Sweet Corn Custard Buns (Old Dough Method)

by - March 05, 2019

Sweet Corn Custard Buns

Sweet Corn Custard Buns

Sweet Corn Custard Buns

I have been asked by a follower from Indonesia for a recipe like the Gardenia Sweet Corn Bun that she tried while visiting Malaysia.  I experimented a little and have come up with this version of Sweet Corn Custard buns using fresh sweet corn.

The recipe below is just nice for my family as we eat a lot of bread but, you may want to cut down the recipe by half if you find it too much.

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.

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 it just reaches or is slightly below the rim of the pan.

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 - Sweet Corn Custard Buns 

Yields:  12 big buns


For Sweet Corn Custard Filling

Ingredients A:
25g corn flour
35g custard powder (original flavour)
1 big eggs, whished
100 ml/g full cream fresh milk

Ingredients B:
250 ml/g full cream fresh milk
70g brown sugar
20g butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
190g – 200g corn kernels from 1 fresh sweet corn 
Pinch of salt

For Buns

Old Dough:
250g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
¾  tsp instant yeast
¾  tsp sugar
160g water

Main Dough: 
250g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
1 tsp instant yeast
3 1/2 tbsp (35g) brown sugar 
1 3/4 tsp salt
40g whisked egg (from 1 large egg, balance use for egg wash)
35g butter or coconut oil
150g full cream milk

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

2 baking trays


For Sweet Corn Custard Filling:
  1. Steam the whole sweet corn for 25 minutes.  Remove the corn kernels and chop slightly.  Keep aside.
  2. Blend the ingredients A (custard powder, corn starch, whisked egg and milk) in a jar/bowl. Set aside.
  3. Pour ingredients B (milk and sugar) into a saucepan, over low/medium heat, cook until sugar is melted.
  4. Lower heat and add in ingredients A mixture. Stir all the time until the mixture become thicken then add in sweet corn kernels and mix well.
  5. Remove from heat, add in butter and vanilla extract, and mix well.
  6. Transfer the custard to a clean bowl to cool.  When the custard cool down, divide into 12 portions (about 55g per portion).  Wet your hand and shape into a ball.  Store in the fridge while preparing the dough. 
Note:  If you want the custard filling slightly softer, then please add more milk.  But, you may have hard time of shaping and wrapping the buns.  I find the above consistency is easy to wrap.

For Buns:

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.
Main dough and shaping the buns:
  1. Line the baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Put all ingredients (including old dough) except butter into the bowl of stand mixer. Using the dough hook on a stand mixer, knead for 5 minutes until the dough well-mixed.  Add in the butter and continue to knead for another 10 minutes at medium speed until the dough comes together and become elastic and tacky but not sticky.  
  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 12 equal portions about 78g per portion.
  5. Shape each dough into a ball.  Flatten the ball with your palm or small rolling pin into a circle.  Place custard filling ball in the centre.  Gather up the edges to seal and shape into round ball.  Place the bun on the prepared baking tray, about 2 inch apart.  Let it rise for another 50 minutes or until double in size.
  6. 15 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 180C.
  7. Brush with egg wash.  Bake at preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. Remove buns from oven and let them cool on rack.

Sweet Corn Custard Filling

Sponge Dough

Main dough and shaping the buns

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  1. Hola 35 g de natillas (sabor original) exactamente qué es?

    1. Hi, Thanks for asking. I used google to translate. I don't really understand your question. If you don't add sweet corn then the weight will be less. It is up to your choice ya.
      Cheers :)

  2. Hola cuando se refiere a natillas (sabor original a que se refiere?