Water Roux Bun Dough

December 26, 2007

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The difference of this style of bread than the ‘traditional’ one is the inclusion of water roux, that is cooking portion of water and flour before adding the rest ingredients. The roux itself is different than traditional one which is usually the combination of butter and flour.
The water roux is supposed to allow the dough to absorp more liquid because of the gelatinization of the starch in the flour, there by allowing the finished buns to have a fine soft texture and not to get stale too quick without the use of any artificial bread improver or bread softener . But please note that this kind of dough has slightly higher proportion of egg-butter than the regular one.
The adding of custard powder improves the aroma of the finished bun 🙂
makes 16 portions
325 gr bread flour
150 gr plain flour (or 130 gr plain flour+20gr vanilla custard flour/cornflour)
20 gr milk powder
50 gr caster sugar
1 tsp salt
7 gr / 2 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
2 eggs, lightly beaten
100 ml (approx.) lukewarm water, adjust as necessary (start with 50 ml.. i need 75 ml)
75 gr butter, cubed
water roux:
25 gr bread flour
125 ml water
note: water roux is basically 1 part of bread flour to 5 parts of water 
method:
water roux:
Mix flour and water in a saucepan, cook over low to medium heat, stirring continuously until it reaches 65°C. It should have thickened to a paste at this stage, that is, when you stir, you can see the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat, place a cling wrap over the paste and let it sit until lukewarm or room temperature before using.
If you dont have thermometer, cook as directed just until it starts thickened then continue to cook for about  minute more before removing it from the stove.
This water  roux can be kept in an airtight container after cooling in a refrigerator for 1 day if not used immediately. Do not use it when it turns grey, that means it’s turned bad.
For the bun dough:
Sift all the flours together, mix it with caster sugar and salt. Add instant dry yeast, mix well.
Make a well in the middle of the flour. Add lightly beaten eggs and the lukewarm roux, mix in.
Gradually, add just enough lukewarm water to form a slightly sticky dough.
Knead until smooth and elastic for 10 minutes. During kneading (if using hand), the dough needs to be thrown onto the working surface for 10-20 times every few minutes between kneading.
Knead in butter until incorporated. Form the dough into a round ball and let it rise until doubled in size in a greased and covered bowl. This should take about 1 hour in warm temperature. To test if the dough has risen properly, dip finger into plain flour and poke deep down into centre of the dough, as far as you can reach and pull out again, the hole should remain if the dough is ready, if it springs back then continue to proof.
When the dough is ready, punch down and knead briefly then divide into 16 equal portions. It is easier if you divide it first into 4 equal parts then divide them again into quarters each. Form each into balls and let them rest for 10 minutes.
Shape and fill as desired to make the bun of your choice. Place all finished buns on a greased baking sheet, cover lightly with cling wrap and let them rise until double in size (about 1 hour in warm temperature).
Bake in preheated 190°C oven for about 12-15 minutes
note:
To make row buns: take each of small divided ball dough (about 8 balls) and roll it out into 15-18cm long. Roll up, swiss roll style from the long side into cigar shape. Tuck both pointy ends down for a better presentation. Arrange them side-by-side, almost touching each other, sealed side down on a greased baking tray. Let rise until double in size. Brush with eggwash and bake in preheated 190°C oven for about 15 minutes or  until golden brown. Brush with melted butter immediately after removing from the oven.
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