In fact, while I can speak Mandarin fluently, my reading and writing skills are pathetic. But I didn't really need to read anything in Mandarin anyway so I was okay with that.
All that changed a few days ago.
Bake for Happy Kids and Amy from Amy's Baking Diary last week and we had a lovely time talking about blogger stuff. Then I mentioned that I really wanted to learn to make bread buns - you know, the type you see in all these bakeries here - but I didn't know how to shape the bread. Zoe recommended that I get a copy of Carol's The Second Book of Baking for Beginners. The only catch was, yes you guessed it, everything is written in Chinese.
Peng san, man.
But I really wanted to learn. So I got a copy of the book, and I sat for hours - yes, hours! - reading the recipes very, very slowly and translating them into English.
The LAM kept laughing at me. Oh well.
So today, I present to you my first bake from this book - Pork Floss Buns!
Here are the instructions on how to make these buns. I actually hand kneaded the dough (yes, I think I am losing my mind) but you can use your mixer to knead the dough if you like.
In a big bowl, add the flours, yeast, egg, sugar, salt and 120ml of the milk.
windowpane stage. Shape into a ball and place the dough in a bowl.
Note: I turn on my oven to the lowest temperature (35°C) for 1 minute, turn it off and place my dough in the oven to rise. In this way, it does not matter if the weather is cool (especially now that monsoon season has arrived).
Using a spatula, spread mayonnaise on the top half of the bun.
Now you can make pork floss buns for breakfast, or a snack.
I am in love. :)
Pork Floss Buns (Makes 8)
Adapted from Carol's "The Second Book of Baking for Beginners"
270g bread flour
30g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
30g caster sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
30g unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pork (or chicken) floss
Egg Wash (1 egg, beaten)
1. In a big bowl, add the flours, yeast, egg, sugar, salt and 120ml of the milk.
2. Mix, and add the rest of the milk gradually while mixing.
3. Once the ingredients have come together, add the butter and knead to incorporate.
4. Keep kneading the dough until the dough is elastic (it will get less sticky as you knead) and has reached the windowpane stage. Shape into a ball and place the dough in a bowl.
5. Spray with a little water and cover with a piece of damp cloth. Place the bowl in a warm place to allow the dough to rise for about 1-1.5 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
6. Punch the dough to allow the air to escape.
7. Divide the dough into 8 portions, about 70g each. Shape each portion into a ball. Cover with a piece of damp cloth and rest for 15 minutes.
8. Roll each ball into a rough rectangle. Roll the dough and pinch the edges to seal.
9. Place the dough on two baking trays. Place the trays in the oven to proof for 50 minutes.
10. Remove the trays from the oven and preheat the oven to 170°C.
11. Brush egg wash on the bread dough. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the bread has turned golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
12. Using a spatula, spread mayonnaise on the top half of the bun.
13. Press the bun gently onto the pork floss to coat. You may need to press gently on the bun to help the floss adhere to the buns.
I am also submitting this recipe for Cook-Your-Books hosted by Kitchen Flavours.