Soft and fluffy buns filled with creamy and smooth milk cream, you are going to love this Pan de Leche for an indulgent bread treat.
You guys, I am so greatly inspired by so many beautiful breads I see on social media. And even just walking into a bakeshop can have me imagining dozens of ideas for recipe development here on the blog.
Sometimes, I wish I can have a group of bread lovers come to my house each week, just so they can have some of the bread I bake. Because honestly, sometimes my family can’t keep up.
Pan de Leche
A quick Google search for Pan de Leche will show it to you in many different forms. It also will tell you of many different countries from where it originated.
But for this recipe, I am sticking to what a Pan de Leche is to my heart, and it is this: a sweet bread filled with milk cream.
It is those light brown bundles of goodness I used to buy back home, packaged in brown bakery bags, steamy and hot inside. And since I am so into filled bread lately, the filling, the sweet and smooth filling is a must.
How to Make Pan de Leche?
Proof the yeast in warm milk. Let the mixture stand for about 5 minutes, or until it is foamy. To the proofed yeast, add eggs, sugar, salt and oil.
Stir everything well with a wooden spoon.
Begin to add the 4 cups of flour gradually, about one cup at a time. Stir well after each addition. The dough will start to come together.
Add just enough of the remaining 1/4 cup of flour to the dough just until the dough begins to form in the center of the bowl when you stir.
Turn the dough over into a floured surface and knead it until it is smooth and elastic. You may need to dust a little bit more of flour into the dough if it is sticking too much. Don’t over-flour though. Too much flour can dry up your dough and you will end up with dry, tough bread. Need help with kneading? Check out my How to Knead Bread Dough Video.
Shape the kneaded dough into a ball. Place it in a bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours. This will be the perfect time for you to make the milk cream filling.
Gently deflate the risen dough and divide it onto 14 or so portions. And then we start forming the buns. It is not as complicated as it may seem see,
- Flatten a dough portion into an oval that is about the same size as your hands. Spoon about a tablespoon of milk filling into the upper third portion of the oval (slightly off-center).
- Fold the upper part of the oval over to the center to cover the filling. Pinch the edges.
- Now, to the lower portion of the oval, make some slits by cutting the dough into several 1/2 inch strips using a knife.
- Wrap each strip over to the filling bump in the center. Done!
Arrange the formed buns on a large baking tray that is lined with parchment paper. Cover the pan loosely and let the buns rise again for about 1 hour until they are puffy and doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Brush the buns with milk and bake them for 18-22 minutes, or until they are lightly golden.
Lastly, self-control. These buns are amazing fresh from the oven but wait a while, because the filling will be hot. I can’t blame you though. The smell and the look of these Pan de Leche are so tempting.
Storing Pan de Leche:
Store leftover pan de leche on a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to two days.
Pointers and Tips:
- The milk should be within the range of 105-115 F. Too hot, and you may kill the yeast. If you don’t have a thermometer, test the temperature by dipping a finger into the liquid. It should be a little hotter than lukewarm water to the point that you can’t dip your finger in there for long.
- Measurements for the oval need not be accurate. Your aim is for each flattened dough to be about the size of your outstretched hands. When you divide the dough into portions, they will not be exactly equally portioned out, unless you weigh them. So it is okay for the formed buns to vary in sizes slightly.
More Delightful Bread Recipes:
- Strawberry Cream Buns
- Sweet Beehive Buns
- Chelsea Buns
- Salted Butter Rolls
- Sweet Cheese Rolls
- Mini Cinnamon Rolls with Coffee Icing
- Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls with Easy Caramel Glaze
- Japanese Condensed Milk Bread
Pan de Leche
- 2 and 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 and 1/4 cup warm milk 105-115 F
- 4 and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp milk for brushing the buns
For the Milk Cream Filling
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup milk
- 300 ml or 1 can condensed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast over the warm milk. Let this stand for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is foamy. Add the eggs, sugar, oil and the salt to the bowl. Stir everything together using a wooden spoon.
Add 4 cups of flour, one cup at a time. Stir well after each addition until the mixture is starting to come together. Add just enough of the remaining 1/4 cup of flour and keep stirring until the dough gathers into a soft, shaggy mass in the center of the bowl.
Turn the dough over on a lightly floured board. Knead it until the dough is smooth and elastic, adding a little bit of flour to help when the dough is sticking too much. Shape the dough into a ball. Place it in a bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel. Let it rise for 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, make the filling: Stir together cornstarch and 1 cup of milk in a medium saucepan until the mixture is smooth. Add condensed milk and stir. Cook the mixture over medium heat while stirring constantly. The mixture will start to bubble and thicken. Cook it for 3-4 minutes more, still stirring, until the mixture is thick and falls back in dollops when you lift a spoon. Stir in vanilla extract. Set aside filling while you finish the dough.
Gently deflate the risen dough. Divide it into 14 equal portions. Flatten each dough portion into an oval that is around the same size as your hands. Spoon about a tablespoon of the filling into the upper third section of the oval.
Fold the upper part of the dough over to the center to cover the filling. Seal the edges. Now, use a knife to make slits or strips to the remaining lower portion of the oval. Fold each cut strip over to the center to cover the filling bump yo have made. Repeat with the rest of the dough portions.
Arrange the assembled dough on a large baking pan that is lined with parchment paper. Cover loosely with a towel and let rise once more for about an hour, or until puffy and doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Using a pastry brush, brush milk on the buns. Bake at 350 F for 18-22 minutes, or until the buns are lightly golden.
If you make this, or any other recipes from Woman Scribbles, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or use hashtag #womanscribbles. I would like to see your creations!
Also, if you would like to see my hands in action, follow Woman Scribbles on YouTube to watch my baking videos. See you around, guys!
Your recipe looks delicious, but I’d like to know if I can substitute rice flour for all-purpose wheat flour. I prefer gluten-free. What can I use to make it stick together while maintaing the same texture?
Hi Agnes! Unfortunately, rice flour cannot give the same result here. I have not tested the recipe with any gf flour so I cannot guarantee the result.
This is my third time using this recipe. I absolutely love these. They remind me of these sweet buns a friend would bring from a Vietnamese bakery. Thank you for sharing your recipes with the world.
I am so happy you love these. Means so much to me. Take care ❤
Well how are you a pastry chef if you don’t know if it is sweetened condensed milk? I see that you don’t add any sweetener to the filling so apparently it is sweetened condensed milk but it could be confusing to some people.