Monday, May 20, 2013

How to Make Pillowy Asian Sweet Buns

Happy Monday everyone!

The day I feature Tips and Techniques to help you up your game in the kitchen - and today I'm super excited to introduce you to a how to extravaganza on how to make pillowy Asian sweet buns - the kind you usually only ever find in China Town.

These buns are so soft, and light, and billowy on the inside you will hardly believe it!

They're also going to be the perfect fit for an original recipe I'm going to share Wednesday for Asian pulled pork.

So stay tuned for that and then enjoy my easy to follow step by step video to learn how to make these incredible buns yourself. They are truly a great thing to have in your repertoire!


To visit the printable recipe: Asian Sweet Buns

  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 4 teaspoons instant yeast 
  • 6 tbsp butter (cut butter into small pieces and soften to room temperature)
  • 1 serving of  tangzhon
For the tangzhong:
  • 1/3 cup of bread flour (all purpose will work as well)
  • 1 cup of water
  1. To make the tangzhong mix 1/3 of a cup of bread flour with one cup of water. Whisk until the flour is completely dissolved and there are no lumps. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and turn on the heat to medium. Stir constantly. Cook the tangzhong until the mixture thickens. As you approach the right temperature the mixture will begin to have the consistency of pudding. Once there, remove from heat and set aside to let cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, Combine the flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. 
  3. Whisk the egg with milk and add that to the center of the well along with the tangzong.
  4. Begin mixing until the dough comes together either by hand using a wooden spoon or a stand mixer.
  5. If using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment. Begin mixing on medium speed until the dough comes together. 
  6. Add in 6 tablespoons of room temperature butter, mix it in some more and if kneading by hand, place the dough onto a floured surface and begin to knead. Sprinkle more flour on the board if the dough gets sticky. This step will take the same amount of time in your stand mixer. Continue to knead in the mixer or by hand for 20-25 minutes.
  7. When the dough begins to look shiny and elastic which means it will feel springy, give it the window pane test just as displayed in the video. If you can pull the dough apart and almost see through it, it's ready. 
  8. Knead the dough into a ball shape. Take a large bowl and grease with vegetable oil, Place your dough into the greased bowl, and cover with a wet towel. Let it rise until it’s doubled in size, this should take about about 40 minutes.
  9. After rising, move the dough to a clean surface and split it up into four equal portions. Knead and form this dough into balls. Cover with the wet towel again and let it rest for 15 additional minutes. 
  10. Take a rolling pin and roll each portion of the dough into an oval shape, take one end of the oval dough and fold it to the middle, and roll over again like a jelly roll. Once you've done all four, you're going to repeat the process again.
  11. Cut off pieces of dough about an inch to an inch and a quarter thick and form into buns. There's really no right or wrong way to do this. the easiest way is just to roll it into balls that can fit into a regular sized muffin cup.
  12. Oil 2, 12 count muffin tins well and place 1 bun into each. You will have enough dough left over for a small loaf of bread - place that into an oiled bread pan.
  13. Cover the pans once again with a damp cloth and let proof (or rise) an additional 50 minutes.
  14. Before baking the final proofed buns, beat an egg until thoroughly combined. Brush the egg mixture on top of the bread in order to create the beautiful brown shiny finish after baking.
  15. Bake in a 325 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes.

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