Ever since I came back from China, I couldn’t stop thinking about all that delicious food and wishing I can have more of it. I miss the egg tarts, the milk pudding, the sweet and salty buns filled with yummy things, the cakes, so many things. I can go on all day. So I thought, why not make them myself?
I went on Google and began searching for recipes. After a while, Google became YouTube and there, I found a lady who lives in Hong Kong. She posts videos with Chinese and English subtitle for a variety of familiar recipes. One of those recipe was the Super Soft Milk Buns.
I have never heard of a milk bun but apparently, these are popular in Hong Kong. Instead of your basic water, flour, sugar, yeast dough, this dough uses milk instead of water. The texture is slightly different from your regular dinner rolls. In some ways, it’s better, softer than dinner rolls and when you press it and let go, it bounces back. It’s easier to make too. I didn’t have to knead as long as when I made normal dinner rolls.
Super Soft (and Sweet) Milk Buns
You will need:
Buns (Recipe makes 12 buns): Filling (optional):
- 450 g Bread Flour 1 cup Coconut Flakes
- 2 Eggs 3 tbsp Butter
- 2 1/4 tsp Instant Dry Yeast 1 Egg Yolk
- 1/4 tsp Salt 5 tbsp Honey
- 40 g Butter
- 100 ml Whole Milk
- 45 g Sugar
- 150 ml Water
- Place 30 g Bread Flour and 150 ml Water into a pot. Stir until the flour dissolve completely. Use medium heat to thicken the water-flour mixture, keep stirring until it begins to thicken. Turn the heat to low as mixture begins to thicken. When the mixture reaches paste consistency, turn off the heat and let it cool.
- In a small bowl, beat 2 eggs and reserve 30 g of the egg liquid for later.
- Place the remaining 420 g Bread Flour in a large bowl. Once the water-flour paste cooled slightly, pour this mixture into one corner of the flour bowl. Place yeast in another corner along with sugar and salt. In the middle, make a well in the flour and slowly pour the beaten eggs and milk.
- Use a spatula to mix the dough until it comes together before adding 30 g of butter. Keep mixing, the dough will absorb all the butter.
- Knead until the dough is smooth (about 8 minutes). Cover dough with a damp cloth or lid and let it rest for 15 minutes before kneading for another 5 minutes. After 15 minutes, the dough should’ve gotten a little bigger.
- After 5 minutes or so of kneading, cover dough with lid or damp cloth and let it rest for 90 minutes.
- After 90 minutes or so, place the dough onto a floured work surface. Pull dough into a square before rolling the dough up, trapping the air inside.
- Cut the rolled dough in half and place the unused half back beneath a damp cloth or lid to keep the dough moist.
- Separate dough into 70 g pieces and shape them into balls or whatever shape you desire. Place dough on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, with plenty of space in between. Cover dough again and let it rise for another 60 minutes.
- After 60 minutes, preheat oven at 400°F (200ºC) while lightly brush the reserved egg liquid (remember step 2?) on the surface of each bun. This will give its yellow color. If you want, you can sprinkle some sesame seeds on top of the buns. Bake buns for 8-10 minutes or until they are golden brown. With filling, add 5 minutes baking time to 13-15 minutes.
To make filling (optional):
- Place the coconut flakes in a food processor and pulse it until it’s quite fine.
- Combine coconut flakes with melted butter, egg yolk, and honey. Stir until it’s well combined.
- Place a piece of the milk bun dough onto a floured work surface. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough. Don’t make the dough too thin because thin dough can rip easily.
- Place 1 tbsp of filling in the center of the dough and pinch all four sides of the dough together to seal. Keep sealing and folding until the dough is round again. If necessary, use water as a glue to re-shape the dough.
- After sealing the dough, place dough in a covered container or beneath a damp cloth and let it rest and move on to the next piece of dough.
To test if the buns are done, stick a toothpick into one of the buns, if it comes out clean, then it’s done. Brush the remaining 10 g of butter on top of the buns to make it shiny and enjoy.