Sugar Topped Pull Apart Buns

Sugar Topped Buns // Mono + CoSugar Topped Buns // Mono + Co

Baked another old school style bread that is still widely available at the commercial bakeries.  Actually, my girl likes this type of bread so much that she often places a few slabs of butter on a slice of white sandwich bread, sprinkles the top with sugar, and pops it into the toaster oven for a few minutes and out comes her favorite “butter-sugar-toast” for breakfast/tea/supper.  It’s an all-occasion snack for her.

Sugar Topped Buns // Mono + Co

Since I am still passionately baking pull apart buns with my rectangular pan, I tried a beautiful butter sugar bun recipe from here just to make the pan work harder.  It has hardly gone through 10 baking sessions since I bought it years ago for a birthday cake recipe that didn’t go as planned.

Sugar Topped Buns // Mono + Co

As this pan is deep (3-inch tall), the dough had no other space to expand but to rise towards the brim.  I love how this creates buns that are more evenly shaped after they are baked, compared to baking them on a larger cookie sheet pan.

Note:  My cake pan does not have a non-stick coated surface, hence I grease it really well when I bake bread with it since the dough expands to reach every corner and sides inside the pan.  This greasing step must be done so that the bread can be unmolded easily after baking for cooling which is very important as bread will shrink if left inside the pan to cool.

Sugar Topped Buns // Mono + Co

Quite a few changes were made to the original recipe since it was passed to me with modifications by a lovely member of a separate Facebook interest group.  I tweaked it further with the available resources I have in my pantry and thought it will be useful to jot down, in case you have the same limitations that I have in my tiny home kitchen.

+ I have been baking with plain flour bought in bulk from the market, so I did not use bread flour.
+ The recipe did away with salt as salted butter was used, so I used the modified recipe that has 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
+ The recipe stated 120ml milk while the modified one stated 100ml.  Since I don’t own a measuring cup, I weigh 100g of fresh milk and add it slowly to the dough while the mixer is running, ready to stop when the dough ball is formed.  Turned out 100g of milk was what I needed.
+ Original recipe applied egg wash before baking and cubed butter as toppings which I replaced with a brush of milk and a sprinkle of raw sugar.  I didn’t want to use just 1/4 of an egg for egg wash and having the chore of storing the remaining 3/4 of it.  There wasn’t any plan for an omelet that day either.
+ Original recipe shaped the dough into 9 portions, I divided mine into 8 and shaped them into an equal number of balls and braids, a “do-whatever-you-like” privilege that only home bakers have.

Enjoy yours!


Sugar Topped Buns

+ adapted from oladybakes +

250g plain flour
10g milk powder
45g raw sugar
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
100g fresh milk 
1 egg **
35g unsalted butter, cubed

+ topping +
fresh milk 
raw sugar

** I use small egg weighing 55g with shell.

In a mixer bowl, place plain flour, milk powder, sugar, yeast, salt, egg and milk, start mixer to knead with a dough hook on its lowest speed until a dough ball is formed.  Stop mixer and let the dough sit for 15 minutes.  I do this to let the flour absorb the liquid better before kneading it to window pane stage.

After 15 minutes, start the mixer again, add cubed butter one by one and knead until window pane stage.  Remove bowl from mixer and let dough stand for 15 minutes.

Transfer dough to a clean work top, flour palms and work top slightly if the dough is too sticky to handle.  Divide dough into 8 equal portions.  Shape each dough into a tight ball and place in a baking pan.  I shaped 4 of mine into balls and the remaining 4 into braids baked in a well-greased 6″x9″x3″ rectangular pan.  Let dough rise for 90 minutes.

When ready to bake, brush the top of each dough with fresh milk, and sprinkle raw sugar over.  Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes at 170C.

When the bread is done, unmold the bread from the pan and let it cool completely on a rack.

Pull apart and serve, or store balance in an airtight container to keep crumbs soft and fluffy.

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