Geneva has fantastic bread. As can be expected from any European country, especially one that is sandwiched between the master baking countries of the world. However, I really miss asian bread, soft, chewy and fluffy and barely any crust to speak of. By any European standard, this would be a failure of a bread, but we like it like this ok? You have to make a roux first and add it to the rest of the dough ingredients and that gives it the distinctive softer-than-my-husband’s belly texture.
- 2 tbsp bread flour
- 3 tbsp milk
- 3 tbsp water
Whisk this mixture then cook over low heat until thickened. Do not brown the roux at all. Let the roux cool completely.
- 2½ cups bread flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- ½ cup whole milk, slightly warm
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup melted unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to the lowest heat setting, about 40degrees C to create a nice warm environment for the dough to rise. Put all the wet ingredients, including the tangzhong into the bread machine, then pour the dry ingredients on top. Put the machine on knead cycle until the dough is barely sticky. Stretch the dough over your fist to test for elasticity, it should be able to stretch over without breaking. Let the dough rise until doubled.
If you like, you can fill the buns with a filling of your choice. I filled half of them with kaya (a local Singaporean coconut jam), and the other half with Nutella. Divide the dough into little balls and roll out. Make sure that the middle of the rounds are thicker than the edges. Fill with a teaspoon of filling and pinch the edges to close.
Let rise a second time then brush with milk and bake at 180C until lightly browned.
To form critters
I sniped two ears on my buns to make ears and poked them with chopsticks to give them eyes.
To form this shape, use a ball for the head and make two incisions on the top, pinch and stretch the dough to form ears. For the body, stretch out a roll of dough and coil.
Be careful not snip too deeply or your critters will look like their brains are oozing out of their heads!