Bay Leaf Cream Concha

Adapted by
October 2021


300 grams whole milk
120 grams bread flour
672 grams bread flour, plus more for shaping
16 grams kosher salt
128 grams sugar
20 grams milk powder
20 grams instant dry yeast
2 whole eggs
160 grams cream
60 grams butter, softened
Bay Leaf Cream:
650 grams whole milk
½ teaspoon salt
6 whole fresh bay leaves, torn
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
160 grams sugar
50 grams cornstarch
120 grams egg yolks
60 grams butter
Concha Topping:
250 grams shortening
265 grams powdered sugar
150 grams all-purpose flour
160 grams cake flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 vanilla pod, scraped


For the Roux

Bring milk to a simmer. While whisking continuously, slowly add the flour. When mixture is combined, switch to a rubber spatula and constantly scrape the bottom of the pot while cooking the roux. Cook until thick. Chill overnight.

For the Dough

Whisk bread flour, salt, sugar, milk powder, and yeast. Add the dry ingredients to a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add Roux, eggs, cream, and 200 grams water and mix on a low speed. Once the dough looks shaggy, increase the speed and slowly add the butter. Mix until the butter is incorporated. Lower the speed and mix the dough for an additional 10 minutes. The dough should look smooth and will pull from the sides of the bowl.
Cover dough and let proof until doubled in size. Portion the dough into 70-gram pieces and shape into balls on a lightly floured surface. Place on a silpat-lined sheet tray with enough room for the dough balls to grow. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and proof until they double in size.

For the Bay Leaf Cream

In a heavy saucepan bring milk, salt, bay leaves, vanilla extract, and 80 grams sugar to a simmer. Turn off the heat and let the mixture steep for 1 hour. Whisk cornstarch, egg yolks, and remaining sugar. Bring the bay leaf milk back to a simmer. Temper in the egg mixture. Cook the custard until thick and all the starch is cooked off. Remove the bay leaves. With an immersion blender, add butter and blend until emulsified. Place in an ice bath and chill.

For the Concha Topping

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix shortening and powdered sugar until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flours, salt, and vanilla then add to the shortening mixture. Mix until combined, careful not to overmix. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill. Once the dough is chilled, divide into 4 pieces. Place the dough in between 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll to about ¼ centimeter thick and freeze overnight. Repeat with the rest of the dough pieces. Once frozen, punch the sheeted dough with a 3-inch round cutter. Keep in the freezer until ready to use.

To Assemble and Serve

Place the Concha Topping on top of the proofed conchas and score carefully. Bake the conchas in a 325°F oven for 12 minutes, rotating halfway through. When they’re finished baking, immediately move the buns to a cooling rack. Let cool before filling.
Gently poke a hole in the concha and create a hollow interior. Put the Bay Leaf Cream in a piping bag with a bismarck piping tip and fill the conchas.