Butter Sugar Buns

by - January 17, 2018

The “Tangzhong” method is tried and true and will always yield a soft, moist and elastic bread texture. The buns will still stay moist even after few days! I added more Tangzhong this time and the bread is even softer and I think that the texture works very well for a sweet bread like these Butter Sugar Buns.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Butter Sugar Buns Recipe - Tangzhong Method

Yields: 12 buns


35g bread flour
168g water

Main dough:
320g bread flour
1 1/8 tsp instant yeast
2 ½ tbsp (25g) brown sugar
2  tbsp (16g) milk powder
¾  tsp salt
45g whisked egg (from 1 large egg, balance use for egg wash)
33g butter
65g fresh milk or water (If you use water, please increase milk powder to 3 tbsp (24g) in total)

Egg wash: Balance of above whisked egg (about 10g) + 1 tsp water
30g salted butter, cut into cube 
Sea salt (Optional, if unsalted butter is used)
30g brown or coarse sugar (Add more if you prefer sweeter)

10" square pan


How to make tangzhong:

  1. In a sauce pan, combine flour and water.  Mix with whisk or spatula until no lumps.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently until the mixture becomes thicker.  Once you see some lines appear, it is ready.
  3. Remove from heat and transfer to a clean bowl to let it cool.  Tangzhong can be used straight away once it cools down to room temperature. It can be stored in fridge up to a few days The chilled tangzhong should return to room temperature before using.
  1. Line the baking pans with parchment paper.
  2. Add all ingredients (start with salt, flour, yeast, sugar, milk powder, butter, egg, fresh milk and lastly tangzhong) into the bowl of stand mixer. Using the dough hook, knead until the dough comes together and is beginning to become elastic and tacky but not sticky. Tacky dough behaves sort of like a Post-it note, sticking to a surface but peeling off easily. It takes around 10 to 15 minutes.  If the dough is too dry, add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time.
  3. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until double in size in a large greased bowl, covered with cling film or kitchen towel.  I normally leave the dough in the stand mixer’s bowl and cover with kitchen towel.
  4. Punch down the dough to release the air. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 12 equal portions. Shape each dough into a ball. Flatten the dough and shape it into an oval shape. Place the buns in the prepared baking pan.  Let it rise for another 50 minutes or until double in size.
  5. Fifteen (15) minutes before baking, turn on the oven to 180C.
  6. Slit centre of the bun with scissor. Brush with egg wash. Place the butter cube onto the slit and top with sea salt and brown sugar.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven for about 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack to cool.


Coarse sugar is better for topping as it  has  larger crystals compare with regular sugar and makes it more resistant to heat. 

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  1. Hi. These buns look so fluffy and soft. What size pan are u using please. Thanks for sharing. Chloe

    1. Hi Chloe,

      Thank you for your comment. Sorry, I forgot to mention the pan size used. It's 10 inch square pan.


  2. is there any way you could post a u.s. measurement copy? I am horrible at trying to convert these

    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for your comment and dropping by. Please use this link to convert.


      Cheers & happy baking:)

    2. I made it and it was fluffy and soft +suuuuper yummy. I shared the photo in Pinterest. Thank you for sharing this recipe❤

    3. Hi there,

      Thank you for trying this recipe. I am happy to hear that you like it. May I ask for your Pinterest link?

      Thanks :)

  3. May I know the estimated weight of each shaped dough?

    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for asking and dropping by. Sorry, I forgot the weight. Please weigh the total dough and divide by 12.


  4. Replies
    1. Hi Tee,

      Thank you for your question. Yes, you can omit the egg. But, please increase the fresh milk quantity. Maybe to 30 to 40g or more. Please adjust accordingly.

      Cheers & happy baking :)

  5. WHAT IS Tangzhong HOW AND WHY WE USE IT ...

  6. hi there i just want to know that why and how we use Tangzhong .....

    1. Hi Reena, Thank you for asking.

      Tangzhong (Water Roux) is a Japanese technique cooks a small percentage of the flour and liquid (water or milk) and adding to your yeast bread mixture, which make your bread texture soft and moist.

      The method is shared on the above post.

      You may also search online for Tangzhong or water roux for more information.

      Cheers :)

  7. can you please convert grams to cups or tablespoons

  8. Hi Sandra,

    Thank you for asking and interest in this recipe. However, I do not how to convert from grams to cups as I never used cups measurement in my recipe. I afraid I may give you the wrong measurement.

    Cheers :)

  9. Could I use the breadmaker to prepare the dough as per your recipe?

    1. Hi Pamela,

      Thank you for your question.

      Yes, of course you can use breadmaker to knead the dough, shape and bake manually.

      Cheers and happy baking :)

  10. I don't have milk powder. Can I substitute?

    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for your question. You can omit it. You may also use 65g full cream milk instead of fresh milk.

      Cheers :)