Breads (Sourdough) - Soft Buns/Rolls

Butterfly Pea Flower Sourdough Buns with Sesame Filling

March 23, 2022 | Recipe by Bake with Paws

Butterfly Pea Flower Sourdough Buns with Sesame Filling

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Black sesame seeds are an especially rich source of minerals which is good for our body.  I am trying to think of ways to consume more sesame besides sprinkling it on my food. I decided to try it as Butterfly Pea Buns with Black Sesame Filling.  I think the purple and black colours go well together.  To be honest Butterfly Pea doesn't contribute any flavour to the buns, it's just colour.

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.  Do tag me on Instagram @Bakewithpaws if you attempt on this recipe.

How To Make Butterfly Pea Flower Sourdough Buns with Black Sesame Filling

Yields:  12 buns


Butterfly Pea Flower Water:
6.5g dried butterfly pea flowers tops (removed stem and discarded)
200g water

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

Sweet Stiff Starter:
60g sourdough starter (100% Hydration), use at its peak 
180g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
75g butterfly pea flower water, room temperature
30g sugar (I used organic brown sugar)

Main Dough:
70g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
All yudane dough (above)
All stiff starter (above)
10g brown sugar (I used organic brown sugar)
1 tsp salt
30g milk (can be replace with water or butterfly pea flower)
30g butterfly pea flower water, room temperature (reserve 10g and add in later if needed) I used total 30g of water
30g butter, room temperature

Egg Wash: (Optional)
1 egg + 1 tbsp water, whisked
Some extra black sesame seeds

Black Sesame Filling *:
200g sesame, toasted (170g black sesame + 20g white sesame + 10g peanuts)
35g honey
50g oil (25g butter + 25g extra virgin coconut oil)
1/4 tsp salt

* You may cut down the filling ingredients amount to 50% or 60% if you prefer less filling.

  1. Sesame Filling (can be prepared one night in advance):
    1. Blend the toasted sesame seeds and peanut in a blender till fine.
    2. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for filling together.  The sesame paste should look very soft and not able to shape into a ball.
    3. Place in the fridge for about 60 minutes to set the paste for easy shaping.
    4. With grove on, squeeze the sesame filling into a small ball.  Make 12 balls, approximately 24g each ball.  Transfer refrigerator again to keep it chill and set.
  2. Butterfly Pea Flower Water (prepare one night before):
    1. In a sauce pan, boil flower and water.  Off the fire once boiled. 
    2. Steeping for at least 60 minutes,  strain to get the blue water.
  3. Yudane (prepare one night before):
    1. Add bread flour in a bowl, pour the boiling flower 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.  
    3. Take out from the fridge 30 minutes before using to return to room temperature.
  4. Sweet Stiff Starter (prepare one night before)
    1. In a bowl of stand mixer, dilute starter with flower water, 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.
  5. Main Dough:
    1. Put all ingredients (except butter) into a bowl of stand mixer.  I usually torn the stiff starter and yudane dough into pieces 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 unevenly 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 butter and continue knead for 10 - 12 minutes or until reach window pane stage.  During the  kneading process, I stopped few times to scrape down the dough from the hook to be sure it is evenly kneaded and to prevent the motor from overheating.
  6. 1st Proofing/Resting:
    1. In the same bowl, let the dough rest for 30 - 60 minutes. Keep it covered with clingfilm or use a lid.  This dough I rested for 45 minutes at 29C room temperature and the dough didn't rise a lot.
  7. Shaping (Please watch the video)
    1. Transfer the dough to a clean surface slightly dusted with flour, divide dough into 12 equal portions (approx. 53g - 54g each).  Please use a kitchen scale if you want to be exact.   
    2. Shape each dough into a ball.  
    3. Roll a dough ball into a disc, the edges slightly thinner than the centre. 
    4. Place a sesame filling ball in the centre.  Gather up the edges to seal and shape into round ball.  
    5. Spread the buns about 2 inches apart on the lined baking tray.
    6. I made marks with a pencil about 0.75 cm away from the original size of the buns.  
  8. Final Proofing 
    1. Let them proof at a warm place until the buns rise and reach the pencil marks.   It took about 1 hour and 45 minutes at 29C - 30C room temperature. The duration of proofing depends on your ambient temperature and starter.
  9. Baking:
    1. Preheat oven at 190C (top & bottom heat) or 170C (fan-forced) for 10 - 15 minutes.
    2. Brush with egg wash, wet the tip of your index finger. That will help you pick up the sesame seeds to be transfer onto the buns. Lightly press on the centre of the buns.
    3. Bake in a preheated oven for about 15  minutes, or until golden brown.
    4. Remove buns from oven and let them cool on rack.




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.