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Thursday, 3 October 2013

It's All in the Honey

Although i try out new bread recipes every so often, there are a few that are close to heart (read easy, tasty and foolproof ones).   I always run back to these handful especially when time is running short, or i am not in the mood for experiments or cannot risk something going wrong (like when it happens, kid will have nothing for breakfast before going to school the next morning!)  And one of them is Honey Buns from Happy Home Baking, i tried this out in the very early stage of my breadmaking journey, and i remember being elated when it turned out beyond my expectation for a newbie.  No, i am not trying to blow my own trumpet, it was the recipe.  A very simple recipe (no tangzhong, no overnight sponge dough etc), breadmaker friendly yet it gave soft cottony buns like those that you get in kopitiams.  In fact it was even better because it has this nice sweet floral fragrance coming from the honey used.   I felt like i struck gold to have landed on that recipe :)  From then i came to a conclusion that it's all in the honey, honey is one ingredient that makes bread really soft.

This time around, i twigged this recipe a little.  I substituted 10% of the flour with black sesame powder and gave it a custard (or as they say in French Crème Pâtissière) filling too.  I love the outcome, the buns had a nice nutty fragrance on top of the sweet floral fragrance from the honey!  May sound a little overboard, but i thought it smelt a little luxurious, probably because of the type of honey used :))   It was already smelling good at the dough stage, it got better and better when it hit the oven, feeling happy i was!

And buns go spinning...pipe spirals on top of buns to use up all the custard after filling the buns with them.

And the very soft bread texture!

And with yummy custard filling.  You can choose not to fill them or do without the black sesame powder to get plain honey milk buns.   The plain ones go very well with some butter and kaya.  Try it and you will not regret, i promise!



For Buns
Source : Happy Home Baking 
  • Honey Buns 
    • 300g bread flour (200g bread flour,100g AP Flour)  
  • Black Sesame Buns
    • 200g bread flour, 70g  AP Flour (add 1 or 2 tbsp of bread flour if dough is too wet)
    • 30g black sesame seeds (toasted and ground)
  • For both Honey and Black Sesame Buns
    • 4g (about 2/3 tsp) salt
    • 4g (1 tsp) instant yeast
    • 1 egg lightly beaten plus enough milk to make 200g
    • 50g honey
    • 30g unsalted butter
    For Custard
    Source : Corner Cafe  (half recipe)
    • 250ml milk
    • 1 egg
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 55g caster sugar
    • 15g cornflour, 5g custard powder
    • A pinch of salt (if using unsalted butter or not using butter)
    • 25g butter (for additional shine and firmness)

    For Custard
    1. Whisk together whole egg, egg yolk, 30ml milk, sugar and vanilla.  Mix in flour, cornflour and salt if using.
    2. Bring the remaining milk just to the boil in a saucepan.  Pour the hot milk in small stream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly with a balloon whisk as you pour (very important).  Once incorporated, pour everything back into the saucepan.
    3. Whisk the mixture over medium heat until it thickens and firms up.  Remove from heat and whisk in butter if using.
    4. Pour the hot custard into a bowl and plunge the bottom of the bowl into another larger bowl of iced-water to cool, give it a whisk occasionally.  Once it reaches room temperature, cover the surface of custard with cling film to prevent a skin layer from forming. 
    5. Alternatively fill the custard into a piping bag, twist the open end to seal up the cream.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
    For Buns
    1. Place all ingredients in the bread pan of the breadmaker (according to the recommended sequence stated in the instruction manual of the breadmaker).  Select Dough function. Check on the dough after 5 minutes of kneading, add 1 to 2 tbsp of flour is it's too wet (i.e. sticks to the hand).  Once the cycle completes, remove dough from the bread pan. 
    2. Shape the dough into a smooth round and place in a bowl. Cover and let it rise till double in volume.
    3. Remove dough and give a few light kneading on a lightly floured work surface. Press out the trapped air as your knead. 
    4. For Honey Buns-Divide into 9 equal portions and shape them into rounds. For Black Sesame Buns (with custard filling)-Weigh 50g dough for each bun.  Cover with cling wrap, let the doughs rest for 10mins.
    5. Flatten each dough into a round disc and press out the trapped air. For Black Sesame Buns-Wrapped in a heaped tablespoon of custard.   Shape into a smooth round ball.
    6. Place doughs seams side down on a 20cm by 20cm square baking tray (lightly greased with oil or butter or line it with parchment paper) or place them in paper liners.  Loosely cover with a damp cloth or cling wrap and let doughs proof for 45 ~ 60 mins or until double in size.
    7. When ready to bake, brush the surface of the dough with milk.  For Black Sesame Buns-sprinkle a combination of black and white sesame seeds and pipe some custard on buns.
    8. Bake at preheated oven at 200C for about 15 ~ 20 mins until the bread is golden brown.  Cover the surface with a sheet of aluminum foil if the surface browns too quickly. Remove from oven, unmold (except those baked in paper liners) immediately and let cool on wire rack.


    I love the black sesame buns! The colour and texture are perfect!

    What a pretty bread! I dont really make breads very often cos they don't always work for me, but I guess I shd try this foolproof one :D

    My first glance looking at this cakey, they are so lovely looking, indeed it is. Only the last pic made me realise oh...this is bread. I been fooled.....hehehehe.... and this little buns have fillings custard too. Must be very yummy. I made custard pau too...what a coincidence. Going to post later...

    Lovely! They are so fluffy! I love your paper cups too, going to pin this for trying soon!:D I am always on the lookout for good bread recipes to try too!

    Wow wow wow... this a very yummy bread with all the healthy and nutritious ingredients. Moreover this little buns are always ever ready to be eaten without slicing it. I don't bake but this has indeed changed my mind. Have bookmarked this and will try it. Thanks LHB for this wonderful recipe. Have a great day and cheers :)

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. I loved the addition of black sesame powder in these buns. Your buns definitely look very soft and delicious.

    Hi, your bread look awesome.Very nice fluffy texture. Well done, 2 thumbs up for you.

    Have a nice weekend.

    Ade , your bread are perfectly-baked ! I love the soft and fluffy texture , the flavor and aroma of both sesame seeds and honey must be wonderful :D The custard is a yummy addition to these buns and the piped topping looks lovely .

    Foolproof you say? Then I must bookmark and try it! Your buns look very good and I love the cute spiral deco on top :)

    Yum.. These are so cute and look yummy

    I am bookmarking this one.

    honey always made magic in any baking, always provide moist this easy recipe..

    Thank you to all my dear friends for visiting and the lovely compliments!

    i understand what you mean when you said that you were just a newbie in baking and it turns out so good! i had that kind of experience too..thrilled with joy!! this is indeed a luxurious bun to me :)

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