Super Soft (and Sweet) Milk Buns

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

Bun Making

  1. 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.
  2. In a small bowl, beat 2 eggs and reserve 30 g of the egg liquid for later.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. After 5 minutes or so of kneading, cover dough with lid or damp cloth and let it rest for 90 minutes.
  7. 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.
  8. Cut the rolled dough in half and place the unused half back beneath a damp cloth or lid to keep the dough moist.
  9. 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.
  10. 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):

  1. Place the coconut flakes in a food processor and pulse it until it’s quite fine.
  2. Combine coconut flakes with melted butter, egg yolk, and honey. Stir until it’s well combined.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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23 thoughts on “Super Soft (and Sweet) Milk Buns

      1. I was thinking that too. I don’t know about where you live, but Asian bakeries are really popular here. Even if you just did farmers markets or things like that or craft shows? They’re both just thoughts, but it might be fun. And u def have the accounting/business background to figure out what to charge, what you need to make to make good $ and make it worth doing. Just a thought, they all look superb 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve been thinking about that for years. Asian bakeries are almost non-existent here. There’s one about 30 minutes from my home but the things it sell doesn’t look fresh. Another one is about 50 minutes away and I’ve never been there. Unfortunately, my mom put her foot down when I suggested this a year ago. I don’t know what she has against me starting a business.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well, I know there’s a respect thing in Asian culture for parents , a bit different in a way, from Western culture, but it’s your life and if not now, when? It’s hard work, my mom worked in a bakery, said it was very physical, but if u think u can do it and you love it, see if it’s feasible. If you love it and it pays the bills, it’s the right job. It uses your degrees too. See if you can come up with a business plan, that’s probably a good place to start?
        My brother’s friends, started a bakery in Edmonton. She started making beautiful cakes from her kitchen, along with doing the baked goods for some events, she got to the point where opening their bakery became the best option b/c her baking is delicious and she’s excellent at it like you. She still does her cakes, cupcakes, etc. But has other baked goods etc and they are one if the trendiest bakeries in Edmonton in an artsy district (Whyte Ave) where I live. Her husband quit his job so they can run the bakery & they used crowd source for start up money. People who loved their baking and cakes (past customers and friends) donated so they could start/renovate the bakery and run their business from there. My old friend works there too and is also an amazing cake decorater etc.
        Also, close to my dads school there’s an Asian bakery and they do very very well!
        Anyways, I’ll talk to you later. Gotta sleep now, so much work to do tomorrow.
        Take care

        Liked by 1 person

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