These Brioche Sweet Rolls filled with Red Bean Paste are a delicious and original way to include more legumes into your diet. Perfect for breakfast and your kids’ lunchbox, these Red Bean Sweet Rolls are also a great healthier sweet treat to snack on all day long!
Thank you US Dry Bean Council for sponsoring this post.” Join me to celebrate World Pulses Day with U.S. Beans!”!
Who does not love Sweet Rolls? I certainly do! Light and fluffy, they are probably one of my favourite breakfast options ever. And I usually struggle to eat one only! We all know and love Cinnamon Rolls, but often don’t think of trying another filling.
These Red Bean Sweet Rolls are an original take on the classic Cinnamon Rolls… and just as equally delicious! The yeast-sweet bread base is the same as your everyday Cinnamon Rolls, but the filling is made from a Red Bean Paste.
I love the unexpected use of a savoury ingredient in a sweet recipe, and Pulses are great ingredients to use in dessert! If you do not know what “Pulses” is, it is a catch-phrase used for legumes like lentils, beans, and peas.
Not only are pulses a great source of protein, but they are also environmentally friendly.
I had never tasted– or even heard of – sweet red beans before I moved to Australia. I tried sweet red bean paste for the first time inside a steamed roll in a Chinese Restaurant in Melbourne.
And I was so pleasantly surprised! Lightly sweetened and with a slightly crunchy texture, they make the perfect addition to many desserts.
If you have never tried sweet red bean paste, you may not know what to expect, but trust me, red beans are absolutely delicious in savoury AND sweet dishes!
Celebrating World Pulses Day with these Sweet Red Bean Rolls
If you are like me, you care about optimizing food security and nutrition, as well as sustainable food production, so I can only encourage you to try to include more pulses into your diet.
And that includes baked goods!
Baking with Beans
Beans are not only delicious, they are also good for you. Eating beans can help manage sugar levels, increase energy and even help prevent certain cancers. And they should not only be used to make savoury dishes!
Pulses are often forgotten when it comes to baking and desserts. And to be honest, it is probably not the first ingredient I think of when I try to develop new sweet recipes.
But making these Red Bean Sweet Rolls completely changed the way I perceive this food category – and how great they are in desserts.
Using more pulses is awesome for many reasons. They are good for the people and the planet, and they are a great superfood that play a critical role in sustainable food production.
Red Beans in particular are great to bake with, because it is so easy to make Sweet Red Bean Paste out of them. Often used to make desserts in Eastern Asian Cuisines, Sweet Red Bean Paste is made with 2 ingredients only and can be used in many different ways.
From Sticky Rice Cakes to Mochi, Ice Cream, Sweet Drinks, Pancakes, Sweet Soups and Breads, Red Bean Paste is super versatile – and super easy to make.
How to make Sweet Red Bean Paste
Sweet Red Bean Paste is very simple to make and only requires two main ingredients: Red Beans and White Sugar (plus water).
In East Asian Cuisines, Red Bean Paste (“Anko” in Japanese Cuisine) is made from Azuki Beans. But this recipe simply uses Red Beans that are more commonly found in the USA or Australia.
Chunky or Smooth, Red Bean Paste can be used in many different desserts. But let’s focus on these Sweet Rolls!
To make Sweet Red Bean Paste, you will need:
- Dry Red Beans
- Caster Sugar
Here is how to make Red Bean Paste:
- Soak the Dry Red Beans in Water overnight – or for at least 8 hours.
- Drain and rinse them well, then place them in a large pot covered with water. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and leave to cook for 30 to 45 minutes, or until very soft. You know they are ready when you can mash them between your fingers.
- Drain the cooked red beans and stir in the caster sugar. To create the paste, you can either use a masher (which will create a chunkier version of the paste) or a food processor. You want a relatively smooth texture, but still have small chunks of beans to add texture to your paste.
Red Bean Sweet Rolls Ingredients
Now that the Red Bean Paste is ready, it is time to start making the Sweet Roll Dough. The dough used here is a Brioche Dough – and enriched yeast dough made with eggs and butter. Perfect to make delicious fluffy and decadent sweet rolls!
- Full Cream Milk
- Instant Dry Yeast
- Caster Sugar
- Plain / All-Purpose Flour
- Soft Unsalted Butter
How to make Sweet Red Bean Buns
Although they can be made by hand, it is much easier to use a stand mixer. The process has 3 main steps: making the dough, proving the dough, and shaping the rolls.
To Make the Brioche Dough:
- Mix the lukewarm Milk with the Yeast and a little bit of the sugar. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes or until you see foam / bubbles at the surface.
- In the bowl of your Mixer, mix the Flour with the rest of the Sugar. Add the whisked Egg and the Milk/Yeast. Knead until it comes together then add the Salt.
- Knead for another 3 minutes, then start slowly adding the Soft Butter until fully incorporated. Increase the speed of your mixer and knead for another 5 minutes or until very soft and stretchy. You should be able to pull parts of the dough without breaking it.
The second step is to leave the dough to prove for about 1 hour to 1,5 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
It is finally time to start shaping the sweet rolls!
- Punch the dough to deflate it and transfer it on a floured surface. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a large, thin rectangle.
- Spread the Red Bean paste over the rolled dough, leaving one of the longer sides plain.
- Starting from the opposite larger side, roll the dough tightly until you have rolled the whole dough.
- Optional: I like to put the rolled dough in the fridge for about 10 minutes as it will firm it up and make it much easier to slice.
- With a serrated knife, slice the dough into 9 to 12 equal portions and place them on a lined baking tray or baking pan.
- Brush with an Egg Yolk, then cover with a tea towel and leave to prove a second time for about 30 minutes.
- Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.
How to store these Red Bean Rolls
These Sweet Rolls can be kept at room temperature in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. They will start to get dry after that. They do not need to be refrigerated, but can be kept in the fridge for an additional day or two.
I recommend warming them up a bit before eating, either in the microwave, oven or even sliced in the toaster.
Alternatively, the Red Bean Sweet Rolls can be frozen (bake or unbaked) if you want to make them in ahead. If frozen unbaked, simply place them in a preheated oven straight from the freezer and add an extra 10 minutes of baking time.
Red Bean Sweet Rolls frozen after being baked can be thawed at room temperature, then reheated in the oven or microwave.
Red Bean Sweet Rolls Recipe:
Red Bean Sweet Rolls
Red Bean Paste
- 180 gr (1 cup) Dry Red Beans
- 350 ml (1 1/2 cup) Water for Soaking, + water for cooking
- 80 gr (1/3 cup) Caster Sugar
Sweet Roll Dough
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) Full Cream Milk
- 5 gr (1/2 tbsp) Instant Dry Yeast
- 20 gr (2 tbsp) Caster Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 250 gr ( 1 2/3 cup) Plain Flour
- 1 pinch Table Salt
- 25 gr (2 tbsp) Soft Unsalted Butter
Egg Wash (optional)
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 1 tsp Full Cream Milk
Red Bean Paste
- Place the uncooked Red Beans in a large bowl and cover with the Water. Leave to soak overnight, or for approximatively 8 to 10 hours (1)
- The next morning, pour through a sieve to keep the beans only and rinse well under clear water.
- Place in a large pot and cover with water. Turn on medium heat and leave to cook on a simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the beans are really soft (2). Add more water if needed during the process; the beans should always be covered with water.
- Drain and Rinse, then transfer the cooked beans in the bowl of your food processor. Add the Caster Sugar and blend until smooth (3). Place in an air-tight container and keep in the fridge until ready to be used. Alternatively, you can use a simple Masher to make the paste.
Sweet Roll Dough
- Heat up the Milk for a few seconds, or until lukewarm (not hot, or it will kill the yeast). Mix in the Instant Dry Yeast and 1 tbsp of Caster Sugar. Set aside for about 10 minutes, or until the top is bubbly/frothy (4).
- Place the Flour and the rest of the Sugar in the bowl of your mixer, with the kneading attachment.
- Whisk the Eggs into the Milk/Yeast, then pour it over the Flour. Start by mixing it all with a stiff spatula until combined, then start kneading for the mixer. Knead for 1 minutes on low/medium speed, then add the Salt (5)
- Knead for another 3 minutes on low/medium speed, then slowly add the very soft Butter, pre-cut into small cubes. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium/high and mix for about 5 more minutes, stoping to scrap the edges of the bowl if needed.
- Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 to 1,5 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Punch the dough to remove the air, then transfer onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll into a large rectangle.
- Spread the Red Bean Paste all over the flatten dough, using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Starting from one of the longer side, roll the dough on itself.
- Optional: place the long, rolled dough in the fridge for 10 minutes. It will make the slicing of each rolls much easier as the dough will firm up.
- Slice 9 to 12 individual rolls and place them on a large baking tray, lined with baking paper or well greased. Leave lots of room around each rolls so that they have room to expand.
- Whisk the Egg Yolk and Milk, and brush it over each rolls.
- Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove again for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven on 180'C/350'F.
- Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Leave to cool down before taking off the tray.
- This is to fasten the cooking time. You can skip the soaking step, but you will need to cook the raw beans for about 2 to 2,5 hours for them to become soft.
- Carefully pick one of the bean (they will be hot) and press on it with your fingers. If it mashes easily, the beans are cooked enough.
- I kept small chunks of beans for texture, but it is up to you – you can either keep the paste chunky or continue to blend until completely smooth.
- If you do not see any reaction on top of the milk, try to heat it up again for a few seconds (be really careful to stay at lukewarm temperature), then whisk well again. If you still do not see a reaction, it probably means that your yeast is dead and won’t work. Discard, and try again with another yeast.
- You can also knead the dough by hands on a lightly floured surface, but it will take about twice the time to knead the dough.