Milk Buns ( Water- Roux Method )

After starting this food blog yesterday night, I searched and searched around the web for a recipe to publish as my first post but somehow, nothing seems to be suitable. I didn’t want to post a cake recipe nor a cookie recipe . I didn’t want to give you guys the impression that my blog would be a blog that features more cooking recipes than baking because you and I know that isn’t true.
Then, my sister came to me and said ” Make those buns you made last week ” and I thought, what’s the best way to honor your first post on your blog ? By publishing a recipe about the love of your life .. Bread .

These buns are simply fabulous . It’s quite the Asian version of Parker Rolls except it only requires half the amount of butter and milk. Texture wise, they were fluffy and soft but I wouldn’t compare its texture with cotton because we’re talking about bread here , not cotton candy , hunny ! And due to the requirement of Water Roux in the recipe, the texture of the buns remained the same after hours of storing in an air tight container .

Milk Buns ( Water – Roux Method )
recipe adapted from The Second Book of Baking for Beginners by Carol Hu
makes 16 buns

A. Milk Water Roux
– Ratio of flour to liquid 1:5

    • 50 grams of bread flour
    • 250 grams of milk   * I used water

Yields : 250 grams

1. Mix both of the measured ingredients in a pot .

2. Heat the pot ( with the ingredients ) on a stove using medium heat .

3. While heating the mixture, stir continuously until it thickens .

4. Once a swirl appears when you stir the thickened mixture with your whisk, turn off the fire .
5. Cover the SURFACE of the water roux with cling wrap to make sure the surface doesn’t dry up .
6. Once water roux is cooled, you can store it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or you could use it immediately .

P.S If the color of the water roux is grey, it has turned bad .

B. Dough
200 grams of Milk Roux ( or Water Roux )
500 grams of Bread Flour ( High Protein Flour )
50 grams of Cake Flour ( Low Protein Flour )
1 Teaspoon of Instant Yeast      * I used 1 1/4 Teaspoon
2 Eggs ( approx 50 grams each )( Room Temperature )
60 grams of Castor Sugar     * I used 90 grams ( If eating plain, 90 grams of sugar is more suitable )
1/4 Teaspoon salt        * I used a small pinch of sea salt
160 grams of Whipping Cream or Milk    * I used Milk ( Room Temperature )
60 grams of cubed butter ( Room Temperature )

Finishing Touches :
1 Egg for glazing the buns
Sesame seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Oats for garnishing purposes ( Optional )

1. In a large bowl, whisk all the DRY ingredients together.

2. Add in Milk Roux ( or Water Roux ), Eggs, 3/4 the amount of Whipping Cream/Milk and mix till it forms a round dough . Gradually add in the remaining whipping cream/milk and mix until the remaining flour left in the bowl are sticking to the dough .

3. Transfer the dough to a flat surface ( * I used a plastic chopping board ) and slightly flatten it . Then, add the cubed butter .
4. The dough will be sticky, watery and squeeky when you just started kneading ( due to the butter ) but be patient, your dough will soon have a smooth surface ( (a little sticky)( it wouldn’t stick to your fingers )) . While kneading, throw your dough from above head level to your kneading surface several times ( I think it helps to develop gluten ? I’m not sure ) .

5. When your dough has fully absorbed all the butter, has a smooth surface and isn’t sticky anymore, perform the ‘ window pane test ‘ on it. Your dough should be able to stretch as thin as a membrane ( light could be seen when you look through it ) . If your dough breaks while you’re stretching, please continue kneading for several minutes before you test it again .

6. After passing the ‘ window pane ‘ test , full the seems of the dough downwards till it forms a ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled ( or buttered ) large bowl and cover it with cling wrap or a wet towel and leave it to rise for an hour or until doubled in size .
( * I covered the bowl with A LAYER of cling wrap and place it in the microwave ( that is switched off ) )
( *You can always speed up the process by placing a cup of hot water beside the bowl of dough , in the microwave ) .

7. When dough had doubled in size, take the dough out from the bowl and flour the surface of your dough and a flat surface . Place the dough on the surface and squeeeezeeeeee till all the air from the dough comes out ( it would shrink , no worries ) .
8. Split the dough into 16 round balls and cover it with a wet cloth or cling wrap for 15 minutes .
9. After 15 minutes, roll each dough into a long piece of dough that measures around 25 cm .

10. To shape, place the right end of your long piece of dough on top of the left end of your dough .
Then, fold the left end of your dough into the gap in the middle.
Next, fold the left end of your dough to the gap at the back. Lightly press the right end and the left end of your dough together so that its shape wouldn’t run when it rises .
11. Place all your shaped dough onto a baking tray and spray ( or drizzle ) some water onto the surface of each dough( * I forgotten about this step and it turned out fine ) .
12. Put your baking tray(s) into the oven ( not heated ) for 50 to 60 minutes.
13. 15 minutes before baking, take your baking tray out and heat the oven to 170 C for 10-15 minutes . While heating, brush the surfaces of the buns with an egg and top the buns with your desired toppings .
14. Bake your buns for 15 – 18 minutes ( mine was done in 10 minutes ). If one side of your buns are slightly browner than the other side, carefully take out the baking tray and turn it around then put it back in the oven .
15. When your buns are golden brown, take the baking tray out and cool the buns on a rack . ( or eat it straight away , haha :p )

Look at the bun, it’s so fluffy i’m gonna die !

Xian Hui


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