Butter Sugar Buns (Tangzhong Method)

by - January 17, 2018

Butter Sugar Buns


Butter Sugar Buns

Butter Sugar Buns

Butter Sugar Buns


The “Tangzhong” method is tried and true and will always yield a soft, moist and elastic bread texture. 

These Butter Sugar 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.

Tangzhong method is quite similar to Yudane method.  Both methods are scalding method. For Tangzhong method, a small portion of dough is cooked over the fire.   

Please click here to see the differences between  Yudane vs Tangzhong Method. 

It is advisable to read the below general notes before starting baking.

GENERAL NOTES:

KNEADING TIME
For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

OVER KNEADING
Some have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  If that happens it is due to over kneading.  Please stop the machine and check your dough during the final cycle of kneading to ensure that you don't over knead. Every machine is different and there is always a chance of over-kneading when using a machine. You may need to adjust this timing and stop as soon as you reach the window pane stage.

FLOUR
The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.  Usually bread flour content around 11.5 - 13.5% protein, while high gluten flour is around 13.5 - 14.5%.  All purpose flour content less protein around 9 - 11%.  To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  Sources from here and here.

HYDRATION
The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

PROOFING
Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:
  1. First Proofing:
    • Lightly flour or oil your finger or knuckle, gently poke in the centre of the dough then remove your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation then it needs more time.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back or if the dough collapses, then the it is over proved.  
    • If it bounces back just a little, then the dough is ready to be punched down and shaping.
  2. Second Proofing:
    • Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
    • If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. Or if the dough springs back slowly, like it’s waking up from a long nap, and your prod leaves only a small indentation, it’s ready to go.
    • There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
WRINKLE TOP OR SHRINKING
If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof your dough until it just reaches or is slightly below the rim of the pan.

BAKING
Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.

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.

Recipe - Butter Sugar Buns (Tangzhong Method)


Yields: 12 buns

INGREDIENTS:

Tangzhong:
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)

Topping:
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)

Utenstil:
10" square pan


METHOD:

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.
Bun:
  1. Line the baking pans with parchment paper.
  2. Put all main dough ingredients (except butter) and all the tangzhong dough in a bowl of stand mixer and knead for 3 - 5 minutes or till the dough comes together. Add in the butter and continue kneading for another 12 - 14 minutes or until achieve window pane stage (the dough at this stage should be able to be pulled and stretched into membrane). I stopped half way to prevent the motor from overheating.  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.
Note:

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

General Notes for Bread Making:
  1. For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.
  2. The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently.
  3. Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how your dough rises.
  4. Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.


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40 comments

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chloe,

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

      Cheers:)

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there,

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

      http://www.traditionaloven.com/culinary-arts/flours/bread-flour/convert-gram-to-measuring-cup-us.html

      Cheers & happy baking:)

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

      Delete
    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 :)

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there,

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

      Cheers:)

      Delete
  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 :)

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

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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 :)

      Delete
  7. can you please convert grams to cups or tablespoons

    ReplyDelete
  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 :)

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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 :)

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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 :)

      Delete
  11. Hello, well call me crazy but I'm thinking of trying to make Brioche using the Tangzhong method and wonder have you or what your thoughts are on the idea? Thanks so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, Thanks for asking. No, it is not crazy and I have thought of this too. I would use Yudane method instead because we are going to increase the eggs and butter amount. It means we need to reduce other liquid amount. The tangzhong itself already contain a lot of water if you use this method.

      You can get the yudane method here:
      https://www.bakewithpaws.com/2018/07/shokupan-japanese-soft-white-bread.html

      Cheers :)

      Delete
  12. Hi, can I substitute brown sugar?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi there, my bread dun seems to be soft n fluffy like the one in your photo. Can u advise me what when wrong?

    Lau

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, It could be not enough gluten form.
      May I know what type of flour that you used? It is best to use high gluten flour. I used japanese high gluten flour in this recipe.
      Did you check window pane stage? The dough at this stage should be able to be pulled and stretched into membrane.
      Cheers:)

      Delete
    2. Same thing here. I made them today and they are not as soft and fluffy as on the pictures. So I was wondering if I did something wrong. Or, could it be that something is wrong in the recipe or the instructions?

      I used fresh yeast instead, but I was careful to use the equivalent amount (I've done this other times with other recipes, without any problem).

      Bake with Paws, could you please double check if the recipe is correct? If so, maybe I've done something wrong, but I would like to give it another try and make them again.

      By the way, in one part you say that, if the dough is too dry, one can add a spoon of milk at a time. I didn't add any at all, because I didn't think that the dough looked dry, but probably I should have added some. Did you add any additional spoons of milk?

      Thank you :).

      Delete
    3. Oh, and I know the amount of gluten wasn't the problem in my case, because I used bread flour (with 13g protein, the bread flour I always use; I've googled and it seems the Japanese high gluten flour you mention has the same amount of protein).

      Delete
    4. Hi, Thank you for your feedback and question again. Appreciate your feedback.

      I didn't add any additional milk.
      I just checked my recipe and there is nothing wrong. This was the method I used to make this bun. I have added in the General Notes for Bread Making and you may want to have a look.

      For the last one year I have been doing testing for window pane stage and adding butter later. The reason is to help the beginner to understand and know when is the dough is ready. You may want to follow this method.

      Put all main dough ingredients (except butter) and all the tangzhong dough in a bowl of stand mixer and knead for 3 - 5 minutes or till the dough comes together. Add in the butter and continue kneading for another 12 - 14 minutes or until achieve window pane stage (the dough at this stage should be able to be pulled and stretched into membrane). I stopped half way to prevent the motor from overheating.

      I hope I answered your question.

      Cheers :)

      Delete
    5. Thank you for you reply, Bake with Paws. So you say that one should put all main ingredients, except for the butter, which should be added after kneading for 3-5 minutes, but actually, there is something wrong in the instructions, because in step number 2 of the instructions it says one should add the butter together with all the other ingredients, not later. Here I copy/paste: "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."

      So, it would be better if you corrected that part. I can give it another try and make it again, adding the butter after a few minutes and see how it goes.

      Thanks again for your reply :).

      Delete
    6. I've just noticed that you posted this recipe 2 years ago, so maybe that's why you didn't specify that one could/should add the butter after some minutes of kneading, since you started testing the window pane stage and adding butter later since last year. Still, maybe it would be a good idea to specify this in the instructions.

      Anyway, I think it's a good recipe, so I'm willing to give it another try using that method :).

      Delete
    7. Hi, thank you for asking and clarification. You can use either method. There is nothing wrong with the method I written in this post above. Please let me explain again as below:

      I used this below method when I baked this bread as shown in the above picture in 2018:
      (1) "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."

      For the last one year I have been doing testing for window pane stage and adding butter later. The reason is to help the beginner to understand and know when is the dough is ready. You may want to follow this method. This is the method I used and I suggested you to use this below method:
      (2) Put all main dough ingredients (except butter) and all the tangzhong dough in a bowl of stand mixer and knead for 3 - 5 minutes or till the dough comes together. Add in the butter and continue kneading for another 12 - 14 minutes or until achieve window pane stage (the dough at this stage should be able to be pulled and stretched into membrane). I stopped half way to prevent the motor from overheating.

      Cheers :)

      Delete
    8. I am sorry OperaCake. I just read your second comment after replying. Good luck to your baking. And thanks again for the clarification. Stay safe.

      Delete
    9. By the way, I will change to the current method. Cheers :)

      Delete
  14. 1 1/8 tsp yeast is how many grams ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, around 3.53 g.

      https://www.traditionaloven.com/culinary-arts/baking/dry-instant-yeast/convert-tea-spoon-tsp-to-gram-g-of-instant-yeast.html

      Cheers :)

      Delete
  15. hiii..thanks so much for your many inspiring yet helpful posts. would love to try them one step at a time.. i am currently trying to substitute instant yeast with the homemade (Natural one) since my daughter has a very bad allergy to chemicals.I would like to ask of there's a standard measurement to convert the portion of instant to natural yeast tht i can use in case the recipe is mentioning the instant yeast? thank you for being so helpful. stay healthy and safe :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, thank you for your comments and questions. Unfortunately, I am not sure how to convert this recipe using natural yeast. The natural levain I used is only sourdough starter. I do not know what type of natural yeast that you are going to use. If you are referring to Sourdough recipe, please search for my Soft Sourdough Bread recipes. I have shared various soft sourdough bread recipes in my blog.
      Sorry about this.

      Delete
  16. Hi! If I use dry yeast, how much do i use? And do i have to mix it in water first?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, Thank you for asking. We seldom use active dry yeast here in Malaysia. So, I am not what is the exact amount. However, I google search and here is it. You need to multiply by 1.25 accordingly to the below link. Yes, you need to resolve the yeast in water first.

      https://www.thespruceeats.com/baking-yeast-dry-and-fresh-yeast-measurements-1446706

      Cheers :)

      Delete

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