Saturday, April 3, 2010

Knead it: Buns



My family members started to grumble about having to eat my horrible bakes for breakfast. I know they dislike cakes. Actually...so do I. I'm not a fan of cakes or bread, but I like making them, and for that, I do not mind eating what I bake so I can to improve on the outcome. After 2 weeks of cakes, I decided to give bread a try. This seemed quite daunting as I have never made or seen anyone made bread before. As usual, I started reading up on bread making techniques and ingredients. To start, I bought a pack of bread flour, which has higher gluten content than normal flour, and a pack of instant yeast. I decided to make buns since I do not have a loaf tin. I took this recipe from HHB's blog and omitted the topping, but added in chocolate *again* instead.


I can never get the dough to pass the window-pane test, even after kneading for 1 hour. I suspect either my kneading technique was wrong, or I did not put in enough strength to knead it. I gave up and let it to proof.
It's interesting to see how the dough rises with time. Can't help but took a few pictures every time I passed by the rising dough.


After shaping and rolling in the chocolate chips, it was left to proof for 30 minutes before popping it into the oven.
I realise my oven does not brown food easily, or is it because the temperature is unstable? I had to increase the baking time to get the browned surface of the buns.


This picture does not look very pleasing. Anyway, the bun was too chewy and dense. I suspect I had under-kneaded it. I shall be more diligent in kneading next time round. As usual, my family complained about having to eat my horrible bakes.

Ingredients (makes 6 buns):
150 g bread flour
50 g cake flour
15 g caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp instant yeast
130 g milk
15 g unsalted butter
Some chocolate chips

Method:
  1. Sift bread and cake flour into a mixing bowl. Add in sugar, salt and yeast and stir. Add in milk and stir. Use hands to gather mixture into a dough. Knead dough for 10 mins.
  2. Add in butter and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. (Mine didn't pass the window pane test even after kneading for 1 hour.)
  3. Shape the dough into a smooth round ball and place in a mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and let it rise till double in volume for about 80mins.
  4. Remove dough and give a few light kneading on a lightly floured work surface. Press out the trapped air as your knead. Divide into 6 equal portions and shape into balls. Cover with cling wrap, let the doughs rest for 15mins.
  5. Flatten each dough into a round disc. Wrap chocolate chips into dough, roll up Swiss roll style and pinch the seams in place.
  6. Place doughs seams side down on a baking tray, lined with parchment paper. Loosely cover with a damp cloth or cling wrap and let dough proof for 30mins.
  7. Bake at preheated oven at 180 degC for about 12-15 mins. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.
Adapted from HHB's Garlic Buns.

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