Japanese-style sweet bun dough recipe. I absolutely adore the light, fluffy texture of these sweet buns that you get from Asian bakeries, and I thought it might be interesting to try it with a finger bun. The recipe also uses an interesting technique I've never tried before, where you prepare a water-roux mixture to add to the dough, which is meant to give the bread some springiness. I adapted the recipe slightly, since I took some of the effort out by using my dough hook attachments on my hand mixer rather than hand kneading. If you don't have dough hooks, feel free to follow the original recipe instructions. One thing I would recommend you invest in is a thermometer, so that you can make your water roux just right, and also check that your wet ingredients are lukewarm and not too hot so that they won't kill the yeast. I use this IKEA meat thermometer for all my low (less than 130 degrees C) measurements, and a glass sugar thermometer (which only costs about 10 bucks) for all my high temperature measurements. It takes a lot of stress out of many cooking and baking processes and it's so cheap!
Lex's trial run for the Time Out Taste Test, where he fed us the most awesome bah kuh teh, pork belly, scallops and celeriac mash. Thanks Lex!! I felt very spoilt. But I ate so much of Lex's dinner, I was completely stuffed by the time dessert was on the table. Also, with sticky date pudding and chocolate marquise to choose from, I didn't want to touch the finger bun bites! They were better saved for morning tea at work the next day, to help everyone get over their Monday-itis. I would love to try that bread recipe again with some Asian style fillings, but they did work pretty well as finger bun dough.
Sticky Finger Bun Bites
(adapted from this Japanese-Style Sweet Bun recipe)
325g bread flour (I found Lighthouse brand Bread & Pizza dough at the supermarket, not sure how important it is that you use this type of flour)
100g plain flour
35g milk powder
75g caster sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 sachet (7g or 2 1/2 tsp) instant dry yeast
1 egg, lightly beaten
150ml (approx.) lukewarm water, adjust as necessary
40g butter, room temperature, cubed
25g (just under 2 tbsp) bread flour
125ml (1/2 cup) water
1 tbsp caster sugar + 2 tbsp warm milk, for glazing
Approx 500g icing sugar
Warm milk, around 1/4-1/2 cup, adjust as necessary
Sultanas (approx 100 g)
Prepare the water-roux:
Combine 125ml water with 25g bread flour in a small saucepan. Cook over low to medium heat, stirring continuously until it reaches 65 degrees C. It should have thickened into a paste by this stage. Remove from the heat and cover saucepan with clingfilm. (If you don't have a thermometer, cook until it starts to thicken and then cook for about another minute before removing from the heat) This water roux can be kept in the fridge for up to a day in an airtight container, but do not use if it has turned grey in colour.
Prepare the bun dough:
Sift bread flour, plain flour, milk powder, caster sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add instant dry yeast and mix well. Form a well into the centre and add egg and lukewarm water roux and mix in. Then, with an electric mixer and dough hooks on low speed, gradually add just enough lukewarm water to form into a slightly sticky, soft dough. Knead with dough hooks on about medium high speed for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.