Ultra pillowy soft coffee buns with heavenly buttery goodness. It has just the right amount of coffee to tease and wake your senses! The smell of them while baking filling the kitchen was simply divine.
They were amazing...and gone too fast! I am not a big coffee fan (tea person here) but these buns are so difficult to resist.
I had to admit, I was hesitant to undertake the task of making these coffee buns at first. I mean, how do you make such a perfect dome of a bun that soft and buttery but airy at the same time. And that crispy crust covering the entire thing, it's magic! I love them but I usually just buy them and not make them myself. But after several people have requested it, I finally pick up the courage to do it.
As I did my research, I realized that it is not that hard after all. I guess I now have some experience in making yeast bread and sticky doughs, like the one I used for making Loaf Bread, Ube Pandesal, and Filipino cheese bread. These are all soft and pillowy bread but made using different techniques.
But making this Kopi Roti a.k.a. "Rotiboy" buns are more similar to making brioche but with lesser butter and no need for sponge dough. So yes, it is not all that difficult to make.
What flour to use for Coffee Buns?
Bread flour is normally used for Kopi Roti. Bread flour has a higher protein content compared to all-purpose flour. This means it produces more gluten and can absorb more liquid. This gives it the ability to rise higher and hold its shape better.
This recipe has high butter content for its delicious flavor. But fats inhibit doughs from getting too elastic or to rise too high. So we want a strong dough that would be able to rise high and hold its form well without trading off that buttery goodness.
Can you substitute bread flour with all-purpose flour or vice versa?
I get this question a lot for my other bread recipes. The answer is yes, you can. But, of course, the result would not be exactly the same. But sometimes the difference is not that noticeable unless you really are a discerning customer when it comes to bread.
The faintly noticeable difference is that dough made with bread flour tends to be slightly chewier with more airy crumbs. And all-purpose flour is cheaper to buy.
Tips for making the best Kopi Roti
- Freeze you butter for the filling after cutting them into cubes. This will ensure that they do not melt into the dough while shaping and waiting for them to rise before baking.
- If you are not going to use the coffee topping immediately or it is too warm in your kitchen, refrigerate it so it will not melt. Actually it is better to refrigerate the coffee buttercream topping for a few minutes before adding it to the dough. This way it will not melt too fast in the oven and will form a thicker crispy crust on top of the buns rather than at the bottom on the pan.
- Kopi Roti is best eaten freshly baked while still warm. The coffee caramel crust will lose its crunch after some time. You can bake it again for 10 minutes to get that crunch back.
Coffee Buns (Kopi Roti)
- 2 ½ cups bread flour - -presifted
- 3 tablespoons caster sugar - - or granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 220 ml lukewarm milk
- 1 large egg - -beaten
- 60 grams unsalted butter - -softened
- 80 grams butter - -cut into 8 cubes and frozen. See NOTE 1
COFFEE CARAMEL TOPPING:
- 1 tablespoon strong instant coffee powder - - See NOTE 2
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- 60 grams unsalted butter - -softened at room temperature
- ¼ cup caster sugar - -or granulated sugar
- 1 large egg - -room temperature. See NOTE 5
- 1 teaspoon dutch-processed cocoa powder - -optional
- ⅔ cup cake flour - See NOTE 3
TO MAKE THE DOUGH:
- In a large bowl, mix together bread flour, sugar, and salt. Then sprinkle instant yeast and mix again.
- Pour in lukewarm milk and add the beaten egg. Mix for a minute until a sticky dough forms. Add the softened butter and fold it into the dough with your hands until well combined. It will be very greasy in the beginning. As you knead the dough in the bowl, it will be less and less greasy or sticky. Knead for about 10-12 minutes or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
- Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it almost doubles in size.
- Gently punch down the dough and tip it on a flour surface. Cut the dough into 8 equal parts.
- Take one a piece of the dough and shape it in a small disk. Place a cube of frozen butter in the middle and enclose it by pulling the seams of the dough over and around it. Shape into a ball and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let at least 3-inch space around each buns as they will expand during the second rising and while baking.
- Cover the shaped buns with kitchen towel and let them rise until they almost double in size. Meanwhile prepare the coffee buttercream topping.
COFFEE BUTTERCREAM TOPPING (while waiting for the dough to rise)
- In a small bowl, dissolve the coffee powder in hot water. Set aside.
- In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar using a whisk or hand mixer (low speed). Add the egg and whisk until smooth but not frothy. Add the cocoa powder and mix again. Pour in the dissolved coffee and mix until well blended.
- Sift the cake flour while adding it to the mixture. Fold in using a spatula until well combined. Transfer the mixture in a piping bag or a sandwich bag and cut a small opening.
ASSEMBLE AND BAKING
- Preheat oven to 180°C/ 355°F.
- Pipe a layer of coffee buttercream on top of each bun, in a coil-like pattern. Starting from the center going out until the top half is fully covered.
- Bake the buns for 15 minutes. Turn of the heat and leave the buns in the oven for another 10 minutes. Take them out and transfer to a cooling rack.
- Serve the buns while still warm and enjoy with a cup of hot coffee or tea or chocolate.