Brazilian teatime buns recipe

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Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time25 mins plus cooling
Cost RangeNot

These teatime buns (known as sonhos) are great with a cuppa. This recipe is from Brazilian master baker Felipe Benjamin Abrahão.


For the dough

  • 500g plain flour
  • 17g dried active yeast
  • 100g margarine
  • 100g sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Pinch salt
  • 5ml (1tsp) vanilla extract
  • 250ml tepid water

For the vanilla custard filling

  • 75g plain flour, sieved
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • ½ litre milk
  • 5ml (1tsp) vanilla extract
  • Icing sugar, for dusting




  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, 350ºF, gas mark 4.
  2. In a small bowl, place 50g of the flour, with the yeast and a pinch of the sugar. Blend together with some of the water. Leave it to rest for 15 mins, until the mixture starts to froth.
  3. In a large bowl, place the remainng flour, margarine, sugar, salt and eggs. Stir in the yeast mixture and remaining water and stir to make a smooth dough.
  4. Leave the mixture to rise for 10 mins. Then make into balls of 30g each and put into lightly greased small oval baking dishes. Cover with a cloth and leave until almost doubled in size.
  5. Cook for 15-20 mins until risen and golden. Remove from the tins and allow to cool. Meanwhile make the vanilla custard: Blend the flour, with half the sugar, the egg yolks and some of the milk, to make a smooth paste.
  6. Place the remaining milk, sugar and vanilla extract in a saucepan heat slowly until hot, but not boiling. Gradually, pour the warm milk over the mixture in the bowl, whisking continuously to prevent any lumps forming. Return to the pan and cook for 3-4 mins, whisking continously to make a smooth, thick custard. Cover with cling film, to prevent a skin forming and allow to cool.
  7. Cut the buns down the middle then pipe or spoon in the custard. Dust with icing sugar before enjoying with a cup of tea!
Top Tip for making Brazilian teatime buns

Cassandra Andrews, 63, from Inverness, suggests ading a bay leaf to your flour container to keep it free from moisture.


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