This is another nostalgia inspired bread – Dilkush. The name literally translates to – “Happy Heart”. These are the Coconut and tuti fruiti (candied fruits & peels ) stuffed buns sold in the neighborhood bakeries of my childhood. It was kind of exotic in a land where home baking never caught on. Sweet fillings in a soft bread , there definitely are a few reasons to be happy here . As they bake the sweet aromas fill the air , taking me back to the beaches and warm waters , and gentle breezes . Fresh from the oven these buns were heavenly . Over the years this memory has inspired me to make many sweet buns and rolls. But nothing beats the original flavors . Here is my heavenly Dilkush !!!
The recipe calls for a basic sweet dough and coconut stuffing . Traditionally no binders were used in the stuffing . Freshly grated coconut mixed with a little sugar provides just enough moisture to keep the light stuffing in place . I like to bring out the flavors more by infusing the dough with cardamom and coconut flavors .
The first step is to bloom the yeast . Heat 1/4 C milk till just warm to touch (110°F). Add 1 tsp sugar and mix well . Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it rest undisturbed for 5 to 10 minutes . A good quality yeast would have become active and bubbled vigorously by then . It should look similar to the picture above . Take a large mixing bowl and add the flour sugar , powdered cardamom , salt , 1/4 C grated coconut and softened butter . Mix well , make a hole in the center and add the activated yeast to it . Slowly add the milk to the flour and knead until all the flour comes together and forms a dough . It should not be too stiff . Knead gently until the the dough becomes soft and elastic , about 10 to 15 minutes . If the dough is sticky add a few more tablespoons of flour and knead to incorporate . If it is too dry add a few more drops of milk and knead to make it more pliable . Transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with a plastic wrap or moist kitchen towel and set aside to double in a warm place .
While the dough is rising , prepare the filling . Mix the fresh grated coconut a sugar cardamom , and the dry fruits and nuts together . Here I have added dried cranberries for a burst of color . Chopped nuts , raisins , candied peel are all good options as well . Thawed frozen grated coconut can be substituted for fresh as well .Punch down the dough and turn it out to a lightly floured kneading surface . Cut into 4 equal parts form into 4 balls and return 3 of the pieces back into the bowl . Keep it covered .
Roll out one dough ball into a circle of about 8 in in diameter . Transfer the circle onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly sprayed with oil . Spread half the filling evenly on it leaving about half an inch from the sides uncovered . Dip a pastry brush in water and lightly brush along the uncovered side . This is an optional step . Take another piece of the dough and roll out into a circle just a little bigger than the first and place on top of the first one as in the picture . Press along the sides for a tight seal . Cover with a plastic wrap and set aside to rise in a warm place until almost doubled about 30 to 45 minutes . Repeat with the other pieces .
Alternately the dough can be divided into 12 equal pieces . Flatten each piece into about 4 inch circles . Divide the filling into 12 equal portions . Place one portion of the filling in the center of the flattened circle and bring up the sides to close in the middle . Turn the ball upside down , place on the baking sheet and cover and let it rise till almost doubled . Preheat the oven to 400 °F (200 °C ). Add 1 Tsp warm water to 2Tbsp honey mix well and brush the top of the buns . Transfer to the preheated oven and turn the heat down to 375°F (190°C) Bake 20 to 25 minutes until the tops golden brown . Remove from the oven , cool on the pan for 5 minutes . Transfer to a cooling rack .
- If you are using desiccated coconut for the filling , add about 3 Tbsp hot water to the filling mixture . and mix well .
- This dough makes wonderful coconut buns – without the filling.