If you’ve ever had Asian style baked goods, you’ll notice that they taste a bit different from regular-style bakery offerings. Their bread tends to be a little bit sweeter and they’re a lot fluffier and softer. I love buying loaves of bread from Asian bakeries because a.) they’re square and b.) they stay soft for ever.
The secret of the soft bread is due to tangzhong, a flour-water roux. I don’t bake bread a lot, so I don’t know the science behind it, but apparently the flour-water roux helps with the gluten development. Breads made with tangzhong tend to be fluffy, bouncy and soft. There are quite a few sites that extol the virtues of tangzhong, and after obsessively visiting them for a week, I decided to take the plunge and make some Hong Kong style hot dog buns.
Hong Kong style hot dog buns are fantastic. They’re one of the buns we consistently buy so I knew I had to try them at home. Fresh out of the oven these buns are the perfect snack: warm, slightly sweet airy bread wrapped around a juicy hot dog. Mike ate about 6 in a row straight out of the oven. I’d say they were successful.
Hong Kong Style Hot Dog Bun Recipe from christinesrecipes.com
yield: 18 mini hot dog buns
- 50 grams bread flour
- 1 cup water
- 6 hot dogs, patted dry and cut into threes
- 350 grams bread flour
- 55 grams sugar
- 5 grams salt
- 56 grams of egg*
- 1/2 cup milk
- 120 grams tangzhong (flour water roux)
- 6 grams instant yeast
- 30 grams butter, at room temperature cut into small pieces
Make the tangzhong: Mix the flour and water in a small sauce pan. Make sure there are no lumps. Cook over medium-low heat while stirring consistently with a wooden spoon to prevent burning. As you’re cooking, the mixture will become thicker and thicker. You want the mixture to become so thick that when you drag the spoon across the bottom of the pot, there will be a line left behind. Remove the pot from the heat and cover with saran wrap placed directly on the surface of the paste. Let it chill until room temperature. Take a look at this page for more detail on tangzhong.
Combine all the dry ingredients in your stand mixer bowl. In a separate, small bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and tangzhong. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet to the dry. With the dough hook, knead until the dough comes together and then add the butter. Keep kneading the dough until smooth, not sticky and elastic. (I kneaded for at least 10 minutes with my Kitchen Aid).
When you think the dough is ready, take a small piece of it and stretch it. It should form a thin membrane the is very elastic. If you use your finger to poke a hole through it, the hole should be a perfect circle. If the hole is irregular you still need to knead.
When your dough is ready, shape it into a ball and place it in a greased bowl and cover with saran wrap. Let it proof in a warm, un-drafty area until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a clean, floured surface. Deflate and divide the dough into 18 equal parts. Roll the parts into balls, cover will saran wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
Roll each part into a long tube and wrap around a hot dog part. Place the roll, seam-side down on a tray lined with parchment paper. Be sure to leave some space between the rolls and they need to proof again. Cover the rolls and proof for an hour or until about doubled in size.
Heat the oven to 355F. Brush the tops with whisked egg. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool and enjoy!
*lightly beat the egg before weighing it out. Save the remainder to use as the egg wash.