Taiwanese Milk Butter Buns

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These pillowy milk buns filled with sweet, rich and creamy milk butter are some of the most popular items in Taiwanese bakeries. Give this a try and you’ll understand why!

Ingredients

Tangzhong (Yudane)

  • 30 g boiling water, 2 tbsp
  • 25 g bread flour, 2½ tbsp

Milk Bun Dough

  • 250 g bread flour, 2 cup
  • 30 g cake flour, ¼ cup
  • 10 g dry milk powder, 1 tbsp
  • 30 g sugar, 2 tbsp
  • 15 g honey, a little bit less than 1 tbsp
  • 25 g large egg, beaten, ½ large egg, ⅛ cup, save the rest for making cookie top
  • 80 g cold whole milk, ⅓ cup
  • 60 g cold water, ¼ cup
  • all tangzhong (Yudane) paste
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast, preferably saf instant yeast
  • 4 g sea salt, ½ tsp
  • 30 g unsalted butter, cut into 6 – 8 pieces

Crumb Topping

  • 25 g unsalted butter, slightly less than 2 tbsp, softened
  • 20 g sugar, 1½ tbsp
  • 40 g bread flour, ⅓ cup

Milk Butter

  • 65 g unsalted butter, 4½ tablespoon
  • 40 g powdered sugar , ⅓ cup
  • 30 g heavy whipping cream, 2 tbsp
  • 65 g dry milk powder, ½ cup

Egg Wash

  • leftover beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon water

Instructions

  1. Measure 25 grams of bread flour in a bowl. Set the kitchen scale to zero with the flour and bowl on it and pour in 30 grams of boiling water. Stir until combined to form a sticky dough.
  2. Let it cool down before storing in the fridge overnight or for 12 hours. Use it within 48 hours.
  3. In a stand mixer, mix all the dough ingredients except yeast, sea salt and unsalted butter until a rough dough is formed. Cover and and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  4. After resting, add yeast and knead for 1-2 minutes on medium speed before adding salt. Knead for another 2-3 minutes before adding unsalted butter, one piece at a time.
  5. Knead until the dough is smooth and able to pass the windowpane test (see FAQ for more details). About 8-10 minutes. Make sure the dough stays cool during the entire kneading process. If the temperature of your dough becomes higher than 82°F (28°C) when it’s done kneading, place it on a tray and chill it in the freezer for 1-2 minutes before proofing.
  6. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover and proof in a warm place (82°F / 28°C) for an hour or until the dough just about doubles in size.
  7. To make the crumb topping, mix softened unsalted butter, sugar and bread flour together with your finger tips until well combined. Cover and store it in the fridge.
  8. To make milk butter, cream unsalted butter with sugar together until smooth before stirring in milk powder and heavy whipping cream. Cover and leave it at room temperature until it’s ready to use.
  9. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions with dough cutter (don’t tear it!)
  10. Flatten the dough with your palm before folding the edges to the center, pinch them together to form a ball and flip it over so the seam side is down. Cover the dough with a damp tea towel and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  11. To form the bun, dust the working surface with a bit of flour, roll the dough ball into a rectangle that’s about the size of your hand.
  12. Spread about 25g of milk butter on the dough. Fold ⅓ of the dough from the side to the middle, then fold in the same direction again (See the pictures and video in the post to see how I form the buns.).
  13. Cut two lines in the middle of the dough length-wise and twist it two times before curling it up like a snail shell and stick the end into the bottom.
  14. Place the buns on a lined baking sheet, cover with a damp tea towel and let it proof in a warm place (82°F / 28°C) for 50 minutes.


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