Saturday, July 24, 2010

Soft Bun



Even after the failure of previous 2 attempts on bread making, I do not intend to give up. Although felt very dishearten after each failure and told myself probably will start bread making only if I get a heavy duty mixer or bread machine. However, when seeing the soft and fluffy breads that baked by other bloggers, my heart will be bouncing actively that asking me to give another try, give a last try, dun give up so easily!

When I saw this post from Happy Home Baking and the sentances caught my attention "After kneading continuously for 30mins or so, my fingers, which were initially covered with dough miraculously came clean. The dough was really smooth and elastic, and I could even stretch it fairly thinly!" I was so excited, my urge of bread making was awake again. Both of my previous kneading of dough took more than 1 1/2 hrs and still not able to reach the windowpane test. So this recipe is definately a must to try since it took only 30 mins or so to knead the dough! I immediately bookmarked the recipe.


My dear daughter again, finished all the fresh milk so I had no choice to use chocolate milk instead so my buns came out in light brown color.


The dough was very very sticky that I had to use the dough scraper to help me to remove the sticky dough from table top or hand. I knead for more than 30 mins, the dough was still as sticky that I had to dust some flour. During the next hour of kneading, I dusted another 3 times of flour to get non-sticky dough finally.


I am not sure was it my method of kneading the dough is incorrect or due to other reason. I actually took more than 1 1/2 hrs to knead the dough and it didn't even reach the stage as what HHB mentioned that her dough was really smooth and elastic that she can even stretched it fairly thin. However, for the 3 times experience of dough kneading and all took more than an hour, this was the 1st time that the dough can stretched thinner before it tears.

Although it still did not pass the windowpane test but I stopped the kneading cos I was darn tired, shoulder and hands were aching (old aunty liao so body can't take the overwork :P). And I was running out of time, I need to go to my mum's place for weekly visit. So I just let the dough rest in the mixing bowl for proofing and brought it over to my mum's place for baking.



I was thinking, gosh I am going to fail again, the bread can't be soft after dusting so many times of flour and also never pass the windowpane test again. Well, I still went ahead with the baking since my guinea pigs are always so supportive. They finished the dense bread that I had produced previously and my sis even praised on my charred butter roll crisp bread :P.

As I thought this will be another failure, I dun even bother to prepare the tuna filling. I just shaped the dough into 10 balls and filled 6 balls in the 7" cake pan. For the balance 4 balls, 2 balls topped with cheese and ham, I wrapped the cheese and ham in the dough for the balance 2 balls.


I was afraid to get a charred bread again, so I monitored the baking closely. Since I am not sure how to check the doneness of bread, when the baking time was up, I just removed the buns from the oven.

I can't wait to try the bun even it was so so hot when just out from oven! I tore the cheese & ham bun into half, I saw the fluffiness texture, I was so excited but I still need final confirmation by tasting it. I quickly bite onto the bun, my smile just floated on my face instantly and I felt so satisfied. I got everyone to try the buns and kept telling them "very soft hor!", they nodded and totally agreed with me.
Horray!!! Finally I made it! :)



Recipe from HHB that she adapted from Smile!幸福小点心, 山王丸由利绘

Ingredients : (makes 10 buns)
200g bread flour
20g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3g (about 1 teaspoon) instant yeast
110ml chocolate milk (room temperature)
30g egg, light beaten (this amount is less than one egg so I chose the smallest egg, use the leftover as egg wash)
25g unsalted butter, room temperature

Method:
1. Stir bread flour, caster sugar, salt, and instant yeast in a mixing bowl.
2. Add in milk and egg. Mix the ingredients with hand and slowly form into a rough dough.
3. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough till smooth. This should take about 10mins. (I took about 30 mins)
4. Knead in the butter. Continue to knead the dough until it no longer sticks to your hand, becomes smooth and elastic. This should take about another 15 to 20 mins (I took about 1 hour). Do the window pane test: pinch a piece of the dough, pull and stretch it. It should be elastic, and can be pulled away into a thin membrane without tearing/breaking apart easily. (I didn't reach this stage, my dough still able to stretch fairly thin (for me lah since compared to my previous attempts) but tore when stretched it further).
5. Place dough in a lightly greased (use vegetable oil or butter) mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and let proof in room temperature (around 28 to 30 degC) for about one hour, or until double in bulk.
6. Remove the dough from the bowl and give a few light kneading to press out the gas in the dough. Divide into 10 equal portions, about 40g each. Roll into rounds. Cover with a damp cloth or cling wrap and let the doughs rest for 10mins.
7. Fill in your desire fillings and transfer dough to cupcake casing or greased cake pan.
8. Brush surface with egg wash. For baking in cake pan, space out the doughs to allow room for the doughs to expand. Cover with damp cloth or cling wrap and leave doughs to proof for the second time for about 30 ~ 40mins, or until double in size.
9. Bake in pre-heated oven at 180 deg C for 12 mins or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Verdict?
The buns were surprisely soft and fluffy even I was not able to achieve the windowpane test. The bun was tasty when eating in plain but tasted good when spread with butter or the filling with cheese & ham! My family given thumbs up and next morning, I toasted the cheese & ham bun to let dear husband and mil tried and they said soft and delicious. As what HHB said, this recipe is a keeper for sure.

49 comments:

  1. I am a bread fan...the texture of these dimsum rolls is so soft and perfect.

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  2. beautiful how it came out...so soft...one suggestion...I would leave the salt for the last ingredient to be added to the dough once it is kneaded since salt prevents the yeast from doing its thing...never give up...

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  3. YAY!!! Jess, I'm so happy for you!

    Did you know you just beat my records too!? I usually knead mine for 50~60 min. Other bloggers think this is already darn long for kneading bread dough. You took like 90 min!? Kudos to you! LOL! My arms and hands would patah by then. But hor, still nice workout lar ... My long-time best friend, whom I hadn't seen for 1 year, saw me today and commented that, "哇!妳沒有muscle的hor?" LOL! Ah, despite all the workout thru bread dough kneading, my arms still look flabby. =P (Expect a 胖妹妹 coming ar ...)

    If you have time after meeting up that weekend, maybe we can bake bread together, if you like this idea. Otherwise, it's OK. I thought of bringing bread ... Still contemplating whether this idea is gonna work though. I'll be there till the 10th.

    Catch up with you later. Will shoot you an email. Probably I can still see you at the PC fair on Wednesday during your biz trip in KL. Where I work is close to KLCC. Shouldn't be a prob for me to stop by to see you for a bit. And you AREN'T an old auntie!! I'm expecting to see a beautiful mother!

    Have a fab weekend!

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  4. Glad you made it! Persistence pays off. The buns look good. Congrats!

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  6. Congratulations! U have done a good job. I can tell from the picture that the bread is very soft and fluffy.

    My record of kneading by hand is 1-1/2 hours. Many times I didn't manage to pass the window pane test but my bread still turned our soft. I guess sometimes the recipe matters. From my limited bread makinf experiences, I found that generally higher liquid ratio is an assurance to soft buns but it's more difficult to knead into a smooth dough.

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  7. looks so nice and soft
    i like it ! ^^

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  8. I salute your perseverance! I made cinnamon roll a couple of days ago, I used the tangzhong method, the dough was wet and sticky I took around 40mins to knead, and I gave up even though the dough is still a little sticky! 30mins is max limit for me!
    You can take a look at youtube for demo on how to knead a bread dough to give you an idea. What I do is, I use a dough scrapper to scape the dough and knead. I push the dough away from me, then fold/scrape it back, make a 90deg turn, and repeat. On and off, I will lift up the dough and flip it and bang on the table. You also need to stand firm on the ground...one leg slightly forward...then you can use your body strength to push the dough away from you. Hope this help! I am planning to make bread again, I suspect it will be another sticky dough!

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  9. Wah..... 90 minutes eh.........
    Aiyor yor... kill me lor.
    I don't have a proper kneading place at home. I don't have a wooden table, I scared to knead there la, scared the laquer will stick to the dough. My counter top is tiled, and not those big piece one, but with "longkang" in between tiles. I really have no where to knead, besides a stainless steel basin.

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  10. Great effort on not giving up so easily! So glad that the bread still turn out nice and soft, hooray! Isn't great to taste your own bread? Beyond satisfaction right? Hope to see more bread post from you in the future. ;)

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  11. Congrats on your success! You've really put in some much time and effort to make these buns. My mum will think I'm crazy if I spend so much time making them when I can just buy it so easily. But it's definitely worth it. 100% homemade with love and sweat! :)

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  12. looks soo soft and fluffy.... very pretty looking buns! :)

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  13. Congrats! I have this love-hate relationship with baking bread.

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  14. Wouw ... congrats! I can see from the picture, the buns look soft & fluffy. You are really really patient to knead 90 mins by hand. For me, I'm too lazy, I usually just use the hand mixer with the dough hook.

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  15. Oh! This bread is soft and yummy. Great job!

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  16. well done ! i am sure it taste yummy!

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  17. Hi Angie, these buns are very soft, if you like bread give it a try :).

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  18. Pei Lin, tell u if I was not darn tire I will sure continue to knead until pass the window pane test. If kneading dough can get rid of flabby arms, I dun mind doing it everyday hahaha... and pls lah, I saw your photo, you are not fat at all!

    Lets discuss the meeting up thru email :).

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  19. Hi Angel, I am glad to know I am not the only who kneading dough for 1.5 hr :P. Thanks for letting me know tat some recipes still able to churb out soft bread even not passing window pane test :).

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  20. Hi HHB, I was amazed by myself either but during the process of kneading, it was hard for me to give up just like tat until no choice cos arms & hands not cooperative :P. Thanks for the tips, I will apply for my next dough kneading :). And pls come out with more baking cos you baking also inspire a lot of us!

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  21. Wendy, u ve no proper place to knead dough yet you stil able to churn out those delicious breads, I salute to you! You jst wait patiently for your kitchen aid to arrive, then you are able to churn out more yummy breads :)

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  22. Thanks HBS, yes it was indeed beyond satisfaction when biting on a soft bread that made by myself, all the hardworks paid off :). I hope I am able to churn out more breads too but without the need to knead for such long period :P.

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  23. Hi SSB, I think my family might think I am crazy too but they didnt make any comment hahaha... Yes I also think is worth it, homemade still the best!

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  24. Hi DG, if my mixer able to do the job I will definately out-source it out but too bad I dare not let my mixer knead the dough even it comes with dough hook cos my mixer looks too fragile :P.
    I am not a hardworking person too but the urge of baking bread beats my laziness :).

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  25. Thanks PynnLee, bakies, pigpigscorner, happy flour & 苏联妈妈 :)

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  26. Chocolate milk?!?! This is a must try...

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  27. yay congrats on your success! your perseverance has paid off :) your photos made me drool even though I'm not a bread person.

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  28. Congrats.... Btw, what a great idea of using the chocolate milk... next time I will use chocolate milk as well...kekeke

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  29. Wow...the buns look so soft and fine textured! Well done! Well, I'm doubtful I have so much patience to do all those kneading :P I think I will give up after 1 minute....haha. maybe I will just throw into the mixer and let the machine do the kneading :D Thanks very much for sharing. MaryMoh at http://www.keeplearningkeepsmiling.com

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  30. neyeeloh, using chocolate milk was given no choice since my gal had finished the fresh milk :P

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  31. Mary, thanks & if I have a bread machine or heavy duty stand mixer, I wil sure use the machine rather than manpower but my mixer looks so fragile so I dare not take the risk :P

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  32. Hooray Jess! Sharing your joy & victory. I specially like your ham & cheese, love the shine on the buns, very lovely! Look forward for more bread making posts from you :)

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  33. You knead for 1.5 hrs!??!! That is the spirit of a great baker :) Perfect soft buns.

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  34. Ya Tigerfish, sound crazy but yes I knead for 1.5 hrs :P Thanks for the nice words :)

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  35. really looks good, i would love to try it. have a nice day!

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  36. Your buns turned out wonderfully well. You persevered when many of us would have given up and were rewarded for your effort. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  37. Hi Jess,

    Your perseverance is certainly admirable.Even for pizza dough, I only knead for 15 minutes at most.

    I only tried baking proper bread once (not considering pizza dough) using the dough hooks of my hand held mixer. Even with the dough hooks, the process took like 20 minute. I had to let the mixer rest every now and then as it gets heated up really easily due to the strong resistance from the dough. With the beater on for 20 minutes, I dont think I reached the window pane stage.

    Glad that your hard work was rewarded and the buns turn out soft. jiayou! Certainly inspires me to want to bake bread more often.

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  38. Thanks Lani, Somewhere in Singapore & Mary :)

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  39. Bakertan, I knead 15 mins for pizza dough too cos I dun need my pizza to be soft :P. I still dare to try using my stand mixer to knead, too look too fragile to take those torturing :). And thanks for the nice words.

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  40. your soft buns look delicious, light and fluffy....I think you did a great job, and I can't imagine kneading as long as you did!
    I'll take a ham and cheese one please!

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  41. Oh congrats, finally you did it! yay... But next time never add in flour during kneading period but add in butter to cut down the stickiness. Flour dusting only needed in final stage of kneading. I myself never have a proper place for kneading but I always find a way. All the best to you, Jess. Do keep on the good work!
    Looking forward for more. ^_^
    Cheers, Kristy

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  42. Kristy, thanks for the tips and encouragement :)

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  43. Hi Jess

    Congrats! nice fluffy buns. Your effort pays off =). I tried baking some yesterday & the result was soft but not fluffy and it turns hard the next day (need to mircowave with a glass of water to make it soft again T_T) Is it normal for it to harden the next day or have I under knead the dough? Btw, how can I tell that the buns are fully bake? The crust on those buns are bake are abit on the hard side =(

    mel

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