milk, yeast, flour, sugar, salt, egg, butter
- Filling - frozen butter and some of the above dough
- Topping - icing sugar, butter, instant coffee (the black kind), eggs, vanilla extract, flour.
Here are some things I did with this recipe to make it easier for me.
- I wrap the cold butter in dough before that dough has risen. Otherwise I had to add another 30 minutes to my bake time and it didn't seem worth it.
- Speaking of butter, I like some but not a lot in my buns. Here a stick of butter is 8 tbsp so I put 3 in the dough and the remaining 5 in the bun
- Window pane - the perfect bun texture requires getting to a windowpane dough. That means when you stretch it it becomes so so thin you can see through it like a windowpane. I stop just before in order to avoid the risk of over kneading it
- Vanilla Extract in the topping. This isn't traditional, but it does awesome things for the flavour so we shall keep it ok?
How do you make this Pappa Roti Recipe?
Step One: Knead dough until it becomes pliable and elastic - 8 minutes on medium high speed. Rest the dough for an hour.
Step Two: Before resting though take out a piece of the dough and wrap it around six pieces of butter, then freeze
Step Three: Make the topping
Step Four: Divide the risen dough into six pieces and form buns, placing a pat of frozen butter inside each
Step Five: Let them rise covered for 45 minutes
Step Six: Pipe on the topping and bake!
Other Tasty Bakes!
Pappa Roti Recipe
- Stand Mixer (ideal, but you can knead by hand too)
- 2 ¼ tsp yeast (I used instant/quick rise)
- ½ cup warm milk
- 2 cups flour
- 4 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsp butter
- 5 tbsp butter cut into equal pieces, freeze after cutting
- dough from above recipe
- ⅓ cup Icing Sugar
- 4 tbsp Butter (room temperature)
- 2 tsp coffee dissolved in 2 tsp hot water
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup flour
- Combine the dough ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer, and use the dough hook to stir on low till combined then turn the speed up to 6 and knead for 5 minutes.
- If the dough feels sticky add another tbsp of flour and knead for another 3-4 minutes at which point if you pick up a piece of dough and stretch it it will be nice and elastic and not break (see video)
- Break a small piece off this dough, about golf ball sized, and wrap it around the frozen butter pieces and put them back in the freezer. The dough should stretch in a very thin film around the butter - a too thick dough won't bake through or give you a doughy center.
- Leave the remaining dough to rise for an hour in a lightly oiled bowl covered with a kitchen towel inside a draft free space (I put it inside my oven with the oven off).
- After an hour give your rise dough a quick turn by hand and divide it into six equal pieces. Flatten each piece out into a circular shape, place the pat of frozen butter inside and form a circle making sure the bottom is well sealed.
- Leave them to rise on a lined baking tray for 45 minutes. Gently cover the top with a kitchen towel or a piece of plastic wrap. The dough balls will expand some but this step is important for the texture of the buns!
- Beat the icing sugar and butter together, first on low for the icing sugar to incorporate then on higher speed. Best to do this with a hand mixer or a whisk
- Now add the egg and whip then the vanilla and coffee. The mix may look curdled and that's fine.
- Mix in the flour until just combined then put your coffee topping in an icing bag or use a ziploc instead of one.
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Snip a 1 cm piece off the end of the icing bag and pipe the coffee topping on in swirls over the coffee buns, making sure to cover the surface
- Bake for 17 minutes - the coffee buns should be a medium brown and well domed. Dig in!