The bread is incredibly soft, tender and fluffy and stays so for days without the use of preservatives by using a roux starter. After making the roux, you add the bread ingredients to a stand mixer. You can do this by hand but it will take longer and require quite a bit of kneading. The dough needs to be kneaded until it can pass the windowpane test. The windowpane test is a way to check if the gluten has been developed by testing the dough’s elasticity.
You should be able to stretch the dough out without it breaking until it becomes thin and sheer enough that light can pass through if held up to a light or window. If the dough tears immediately when you try to stretch it, then it is not ready. The dough is divided into the individual rolls and then proofs for a second time, about 15 minutes then rolled the dough out, folded into thirds and rolled back up and shaped back into balls.
In your bowl, whisk together the flour, instant yeast, salt and milk. In another bowl or large liquid measuring cup combine together the milk, egg, melted butter and the cooled Tangzhong. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and knead the heck out of it. It will look very sticky and wet at first, It will become nice and pliable as the kneading progresses. Let it knead for 15 to 20 minutes until its slightly sticky but not messy. You should be able to stretch it between your hands into a thin film without it breaking right away.
When it starts tearing, it will tear in a circular fashion. Ball up your dough and place it in a greased bowl, then cover with plastic wrap to rise. After 60 to 90 minutes, it should poof up like this. Turn it out on a work surface, you shouldn’t need to dust anything with flour. Divide the dough into equal pieces. Place the rolls into the prepared pan and cover loosely with plastic wrap until it poofs up once again; 40 to 50 minutes. Give them a gentle brushing of egg wash then into the oven it goes. Bake until gorgeous and golden brown; 30 to 35 minutes, then slather them with some melted butter.
- 2½ cups bread flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp+2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup fat-free milk or low-fat milk
- 120 g roux
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter cut into small pieces, softened to room temperature
- 1 large egg whisked, for shiny egg wash finish
- Combine the flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast in a bowl of a stand mixer. Make a well in the centre.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients: egg, milk. Add into the well of the dry ingredients.
- Use the dough hook attachment and mix on low speed until your dough comes together. Add in the butter and continue mixing on medium to high speed.
- Mix/knead for about 18-20 minutes until the dough is no longer sticky and is elastic. To test the elasticity, use the windowpane test.
- Take a piece of dough and stretch it out. You should be able to stretch it until the dough becomes a very thin membrane that is almost sheer and lets in light.
- When you poke a hole in the thin membrane, it should form a close to perfect circle. If the dough breaks before you can stretch the dough this far, it is not ready.
- Gather the dough into a ball shape. Take a large bowl and grease with oil. Place dough into a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it proof until it’s doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
- Deflate and divide the dough into nine equal portions. Knead into ball shapes. Cover with plastic wrap and it let rest for 15 minutes.
- Take one portion and roll with a rolling pin into an oval shape. Take one end of the dough and fold to meet the middle of the oval. Take the other end and fold to meet on top.
- Turn the dough over, so that the folds face down and roll and flatten dough with a rolling pin. Flip dough again, so folded side faces up.
- Roll the dough up from top to bottom. Take both ends and fold down until they meet at the bottom.
- Stretch and move the top portion of the dough around until you end up with a ball shape at the top and the ends are tucked into the bottom.
- Place the balls into an 8 x 8 baking pan that is lined with parchment paper. Then cover with plastic wrap. Leave it for the second round of proofing, about 45 to 60 minutes, until double in size.
- Brush egg wash on the surface of buns then bake in a pre-heated 330°F oven for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer onto a wire rack and let cool completely.