March 26, 2008

Playing with Dough

Ever since I got my bread machine/maker, I had been using it to either bake a loaf of bread, or to help me knead a dough. I have to agree that breads made by the bread maker are usually not that soft and fluffy. They are more inclined towards 'western' bread where it is denser and coarser, that goes very well with soups or as toast. Heh that's not a problem for me as I'm open to try ALL kinds of bread! Unfortunately not so for my parents.. :(

Investing in baking equipment / machines is always well worth my money cos' i fully utilise it! Haha. I made these ham buns on a sunday and was well received by those who tried it. The bread maker helped me in kneading of the dough. I adopted Happy Homebaker's method of kneading it for 30 minutes, and the dough was well kneaded, soft and elastic. :)

This sweet bun recipe was from a chinese cookbook I had. Somehow this recipe was very sticky to the hands even though it had already pulled away from the sides of the bowl. I had to flour my hands and work surface generously.

The shaping method was adopted from Cafe of the East - Hotdog buns. It is a rather straight forward method and I believe picture speaks a thousand words. ;)

Here's the sweet bun recipe (By the way, this recipe was initially for polo buns, but I used it for my ham buns instead).
300 g bread flour
24 g milk powder
3 g bread improver (may be omitted)
150 g water
3 g instant yeast
20 g caster sugar
3 g salt
30 g egg + extra for egg wash
30 g butter
Handful of spring onions, chopped
1 tsp canola/olive oil
dash of pepper
10 slices of picnic ham (square shape)


  1. Sift flour, milk powder and bread improver (if adding).
  2. Combine sifted ingredients with the rest of the ingredients (except butter) and mix to form a dough (Do not allow salt to come into direct contact with the yeast).
  3. Add in softened butter and continue mixing with your dough hook (knead if you do not have a stand mixer) until the dough becomes smooth, shiny, elastic and pass the windowpane test.
  4. Place dough in a bowl, let it proof for about 60 minutes, or until double in size.
  5. Punch out the gas, and divide the dough into 10 equal potions, each about 60 g. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
  6. Roll each dough into a square the size of the picnic ham.
  7. Place the ham on the dough, and roll it (swiss roll style).
  8. Cut the rolled dough with ham wrapped inside into 5 equal portions (do not cut through entirely).
  9. Twist and turn the dough to form a shape of a flower (it looks prettier with the ham facing upwards).
  10. Let shaped dough proof for another 50 minutes or until double in size.
  11. Mixed chopped spring onions with oil and pepper.
  12. Brush pproofed dough with beaten egg, sprinkle spring onions on top.
  13. Bake in preheated oven at 180°C for 15-20 minutes.
Note: I used my bread maker to help me with the kneading. I added the ingredients according to the sequence: water, egg, milk powder, sugar, salt, flour, yeast. After 10 minutes of kneading, then i added in the butter.
Recipe Source: 面包,吐司,饼干 by 杜丽娟,李湘庭
The bread was quite soft and fluffy. But my friend said that it tasted more saltish instead of sweet than the usual buns sold outside. Probably I need to reduce the amount of salt in future!
I had fun with the shaping of dough and it's really satisfying to have homemade ham buns for my mum. I'm definitely gonna try out more bread varieties! :D


daphne said...

that's my childhood fav. Wish I have a bread maker too. This looks like fun.

Happy Homebaker said...

Aimei, your buns look very yummy! Did the managed to leave any overnite? Were they still as soft? My buns tend to harden a little once they are left overnite :(
btw, may I ask which software do you use to add in your signature on your photos? I am looking for a simple, idiot-proof way ;)

Aimei said...

Hi Daphne, yeah it's fun, especially for lazy/no strength ppl like me! Hehe...

HHB, my buns tend to harden overnight too. The only exception is the Hokkaido Milk Loaf which I'm sure you have tried too. This recipe was ok, it hardens a little after lef overnite.

I downloaded ADCSee 10 Photo Manager where I view and edit my pictures. I just downloaded it recently again after i reformateed my pc. I can't remember why I can used it for that long previously but this time the trial version seems to be a month only. haha...I shall see how...hehe.. Sorry that's all I know. :P

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Aimei, thanks for the info! So you can only use it during the trial period...hmmm then I will have to look around for other software then...and it has to be free, and easy to use!

SiHaN said...

hey there. the breads you have made look lovely! thanks for ur wonderful illustration as how to do the 5 flower pattern. anyway, do you think rolling the cheese up with the ham is a good idea? coz I'm afraid that the cheese would melt and create a mess if I did.

kuangesther said...

Oh Aimei Aimei
Your ham bun look fantastic & yummy! U hv really made full use of your bread machine. I think I'm gonna invest in this gadget too. Too "seductive" <^^> LOL...


Aimei said...

Hi Sihan, thaks for dropping by! I'm not sure if it will create a mess as I've not tried before. :P But in my view I think should be ok, as ong as you roll them nicely. Just be careful when you roll the dough with the ham and cheese cos' when I cut into parts and twist, the ham cnn come out easily if not rolled properly. :)

Hehe Esther, yeah...

SiHaN said...

yesh! i've managed the ham and cheese rolls! *woots*. do check them out on my blog yar! first attempt.. so its a tad ugly. but no worries. I'll be back for more. probably try out the Hokkaido Milk Loaf as well. i adore soft bread!

oh btw, have u tried out provence bakery's bread before? heavenly...

Aimei said...

Yes u must try out the Hokaiddo milk loaf, it's foolproof and you'll definitely love it! Provence is it the taka one?? Can't remember..heh...

SiHaN said...

I'll definitely try tt sometime soon yeh. still in the midst of deciding whether or not to get myself a breadmaker though.

oh provence is the one at holland village. their chocolate wassants are uber delicious i tell u...

Aimei said...

oh alrite..I'd definitely try it if I drop by there...I'm always on the lookout for pretty delicious bakes! :)