Friday, May 22, 2009

Bakery Style Sweet Buns

Before I even begin writing anything, I just want to give a big shout out to everyone who has dropped by my blog these recent weeks. Thank you for reading. It makes me want to cook more, bake more, blog more. This blog is less than a month old, so it astounds me to see visitors from all over: London, Tasmania, Melbourne, Sydney, Texas, California and gulp, Tallinn (Estonia)! And to the few who emailed me with specific queries, I am just happy to share whatever I know. I am humbled. I truly am. Thank you so much! :D

Alrighty then. Let's talk about bread-making, shall we? LOL. Having already conquered soft pretzels, I've became emboldened overnight! Yesterday, I had an afternoon freed up for baking because my daughter had school till late.

*rubs hands in glee*

I browsed around for something simpler to bake and quickly decided on this. Oh my, I love these sweet buns you find at the bakery. Mmm, Mmm! And better still, this was sooo much easier to make! Now, WHY did I have to choose a complicated number for my maiden attempt?! Argh.

Anyhow, I managed to get the kneading part down pat pretty quick. None of that "quicksand" drama. In fact, everything moved very smoothly. Then the husband called to send me out on an errand. Which was just as well, because the dough had to be left to proof.

So I dragged the other 2 kids out with me for a little "detour" before I returned to do my "roadblock" :) I love The Amazing Race and I am sooo glad Tammy & Victor won!!! *starts doing the happy dance* Ooops, sorry! I have a tendency to go off on a tangent :P

Anyway, when we returned, the dough was nice and poofy. I made 8 rolls (of 60g each): 4 plain, 2 cheese and 2 cinnamon sugar. I used whatever was left over to make 1 hot dog roll for my son's teatime snack.

Tadah! Here they are:

(Left) Bakery Style Sweet Buns
(Right) The inside was soft soft soft! Even my baby had some for nibbles.


Sigh, my hot dog roll was a queer imitation of those you'd find in a Japanese bakery.
Still, it was wolfed down without complaints, so I reckon it must have tasted alright *grins*.


My absolute fave: sweet bun with cheese filling! I used the President brand of Emmental cheese. 
Next time, I will try something sharper, like cheddar :)

Overall, I was happy with the texture. In future, I will omit the egg wash because it makes the crust a bit too crisp for my liking. I prefer a softer crust, which I read can be achieved by brushing butter once out of the oven. Also, I am sorely lacking in the aesthetics department. The rolls looked so "rough around the edges" :/ Well, practice makes perfect. Which means, the provision store where I buy my bread won't be seeing me in the next few weeks!

Bakery Style Sweet Buns
(makes around nine 60g portions)

Recipe from here
- 150g bread flour
- 150g cake flour
- 5g active dry yeast
- 3g salt
- 125g milk
- 1 egg
- 60g caster sugar
- 50g butter
- 1 egg, beaten, for glazing (which I shall omit from now)

1. Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add in milk, egg and butter. Mix into a dough.

2. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until the gluten is fully developed (see tip below) and the dough is elastic, smooth and non-sticky. It will take about 25 mins to knead the dough by hand. Initially the dough will stick on to the work surface. Do not be tempted to add more flour or even give up kneading! After continuous kneading, the dough will no longer stick to the work surface.

3. Place the dough in the mixing bowl and cover with a damp towel or cling wrap to seal in the moisture. Allow the dough to proof until double in bulk. This will take about 1hr in Singapore weather. To test whether the dough has been fully proofed, press a finger into the dough and withdraw quickly. It should leave a deep impression and spring back very slowly. For an insufficiently proofed dough, the impression will spring back instantly.

4. Take out the dough and punch out the gas produced. Let the dough rest for about 15mins.

5. Divide the dough into 60g portions. Shape and add fillings as desired. Arrange dough in a greased or lined pan. Rest for about another 15mins.

6. Brush the top with whole egg mixture*. Add almond flakes on the top of the buns, as desired.
* I prefer to brush with butter because it gives a softer crust. 

7. Bake for about 15mins in a preheated oven at 190 degree celsius. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Tip:
To check whether the dough is fully developed, take a small piece of the dough and stretch it with your fingers. If it can be stretched into a thin layer without tearing easily, the dough is fully developed.

12 comments:

  1. You have discovered the true power of the web, in particular web 2.X. ;) Congrats.

    Your hot dog roll looks great!

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  2. Thank you, Leon. Thanks for helping me get started on this blog! :)

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  3. I'm definitely going to try this out!

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  4. Hi

    I came across ur blog recently. I love the way you write and all the mouth-watering pictures you posted. Is this the easiest bun to make?? I am into bread-making recently. Unfortunately I dont have a bread machine :)

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  5. EEWIF: Hi there! It's quite ok to start with this. Not too difficult. Else, you can try the other recipe on Soft Honey Dinner Rolls. Also quite easy. I don't have a bread machine either. Never did think it was necessary in the first place. By hand is better. You can 'feel' the dough and get a high from kneading. ;)

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  6. Thanks for the recommendations, I will try both :)

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  7. ohh this looks delicious... can you provide some measurements using cups and teaspoons? i don't have a balance, unfortunately :(

    thanks!

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  8. also, i dont have castor sugar (or know what it is). can i use regular white granulated sugar instead? thanks!! this blog is amazinggggg

    i vacationed in china this past summer and was spoiled with bakeries and now im having withdraw symptoms... must... get... sweet.. bread! ^_^

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  9. hi!

    I really like ur blog! Its clean, bright and easy to read unlike some others!

    I tried this recipe and knead for an hour by hand before i arrive at the stretchy stage of the dough. However, I think the bread is still not soft enuff, and my crust is hard despite glazing with oil.

    Do you reckon i need to knead more? or is it because i proof too long (about 3 hours) as its soo cold here (below 5 deg C).

    Thanks for replying!

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  10. Hi!

    I tried baking the sweet buns but I think my buns are also not so soft and the crust is hard too.

    I knead the dough for 30 mins and manage to achieve the stretch effect but I rested the dough for 30 mins before baking.

    Do you think it is because of the long resting time or should i adjust my oven temperature and baking time?

    I really hope I can achieve the delicious soft buns like yours!

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  11. A milk wash before baking will be somewhat shiny but not as hard.

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  12. mine did not turn out soft n fluffy, but became little hard dinner rolls!!! where did i go wrong??? sigh......

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