Soft and Fluffy Cream Cheese Buns (Sponge Dough Method)

by - August 12, 2020

Soft and Fluffy Cream Cheese Buns

Soft and Fluffy Cream Cheese Buns


I had some left over cream cheese sitting in my fridge so I thought  I would make cream cheese bread that incorporates the cream cheese into the dough instead as a filling. When I searched online, it showed this "Woman shares easy fluffy cream cheese rolls recipe and people are already obsessed".   I tweaked the recipe using the Sponge Dough Method to make these Soft and Fluffy Cream Cheese Buns.

The reason I chose the sponge dough method is because it produces bread with a unique aroma, soft crumb and better shelf-life.   Usually bread made from straight method will become quite dry on the second day.  Please click "Bread Making Methods" if you like to understand more about sponge dough and other method.

This Soft and Fluffy Cream Cheese Buns is indeed soft and fluffy.  However, by the next day it lost a little bit of the moisture.  Hence, still soft if compare with the ordinary bread made from straight dough method.

It is advisable to read the following notes before 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. 
    • 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 90% of the size or do the finger poke test above.

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 - Soft and Fluffy Cream Cheese Buns (Sponge Dough Method)

Yields:  8 buns

INGREDIENTS:

Sponge Dough:
225 bread flour (I used Japanese High Gluten Flour)
24g (2 tbsp) brown sugar/caster sugar
1 1/4 tsp  instant dry yeast 
165g full cream milk

Main Dough:
225g bread flour (I used Japanese High Gluten Flour)
36g (3 tbsp) brown sugar/caster
1/4 tsp instant dry yeast
1 1/8 tsp salt
77g egg, whisked (I whisked 2 eggs, but need only 77g, balance used for egg wash)
100g cream cheese, room temperature
All the sponge dough

Egg wash:
Balance of egg from the above + 1 tsp water

Utensil:
9 inch square pan, lined with parchment paper

METHOD:
  1. Sponge dough:
    1. Combine water, yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Then add in bread flour and knead with your hand until smooth.  Roll into a ball and place in a greased bowl.  Cover and let it ferment for 2 - 3 hours at room temperature (29C - 30C, my kitchen temperature)
    2. If you think waiting for 2 -3 hours for the sponge dough is not convenient for you.  You may prepare the dough the night before then bake the next morning.  Let the dough ferment for 8 - 10 hours in a cold area (25C - 26C).  You need to adjust the instant yeast at Sponge dough to 1/2 tsp and 3/4 tsp in main dough. 
  2. Main Dough:
    1. Put all ingredients and including sponge dough (tear into big pieces) into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix with paddle attachment for 2 minutes or until all incorporated.  Change to hook attachment and knead for another 10 - 13 minutes or until the dough comes together, smooth and reaches window pane stage. During the whole kneading process, I stopped few times to scrape down the dough from the hook to be sure it is evenly kneaded and also to prevent the motor from overheating.
    2. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 45 to 60 minutes or until double in size in a large greased bowl, covered with cling film or lid.
  3. Shaping:
    1. Punch down the dough to release the air. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 8 equal portions.
    2. Form each portion into a ball.  
    3. Flatten with rolling pin. 
    4. Roll the dough like a swiss roll into a log.
    5. Fold over both ends and seal.
    6. Place all the dough in the prepared pan.
    7. Let the dough rise for 40 - 45 minutes or doubled in size.
  4. Baking:
    1. Brush egg wash on top.
    2. Bake in a preheated oven at 190C (top & bottom heat) or 170C (fan-forced) for 15 - 18 minutes or until golden brown.  I usually preheat my oven 10 to 15 minutes before baking.
    3. Remove bread from oven and the pan, let it cool completely on a rack.


Small Buns





The first round that I baked went too fast.  I baked it again and this time shaped into smaller buns.  I thought make it would be easier for kids to eat.

Yields:  16 buns

INGREDIENTS:

Sponge Dough:
190 bread flour (I used Japanese High Gluten Flour)
18g (1 1/2 tbsp) brown sugar/caster sugar
1tsp  instant dry yeast 
140g full cream milk

Main Dough:
190g bread flour (I used Japanese High Gluten Flour)
30g (2 1/2 tbsp) brown sugar/caster
1/4 tsp instant dry yeast
1 tsp salt
65g egg, whisked (I whisked 2 eggs, but need only 65g, balance used for egg wash)
85g cream cheese, room temperature
All the sponge dough

Egg wash:
Balance of egg from the above + 1 tsp water

Utensil:
9 inch square pan, lined with parchment paper





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29 comments

  1. Do you think i can substitute the yeast for for active sourdough starter for the sponge dough and let it sit overnight?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, thank you for asking. Yes, you can if you know how to convert and adjust the ingredients accordingly.
      Cheers :)

      Delete
    2. If I make the sponge with sourdough starter, it won't need yeast or starter in the dough? Thanks.

      Delete
    3. Hi, you don't need instant dried yeast if you use sourdough starter. Sourdough starter is natural yeast to the bread.

      Cheers and happy baking :)

      Delete
  2. Can I proof the dough at the fridge for 8 hrs rather than at room temperature as my place it can reach up to 35 degrees Celsius during day time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, thanks for asking. Yes, you can. But, please proof at room temperature for an hour first before placing in the fridge.
      Cheers :)

      Delete
  3. Thanks for sharing. Love your recipes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, thank you for visiting my blog. Glad that you like my recipes.
      Cheers :)

      Delete
  4. What the different between poolish and sponge dough , which one is more longer moist?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Thanks for visiting my post. I have tried poolish one and long long time ago. I couldn't remember how is the texture compare with sponge dough. I didn't choose Poolish method because the dough need 100% of water to ferment and it will end up too much liquid and no room for cream cheese.

      You can see more details on Poolish method here: https://www.bakewithpaws.com/p/bread-making-methods.html

      Cheers and happy baking...

      Delete
  5. Hello! Would you mind sharing the brand of flour used? Thank you for the recipe :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, thank you for asking. This flour was repacked by the shop and there is no brand on it. If you are based in KL, please get it from House of Ingredients. If you are not, please look for the Japanese High Gluten flour that contain above 13% of protein. I tried to get the exact % of protein from the shop. But, they were unable to provide me. I was told only 13% and above.

      Cheers :)

      Delete
  6. Awesome! No words. You always go one step beyond.

    There is so much great, useful information here. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    Read our guide if you wish.
    Besttoolsbrand

    Thanks again :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. how many eggs exactly is 77g? is it an egg and a half or a little less?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Sorry I am not sure how many eggs exactly is 77g.

      What I can explain to you is I whisked 2 eggs and measure out 77g. I would say slightly more than 1 egg. The weight of the big egg I used is around 55g - 60g each egg without shell.

      Cheers :)

      Delete
  8. Can i subtitute the egg with milk with same amount? I have alergy with egg..
    Thanks before

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, thank you for asking. Yes, you can.

      Cheers :)

      Delete
  9. can i replace cream cheese with butter?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, you can if you know how to adjust. I used almost 22% of cream cheese in this recipe. It maybe too much to replace with butter.

      You can try these recipes if you don't have cream cheese:

      https://www.bakewithpaws.com/2017/11/pull-apart-soft-bread.html

      https://www.bakewithpaws.com/2017/07/black-sesame-seeds-brea-5-thousand.html

      Cheers :)

      Delete
  10. Hi BWP. Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe. I made it today and buns came out soft and fluffy. I have yet to undertake a sourdough project but for now instant yeast works fine. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chloe,

      Thanks for trying this recipe and your kind feedback. Glad to hear that you like it. Try the sourdough starter when you are ready. It is going to be fun.

      Cheers :)

      Delete
  11. Thank you yet again for an awesome recipe! Can this be baked in a pullman tin and sliced?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are most welcome..Thanks for visiting here. Yes, of course you can.

      Cheers :)

      Delete
  12. Thanks! Will definitely give this a try for my next bake 😍

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are most welcome and thanks for visiting...

      Delete
  13. Cream milk is it ; heavy cream or just regular milk?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, it is regular milk. There are few type in the supermarket: fresh milk, full cream milk (whole milk) and low fat milk. I usually use full cream milk.

      Cheers :0

      Delete

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