Like everyone else on our social media feed, Stephen has become a baker this year. He’s even earned the title of “master baker” from Alivia. While his no-knead bread is essential to my avocado toast breakfast, it’s his milk buns that’s won her heart. We’ve followed China Sichuan Food‘s recipe to a tee until the forming part and the buns always turn out beautiful, golden, fluffy and just the right level of sweetness.
We’ve used this recipe to make plain buns topped with sesame seeds, which are great as burger buns, or filled ones from sausage to curry. Just make your filling and fill the buns between the first and second proof. Here are some quick and easy filling ideas:
- Meat Floss – Straightforward and easy, fill the buns with a teaspoon of meat floss and sprinkle some on top of the egg wash
- Sausage – Wrap the long piece of dough around the hotdog (like the photos below) or just over it like a hotdog bun
- Char Siu Pork – If you have some leftover roast pork left over, follow this recipe from Woks of Life for the filling . We also sub with ground pork if it’s what we have in the fridge
- Curry – Stir fried ground beef (or pork) with minced onions and garlic, add curry powder and any other spices you’d like (ie. tumeric, cumin), a dash of soy sauce and salt
Plain or filled, these milk buns are delicious and the perfect lunch/afternoon snack. We make 8-10 at a time and they vanish by the middle of the week.
- 300g flour
- 50g sugar
- 2g salt
- 2 eggs (1 for egg wash)
- 160g 3.25% milk
- 1 1/2 tsp yeast
- 30g unsalted butter at room temperature
- In a stand mixer with dough hook attachment, mix together four, sugar, salt, 1 egg, milk and yeast on low speed for 5-7 minutes. Add butter and knead until dough comes together and is elastic, approx 5 minutes.
- Transfer the kneaded dough to a lightly floured surface and manually knead for 2-3 minutes, until smooth.
- Place dough ball back into stand mixer bowl, cover and set aside for first proof, at least 1 hour in a warm space. The dough should double in size.
- Punch down the proofed dough and divide into 8 portions. For plain buns, form each portion of dough into a ball. For filled buns, flatten the dough, fill and wrap the dough around the filling and pinch together.
- Place each bun on a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat and a few drops of oil. Make sure the bottom of each bun is oiled, or it will stick. For the filled buns, place the pinched area facing down.
- Place the baking tray of buns into the over with a large bowl of warm water for a second proof, at least 1 hour The buns should double in size again.
- Preheat oven to 340°F.
- Brush tops of buns with egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp of water) and garnish as desired.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes
Tip: To help proof the dough, turn on your oven at the lowest setting for one minute with a bowl of water, then place in your buns and proof inside.