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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Taro Raisin Buns

Taro Raisin Buns // Mono + Co

Fluffy soft pull apart bread for breakfast again, this time with raisins.

Taro Raisin Buns // Mono + CoTaro Raisin Buns // Mono + Co  Taro Raisin Buns // Mono + CoTaro Raisin Buns // Mono + Co


Taro Raisin Buns

270g plain flour
1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
120g steamed taro
1 tablespoon raw honey
60g whipping cream (38%)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
15g cold butter cubed
50g raisins
optional: rolled oats for garnish

** 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, place plain flour, instant yeast, mashed and cooled steamed taro, raw honey, cream, beaten egg and knead with a dough hook attachment on the lowest speed (KA 1).  Stop the mixer when the ingredients come into a ball.  Let the dough rest for 15-30 minutes.

After resting the dough, sprinkle the sea salt on the dough.  Start the mixer running on its lowest speed again to knead the dough for 1 minute, before adding cubed butter, one by one.  Knead until the dough reaches window pane stage, this is when the dough becomes very smooth and elastic, and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.  Add raisins while mixer is running and knead for about 1 minute to incorporate the raisins into the dough. Remove the bowl from mixer, cover and bulk rise for 1 hour.

After an hour, the dough will rise and increase its volume, punch it down to release the gas, and transfer to a clean work top.  Flatten the dough to push out gas trapped inside the dough, either by hand or a rolling pin.  Flour hands and worktop to help with shaping if the dough is sticky.  Divide the dough into 6 equal parts, shape each into a ball and place it in a greased tin or pan, seam side facing downwards.  Let this sit in a draft-free place to rise for another 50-60 minutes.

Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for 25 minutes.  Remove the bread from the pan immediately after baking, and let it cool on a rack completely before slicing or serving.

Store in a covered container if not consumed immediately, to keep the loaf soft and the crumbs from drying out.

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Anpan

Anpan // Mono+Co

Pillowy soft dough with sweet red bean paste filling.  Anpan used to be a must-buy for me before the varieties of buns increased along with the number of bakeries islandwide.  Bought this packet of red bean paste from Daiso and used my favorite dough recipe with mashed taro to bake 6 buns in a rectangular pan.

Anpan // Mono+CoAnpan // Mono+CoAnpan // Mono+CoAnpan // Mono+Co Anpan // Mono+Co Anpan // Mono+Co Anpan // Mono+CoAnpan // Mono+Co Anpan // Mono+Co


Anpan

290g plain flour
1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
150g steamed taro
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 egg
50g water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
20g cold butter, cubed
35g x 6 red bead paste **
white sesame seeds

** I use ready-made Azuki red bean paste from Daiso.

In a mixer bowl, place plain flour, instant yeast, mashed and cooled steamed taro, raw honey, beaten egg and knead with a dough hook attachment on the lowest speed (KA 1).  Slowly add the water with the mixer running, you may need more or less of the water stated in the recipe.  Watch the dough, when the ingredients come into a ball,  stop adding and turn off the mixer.  Let the dough rest for 15-30 minutes.

After resting the dough, sprinkle the sea salt on the dough.  Start the mixer running on its lowest speed again to knead the dough for 1 minute, before adding cubed butter, one by one.  Knead until the dough reaches window pane stage, this is when the dough becomes very smooth and elastic, and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.  Remove the bowl from mixer, cover and bulk rise for 1 hour.

After an hour, the dough will rise and increase its volume, punch it down to release the gas, and transfer to a clean work top.  Flour hands and worktop with flour to help with shaping if the dough is sticky.  Divide the dough into 6 equal parts.  Flatten a piece of dough on the work top and place 1 x 35g red bean paste in the middle.  Wrap the azuki bean paste inside the dough and shape it into a ball.  Place it in a greased tin or pan, seam side facing downwards.  Repeat for the remaining 5 pieces of dough.  Let them sit in a draft-free place to rise for another 50 minutes.

Just before baking, sprinkle some white sesame seeds on top of each bun.  Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for 23 minutes.

Remove the bread from the pan immediately after baking, and let it cool on a rack completely before serving.

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Taro Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns // Mono + Co Hot Cross Buns // Mono + Co Hot Cross Buns // Mono + Co Hot Cross Buns // Mono + Co Hot Cross Buns // Mono + Co

Jumping on the hot cross bun bandwagon with my taro enriched bread recipe.  I realized that my 6″x9″x3″ rectangle pan is perfect for baking this recipe!

This hot cross bun is made plain, without raisins and mix spice.  So I serve it with butter and kaya, local style.


Taro Hot Cross Buns

270 plain flour
1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
120g mashed taro
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 egg
50g water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
20g butter
for cross:
1 tablespoon plain flour
water

In a mixer bowl, place plain flour, instant yeast, mashed and cooled steamed taro, raw honey, beaten egg and knead with a dough hook attachment on the lowest speed (KA 1).  Slowly add the water with the mixer running, you may need more or less of the water stated in the recipe.  Watch the dough, when the ingredients come into a ball,  stop adding and turn off the mixer.  Let the dough rest for 15-30 minutes.

After resting the dough, sprinkle the sea salt on the dough.  Start the mixer running on its lowest speed again to knead the dough for 1 minute, before adding cubed butter, one by one.  Knead until the dough reaches window pane stage, this is when the dough becomes very smooth and elastic, and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.  Remove the bowl from mixer, cover and bulk rise for 1 hour.

After an hour, the dough will rise and increase its volume, punch it down to release the gas, and transfer to a clean work top.  Flatten the dough to push out gas trapped inside the dough, either by hand or a rolling pin.  Flour hands and worktop with flour to help with shaping if the dough is sticky.  Divide the dough into 6 equal parts, shape each into a ball and place it in a greased tin or pan, seam side facing downwards.  Let this sit in a draft-free place to rise for another 50-60 minutes.

Make a flour paste with plain flour with just enough water to smooth but not runny paste.  Pipe the paste on the top of each bun to make a cross.

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

Store in a covered container if not consumed immediately, to keep the loaf soft and the crumbs from drying out.

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Pumpkin Sourdough (No Recipe)

Pumpkin Sourdough // Mono + Co Pumpkin Sourdough // Mono + Co Pumpkin Sourdough // Mono + CoPumpkin Sourdough // Mono + CoPumpkin Sourdough // Mono + Co

No recipe because while mixing the dough, I got lost halfway jotting down how much flour I have topped up.  Did I stop after 2 tablespoons? Or was it 3?  But I remember starting the mixture with 270g of flour.  Without adding water, the dough was already wet with liquid from the starter, pumpkin, and honey.  I enjoyed the bread: sweetness from the pumpkin that ends with tangy flavor. Crumb is moist and slightly burnt crust was thin and flavorful.  Definitely worth trying again to find out the amount of flour I added.

Ingredients + steps for my future reference:
+ plain flour, unknown amount
+ 150g fed starter
+ 120g mashed steamed pumpkin
+ 2 tablespoons raw honey
Mix and left to autolyse for 1 hour.
+ 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Knead with mixer until the salt is incorporated into the dough.
+ 18g cold cubed butter
Knead till window pane stage.
Transfer to a covered container and leave in the fridge for 1 day.
Next day, remove from fridge, shape the dough gently into a ball, creating a smooth and stretched outer surface.
Line the bottom of a dutch oven with rice flour.  Place the shaped dough inside, dust surface of dough with rice flour, score the loaf to liking and bake covered for 40 minutes in a preheated oven at 250C.  I made a 30 degree cut to create “ears”.
After 40 minutes, remove the cover and bake for another 20 minutes at 220C.  When done, transfer the bread to a rack to cool completely, at least 1 hour, before slicing or serving.

Pumpkin Sourdough // Mono + Co

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Flaxseed Taro Loaf

Flaxseed Taro Loaf // Mono + Co Flaxseed Taro Loaf // Mono + Co Flaxseed Taro Loaf // Mono + Co Flaxseed Taro Loaf // Mono + Co

I applied a step from making sourdough bread to this yeasted recipe: only add salt to the dough after the autolyse stage.  It didn’t seem to make any difference to my taro bread recipe, but I thought my dough reached window pane stage slightly earlier than usual.  Someone else commented the same thing here so this could be making an impact on my bread just that I didn’t know. There is really no harm adding the salt later (I think) so I will be doing this for all my future bread recipes.

The flaxseeds were a last minute add-on.  Got them on a 20% offer, $5.44 for a 500g pack, and they are organic.  The bread rose tall enough after 50 minutes into its final proofing but I find the bread top too bare.  Before sending it into the oven, I mist the loaf with water and sprinkle a tablespoon of flaxseeds on top.


Flaxseed Taro Loaf

270g plain flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
100g steamed taro
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 large egg
70g water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
20g cold butter, cubed
1 tablespoon flaxseeds

In a mixer bowl, place these ingredients: plain flour, instant yeast, mashed and cooled steamed taro, raw honey, beaten egg and knead with a dough hook attachment on the lowest speed (KA 1).  Slowly add the water with the mixer running, you may need more or less of the water stated in the recipe.  Watch the dough, when the ingredients come into a ball,  stop adding and turn off the mixer.  Let the dough rest for 15-30 minutes.

After resting the dough, sprinkle the sea salt on the dough.  Start the mixer running on its lowest speed again to knead the dough for 1 minute, before adding cubed butter, one by one.  Knead until the dough reaches window pane stage, this is when the dough becomes very smooth and elastic, and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.  Remove the bowl from mixer, cover and bulk rise for 1 hour.

After an hour, the dough should rise and increase its volume, punch it down to release the gas, and transfer to a clean work top.  Flatten the dough to push out gas trapped inside the dough, either by hand or a rolling pin.  The dough is quite sticky, flour hands and worktop with flour to help with shaping.  Shape the dough into a log and place it in a greased bread tin, seam side facing downwards.  Let this sit in a draft-free place to rise for another 50-60 minutes.  When the bread has risen to the rim of the baking tin, brush some water on the surface and sprinkle flaxseeds even on top.

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

Store in an airtight container if not consumed immediately, to keep the loaf soft and the crumbs from drying out.

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Walnut And Dried Longan Sourdough

Walnut and Dried Longan Sourdough // Mono + CoWalnut and Dried Longan Sourdough // Mono + CoWalnut and Dried Longan Sourdough // Mono + Co

The natural starter rose to more than doubled it’s original volume but I still have balance bread.  What to do when the bread baking schedule cannot catch up with the starter’s feeding schedule?

i. The easiest way is to skip a day of baking.
Discard starter to leave just 1/3 of the weight that you normally need (mine is 150g, so I discard to leave 50g of starter in the container)  for baking, feed it with equal amount of flour and water (mine will be 50g of flour and 50g of water) and leave it in the fridge.  By the time I need it for the next day or the day after, I simply return it to room temperature on the counter and once it rises to double or pass the float test, I will use it to mix the dough.  If the baking break is too long, and the starter does not appear to be active or doubling its volume, 1 or 2 more feedings might be required to reactivate its strength.  To do so, discard to leave  1/3 of the weight of the fed starter required by the bread recipe and feed with flour and water.  Repeat this once or twice a day until the starter regains back its strength.

ii. Make sourdough pizza dough like this.

iii. Make sourdough pancakes or waffles.

iv. I chose to bake a sourdough that requires 2-3 days of long fermentation time so that my bread consumption can catch up with my productive baking timetable.  After using 125g of my 150g fed starter for a Tartine’s walnut sourdough recipe, I feed it with another 20g flour and 20g of water to maintain a 60g starter.  This can then be kept in the fridge or leave it on the counter for next day to be fed for a different bread dough.

For this Tartine’s sourdough, I adapted from here, (I like the timetable he puts up) halved the recipe and added dried longans for sweetness.  Just like my previous Tartine recipe attempt, the dough was too wet to be shaped or handled at my 30C room temperature, so I let it final proof and ferment in its shaggy state in the container without shaping, only to gently gluten stretch it into a boule just before baking and it worked out fine.


TARTINE WALNUT DRIED LONGAN SOURDOUGH

adapted from the perfect loaf

125g fed starter
350g water
500g of plain flour
(original used 50g wholewheat 450g white flour)
10g sea salt 
25g water 
1 cup toasted walnuts 
1/2 cup dried longans **

** In a small bowl, rehydrate the dried longans by covering them with just enough water.  Gently squeeze out excess liquid before adding them to the dough.

In a large mixing bowl, add fed starter to 350g of water and stir with a wooden spoon to mix well.  Next, add plain flour, turn on mixer to knead with a dough hook to form a wet dough.  Cover the bowl and leave this aside for 40 minutes (I left mine to autolyse for 60 minutes.)

Sprinkle sea salt over the dough and pour the remaining 25g water, start the mixer and knead on its lowest speed setting.  The dough by now will appear very stretchable and doesn’t stick to the side of the bowl while the mixer is running.  Stop once the salt and water has appeared to be mixed well into the dough.  Remove bowl from mixer and transfer this to a covered container.  Leave this in the fridge for 1st fermentation.  The original recipe did its bulk rise and turns immediately after this.  I wasn’t in any rush, so I gave the dough a whole day in the fridge.

Next morning, take out the dough from the fridge and do a series of turns 6 times at 30 minutes interval.  No need to bring the dough to room temperature.

Turn 1 : Reach of the dough from the bottom of the bowl and pull up to tuck it to the opposite side of the bowl.  Turn the bowl and repeat for another pull-stretch-tuck action for about 3 more times till one round is completed. Leave this aside for 30 minutes.

Turn 2 : Repeat the same pull-stretch-tuck action, when completed, add the walnuts and rehydrated longans and roughly mix them into the dough with few folding actions.  Leave aside for 30 minutes.

Turn 3 –  6 : Repeat as above.  By the end of the 6th turn, cover the container and put the dough back into the fridge for another overnight retardation.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 250C.  Take out the dough from the fridge and shape the cold dough gently into a ball, careful not to break up too much of the air pockets that has built up inside the dough.  Place the dough inside a floured dutch oven pot.  Sprinkle flour on surface and score, cover the pot and put it into the preheated oven bake for 40 minutes.

After 40 minutes, remove the cover, reduce the oven temperature to 220C and bake for another 30 minutes.

Cook on rack completely for at least 1 hour before slicing.

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Tartine’s Country Bread

Tartine's Country Bread // Mono + Co

This sourdough bread almost didn’t make it to the baking stage as I found it too sticky to shape at room temperature.  After going bulk fermentation overnight and 4 turns at 30-minute intervals to carry out a series of stretch-and-fold action,the dough became more and more sticky as it returned to room temperature.  By the time I had reached the last turn, the wet dough obviously looked like it won’t survive beyond my somewhat still botchy shaping skills.

Tartine's Country Bread // Mono + Co

But my natural starter has been surprising me pleasantly for the past few bakes, so I was curious how this bread will turn out, with a nice shape or not.  Plus the recipe I referred to also bake the bread straight out of the fridge.  So I placed the dough back into the fridge overnight to firm it up again, swiftly removed the entire dough out of the container it while it is cold the next morning, shaped the dough by creating a tight gluten cloak, sprinkled some flour on the surface, created a deep slash before sending it into a preheated oven at 220C for 1 hour.

Tartine's Country Bread // Mono + Co

True enough, my starter did not disappointment me this time either.

Tartine's Country Bread // Mono + Co Tartine's Country Bread // Mono + Co

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Natural Starter Taro Chia Seed Bagel

Natural Starter Taro Chia Seeds Bagels // Mono + Co

I bake bread fervently for two reasons. One. To have control over the ingredients that goes into mine, that means no artificial flavors or unfamiliar additives that I can’t pronounce.  Two.  To avoid packaging, especially the plastic ones from commercial bakeries.  I have taken an extra step to buy as many ingredients as possible without packaging by sourcing them from dry goods stores at wet markets.  I am so glad that I have found plain flour, sold in bulk.  Being the main ingredient of bread, that’s a lot of plastic bags avoided, but there is still no avail for wholemeal flour.

Natural Starter Taro Chia Seeds Bagels // Mono + CoNatural Starter Taro Chia Seeds Bagels // Mono + Co

I am not a great fan of bagels but I am intrigued by that overlapping end that gives bagel its signature handmade look.  Some recipes suggest simply poking a hole through a dough ball and shape it further like a donut.  I found the method of flattening one end of a cylindrically shaped dough and wrap this end around the other end most useful.  For more shaping techniques, check out here and here.  The method I adopted is demonstrated with photos in the recipe section.

Natural Starter Taro Chia Seeds Bagels // Mono + Co

After proofing, the size of the hole became smaller as the dough expanded.  It was reduced further to resemble a belly button after boiling in water before baking.

Natural Starter Taro Chia Seeds Bagels // Mono + Co Natural Starter Taro Chia Seeds Bagels // Mono + Co Natural Starter Taro Chia Seeds Bagels // Mono + Co

I boiled these bagels in a small pot of water with honey added to get these golden brown effect after baking.  As this recipe yields 6 bagels, I boiled them one by one for 1 minute on each side, so that I won’t waste a big pot of water as well as honey, which is expensive.  Alternatively, cheaper malt syrup can be used.


Natural Starter Taro Chia Seed Bagel

160g fed starter
200g plain flour
100g steamed taro, mashed
3 tablespoon milk powder
45g water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
30g cold butter, cubed
1 tablespoon chia seeds

In a mixer bowl, add fed starter, plain flour, cooled mashed taro, milk powder, and water. Start mixer to knead on its lowest speed with a dough hook until all the ingredients come into a ball.  Stop the mixer and let the dough rest for 15 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the liquid better.

After 15 minutes, sprinkle the sea salt on the dough and start the mixer again to knead for 1-2 minutes before adding cubed butter one by one.  Knead until the dough reaches window pane stage.  Add chia seeds to incorporate.  Stop mixer and leave the dough in the covered mixer bowl to bulk rise at room temperature for 120 – 150 minutes, until the dough expands and passes the poke test, a sure sign that the first fermentation stage is completed.

After the dough has risen to double its volume, punch down the dough to deflate and transfer to a clean worktop.  Sprinkle worktop and palms with flour if the dough is too sticky to handle.  Divide the dough into 6 portions, mine’s around 100g each.

Take one of the dough and roll it on the worktop to get a cylinder shape, about 30cm long.  Using a roller pin, flatten about 5 cm of one end, then join the two ends to make a loop with the dough and overlay the flatten end to wrap the other end.

Natural Starter Taro Chia Seeds Bagels // Mono + CoNatural Starter Taro Chia Seeds Bagels // Mono + CoNatural Starter Taro Chia Seeds Bagels // Mono + Co

Arrange on a baking tray.  Repeat with the rest of the dough balls.  Proof these for an hour.

Fill up 3/4 pot with water, I used my smallest 16 cm diameter one to save water, and add 1 tablespoon of honey.  Bring the water to boil.  Gently pick up a bagel dough, and transfer it into the pot of boiling water, with its top side facing down.  After 1 minute, flip the bagel and continue to cook for a further 1 minute.  Remove the cooked bagel from the pot, and drain on a sieve, before arranging it on a baking pan.

Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 8 minutes. Turn the tray and bake for a further 7-8 minutes till the surface turns golden brown.

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