These milk buns are by far the softest pieces of bread I've ever had. They are also super light and can stay
soft for days (even though they were all gone in less than 2 hours). I even had to slap away a few hands
while I was taking photos of them!
If you haven't heard of the tangzhong method well get ready cause I'm going to hit you with some science.
P.S. I did horrible in science but google was real helpful breaking it down for me. Basically flour can
absorbed way more water when its cooked than when its raw. Think about when you make a roux or a
béchamel. The flour absorbed whatever liquid there is and turns to a paste. When you make a flour and
liquid paste and put it into dough that makes it an extremely hydrated dough which in turn makes your
dough pillowy soft and can keep for longer. BAM SCIENCE!
I have been using dry milk powder instead of whole milk because when it comes to making doughs
everything comes out way lighter and fluffier than it normally does. This is because dry milk powder is
non fat and isn't as heavy as whole milk is or even low fat milk. However, it still has the same creamy and
delicious flavor so I would 100% recommend using dry milk powder instead of whole milk.
The last touch I put on these milk buns is a nice simple syrup once they came out of the oven. It adds a
touch of sweetness because these buns aren't that sweet despite having more sugar than salt and it gives
the buns a beautiful shine to it!
If you're lucky enough to have extra buns, these are perfect for an egg sandwich the next morning! Just
imagine a delicious fried egg with cheese inside of these lightly toasted, super soft, and ever so slightly
sweet milk bun. I mean need I say more...
Super Soft Sweet Milk Buns
makes 8 buns
For the Tangzhong:
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon of dry milk powder
For the Milk Bread Dough:
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour, plus a little more for shaping
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of rapid rise yeast
1 tablespoon dry milk powder dissolved in 1/2 cup of water
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, save 1 teaspoon for the egg wash
1/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon of sesame seeds
For super soft milk buns:
In a small pot whisk together 1/2 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of dry milk powder until there are no lumps left. Place on the stovetop with medium heat on and add in 1 tablespoon of flour. Continuously whisk the tangzhong mixture as it starts to thicken into a loose paste/glue. This will take around 4 - 5 minutes. Take off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
In the meantime place the 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of rapid rise yeast, 1 tablespoon of dry milk dissolved in 1/2 cup of water, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 egg in a standing mixer. Once the tangzhong has come to room temperature add it to your other ingredients and turn the mixer to medium speed and knead for 5 minutes.
Slowly add the oil, about 1 tablespoon at a time, making sure that all the oil is absorbed before adding in more. Continue kneading for 3 more minutes.
At this point your dough will be extremely tacky and soft, so flour your working area generously and gently shape into a ball. Place it into a greased bowl for 3 - 4 hours in the fridge or overnight (preferred).
Once your dough has doubled in size, take it out of the bowl and onto your generously floured working surface and cut into 8 pieces (should weight about 75 grams each) and form them into small balls. Place them into a greased 8 inch circle pan and let them proof at room temperature for 1 hour or until they have doubled in size. Brush them with a little bit of egg wash and sprinkle with raw sesame seeds. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
While the milk buns are in the oven mix together 1 tablespoon of warm water and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Once the 30 minutes are up and the milk buns are golden brown, take them out of the oven and brush the tops with simple syrup.