Last weekend, I planned to make these early this week and had prepared the overnight sponge dough which was chilling in the fridge. I knew I would be needing some "therapy" because it was the stressful time of the month again... (No, it's not what you are thinking about), where I would be busy preparing reports for submission. True enough, I was very tied up at work that I didn't get to bake my milk buns although my dough was chilling in the fridge for 4 days already.
I finally made these late last night. It was definitely a session of "Midnight Baking" here. But, it was truly satisfying as the Milk buns were so soft, flavorful, with a tinge of sweetness and my boy had one even before I had the chance to snap a picture.
Let's see some In-the-Making pictures...
I took out the overnight sponge dough, tore it into small pieces and together with the fresh dough ingredients, I kneaded it using my stand mixer (Kitchenaid, the sexy-hot-pink lady) for about 20 minutes until the dough was smooth.
I put the lovely and smooth dough into a greased bowl and put a cling wrap over it to let it proof for about an hour. A tip to share here that I learnt from the Food Network channel, draw the outline of the dough on the cling wrap with a permanent marker. This will give you an idea if your dough had doubled in size or not by the end of the hour. If it hasn't, you can let it proof longer until it doubles in size. (I know from this picture, you can tell I can't really draw a good line, but, it's just a bad angle).
So, this is how it looked like after an hour, yippee!
Then, punch down the dough and divide the dough into 9 pieces. (I just roughly cut it with a dough cutter and didn't weigh it. No need for all that at 1 a.m.). Place them into a greased tray.
Another tip to share is... you know the paper that the butter comes in? The one what we scrape to death to ensure every bit of butter is not wasted before throwing the paper away? Don't throw them! Keep them in an air-tight container in the fridge. Just take one piece out when you want to grease your tray (There will surely be some leftover bit of butter on that paper). This way, you will really maximise every single bit of the butter and at the same time save time on washing brushes or utensils that you will otherwise use for greasing the baking tray. Awesome tip from Master Jamie Oliver. :)
Then, let the dough rise for another 30 minutes and preheat your oven to 170 degree C.
Bake for 20 minutes. No egg wash is needed but you can if you prefer to do so or you want to add any toppings on the buns. Again, at 1.30a.m., I skipped it and the buns still turned out great!
The overnight sponge dough method really made the buns very soft and fluffy as you can see below:
Recipe was adapted from here:
Overnight sponge dough
215g high protein flour
125g milk (cold)
2g instant yeast (1/2tsp)
1. Add all ingredients in a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients to a rough dough by hands, the dough is dry and rough and you do not need to knead until the dough is smooth. Cover tightly with cling wrap and immediately store in the fridge for overnight (at least 12 hours)
To prepare milk buns:
1 quantity of the above overnight sponge dough
90g high protein flour
30g egg (1/2 large egg)
4g instant yeast (1 teaspoon)
3g fine salt (1/2 teaspoon)
60g sugar (Reduce this is you prefer less sweetness)
45g butter (room temperature)
2 tablespoon water (can also use 1 tablespoon of milk, but I ran out of it)
1.Tear the overnight sponge dough into pieces and add in all the ingredients except butter in a mixing bowl, knead till smooth dough.
2. Add in the butter and knead until dough is smooth and elastic (20 minutes with Kitchenaid).
3. Put the dough into a greased bowl, cover with cling wrap and set aside to proof till double in size.
3.Punch down the dough to expel air, equally divide the dough to 9 portions and shape into round balls.
4. Place dough in a baking tray. Let it proof for another 30 minutes
5. Bake at pre-heated oven at 170 degree C for 20 minutes.
This is a very easy recipe and the plain buns tasted very good and it keeps soft for a few days. :)