Baked Pandan Custard Buns
Ingredients for tangzhong
• 50gm/ 1/3 cup bread flour
• 250ml/ 1 cup water (could be replaced by milk, or 50/50 water and milk)
Ingredients of bread
• 350gm/ 2½ cups bread flour
• 55gm/3tbsp+2tsp caster sugar
• 5gm/1tsp salt
• 56gm egg (equals to 1 large egg)
• 7gm/1tbsp+1tsp milk powder (to increase fragrance, optional)
• 125ml/ ½cup milk
• 120gm tangzhong (use half of the tangzhong you make from above)
• 5 to 6gm/2 tsp instant yeast
• 30gm/3tbsp butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
tangzhong is an Asian technique in which a portion of the flour in the recipe is pre-cooked with water to make a roux, before being cooled and added to the rest of the ingredients
Method of making tangzhong
1. Mix flour in water well without any lumps. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to prevent burning and sticking while you cook along the way.
2. The mixture becomes thicker and thicker. Once you notice some “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon. It’s done. You get the tangzhong. (Some people might like to use a thermometer to check the temperature. After a few trials, I found this simple method works every time.) Remove from heat.
3. Transfer into a clean bowl. Cover with a cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up. Let cool. The tangzhong can be used straight away once it cools down to room temperature. Just measure out the amount you need. The leftover tangzhong can be stored in fridge up to a few days as long as it doesn’t turn grey. If so, you need to discard and cook some more. (Note: The chilled tangzhong should return to room temperature before adding into other ingredients. )
Method of making bread
1. Combine all dry ingredients: flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast in a bowl. Make a well in the center. Whisk and combine all wet ingredients: milk, egg and tangzhong, then add into the well of the dry ingredients. Knead until you get a dough shape and gluten has developed, then knead in the butter.
2. Knead the dough into a ball shape. Place in a greased bowl and cover with a wet towel or cling wrap. Let it proof till it’s doubled in size, about 40 minutes (Note: the time will vary and depends on the weather.
3. Transfer to a clean floured surface. Deflate and divide the dough into equal portions. Knead into ball shapes. Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes.
4. Shape and fill each portion how you like it. Leave it for the 2nd round of proofing, about 40 minutes.
5. Brush whisked egg on surface. Bake in a pre-heated 180C (356F) oven for 25-30 minutes.