Crescent Rolls with Coconut Curtard Filling- Bánh Sừng Trâu Nhân Kem Dừa

Vietnamese food


“Bánh Sừng Trâu”  is a sweet yeast bread  in crescent shape but it is not a croissant. A croissant is made by buttery layered yeast dough in famous crescent shape and more expensive.  This recipe is from a friend of my mom .  She taught me over the phone a few years ago.  You can fill your favorite dinner roll dough with any sweet filling but coconut or coconut custard filling is the most popular in Vietnam and cream cheese filling at some upscale bakeries.  I have been baking with yeast a lot lately.  My kitchen obviously has plenty of wild yeast so I can reduce the yeast amount down to 1 tsp instead of 2 tsp or a whole package.  If you just start to bake with yeast, you should use 2 tsp rapid/instant rise yeast or 2¼ tsp active dry yeast or just need longer rising time for the dough double in size.


Dough: make 16 medium size rolls
1 cup milk
3 Tbs butter
3½ to 4 cups all purpose flour (stir, spoon flour into a measured cup and leveled )
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp rapid rise yeast
1 tsp salt


Coconut Custard/Cream filling:
1 (14 oz) unsweetened coconut milk (or 1/2 whole milk and 1/2 coconut milk)
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scrapped or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 Tbs corn starch or all purpose flour

4 Tbs melted butter, and 2 Tbs more for coating 2 rimmed baking sheets (13×17 inch) if needed


  1. In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter until very warm 120-130 oF.  In a mixing bowl of a standing electric mixer, add 3½ cups flour,sugar, salt & yeast.  Stir well.  Attack dough hood, add warm liquid and egg to the bowl, beat with low speed and scrap the bowl occasionally until combined.  Increase speed to speed #4 and beat until the dough leaves the side of the bowl  but still stick to the bowl at bottom about 6 minutes total .  If the dough still sticks to the side of the bowl after 4 minutes beating add flour 2 Tbs at a time with 1/2 minute interval, scrap the bowl occasionally.  Beat 2-3 minutes until the dough smooth and elastic.The dough should be soft and sticky with your bare fingers.  When you pick it up with floured hand, it should not form a firm ball but tend to be pulling down by gravity. Remove the dough from the bowl, form it into a ball, and put it in a greased bowl/container, and turn the greased side up (to prevent hard, tough spots while the dough rising).  Cover with a plastic wrap, let  rise at a warm place until double in size  about 1-1.5 hour.  It may need less time in a warm weather (35-45 minutes).  The dough can be punched down and stored in an airtight container in the fridge now and it will be good for the next 5 days.  Bring it out 2-3 hours before baking. The dough needs to be at room temperature before rolling or shaping (about 1 hours on the counter).
  2. In a medium sauce pan, whisk eggs, sugar, flour and vanilla.  Gradually adding coconut milk. Cook over medium heat, whisk constantly until mixture thicken about 5 minutes.  Scrap custard into a bowl, cover with a thin plastic wrap directly on the surface. Let it cool down. Divide into 16  portions.
  3. Melt butter on stove or in microwave. Use a brush to coat baking sheets if you did not line them with parchment/silicon liner. Punch the dough down, divide dough into two equal parts.  Form each into a ball and roll  into 15-inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges, Brush 1/2 melted butter on the dough. Take 1 piece of the dough out on lightly flour surface, put filing at the  center of the dough triangle and spread  toward  to the edge of the wide end except 1/2 inch on the sides .  Start rolling each wedge from wide end to pointed end. Once roll, curve the roll to make a crescent shape and place on a grease baking sheet with pointed end underneath at least 1 inch apart (8 rolls for a 13×17-inch  baking sheet). Cover, let rise at a warm place until light and near double in sizes 30-45 minutes.  These rolls can be covered with plastic wrap and stored in the fridge after shaping too.  Bring them to room temperature 1 hours before baking. 
  4. Preheat oven to 375 oF near the end of rising time, arrange 2 racks close to the center. Bake in preheated oven  until golden brown about 25-30 minutes.  Reposition baking sheets midway. Remove from oven, brush a thin layer of melted butter. Cooling on a wire rack a few minutes before serve. Enjoy.  Do not forget to take picture to share.

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