Chocolate Raisin Bread

Chocolate Raisin Potato Bread Loaf // Mono + CoChocolate Raisin Potato Bread Loaf // Mono + Co   Chocolate Raisin Potato Bread Loaf // Mono + Co

Chocolate bread for breakfast is so indulging.  The plump and juicy sweet raisins in every bite made it even better, the trick is to soak them in warm water for at least 15 minutes.  With hydration, it also prevents the raisins from drawing moisture from the dough during proofing and baking, drying out the bread.

I didn’t add a lot of honey in case the bread becomes more of a guilty dessert than a healthy breakfast.

Chocolate Raisin Potato Bread Loaf // Mono + Co  Chocolate Raisin Potato Bread Loaf // Mono + Co


Chocolate Potato Raisin Bread

300g plain flour
1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
30g cocoa powder **
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 small egg ***
50g water
150g mashed potatoes
35g cold butter, cubed
60g raisins ****

**  I use Van Houten cocoa powder.

*** mine weighs 55g with shells.

**** soak raisins in a bowl of warm water for 30 minutes.  Drain and gently squeeze dry to remove excess liquid before use.

In a mixer bowl, combine all the dry ingredients together ( flour, yeast, cocoa powder, sea salt) with a hand whisk.  Then add honey, egg and water and mashed potatoes and knead into a ball with a dough hook.  Stop the mixer and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.  Start the mixer again to knead for 1 minute before adding cubed butter one by one, and knead till the dough reach window pane stage.  Add raisins while mixer is running and knead for about 1 minute.  Stop mixer and leave dough to bulk rise for 60 minutes.

After the dough has risen to double its volume, punch down the dough to deflate and transfer to a clean work top.  Sprinkle worktop and palms with flour if the dough is too sticky to handle.

Divide the dough into 3 equal portions.  Flatten and shape each portion, rolling them up swiss roll style.  Arrange them in a Pullman tin, seam side downwards.  Leave this aside to proof for 60-75 minutes, covered with a towel.

Preheat oven to 160C, and bake the bread for 30 minutes.

When done, remove bread from tin immediately and place on a rack to cool completely.

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Potato Raisin Bread

Potato Raisin Bread // Mono + Co Potato Raisin Bread // Mono + Co Potato Raisin Bread // Mono + Co     Potato Raisin Bread // Mono + Co

I love slightly sticky dough when I want to make soft bread loaves like this sugar topped raisin bread.  With eggs, honey and more than the usual amount of water added, the final dough will be much more wobbly than usual, but after 30 minutes in the oven set at 160C, it transforms itself into an almost sponge cake like texture bread.

I made 3 slashes to the bread before baking and topped with butter strips a sprinkle of sugar.  This is to mimic the sugar-topped bread rolls that are a common item in the neighborhood bakeries.  But I get to control the amount of sugar this time.


Potato Raisin Bread

300g plain flour
1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon raw honey
140g mashed potatoes
1 egg **
85g water
20g cold butter, cubed
60g raisins

For toppings : 
butter cut into strips 
1 -2 tablespoons sugar

** I used a small egg weighing 60g with shell.

*** Soak the raisins in warm water for 30 minutes.  Drain and squeeze slightly to remove excess liquid before use.

In a mixer bowl, add dry ingredients : plain flour, instant yeast, sea salt and stir well with a hand whisk.  Next add raw honey, cooled mashed potatoes, egg and start the mixer running to knead with a dough attachment.  Slowly drizzle water while the mixer is running.  Once all ingredients come into a ball, stop adding the water and turn off the mixer.  Leave this aside to stand for 15 minutes undisturbed.

After 15 minutes, turn on the mixer again for 1 minute, before adding cubed butter one by one.  Knead this until it reaches the window pane stage.  Then add raisins into the dough, let the mixer run for another 1 minute to let the raisin be incorporated into the dough.  It is ok if the raisins are not mixed uniformly, this can be done during the shaping stage when the dough is repeatedly stretch and fold.  Remove bowl from mixer and cover to bulk rise for 60 minutes.

After 60 minutes, the dough would have expanded to double its volume.  Punch to deflate it and transfer to a clean worktop.  The dough will be sticky, dust worktop and hands with flour to make the dough easier to handle.  A bench scraper will be extremely useful for handling such sticky dough too.  Using the stretch and fold method, shape the dough into a slight oblong bread.  Leave it aside covered for its final  60 minutes proof.

Preheat the oven to 160C.  Slash the bread and place butter strips where the slash marks are.  Mist the top of the dough with water, then sprinkle sugar on top.  Bake for 30 minutes.

When the baking is done, transfer the bread to a rack to cook completely before slicing to serve or store in an airtight container.

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Natural Starter Potato Boule

Natural Starter Potato Boule // Mono + Co Natural Starter Potato Boule // Mono + Co Natural Starter Potato Boule // Mono + Co

No recipe here, as I am still trying to figure out the best timing for every step in baking a bread with a natural starter:  what time to start, when is the starter most active, how long to wait, and when to bake.  They say every starter is unique, so watch the dough and judge with your eyes, see how the starter rises and falls, how the dough doubles in size, and not be fixated by the clock or recipe instructions.

I tried a few times to “bake by feel” and began to feel confident to use the natural starter for my root vegetable bread recipes.  A few tweaks are still required before I get the amount just right for my pullman loaf.  Until then,  I will just shape them into simple boules if they rise too much or too little to fit into my pan.  This one happens to use 100g of starter, 350g of bread flour and 100g of mashed potatoes, and took me about 15 hours from start to finish.

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Wholemeal Potato Bread

Wholemeal Potato Bread // Mono+Co

Simple half wholemeal half white flour recipe  to make when white bread is too plain and fruits or nuts are not available.

My other half is crazy over a store-bought sprouted grains bread that is just as pillowy soft as the white ones.  The potato bread I baked is just as soft, but not as sweet as the commercial ones.  Thinking of tweaking the next bake with honey or date syrup to sweeten it without adding more sugar.

Wholemeal Potato Bread // Mono+Co Wholemeal Potato Bread // Mono+Co Wholemeal Potato Bread // Mono+Co Wholemeal Potato Bread // Mono+Co


Wholemeal Potato Bread Loaf

100g bread flour
100g wholemeal flour
1/2 tablespoon (3g) instant yeast
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoon raw sugar
1 large egg
105g mashed potato
30g water
30g cold unsalted butter, cubed

In a mixer bowl, place bread flour, wholemeal flour, instant yeast, sea salt and raw sugar, and mix well with a hand whisk.  Next, add beaten egg, mashed potatoes, and water, attach the bowl and dough hook to the mixer and start kneading at the lowest speed (KA 1) till all the ingredients form a ball.  Stop the mixer and leave this aside for 15 minutes.

Turn the mixer to speed 1 again, and knead for 1 minute, before adding butter cubes into the bowl one by one to be combined with the dough.  Keep knead till dough reaches window pane stage, when it is smooth and elastic.  Remove bowl from mixer and let the dough rise in a draft-free place for 1 hour.

The dough should rise to double its volume.  Punch the dough down, and transfer to a clean work top.  Shape the loaf and place in greased bread tin, seams side facing downwards.  Let it rise in a draft free place for 50-60 mins.

Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for 30 minutes.  Remove bread from tin immediately when baking is done, and let it cool completely on a rack before slicing.

If not consume immediately, store in an air-tight container.

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Black N White Bread Loaf

Black N White Potato Bread Loaf // Mono+Co Black N White Potato Bread Loaf // Mono+Co

I haven’t forgotten about the bamboo charcoal powder.  It is sitting on the table next to my hot water flask, creating an eyesore, just to remind me to use it.  I almost wanted to put a tablespoon of it into my banana smoothie after stumbling upon this idea here.  Then I realized bamboo charcoal might not be activated charcoal.  I will only do this on the last day of its expiry out of desperation if there is still any left.

To do something different this time, I baked a 2 color bread by adding the charcoal powder to half of the dough, that’s why you don’t see an all black loaf here.

Black N White Potato Bread Loaf // Mono+Co

I divided the dough into 4 portions and layered them in alternating colors, here’s how the loaf look after slicing.  Pretty huh?

Black N White Potato Bread Loaf // Mono+Co

I also did something different with the potatoes, I steamed them instead of boiling it in water.  The potatoes were not overly wet compared to the boiling method but surprisingly, I added less water.

As a general rule to adding water to bread dough, never pour the water level stated in the recipes all at once (yes, including mine.)  In fact, the water required vary slightly with each occasion I bake. This difference could due to the water content of the potatoes, the brand of flour, or even the size of the egg.  I’ll even blame the weather!  Too hot, too cold, too wet …..

Therefore, always pour half the liquid amount stated first, then with the mixer running, add the balance bit by bit, giving the ingredients a few moment in between to absorb the water properly. Only if the dough doesn’t gather into one ball, then add a bit more liquid.  Once a dough ball is formed, stop adding.

Black N White Potato Bread Loaf // Mono+Co Black N White Potato Bread Loaf // Mono+Co Black N White Potato Bread Loaf // Mono+Co

The texture of the bread with steamed potatoes remains soft, as with other bread loaves that I have been baking with root vegetables.

Two more things to note.  Firstly, store homemade bread in an airtight container if you are not finishing it immediately.  Otherwise, the bread will harden.  I noticed a layer of crust forming on my sliced bread after leaving them overnight on the counter in a paper bag.  Not that nice, as I am the kind who like to sink my teeth into pillowy bread.  If that sort of thing unfortunately happened, simply heat them up in a toaster for a few minutes; warm toast with butter is my next favorite way to eat bread.  And secondly, consume them within 2 days, or else keep in the freezer.  I realize that homemade bread do not keep well, especially recipes with potatoes, maybe due to it’s higher moisture content.  And if the bread comes with natural colorings added, mold might not be easily spotted on stale bread.


Black N White Bread Loaf

200g bread flour
1/2 tablespoon instant yeast, about 3g
2 tablespoon raw sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
100g potato, steamed + mashed
1 large egg
20-30g water
30g cold unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon bamboo charcoal powder

In a mixer bowl, combine bread flour, yeast, raw sugar and sea salt with a hand whisk.  Add mashed potatoes, beaten egg, half the amount of water and start the mixer to knead with a dough hook, at its lowest speed.  Add remaining water in a slow trickle, stop once the ingredients come into a ball.  Leave this aside for 15 minutes.

Turn the mixer on again to run for 1 minute, still on its lowest speed, before adding cubed butter one by one into the bowl with the mixer running.  Knead this until window pane stage.  Remove dough from bowl and divide it into two equal portions.  Return one dough back into the mixer and knead bamboo charcoal powder into the dough.  Place doughs in separate bowls and bulk rise for 1 hour.

Both doughs would rise to double their volume, punch down to deflate and transfer to a clean work top.  Slightly flour the surface if the doughs are too sticky to handle.

Divide each color dough into 2 balls again, so you end up with 2 plain balls and 2 charcoal balls .  With a rolling pin, flatten each ball into oval shape dough, making sure they are about same size.  To assemble, place the 4 flattened doughs on top of each other, in alternate colours.

With palms, gently pressing all the layers together, and roll it up tightly from the long end so that you end up with a football shape dough.  Place it in a bread tin, proof this for 50-60 minutes.

Once the dough has risen higher than the bake tin, bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes at 170C.  Mist the top slightly before placing it in the oven.

When done, remove the bread immediately from the tin and let it cool completely on a rack before slicing.

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Raisin Potato Bread Loaf

Raisin Potato Bread Loaf // Mono+Co Raisin Potato Bread Loaf // Mono+Co

Raisins in bread are always welcome.  The addition of potato made the loaf really soft, as I was slicing it, every piece bended and collapsed beautifully on the one before.

This loaf got wiped out in one day.  Time to get on with ideas for the next potato bread.  I think I just saw purple sweet potatoes at the kitchen counter.

Raisin Potato Bread Loaf // Mono+Co Raisin Potato Bread Loaf // Mono+CoRaisin Potato Bread Loaf // Mono+Co  Raisin Potato Bread Loaf // Mono+Co


Raisin Potato Bread Loaf

220g plain flour
1/2 tablespoon instant dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoon raw sugar
100g mashed potato
1 large egg, beaten **
30-40g potato water ***
35g cold butter, cubed
60g raisins ****

** I used a large egg that weighs 70grams with shell.

*** Potato water refers to the water that the potatoes were cooked in.  Cool it down to room temperature before using.

**** Up to 100g of raisins if you really like lots of raisins in your bread.

In a bowl, add the raisins and pour just enough warm water to cover the raisins.  This helps to hydrate them and prevent the raisins from drawing moisture from the bread when they are mixed into the dough.

In a mixer bowl, combine plain flour, instant yeast, raw sugar, sea salt with a hand whisk to form a uniform mixture of dry ingredients.  Add mashed potato, egg, and water next.  Turn on the mixer with a dough hook attachment and knead these ingredients on the lowest speed (KA 1) till they come into a ball.  Continue to knead for 3 minutes, then stop the mixer and let the dough sit for 15 minutes.

Turn on the mixer again and knead for 1 minute before adding butter cubes one by one while the mixer is running on its lowest speed.  Keep kneading till there are no traces of butter left and the dough has reached window pane stage.  At this stage, the dough will be extremely pliable and baby-bottom soft.  Stop the mixer for a while.

With one hand, squeeze to dry the raisins that have been soaked in warm water.  Add them to the dough in the mixer bowl, and start the mixer again on its lowest speed to incorporate the raisins into the dough.  Frankly, the electric mixer won’t do a very good job at mixing the raisins uniformly into the dough without over-kneading it.  I usually stop the mixer after 1-2 minute and take over to knead by hand, trying my best to spread the raisins  and make sure that they don’t clump at one spot.  This is to ensure that there will be raisins on every slice of the bread.

Leave the dough in the mixer bowl for its first proof of 60 minutes.  The dough will rise to double its volume,  punch down to deflate and transfer it to a clean worktop.

Flatten the dough with rolling-pin to push out any gas trapped inside the dough during proofing.  Shape the dough and place in a bread tin.  Proof for 50-60 minutes.

Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for 30 minutes.  Remove bread from bread tin immediately after baking and let it cool completely on a rack before slicing.

To soften the top crust, brush melted butter over the top of the loaf while it is hot.  I keep a handy small block of butter just for this purpose and run it over the crust and let the heat from the bread melt the butter as they come in contact.  Save the hassle of melting butter and washing an oily brush.

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Charcoal Potato Dried Cheese Buns

Charcoal Potato Grated Cheese Buns // Mono+Co Charcoal Potato Grated Cheese Buns // Mono+Co

For my family, buns get consumed faster than sliced bread loaf, whether store-bought or homemade.  So it makes a lot of sense to be baking bamboo charcoal buns since I am trying to finish a bottle of the charcoal powder by year end.  I fiddled around with the usual potato bread recipe by adding more fats and reducing mashed potato amount to 100g.  The end result : 4 huge and fluffy buns.

I coated the dough with dried grated cheese, got them with my pasta/ pizza takeaways.  If you have them in your pantry, add them, if not, omit them.  Personally, I do not purchase these powdered cheese as they taste more like salty MSG flavoring than cheese.  You bet I will be making these buns with real cheese topping very soon.

Charcoal Potato Grated Cheese Buns // Mono+Co Charcoal Potato Grated Cheese Buns // Mono+Co Charcoal Potato Grated Cheese Buns // Mono+Co


Charcoal Potato Dried Cheese Buns

220g plain flour
1/2 tablespoon instant dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon bamboo charcoal powder
2 tablespoons raw sugar
100g mashed potato
1 large egg **
40g potato water ***
40g cold butter, cubed
20g dried grated cheese, optional

** I used an egg that weighs 70g with shell.

*** Potato water refers to the water that is left behind after cooking the potatoes with.  Cool it down to room temperature before adding them to the rest of the ingredients.

In a mixer bowl, combine plain flour, instant yeast, sea salt, bamboo charcoal powder, raw sugar with a hand whisk to stir the dry ingredients into a uniform mixture.

Add mashed potato, beaten egg, and potato water.  Turn on the electric mixer and knead the ingredients on the lowest speed (KA 1) until they come into a ball.  Continue to knead for about 3 minutes and then turn off the mixer and let this dough stand for 15 minutes.

Turn on the mixer to knead the dough for 1 minute, before adding cubed butter, one by one, while the mixer is running.  Continue to knead even after no traces of butter can be seen, until the dough reach window pane stage, this is when the dough becomes super stretchy and soft, though slightly sticky.  You can tell that you have reached this stage when the dough looks being lifted completely from the bottom and pulling itself away cleanly from the side of the mixing bowl, leaving no messy traces of dough behind.  At this stage, stop the mixer and leave the dough to rise in the covered mixer bowl for 60 minutes.

The dough should rise to double its volume.  Punch down the dough to deflate it and transfer it to a clean work top.  The dough will be sticky, dust hands and worktop with a little flour.  Divide the dough into 4 equal portions.  Flatten each dough to push out any gas trapped inside the dough, shape them into balls.  Holding the seam side of the ball dough, dip it into a small plate filled with grated cheese to coat the top side of the bread with the cheese before arranging it on a greased baking pan, seam side downwards.  Repeat until all 4 doughs are shaped and leave the pan in a draft-free place, covered with a clean towel, to have a final proof of 50 minutes.

Bake the buns in a preheat oven at 170C for 20-25 minutes.  Remove them from the pan and leave to cool completely.

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Bamboo Charcoal Potato Bread Loaf

Bamboo Charcoal Potato Bread Loaf // Mono+Co Bamboo Charcoal Potato Bread Loaf // Mono+Co

The bread recipe with root vegetable as an additive is so versatile that I continue to experiment with additional ingredients like dry fruits or nuts.  They all come out great, soft and fluffy.  But sometimes, it is nice to go back to basic plain potato bread.

I added the bamboo charcoal powder to the regular recipe because I realise that it is expiring in 4 months.  I need to make a lot more charcoal bread this month to use up the bottle.  Who knew a 40-gram bottle could last so long?

The charcoal powder imparts no flavourings at all to the bread.  So if one eats it with eyes closed, he won’t be able to tell it apart from plain white bread.  But I eat with my eyes wide open, so I turn these black bread slices into a pretty sandwich by teaming them with grilled vegetarian cheese, red lettuce, sweet basil and cherry tomatoes.

With all these vibrant colors from the ingredients, definitely a feast for my eyes.

Bamboo Charcoal Potato Bread Loaf // Mono+Co

Bamboo Charcoal Potato Bread Loaf // Mono+Co


Basic Bamboo Charcoal Potato Bread Loaf

220g plain flour
1/2 tablespoon edible charcoal powder
1/2 tablespoon instant dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons raw sugar
125g mashed potatoes
40g potato water **
1/2 egg ***
30g cold unsalted butter,cubed

** Potato water refers to the water that is left behind after cooking the potatoes with.  Cool it down to room temperature before using.

*** I use large eggs that weigh above 70g with shell, if you have smaller eggs, simply weigh out 35g for this recipe.

In a mixer bowl, stir plain flour, charcoal powder, yeast, sea salt, raw sugar with a hand whisk to mix these dry ingredients uniformly.  Next, add mashed potatoes, potato water, and egg, then knead using an electric mixer with dough hook on the lowest speed (KA 1) until the ingredients come into a ball.  Continue to knead this for about 3 minutes, then stop the mixer and leave this dough to stand for 15 minutes.

Turn on the mixer again on its lowest speed and knead the dough for another 1 minute.  After that, add butter cubes one by one carefully with the mixer running, keep kneading until no visible traces of butter can be seen in the bowl and the dough has reached window pane stage.  The dough should be extremely soft and pliable now, stop the mixer and leave the dough in the bowl, covered.  Proof this for 60 minutes.

The dough will double in volume after its first proof.  Punch down to deflate it and transfer to a clean work top.  Dust hands and worktop with a little flour if the dough is too sticky to handle.  Flatten dough either with palms or rolling pin to push out any gases trapped inside the dough.  Shape the dough and place it in the bread tin, seam side downwards.

If making a square loaf, check on the dough 50 minutes after proofing, the dough should rise to cover about 90% of the height of the tin.  Slide over the cover to enclose the bread and continue to proof for another 10 minutes before baking.  Bake the bread covered in a preheated oven at 200C for 30 minutes.

If making a dome-shaped bread loaf, proof it for 60 minutes.  If the dough has risen above the bread tin, proceed to bake.  If not, give it another 10-15 minutes to rise.  However, do not extend the proof time further than 90minutes, as this will run the risk of over-proofing the dough.  Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for 30 minutes.

Remove bread from tin immediately after baking and leave it to cool completely on a rack before slicing.

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Mashed Potato Buns

mashed potato filling bread 001  mashed potato filling bread 004mashed potato filling bread 003 mashed potato filling bread 002

I left out the bacon in the original recipe to make it a meatless one.

As I was baking these buns yesterday, news broke that more cases of Zika infected patients had been confirmed in Singapore.  I told myself from now on, meal preparation will be kept short and simple, so as to divert more time to keep the house dry, clean and clutter free.

More on Mozzies-Wipe-Out actions later, but let’s get back to these buns.  As usual, it was a tiny batch recipe, yielding exactly 4 buns, perfect for next day’s breakfast, no leftovers.  I also added potato to the bread recipe, whatever that was left after making the mashed potato filling, about 25 grams.  So if you have cooked a potato that is bigger than the 120g required for the filling recipe, you can easily incorporate the remainder into the bread.

I also shaped the bread the croissant way.  Feel free to shape the bread any way you like it, long rolls or round buns.


MASHED POTATO BUNS

recipe adapted from <<孟老师的100道面包>> p.85

for bread:
200g bread flour
15g raw sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 egg yolk
25g mashed potato**
100g water ***
20g unsalted butter, cubed

for filling:
120g mashed potato
15g unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

** Original recipe does not have potato, use any amount of potatoes that remains after making the filling.

*** Use the water from cooking the potato with, cool it down before using.  The starch present in the water is said to be great for making bread texture softer, no reason why fresh water should be used in place of what is available after cooking the potato in it.

In a small mixing bowl,  add butter to 120g of potatoes that have just been cooked and removed from the boiling water.  Mash the potato with a fork, then stir fast with a wooden spoon to whip it slightly.  Add black pepper and mix well.  Cover and set aside.

To make bread dough, mix bread flour, raw sugar, sea salt and instant yeast in a mixer bowl with a hand whisk to combine the dry ingredients together.  Next add cooled mashed potato, egg yolk and cooled potato water, and knead on the lowest speed (KA 1) with a dough hook until the ingredients form into a dough.  Leave this to autolyse for 15 minutes so that the flour absorbs the liquid properly.

After 15 minutes, run the mixer on its lowest speed for about 1 minute, then add cold cubed butter one by one, and knead until traces of butter is no longer visible and dough reaches window pane stage.  Remove mixing bowl from mixer, cover and let dough bulk rise in for 80 minutes.

Move the dough to a clean, dry worktop.  Dust worktop with as little flour as possible if it is too sticky to handle.  Roll the dough into a ball again, let it sit for 15 minutes in a draft-free place.

Flatten the dough with a rolling pin into a large round dough, like shaping a pizza base.  Divide the dough into 4 quadrants.  Take one of the quadrants and lay it down with the “circumference” side nearer to you, spread the filling horizontally to this end and roll the quadrant up towards the sharp tip.  Shape the bread slightly by bending the two ends towards the center to form an arch.  Place it on a greased baking tray.  Repeat till all the doughs and fillings are used up.

Let the buns proof for another 25 minutes, then bake them in a preheated oven at 180C for 20-23 minutes, till the buns  turn into a nice shade of golden brown.

After the buns are done and still piping hot, brush the surface generously with butter.  This step will produce buns that remain soft till next day.

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