Hokkaido Milk Buns + Ham & Cheese

Ever since I got interested in baking bread, I wanted to bake the "Hokkaido Milk Bread". Google it and you will realize it is popular with many baking bloggers.

There are two methods of making the Hokkaido Milk Bread. One's call the Straight Dough Method and the other is the Tangzhong or water roux method.

Well, I am a lazy cook and baker. So, I first attempted Straight Dough Method as I wanted the save the effort making the Tangzhong. That attempt failed. Twice. Bread turned out flat and dry.

So when I decided to try again using the water roux method, I didn't expect the buns to turn out so soft and fluffy, especially when I used the wrong measurements for the tangzhong mixture. I must say I have got the beginners' luck!


Hokkaido Milk Buns with Ham & Cheese
(Inspired by Christine's Recipes).

Ingredients

For Tangzhong (water roux)
50 grams bread flour
1 cup of water ( or 50/50 milk & water)

For dough
350 grams bread flour
50 grams castor sugar
1 tsp of salt
1 large egg
7 grams of milk powder (optional)
1/2 cup milk
120 grams Tangzhong (which is 1/2 of what's been made from above).
2 tsp instant yeast
30 grams butter.

Method:

Tangzhong 
- Mix flour with water / milk.
- Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a whisk to prevent sticking or burning
- The mixture will gradually become thicker, and once you notice lines appearing while stirring, you can remove from the fire and leave to cool.

For a more detailed interaction on how to make the water roux mixture, see here.

Bread (I used a bread maker to knead the dough)
- Add the wet ingredients (milk, egg and tangzhong) into the bread maker first, then add in the combined dry ingredients (flour, salt, sugar ). Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add in the instant yeast. Set the program on your bread maker to knead. When the dough becomes dry, throw in the butter.

- Once kneading is done, roll it into a ball. Place in a greased bowl and cover with a wet towel or cling wrap. Let it proof till it's double in size for about 40 min. Proofing time depends on the weather so make sure you monitor the size.

What I did was place the dough in my oven where I maintained the temperature in it at 40 degrees celsius.

- Transfer to a clean floured surface. Deflate (i punched the dough) and divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Knead into call shapes.

Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape. Sprinkle ham and cheese evenly as much as you like. 

-  Arrange the rolled-up dough in a greased or non-stick baking tin. Leave it for the 2nd round of proofing.

- Brush whisked egg on the surface and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees celsius for 40 minutes. 



The flattened and equally divided dough. 

Sprinkle ham and cheese on the rolled dough. 

Pardon the burnt look of the buns. 

I made some buns without ham and cheese, and this is how fluffy the bread looks like. 
The soft and fluffy bun with ham and cheese. 


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