Chicken Curry Potato Buns (Old Dough Method)

by - June 28, 2018

Chicken Curry Potato Buns

Chicken Curry Potato Buns

When you have a good bun recipe, you can use the same dough to make many types of buns with different filling.  Curry Chicken Potato Buns are a very common comfort food for Malaysians.  

I used pâte fermentée (pre-fermented dough in French) or sometimes called "old dough" to make this soft and flavourful bread.  Traditionally, bread makers take a portion of the bread dough made and save it overnight for next day baking.  I made it from scratch since I did not have any ready old dough. With this method, the bread is more flavourful and aromatic due to the higher acidity and fermentation gasses produced during the slow fermentation.

Please click on Bread Making Method to understand more details.

You may also like my Sambal Ikan Bilis Buns too. 

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


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.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 
    • There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
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 90% of the size.

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 - Chicken Curry Potato Buns 

Yields:  11 Buns



300g chicken breast, cut into your desired size
3  medium potatoes, around 300g, cut into small cubes
1 large onion (diced)
3 tbsp Baba's meat/chicken curry powder, mixed with some water to become a paste 
Salt & sugar to taste
3 sprigs curry leaves
4 tbsp vegetable oil
150 – 200 ml water

  1. Heat oil in a wok or saucepan and saute onion and curry leaves. Add in curry paste and stir for a while then add in chicken and potatoes. 
  2. Add water and season with salt and sugar. Stir well. Turn down the heat and let it simmer till potatoes are soft and curry is dried.  Stir occasionally and add water as needed to prevent burning.   
  3. Remove from wok once ready and keep aside to cool.



Old Dough:
215g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
¾  tsp instant yeast
¾  tsp sugar
Pinch of salt
138g water

Main Dough: 
215g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
3/4 tsp instant yeast
3 tbsp (30g) brown sugar 
1 ½ tsp salt
40g whisked egg (from 1 large egg, balance use for egg wash)
30g butter or coconut oil
135g milk or whipping cream

Egg wash - balance of whisked egg (10g) + 1 tsp water

Utensil:   2 baking trays


For the Old Dough:
  1. Combine water, yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Then mix in bread flour and knead with your hand for few minutes until smooth.  Roll into a ball and place in a greased bowl.  Cover with cling film and let it prove for 1 hour in a warm and dark place. 
  2. After 1 hour, place into the refrigerator and use the next day at least after 8 hours or up to 16 hours. 30 minutes before using, take out the sponge dough from refrigerator to return to room temperature.
For the main dough:
  1. Line the baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Put all ingredients (start with salt, flour, yeast, sugar, butter, egg, milk/whipping cream, and old dough) into the bowl of stand mixer. Using the dough hook on a stand mixer, knead until the dough comes together, become elastic and tacky but not sticky. It takes around 12 - 15 minutes at medium speed.  If the dough is too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time. 
  3. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 60 minutes or until double in size in a large greased bowl, covered with cling film or kitchen towel.
  4. Punch down the dough to release the air.  Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 11 equal portions. Shape each dough into a ball. Flatten the dough and roll into a flat circle. Spoon in about 2 tablespoons of curry filling in the centre, wrap and seal. Shape the bun into a ball. Place the buns onto the prepared baking pan, about 2 inch apart.  Let it rise for another 50 minutes or until double in size.
  5. 15 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 180C.
  6. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle some cornmeal.  Bake at preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Remove bun from oven and let them cool on rack.

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  1. Hi, I’m just curious what happened to the sponge dough? I can choose to use either of the dough to make the buns? Thanks

    1. Hi Michele,

      Thank you for asking. You need to add the sponge dough in the main dough ingredients. Please refer to Method 2, For the main dough.

      Cheers & happy baking :)

  2. Can I replace the instant yeast with sourdough starter?

    1. Hi, thank you for your question. I think you can if you already knew sourdough baking.
      Cheers :)

  3. Hi Michelle, I love all your bread recipes thanks for sharing My problem is that my oven is too small to bake all the bread at once How do I prevent the dough from over proofing if I need to bake them separately

    1. Hi Samantha,

      Thanks for reading my recipes. You can put your buns in the fridge while waiting for the 1st batch to bake. I hope it helps.

      Cheers:) By the way, I am Yeanley.. lol :)