Water-Roux Bun Dough 基本湯種麵糰

Water-Roux Bun Dough 基本湯種麵糰

Source : Cafe of the East
Makes 16 portions.

[Ingredients]
325g bread flour
130g plain flour + 20g vanilla custard powder, or cornflour (or just use 150g plain flour)
20g milk powder
50g caster sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 sachet (7g or 2 1/2 tsp) instant dry yeast
2 eggs, lightly beaten
100ml (approx.) lukewarm water, adjust as necessary (I only needed 75ml for this batch)
75g butter, cubed

Water Roux * (湯種):
25g (just under 2 tbsp) bread flour
125ml (1/2 cup) water
* Water Roux is basically 1 part bread flour to 5 parts water.

[Preparation]
Water Roux (湯種):
Mix flour and water in a small saucepan. Cook over low to medium heat, stirring continuously until it reaches 65ºC. It should have thickened to a paste at this stage, that is when you stir you can see the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat, place a cling wrap over the paste and leave until lukewarm, or room temperature, before using. (Alternatively if you don’t have a thermometer, cook as before until it just starts to thicken, then continue to cook for about 1 more minute before removing from heat.) This water roux can be kept in an airtight container after cooling in the refrigerator for 1 day if not used immediately. However DO NOT USE if it turns grey in colour, that means it has gone bad.
For the Bun Dough:
1. Sift bread flour, plain flour, custard powder, milk powder, caster sugar and salt onto the working surface. Add instant dry yeast and mix well. Form the flour mixture into a well. Add lightly beaten eggs and lukewarm water roux and mix in. Gradually add just enough lukewarm water to form into a slightly sticky, soft dough. Knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. During hand kneading, the dough also needs to be thrown onto the working surface once every few minutes between kneading to improve the dough structure. (I usually just pick up the dough to about head-high and throw it down onto the working surface 10 to 20 times every few minutes between kneading.)
2. Knead in butter until incorporated. Form the dough into a round ball and let it rise until double in size in a large greased bowl, cover with cling wrap (should take about 1 hour in warm weather, longer in winter months). To test if the dough has risen properly, dip a finger into bread or plain flour and poke down into the centre of the dough as far as your finger will go and pull out again – the hole should remain if it is ready. If the dough springs back, then it is not ready, continue to prove further.
3. Punch down, knead briefly. Then divide into 16 equal portions. The easiest way is to first divide equally into 4 larger portions first, then divide each of these again into quarters each. Form each into balls and let rest for 10 minutes.
4. Shape and fill as desired to make into buns of your choice (to make Row Buns or Mexican Buns, see below, or click here for making Polo Buns). Place all finished buns on a greased baking sheet, lightly cover with cling wrap, and let rise until double in size (about 1 hour in warm weather, longer in winter months).
5. Bake in preheated 190°C oven for about 12-15 minutes.

Row Buns / Pai Pau 排包
Makes 8 rows.
[Ingredients]
½ portion Water-Roux Bun Dough
1 egg, lightly beaten for eggwash
Melted butter
[Preparation]
Take each of the 8 small divided balls and roll out with a rolling pin to about 15-18cm long. Roll up, Swiss-roll style, from the long side into a long cigar shape. Tuck both pointy ends down under for a better presentation. Arrange close together side-by-side almost touching each other, sealed side down, on a greased baking tray. Let rise until double in size. Brush with eggwash and bake in preheated 190°C oven for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown in colour. Brush with melted butter immediately after removing from oven.

Mexican Buns
Makes 8 buns.
[Ingredients]
½ portion Water-Roux Bun Dough
Mexican Topping:
100g butter
100g caster sugar
1 teaspoon mocha coffee paste (optional)
1 egg, lightly beaten
100g plain flour
[Preparation]
1. To prepare the Mexican Topping: Cream softened butter and sugar until pale. Beat in coffee paste and egg until combine. Fold in flour. Transfer into a piping bag fixed with a 1cm round nozzle.
2. Let the 8 divided balls rise until double in size on a greased baking sheet. When ready, pipe the Mexican Topping onto the risen balls – start from the centre top of each ball and pipe in a spiral fashion to cover about 2/3 of the surface area from the top.
3. Bake in preheated 190°C oven for about 12-15 minutes.

[Note]
1. Please note this recipe uses 1 standard cup of 250ml, 1 tablespoon of 20ml and 1 teaspoon of 5ml.
2. The size of egg used is about 60g (includes shell) unless otherwise stated.

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