Week 190: Mexican buns

It is always super stressful to prepare for a baking demo. Especially when it comes to bread, which is not something I make too regularly.

My last attempt at these was slightly over a year ago, and it was somewhat disastrous – overproof.

But since I don’t have any other bun recipes in my repertoire, I have no choice but to perfect this one. This batch was slightly underproof (ironic?) but I hope the one during the demo will be perfect. Hopefully.

The recipe below has been updated with the outcome of the batch during the demo, which came out beautifully.

Makes 12 buns

For the tangzhong

25g bread flour

125ml water

1) Prepare the tangzhong by adding water to bread flour in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook on low heat while whisking continuously, until mixture has thicken and you can see the tracks left by the whisk. Leave to cool to room temperature.

For the buns

All the prepared tangzhong

425g bread flour

72g caster sugar

13g milk powder

8g instant yeast

90ml water

60g eggs

45g unsalted butter, at room temperature

5g salt

10g salted butter x 12, cold

1) Add the remaining bread flour to the tangzhong in a large bowl for the stand mixer. Then add the caster sugar, milk powder and instant yeast. Using the dough hook, mix until the mixture is evenly distributed.

2) Add the water and the egg and continue mixing until a rough dough forms.

3) Add the unsalted butter and salt and allow it to mix until the dough is elastic and tacky. It may take up to 15 minutes and you should notice that the dough will pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl.

4) Cover the dough with a wet cloth and allow it to proof until it has doubled in size, about an hour.

5) Punch down the dough and divide it into 12 equal pieces. For this batch, that worked out to be 70g for each piece.

6) Take one piece of dough and separate about 15g of dough. Flatten this small piece of dough and wrap a piece of the 10g cold salted butter. Pinch to seal the bottom then remove the remainder of the portion, flatten, and wrap it around the smaller dough. Place the dough on the parchment on the baking tray.

7) When all the buns have been shaped, cover with a wet cloth and allow it to proof for a second time until they have doubled in size, about 1.5 hours.

8) Preheat oven to 170C fan.

For the topping

75g salted butter, at room temperature

60g icing sugar, sifted

60g eggs (about 1 egg)

4 tsp instant coffee powder dissolved in ¾ tbsp water

75g plain flour, sifted

1) Add all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, cream the mixture until it is evenly mixed, light and fluffy.

2) Fill the topping in a pastry bag and pipe spirals on the proved buns.

3) Bake the buns in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until the topping is visibly dried and slightly browned.

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