Here comes another post about buns using the Tang zhong method, seriously they come out pillow soft, made even without a bread maker. I remember I’d be obsessed with custard buns when i was a child. My parents would buy me one every time we leave china town so that I can sit quietly at the back of the car adoring the creamy vanilla custard filled buns. But as I got older and understood the meaning of money, I decided to save it instead. But now I no longer need to, I can just make a big batch with just a few eggs and flour, freeze them and I’ll have a supply of them in my freezer whenever I want.
Ingredients for Water roux starter (TangZhong湯種)
- 25g bread flour
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup milk
Ingredients for the dough:
- 350g cups bread flour
- 55g / 3tbsp 2tsp caster sugar
- 1tbsp 1tsp milk powder
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1tsp salt
- 1 Large egg
- 1/2 cup warm milk (But not hot)
- 30g butter
- 1 portion of Crème patissière
- 1 whisked egg to glaze
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- Mix flour, water and milk ensuring that there is no lumps in a sauce pan.
- Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
- When the mixture thickens to a paste consistency, cook on a low heat for a further minute. (Similar in cooking custard but a thicker consistency.
- Remove from heat and cover with cling film, ensuring the surface is touched with the cling film (this is to prevent a skin from forming)
- Combine all dry ingredients in the order listed above except from the salt. Stir the yeast in before you add the salt as yeast doesn’t like salt. (The salt can kill the yeast) Make a well in the center. Add the milk, tangzhong and egg in to the well and mix.
- Knead this dough until the dough is smoothed and less sticky. (This dough is going to be very sticky and would seem like it’s impossible to handle. If you’re lucky enough to own a bread maker you can let it do the hard work.)
- Then knead in the butter. While kneading you should every so often drop the dough from a height, this also helps stretch the gluten.
- The dough should be ready when it’s smooth and when you stretch the dough you can almost see through it.
- Place in a bowl and cover with a warm damp towel. Let this rest in a warm spot until it’s doubled in size. There is no specified time, usually I’ll leave it for 1-2hours, but the longer you leave it the softer your dough would be. (Some leave their dough in the fridge overnight which creates soft and flavorsome bread.)
- Once the dough has risen, deflate the dough and transfer it to a floured surface.
- Divide the dough into 4-6 equal portions (Depending what size bread you would like to serve).
- Cover with cling film and let this rest for 15 minutes, this relaxes the dough to make it more pliable.
- Roll out each dough and place about 1.5 tablespoon of the crème patissière on top. Seal the sides by gathering the ends and shape it until it forms a ball. Place the seem side down on to a baking sheet.
- Cover the shaped bun with cling film and repeat with the rest of the dough. Leave the dough to rise for around 1-2 hours, or until it’s puffed up in size. Brush the surface of the dough with a whisked egg.
- Mix the 3tbsp of flour with enough water so it forms a thick paste that still runs. Place this into a piping bag and create a swirl on top of each buns starting from the middle.
- Bake this in a pre-heated oven of 180c for 15-20 minutes. Check if it’s cooked when the surface has turned into a nice golden color and that the base has turned golden brown too.
- Heat the honey in a microwave of on the stove to loosen it, and brush this on top of the hot buns.
These can remain soft and fluffy for up to 3 days provided that you put it in an air-tight container (if the weather is hot and humid place them in the fridge). You’d be amazed with the results, give them a try and I promise you won’t regret!
You might also like:
- Matcha red bean buns (Using the Tang-Zhong starter method)
- Creme Patissiere
- Braided Raisin buns (Using the Tang-Zhong starter method
- Chocolate French Macarons