I've never been good with using yeast in my baking. Those previous successful bread baking were done by my ever faithful Kenwood bread machine. Two weeks back, I attempted a sweet potato steam bun with mom and it didnt' turn out well. I was left bitter and defeated. Then yesterday, I tried out this simple Sweet Bun recipe I've browsed through web recently and that was my very 1st time kneading the dough with my 2 bare hands. By the time the kneading was done, my hair was damp with sweat and my right arm felt like it was detaching from my body. It was a good 40 minute of nonstop kneading which saw my hopes rising when the smooth dough was formed but it was dashed in an instant the moment I poked my finger on it. It was then I had this strangest feeling in me that the bread will fail. I was right. It was not as soft as it promised in the recipe but it was definitely edible if you eat it hot on the spot. The next day however, I had to send the buns to the trashcan.
This morning I woke up with a fresh new determination to try out the bun recipe again. Yesterday's horror of manual kneading was still vivid in my mind and I took out my bread machine to do the job for me. The dough proof to the size it should be. If you have done bread before, the instant you look and touch the dough before proofing and after proofing, you'll know right away whether everything's gonna turn out all right or otherwise. This time, the bread didn't fail me. It was soft all right; the kind that I like.
The recipe was adapted from Angie's recipe which I actually halved the measurement.
If only I have some almonds or nut or sesame, I would've decorated it on top of the bun rolls. Perhaps next time, I'll have some sweet fillings for the buns.
150g bread flour
150g cake flour
5g active dry yeast
60g caster sugar
(1 egg, beaten, for glazing)
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. You may need to knead for about 25 - 30 mins. . Initially the dough will stick on to the work surface but keep kneading it continuously and it will no longer stick on surface but instead becomes a smooth dough. If you have a bread machine like I do, select the dough recipe to take our your kneading.
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 size. This will take about 1 hr. 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 15 minutes. Cover with a damp towel or cling wrap.
5. Divide the dough into 60g portions. Shape and add fillings as desired. Arrange dough in a greased or lined pan. Let the dough proof for the second time for about 30-45mins. Cover with a damp towel or cling wrap.
6. Brush the top with egg wash. Add sesame on top or almonds or nuts if desired.
7. Bake for about 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 190 degC. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.