Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Search For The Fluffiest Tender Bun Is Over!

After mastering the Western bread-making technique, I started to embark on a new Eastern bread-making journey.  A journey back into my childhood with sweet and savory buns that were so soft, moist, tender, and fluffy that would put buns that are being sold in the US bakeries to shame.

The following recipes arrived from over ten years of countless experiments with failed recipes from cookbooks and online researches.

Cheers to good food!

Savory Roll Dough - Makes 12 buns
(Water-Roux is basically 1 part bread flour to 5 parts water)

Water-Roux Paste
25g bread flour
125ml water

For the water roux
Combine flour and water in a small saucepan and cook over low heat. Stir continuously until it has thickened to a paste (hint: American yogurt consistency or when you stir you can see the bottom of the pan, an indication that the roux is ready). Remove from heat.  The water roux can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator after cooling for 1 day if not used immediately.

325g bread flour
150g AP flour
30g milk powder
45g sugar 
1 teaspoon salt
6g instant dry yeast
2 eggs, lightly beaten
100ml lukewarm water
75 g softened butter at room temp

For the Bun Dough:
Dissolve yeast in water (5 min).
Combine dissolved yeast with bread flour, AP flour, milk powder, sugar, eggs, water roux, and salt into the mixing bowl. Mix ingredients to form a slightly sticky, soft dough that will pull off the sides of the bowl.  Add extra water to dough as needed but only 1 tablespoon at a time if dough is too dry.  (it should take appx 10 min with a mixer).  Then incorporate softened butter to the dough and mix until dough is smooth and elastic and passed the window pane test.

Form the dough into a round boule, covered and let rise in draft free warm area until double (40 min to 1 hour depends on the temp in your house).
Conduct a finger test by inserting your floured finger into the dough and as you pull out your finger, the indentation of your finger should remains, a good indication that your dough has risen properly.  If the indentation springs back, the dough is not risen enough, continue to proof longer.

When the dough has risen properly, punch down the risen dough, divide dough into 12 equal portions and form them into balls.  Let the dough rest for 10 min then final shaping the dough according to your recipe.  Covered it lightly and let rise until almost double in sizes.  Brush on with egg white and bake at 350 degrees until lightly brown.  Cool completely before serving.

Sweet Bun Dough
Makes 24 buns
420g bread flour
120g AP flour
40g milk powder
84g  sugar
1 teaspoon salt
10g instant dry yeast
60g egg, lightly beaten
170g lukewarm water
168g water roux
44g butter, softened

Water-Roux Paste
50g bread flour
250g water

Same process as the savory dough.

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