Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Introduction to Bread Making

It is almost a week after my last post. We have been busy with work and been going back home late. But with the growing membership of this blog  (two (2) at the time of this writing! hahaha!) I would not want the blog to be stagnant. Although I am still a newbie in bread making, I believe i can share some information on the subject as per the two workshops I attended at Bagus

The first workshop I attended was the Bun-Making workshop. The Specter and Rachel do not share the same interest as me. But for my birthday this year, The Specter sponsored the fee for the workshop! I asked him to come with me too as I do not want to go there alone. He said he's ok with it but without enthusiasm. 

On the day of the workshop, we went to the Kajang branch but we were early. We headed for breakfast and shop around for some baking supplies. Once we were done shopping and paid for the workshop registration, we headed upstairs of the shop. Not so surprisingly, the medium of instruction was not in English. But Chef Chee Seng tried to explain to me in English as much as he could. He was quite shy at first and so I turned to The Specter to translate what Chef Chee Seng was saying.

We were handed a recipe sheet with just the ingredients listed for all the buns we will then be making. The bread dough is the the same for all the buns. The instruction the chef gave was very simple. Dump all the ingredients in the bowl and then knead in the mixer. But since I didn't have a mixer then, I asked the chef to show how to knead manually by hand. So he did two batches of the dough. At different timings of kneading in the mixer, the chef gave us sample of the dough for us to observe the texture. He then showed us how to do the Window Pane test to ensure that the dough is ready. This part was what I liked the most as I learned what is actually expected of the dough to become. At this point, The Specter, who was just there to give me moral support, started to get interested and asked a lot of questions. After the dough has risen, Chef Chee Seng divided the dough for each students to shape and fill the buns. For me, it was fun doing it but my moral supporter was more into it than me. I did not say anything then as i do not want to ruin his mood. But if you were there too, you would see that he was really enjoying it.

The only photo I have from the Bun Making Workshop. Mine is the first 3 on top and rightmost below. The rest made by The Specter.

Now, enough of the background story. So here's the recipe:

Basic Sweet Bread Dough

  • 500 g bread flour
  • 80 g caster sugar
  • 6 g salt
  • 20 g milk powder
  • 10 g instant yeast
  • 1 pc egg
  • 220 ml cold water
  • 80 g butter

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. 
  2. Mix to form the dough and start kneading the dough until it is smooth and elastic. (Please see notes below)
  3. Let dough rest for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until double in volume, in a slightly oiled bowl. Then cover with wet kitchen towel to prevent dryness of the dough's outer layer.
  4. Turn dough onto work surface and divide dough into 40/50 grams or desired size. 
  5. Flatten dough lightly with a rolling pin and put fillings. Shape as you want. Or roll dough into a small round shape but do not put topping yet.
  6. Proof dough for another 45 minutes or until it's doubled in size.
  7. Pre-heat oven at 190 degrees Celcius. 
  8. Put desired topping for the small round shaped dough.
  9. Bake buns for 8 minutes. Turn the baking sheet 180 degrees then bake for 7 minutes more.
  10. Remove buns from baking sheet after taking it out of the oven. Check if the bun is cooked by tapping underneath the bun, it should sound hollow. 

You may select any of the below fillings or topping:

Chocolate Bun :

  • 1 kg Chocolate filling

Chicken and Ham and Cheese Bun

  • Chicken Ham
  • Cheddar Cheese

Peanut Butter Bun

  • Peanut Butter
  • Almond Nib

Black Pepper Tuna Bun (just saute in a pan)

  • 150 g  tuna
  • 40 g onion
  • 4 g powdered black pepper
  • 2 g salt
  • 40 g mayonnaise

Onion Sweet Corn Bun

  • 5 g butter
  • 20 g onion
  • 100 g sweetcorn
  • 2 g powdered black pepper


Tomato Cheese Bun
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Tomato Slice
  • Parsley

The Specter's notes from the workshop:

On Ingredients:

  • Medium/high protein flour makes softer bun.
  • Subtitute milk powder with soya for those who are lactose intolerant.
  • Dry yeast is better in taste but live(cake) yeast is healthier.
  • Eggs and butter help dough to have better texture.
  • For this sweet dough, always use cold water, never warm water.


  • Knead dough until smooth and elastic. Do the Window Pane test to check if dough is ready. Take a little amount of dough and stretch it slowly on all side until you can form a translucent layer. If dough breaks, it is not ready.
  • To make the dough rise quicker, put dough on the rack of oven that is turned off . Place hot/warm water in bowl under the resting dough.
  • To test if dough is ready after the first rise (45 minutes to 1 hour after kneading), push fingers onto dough lightly, if the indentation does not go back, the dough is ready.
  • Butter/oil your hands when re-kneading in a cold room.
  • Flour hands when re-kneading in a warm room.


  • When dough shrinks back during rolling/shaping, it means that it has not rested enough.
  • The fillings must taste stronger than usual.
  • After adding the filling. let dough rest for another 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Paste fillings can be shaped. Do not shape wet fillings.

1 comment:

  1. The bread you made was way better. I do believe you have talent with this!