Black Sesame Swirled Milk Bread
I think I'm obcessed... with bread. Since I've started this blog I've probably gained a few pounds. It hasn't been the best choice for my figure but it really gives me something to look forward to on the weekends. Though I'm probably supposed to be looking forward to spending time with my kids and not trying shoo them out of my kitchen.... blah blah blah. I love my kids, But all the running around and screaming makes me want to.... shoot myself...sometimes. Baking gives me a different kind of joy. It's a sense of accomplishment And then you get to eat it! Hello!? And it gives me something to feed the kids...so they can stop screaming....It's really a no brainer. Plus these black sesame swirled milk bread rolls are gorgeous and damn good eating!
This recipe is adapted from the milk bun recipe from The Woks of Life. It's muuuuch easier than the regular tangzhou method of creating a cooked starter first. It's basically dump, mix, and rise. A lot less thinking. And sometimes, I just need a lot less thinking. I was a bit skeptical at first since everything I read always said that the tanzhou method was how milk bread got it's soft texture and feathery crumb. But this recipe worked really really nicely.
This dough starts by mixing all the ingredients together in a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. The original recipe specified the order in which to place the items i the mixer. I didn't want to mess with that so in when the cream, milk, egg sugar, then the flours and yeast. I'm not really sure if it would make a huge difference to add the ingredients at different times, but I'll definitely test that out next time. This dough gets kneaded for 15 minutes in the mixer and then it's time to rise! After about an hour the dough is 1.5-2X its original size. I punched the dough down and turned it out onto a lightly floured surface.
Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. Cover the rest of the balls while you work to shape each on individually. Roll out one piece to about 8 inches in length and 6 inches wide. Spread the Black sesame paste (I made mine by grinding 1/2 c whole black sesame seeds in the food processor till fine, then added 2 tbsp honey and a 1-2 tsp water to thin it out; the full explanation of that can be found in my recipe for black sesame egg tarts) onto the rolled out dough and roll the dough lengthwise into a cigar shape, pinching the ends closed.
You can also use cinnamon sugar with some raisins sprinkled in, which is also a huge favorite in this house!
Cut the cigar shaped dough lengthwise keeping the top of the the roll intact. It'll look like a pair of pants. Take each side of the dough and twist it together, pinch the ends together again, Then twist it on itself making a knot and loop the end of the dough through the middle. Place the shaped dough in the prepared cake pans. Once they are all done, allow to rise for 45 minutes and bake.
These buns come out super soft and fluffy. It takes a lot of will power not to eat the full pan!
Black Sesame Swirled Milk Bread
*Adapted from the Woks of Life
Yields 2 pans with 8 rolls each
- 2/3 cup heavy cream (at room temperature)
- 1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon milk (at room temperature)
- 1 large egg (at room temperature)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup cake flour, tap measuring cup to avoid air pockets
- 3 1/2 cups bread flour, tap measuring cut to avoid air pockets
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Egg wash: whisk together 1 egg with 1 teaspoon water
- 1/2 c black sesame paste (explanation can be found here)
- In the bowl of a mixer, add ingredients in the following order: heavy cream, milk, egg, sugar, cake flour, bread flour, yeast, and salt. Use the dough hook attachment, and turn the mixer to low and let it knead for 15 minutes, occasionally stopping the mixer to push the dough together.
- After 15 minutes, Cover the bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot for 1 hour to rise.
- In the meantime, grease two baking vessels on all sides with butter. I used a standard 2X 9-inch round cake pan.
- After the hour of proofing, punch the dough down and dump the dough on a lightly floured surface. (the original recipe said to put the dough back in the mixer and stir for another 5 minutes to get rid of air bubbles, but I found punching it down did the trick just as well)
- Cut the dough in half and divide into 16 equal pieces.
- Shape the buns by rolling out the dough to about 8X6 inches. Spread the Black sesame paste all over the surface of the dough. Then roll the dough into a cigar shape. Pinch the ends together and then cut the dough cigar in half lengthwise making sure to leave a bit of dough uncut at the top.
- Holding two ends of the cut dough, twist the strands together and pinch the ends together. Then twist the dough twist in on itself pushing the end through the space in the middle. Place in the greased cake pan.
- Once all the dough is shaped, allow to raise for another 40-60 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the risen dough with egg wash. Bake for 23-25 minutes.