Happy Thursday! I know I told you in my last post that I was going to take a week or two off from my blog to work on some coursework, but here I am, writing about sweet buns. It’s okay. I’m halfway through my essay- almost there! On Tuesday night, I made some ‘sweet beehive buns’ for a bake sale hosted by Greenpeace St. Andrews to raise money for Project Pod. These buns remind me so much of the Hong Kong style bread I ate growing up, which are sweet yeast breads made with different fillings. In the pre-vegetarian days, my favourite was definitely the sausage roll, or the one filled with barbecue pork. You can also find different variations, such as coconut swirls and ‘pineapple’ bread (which isn’t actually made with pineapple- it’s essentially a sweet bun with a crumbly top). Making these buns, watching them bake, and then smelling them filled me with nostalgia. Rumour has it that the bread from old Chinese bakeries tastes so good because they never wash the baking tray, and the lingering aroma is what makes the bread so delicious. I don’t know if this is true, because it would be
slightly unhygienic if it was, but what can I say? The bread is good!
(I also have some Jewish friends who tell me that Hong Kong/Chinese style bread is similar to Challah.)
I should now probably explain why I’ve named them ‘Beyhive buns.’ Firstly, I am officially seeing Beyoncé’s Mrs. Carter World Tour at the London O2 arena in less than a month! Secondly, I have a sneaking suspicion that Beyoncé’s new album is out today. If not, then something Beyoncé-related is happening today. How else would you be able to explain this video clip?
Finally, here’s a gift from me to you. If you adore Ryan Gosling or puppies as much as I do, I guarantee you’ll appreciate this: Ryan Gosling vs. Puppies: who’s the cutest?
makes around 25 buns
3/4 cup warm milk
1 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 tablespoons oil of your choice (I used olive oil)
2 cups flour of your choice (I used 1 cup spelt, 1 cup plain)
1 tablespoon yoghurt
1 1/4 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon dry active yeast
1 teaspoon baking powder
Your filling of choice (I used cream cheese for half of my buns, and nutella for the other half.)
Warm the milk. In a bowl, mix the milk, yoghurt, oil, and yeast together. Stir to activate the yeast. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly sift in the flour mixture into the liquid mixture to prevent clumping. Knead the dough for 10 minutes or until it becomes slightly tacky and bounces back when you press it. Add more milk if necessary.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Cover the dough and let it rise for one hour. Knead it again, and let it rise for another 30 minutes to an hour. Once it has risen, knead again, and separate the dough into 25 balls. Flatten each ball by pressing them, and fill them with half a teaspoon of your filling of choice. I was going to fill them with cream cheese and strawberry jam, but alas, my jam had gone bad. So, I decided to fill half of the buns with just cream cheese and the other half with nutella.
Pull the sides together to seal the bun, and roll them gently to form a spherical shape. Do the same for the other 24 buns. When finished, cover them with a cloth and let them rise for an additional 20 minutes.
For the egg wash, beat an egg. Brush the buns with the beaten egg.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let it cool, and enjoy. These are great to tear and share!
Inspired by Munaty Cooking