Despite the long preparation time, these buns were a delight to make. Witnessing the doubling in size is simply magical. Oh, and talk about those calories burned from all the kneading and throwing. I am embarrassed to admit that I was actually sweating a bit. Gotta get back in shape by making more bread!
Japanese-Style Sweet Bun Dough 湯種甜麵糰
recipe from Corner Café
-makes 16 buns
For Water-Roux Paste (湯種):
25g (just under 2 tbsp) bread flour
125ml (1/2 cup) water
Mix bread flour and water in small saucepan
Cook over low to medium heat
Stir continuously until it reaches 65ºC or until thickens and continue for 1 minute
Remove from heat
Cover with cling film and leave until it reaches room temperature
For Bun Dough:
375g bread flour
100g plain flour
35g milk powder (I left this out and substitute 150 ml of lukewarm water in recipe with 100 ml of milk and 50 ml of lukewarm water)
75g caster sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 package (7g or 2 1/2 tsp) of instant dry yeast
1 egg, lightly beaten
150ml (approx.) lukewarm water, adjust as necessary
40g butter, cubed
1. Sift bread flour, plain flour, milk powder, caster sugar and salt onto working surface. Add instant dry yeast and mix well. Form the flour mixture into a well. Add lightly beaten egg and lukewarm water roux and mix in. Gradually add just enough lukewarm water to form into a slightly sticky, soft dough. Knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. During hand kneading, the dough also needs to be thrown onto the working surface once every few minutes between kneading to improve the dough structure.
2. Knead in butter until incorporated. (Stop kneading when the dough sticks to the work surface and stretches like chewing gum when pulled) Form the dough into a round ball and let it rise until double in size in a large greased bowl, cover with cling film (should take about 1 hour in warm weather, longer in winter months). To test if the dough has risen properly, dip a finger into bread or plain flour and poke down into the center of the dough as far as your finger will go and pull out again – the hole should remain if it is ready. If the dough springs back, then it is not ready, continue to prove further.
3. Punch down, knead briefly and form into a ball shape. Then divide into 16 equal portions. The easiest way is to first divide equally into 4 larger portions first, then divide each of these again into quarters each. Form each into balls and let rest for 10 minutes.
4. Shape and fill the buns according to recipe. Place all finished buns on a greased baking sheet, lightly cover with cling film, and let rise until double in size (about 1 hour in warm weather, longer in winter months).
5. Bake in preheated 375F oven for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
3.5 stars out of 5. These buns came out satisfying. Bakery status without the toppings and fillings. I popped one in my mouth right after they came out of the oven. The top and the inside were soft and fluffy, whereas the bottom was slightly burnt and crunchy. It tasted flavorless at first but after it slowly dissolved in your mouth, the sweetness kicked in. Next time, I shall add an egg wash on top before baking to give that shiny and crunchy top to the buns and maybe try different toppings and fillings. Perhaps the classic Hong Kong-styled pineapple bun or a shredded coconut bun orrrr tuna salad bun..? :D
p.s. camera-less for this week.. please excuse my bad quality photos.