Breads (Sourdough) - Soft Buns/Rolls

Sourdough Pandan Soft Bread Buns

June 19, 2021 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
Sourdough Pandan Soft Bread Buns

Sourdough Pandan Soft Bread Buns

Sourdough Pandan Soft Bread Buns

The above pictures baked in 9 Inches Square Pan ⬆

I always find that Pandan (Screw Pine Leave) just doesn't combine well with either instant or natural yeast.  Their acquaintance usually results in a strange fermented taste. It is just me or do you experienced the same thing too?

Before this recipe that I am sharing, I attempted it twice and neither turned out well. For the first attempt, I used a lot of pandan leave and the bread developed a very nice vibrant green colour but it didn't rise tall and it tasted a little weird like cheese (and not in a very good way). For my second attempt, I cut down 50% of the pandan leaves. It turned out slightly taller and still has quite a nice green colour but the that funny taste was still present.  So, I tried it again for a third time and cut down the pandan leaves by 70%. This time the buns turned out with a very nice aroma and were tall and fluffy too.  

So, I am led to believe from this experiment that too much pandan leaves may not be a good thing.  The amount of pandan leaves I used for the below recipe is just right to me. The colour may not be as vibrant but I think taste is more important...

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.


8 Inches Square Pan  or 450g Loaf Pan (21.3 X 12.2 X 11.5 cm  /  8.4" X 4.8" X 4.5")

Pandan Juice:
30g pandan leaves (approx. 10 medium leaves)
100g water

Yudane Dough:
70g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
70g boiling water

Sweet Stiff Starter:
60g sourdough starter (100% Hydration), preferably use at its peak 
180g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
75g pandan juice from the above
30g sugar (I used organic brown sugar)

Main Dough:
70g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
All stiff starter (above)
All the yudane dough (above0
15g light brown sugar (I used organic brown sugar)
1 tsp salt
45g egg, whisked (from 1 medium egg)
15g pandan juice from the above (do not add in first.  Add in 1 tsp at a time if you feel the dough is dry) I added in about 5g.
20g extra virgin coconut oil

Egg Wash:
1 egg + 1 Tbsp water

9 Inches Square Pan or 600g Loaf Pan (12" X 3.5" X 4"  or  31cm X 9cm X 10cm)


Pandan Juice:
40g pandan leaves (approx. 10 medium leaves)
135g water

Yudane Dough:
95g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
95g boiling water

Sweet Stiff Starter (50% Hydration):
80g sourdough starter (100% Hydration), preferably use at its peak 
240g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
100g pandan juice from the above
40g sugar (I used organic brown sugar)

Main Dough:
105g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
All stiff starter (above)
All the yudane dough (above)
25g light brown sugar (I used organic brown sugar)
1 1/4 tsp salt
60g egg, whisked (from 1 medium egg)
25g pandan juice from the above (do not add in first.  Add in 1 tsp at a time if you feel the dough is dry) I added in about 10g.
25g extra virgin coconut oil

Egg Wash:
1 egg + 1 Tbsp water

  1. Pandan Juice:
    1. Cut the pandan leaves into chunks.  Blend pandan leaves with water in a food processor until fine.
    2. Strain the blended pandan pulp through a sieve and squeeze out the juice.  Pour into a jar.  Place in refrigerator if you are don't use it immediately.
  2. Yudane:
    1. Add bread flour in a bowl, pour the boiling water and mix well with spatula or spoon until no dry flour.
    2. Cling film and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.  I prepared the night before.
    3. Take out from the fridge 30 minutes before using to return to room temperature.
  3. Sweet Stiff Starter 
    1. In a bowl of stand mixer, dilute starter with pandan juice, stir in sugar and add in bread flour.  Mix with paddle attachment until well mixed and all come together.   It can be done by hand mixing too.
    2. Cover and let it ferment until tripled. I prepared a night before and leave it in aircond room (approximately 24 - 25C room temperature) overnight until tripled.  It took about 8 - 9 hours depending on your starter.  It should take around 4 - 6 hours to get triple at room temperature at 28C - 30C. The starter should look smooth and round dome.  It shouldn't collapse.
  4. Main Dough:
    1. Put all ingredients (except coconut oil) into a bowl of stand mixer.  I usually slightly loose the stiff starter and yudane dough first.
    2. Slightly combine the mixture by hand with the paddle attachment before turning on the machine so that the flour will not splash out.  Using the paddle attachment, mix for 2 minutes or until all incorporated. This step is critical to prevent  an uneven mixed dough as the stiff starter is rather hard and a dough hook may not be able to mix it well enough.
    3. Change to hook attachment and knead for another 3 minutes or until the dough comes together. Add in coconut oil and knead until the coconut oil incorporate with the dough.  It took quite a while about 6 - 7 minutes for the oil to blend into the dough. Once the oil is well incorporated with the dough,  then continue kneading for another 7 - 8 minutes (approx.) or until the dough become smooth, silky and reach window pane stage. 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.
  5. 1st Proofing/Resting:  
    1. In the same bowl, let the dough rest for 15 - 60 minutes. Keep it covered with clingfilm or use a lid.  This dough I rested for 30 minutes and the dough rose quite a lot in 30 minutes.  (I did not find any big differences between 15 minutes to 60 minutes rest.  So, please follow your schedule).
  6. Shaping:
    1. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide dough into 16 or 9 equal portions.  Please use a kitchen scale if you want to be exact.  
    2. Form each portion to a ball.  Please watch the video here "How to shape bun"
    3. Place buns onto the baking pan lined with parchment paper.
  7. Final Proofing:
    1. Let the buns proof at a warm place until the dough rise double in size. This one took approximately 2.5 hours at at room temperature of 29 - 30C.  The duration of proofing depends on your ambient temperature and the starter.
  8. Baking:
    1. Preheat oven at 190C (top & bottom heat) or 170C (fan forced) for 10 - 15 minutes.
    2. Brush with egg wash.
    3. Bake in a preheated oven for 18 - 20 minutes, or until golden brown.  
    4. Remove buns from oven and pan.   Let them cool on rack.
Yudane Dough

Pandan Sweet Stiff Starter

Main Dough



A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.   It is advisable to feed your starter regularly if you want your bread to rise nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.  A starter that is fed regularly will be more active in general.  If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise a lot even though the starter is used at its peak.  


Gluten forms when flour comes in contact with water.  Hydration of the flour causes the sticky and stretchy protein to form, giving structure to the bread.  This makes your bread trap air and rise. 

Gluten in dough can be developed by autolyse, resting, kneading or folding.

The windowpane test is used to determine whether the dough has been sufficiently kneaded.  By gently pulling the dough (or you may pinch off some dough) and trying to stretch it into a thin membrane.  If you are able to stretch the dough paper thin and translucent  without tearing, then the gluten is fully developed.  However, if you can stretch it without tearing but the membrane is not transparent, then the gluten is not yet fully developed.  

However, from my experience not all the recipe can achieve a thin and translucent window pane stage easily.   For example low hydration and low fat dough.  For such recipes, a reasonable window pane is good enough and it can be left to rest. Gluten will continue to develop while resting.  Exercising restraint to not over-knead the dough prevents the gluten from being overworked and broken.   Some of you may have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  It is because the dough is over kneaded. 

The total kneading time for me is usually 15 minutes at low speeds except brioche dough with high fat percentage or dough using liquid fat which usually takes a little longer (maybe 18-20 mins).

From my experience, I found that high hydration dough with high percentage of fat will be easy to stretch and achieve a paper thin windowpane stage.


Why do I use milk powder?  
  1. Milk or milk powder will enhance the flavour of the bread and makes the bread texture softer due to the fat content of the milk. 
  2. Milk powder is shelf stable and you can have it anytime when you want to use.  Unlike liquid milk you need to finish within a certain time before it spoils.

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.


The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.   To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  The protein content is around  12 - 13%.


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, environment, flour and your starter. 

If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:

  1. 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.
  2. If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
  3. If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
  4. 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 until the tip of the dough just reaches the rim of the pan, around 80% - 90% in 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.


  1. Hiya, this sounds so fluffy and light ~ I can't wait to try this! how much milk powder should we include and is this added as part of the main dough?

    1. Hi, thanks for reading this recipe. I did not use milk powder in this recipe. Actually without milk is very nice too. If you would like to add milk powder, you can add about 25g for 8" pan recipe and 30g for 9" pan recipe.


  2. Hi,

    I have leftover pandan juice in my fridge, would it be possible to use it instead of making a fresh one ? if yes, could you suggest how much ml ? I'd love to try this recipe asap.. thank you very much

    1. Hi, thanks for reading this post. Yes, you can. But, I do not know how concentrated your pandan juice. You can use the same amount if it is not very concentrated.

      Cheers :)


Post a Comment