“Of the many things I’ve baked recently, this was definitely the most satisfying. When these perfectly round, golden buns emerge from the oven, there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll be glowing with pride. Soft, springy and mildly sweet, they’re perfect for stuffing with pulled meat or with butter as a dinner bun.” Poh Ling Yeow, Poh & Co. 2
- 250 ml (1 cup) warm water
- 60 ml (¼ cup) warm milk
- 2 tsp instant dried yeast
- 2½ tbsp caster sugar
- 450 g (3 cups) strong (00) flour, sifted
- 50 g (⅓ cup) plain flour, sifted
- 40 g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg, whisked
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1 large egg, whisked with 1 tsp milk
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 3 hours or overnight
Combine the warm water, milk, yeast and sugar in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to stand for 5 minutes or until there are bubbles on the surface.
Combine the flours and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until you have a crumbly mixture (alternatively, use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour). Change to the dough hook attachment, add the egg and the yeast mixture and knead on the lowest setting for 5 minutes, then add the salt. Continue to knead for another 5 minutes or until the dough becomes smooth, sticky and elastic. Knead a few times to form the dough into a ball, then place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm draught-free place until the dough has doubled in size (overnight, if time permits).
Transfer the dough to a floured workbench, then punch down and roll into a sausage shape. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Working in batches, hold 1 dough portion at time in one hand, then use the other hand to pull the edges, tucking them onto the centre, until a round ball has formed. Place the dough seam-side down on a clean workbench, cup the top of the ball with one hand, then roll it gently in a circular motion to shape it further into a ball. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, then repeat with the remaining dough balls, placing them 5 cm apart on the baking tray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave to rise again for another 1 hour or until the dough balls have expanded by another one-third of their original volume.
Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Tip 250 ml (1 cup) of cold water into a roasting pan and place it on the bottom shelf of the oven.
Brush each bun well with the egg wash and bake on the middle shelf for 15–20 minutes or until golden brown, then cool on a wire rack before serving.
Photography, styling and food preparation by china squirrel.
Poh & Co. 2 Thursdays at 8.30pm on SBS.
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