Thursday, January 28, 2010

Taro Bun

I haven't baked bread for a long time and I am starting with a new recipe this year. There is a coffeeshop in my hometown of Sabah, Malaysia that sells these type of lovely buns with a crackling crust on the outside and a very soft velvety inner part. The filling is an option and any types of fillings, sweet or savory can be good for these buns.

I inserted the buns into cupcake foil liners before baking, hence only the top part was browned and the bottom part remained white. The dough for these buns were quite sticky and you will need to have extra bread flour for dusting when it is kneaded and let to rest and risen twice during the whole process before the filling is inserted.

I find this recipe relatively easy as long as you follow the steps of adding in the ingredients and aim for a slightly wet and sticky dough. During the kneading, release as much gas as possible from the built up inside the dough. I did these randomly without measuring the individual dough balls and each filling portion but for a first timer, I recommend some weighing to be done. Usually for buns shaped into a ball, the individual dough portion should weigh 40g and the filling around 30g, and if wet, rolled into a ball for easier insertion and shaping of the dough.

I used canned sweetened taro, around 400g in total to yield between 12 to 15 buns. I found it strange that the Taro filling from the Wei Chuan line of canned fillings is lightly brown rather than the light purple that fresh taro yields and its ingredients list has brown sugar and bean butter added. One thing about these buns, they brown very quickly and must be removed from the oven once the recommended time is up or else the color will be too dark and not appetizing. Ever since I moved to America, I am very comfortable using the measuring cups and spoons to do all the work and have converted this recipe from the original metric measurement to using the system here. Although most bread recipes require you to weigh the ingredients, I find it too much work for a housewife and mother like myself and if I can get the same result with using scoops, why not!

Recipe :

3 cups Bread Flour (extra for dusting)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp yeast granules
2 tbsp butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup warm milk
1 large egg
400 gm taro filling

Method :

1)Divide the taro filling into 12 to 16 balls, measuring 30g each.
2)Stir the bread flour, yeast and sugar together with a fork to mix.
3)Pour in warm water and using a spatula to mix into a rough mess. Next add in the warm milk and do the same thing.
4)Beat in the egg and stir in to mix.
5)Drop in bits of the softened butter and using your hands, knead and rub the butter into the flour & liquid mixture till combined. Dust with a little flour if it gets too sticky to knead.
6)Dust working surface with some flour, and knead the dough for 1 minute, folding at intervals and pushing down to knead again. Dust with a little flour as you go, the dough will get less sticky and still feel slightly wet in your hands.
7)Let the dough rest in a big bowl, covered with cling film and let to rest and rise for 1 hour.
8)Remove to the working surface and knead again for 1 minute, pushing out all the gas that has built up inside the dough. Shape into a ball again and throw the dough down a few times to release more gas. Let it rest and rise, covered again for 30 mins to 45 mins till double the size.
9)Divide the dough into 12 to 16 balls, weighing 40gm each. Using a small rolling pin on a dusted surface roll out each ball into a circle, to 1/2 inch thickness. Place 1 ball of filling in the middle and gather up the edges of the dough to enclose the filling. Put it down on the working surface and pinch the edges closed and gently roll it with your palm pressing down slightly to get the round shape. Place the bun in aluminum cupcake liner. Continue with the rest and let the taro buns rest for 30 mins, covered with cling film. Preheat oven to 400F and place rack to the bottom part of the oven.
10)Bake the buns for 10 to 12 mins, rotating the pan halfway. Remove from oven immediately, let cool a bit before eating. Filling may still be hot.

Makes : 12 to 16 buns


Anonymous said...

Could you show me the package of yeast granules that you used for this recipe please. Thanks

Lily Anette said...

I used Fleischmann's Active Dry yeast.