Recipe and post by Kat Lieu. Follow her on Instagram @subtleasian.baking.
On days when I’m particularly time-poor, I’ll mix up a batch of my signature no-knead one-bowl milk bread dough, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for up to 48 hours or when I’m ready to bake within that time frame. I’m a sucker for cinnamon rolls (who isn’t?) and so when I tasted Rooted Fare’s black sesame crunchy butter, I knew I had to use it in a cinnamon roll’s filling and frosting.
Ever since I watched Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, I have never said no to any gray food because the gray stuff is delicious after all. As Rooted Fare’s black sesame crunchy butter is not-too-sweet, I added a bit of brown sugar to the filling and spiced things up with cardamom, my favorite spice of all time.
My no-knead milk bread dough is versatile and can be shaped into buns, loaves, “croissants” or rolls; here they are, of course, cinnamon rolls topped with an addictive black sesame frosting made with cream cheese, butter, miso, vanilla, and of course Rooted Fare’s black sesame crunch butter. Have these perfect buns on a lazy afternoon with a cup of tea or coffee. You can thank me later. Share them with a friend or loved one, before you down two, three, four, or all of them… LOL.
Subtle Asian Baking
Black Sesame and Cardamom No-Knead Milk Bread Buns
Prep: 30 min, overnight + 1 hour inactive time (or 2 hours inactive time)
Cook: 35 min
Makes: 9 buns
For the no-knead milk bread dough
- 195 g bread flour
- 55 g cake flour
- 30 g granulated sugar, adjust to taste
- 1 large egg (or 50 g silken tofu or 50 g mashed banana for vegan substitute)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon miso (red or white)
- 2 tablespoons or 30 g salted or unsalted butter, softened
- 2 to 3 g active dry yeast
- 140 g milk (warmed to 110°F) (plant-based milk OK)
For the filling
- About 3 to 4 tablespoons Black Sesame Crunchy Butter
- About 1 to 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- Dashes of ground cardamom, to taste
For the frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon miso
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons Black Sesame Crunchy Butter
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Black sesame powder for dusting, optional
- An egg, beaten, for egg wash (alternatively, you can wash with neutral oil, cream, or softened butter, or vegan alternatives)
- In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the flours, sugar, egg, salt (or miso), butter, and set aside.
- Combine the yeast (and a pinch of sugar) with the warmed milk. Mix and then set aside for 10 minutes before adding to the stand mixer. Mix, on low speed, until an elastic dough forms, a few minutes. If the dough is too wet, add a little flour. This should be a wet, tacky dough, but the dough should not stick and leave residue on your fingers. Form into a ball, cover, and let rise at warm room temperature for about 60 minutes. (Note you can also mix this dough in a bowl using a spatula, and it does not require a lot of kneading!) You could also let the dough ferment overnight in the fridge. Just be sure to let it warm up a bit at room temperature before you shape the dough.
- Either generously grease or line a 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
- Deflate the dough and turn out into a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough (just a little) and roll it out into a large rectangle about 1/6 to 1/4-inch in thickness. Spread the Black Sesame Crunchy Butter evenly over the surface of the dough, leaving about a 1/2 inch border all around. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly on top of the black sesame butter, to taste and then dust with cardamom.
- Roll dough around filling to form a jelly roll or tight log; cut log into 9 even rolls and place rolls in the prepared baking dish. Alternatively, you can slice the rectangle into 9 even stripes and roll each stripe into a small jelly roll.
- Let proof for 60 minutes, until puffy and roughly 1.5x in size.
- About 20 to 30 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) with a rack in the center.
- Brush with egg wash if you like a shinier top.
- Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes. Please cover the top with aluminum foil, about 20 minutes in baking, to avoid burning the top.
- Meanwhile, make the frosting by whisking cream cheese, softened butter, miso, vanilla extract, and Black Sesame Crunchy Butter together in a bowl before mixing in the confectioners’ sugar. You can transfer the frosting to a piping bag or you can spread the frosting directly onto the buns later.
- Remove the buns from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Once cooled enough, add the frosting. You can top with black sesame powder or confectioners’ sugar, and add a gold leaf or two if you’re bougie or a low hanging fruit like me. Enjoy!
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