Longan Walnut Buns

On my recent trip to Taiwan I visited loads of bakeries. I just had to to walk into every bakery I saw along the street and check out their array of bread and cakes and deliciousness. Every bakery had their own little speciality that was special and unique to their shop. One bakery had rubber rings of bagels and donuts as their door knob (I thought: my future bedroom doorknob) and another was a rabbit themed cafe which looked like it came out from Alice in Wonderland and had little toy rabbits sitting around wooden stools and tables. It was so cute. One of my favourite bakeries (I went back twice) sold a really good tart called 德国布丁 (German Pudding) which looked a little like Cantonese egg tarts- a shortcrust base with the browned crackly top look of a Portuguese egg tart - but the inside was so so creamy, rich and cheesy and just perfectly sweet. And I remember sampling matcha castella cakes and lots of different kinds of mochi, pineapple cakes and flaky biscuits. My favourite one has got to be this salted egg yolk custard biscuit with flaky layered outside skin. It was so good, especially when we sampled those warm from the oven. 

And of course I sampled lots of bread. I love the classic red bean buns and custard buns and also spring onion and sausage ones. But also a little less familiar flavours like a red wine longan one. I remember sampling some of this bread in a huge bakery shop (packed with tourists) and wondering what bread it actually was because there was no label on it. The bread was nice and chewy, with a slight bitterness from the red wine and a touch of sweetness from the sweet, dried longan. It was a complex flavoured bread with a good texture, though the alcoholic taste of the wine didn't really appeal to me. 

So here's my version of this bread- longan walnut buns. These are very moist and fluffy buns, studded with crisp crunchy walnuts and the sweet chewy longans. They are perfect just on their own, lightly toasted, or with a smear of butter if you wish. 

Longan Walnut Buns 

Recipe for the bread dough is my favourite Sweet Bread Dough Recipe 
Add 60g dried walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped, and 
60g dried longans, soaked in cool water to rehydrate for a few minutes then coarsely chopped

Add the walnuts and longans to the dough once the dough kneaded enough, mix them in on low speed till just well incorporated. Let rise and proof and stated. 

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