Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Recipe No: 152
This is a variation of the basic White Bread that I posted a few days earlier. There are a few differences in the amount of ingredients (Sugar and Yeast) and a small difference in procedure. There is a second kneading involved after the first rise. This will make the Buns very light and airy when compared to the Bread. I should say that the taste of this will came very near to the Buns that are available in Kerala Bakeries.
Ingredients                                          Makes 8 big or 12 medium Buns
  • Milk……………………………...................1/4 Cup
  • Sugar…………………………....................4 Tablespoons
  • Salt…………………………….....................1 Teaspoon
  • Butter or Shortening…........................1 ½ Tablespoons
  • Active Dry Yeast…………......................3 Teaspoons
  • Luke warm Water……….......................3/4 Cup
  • Maida or All Purpose or Bread Flour…2 ½ to 3 Cups
  • Egg Wash (Beat 1 Egg with a tablespoon of Water)
Method of Preparation
  1. Heat Milk, Salt, Sugar and Butter in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is melted. Let it cool to lukewarm.
  2. Dissolve Yeast in Warm Water in a big Bowl. (Bowl of a stand mixer if you have one)
  3. Add the Milk mixture and 2 Cups of Flour and mix really well for a minute or till everything is combined. (Use a dough hook if using a Stand Mixer)
  4. Add ½ to 1 Cup more of Flour until the dough forms a soft and smooth ball. (In a stand mixer the dough should leave the sides of the Bowl.) Use only just enough Flour to make a manageable (can be knead without much sticking) dough.
  5. Dump it on to a floured board and knead for 8 to 12 minutes. (If you are using a stand mixer let it knead on speed 2 for 3- 5 minutes) The resulting dough should be smooth and elastic.
  6. Place the dough in a greased bowl turning it once to grease the top.
  7. Cover it with a damp towel and let it rise for about 1 hour or till it is doubled in bulk.
  8. Punch it down and knead it again for about 5 minutes. (If using a stand mixer knead on speed 2 for 2 minutes)
  9. Divide it into 8 equal sized portions. (If you want smaller buns make it 12.)
  10. Shape each portion into a smooth ball. (Pull the top of the ball and tuck it under and roll it over a board to make it smooth.)
  11. Place it 2 inches apart on a baking tray; cover with a damp towel and let it rise for 20 minutes. (It will start to touch each other at this stage)
  12. Preheat the Oven at 375˚F/ 190.5˚C.
  13. Brush the top of the raised dough with the Egg wash and bake for 13-15 minutes or till the top of the Buns are golden brown in color or the internal temperature attains 165˚F/ 74˚C.
  14. Serve it warm or at room temperature.
  • Bread Flour and All Purpose Flour (which is same as that of Maida) are different. Bread Flour contains a higher amount protein that will in turn develop a higher amount of Gluten while kneading. This Gluten is responsible for the elasticity of Breads. Thus Bread flour will give a more elastic and soft Bread than that of All Purpose Flour. But you can substitute one with the other using the same measurements, even though, the results may vary slightly. As All Purpose Flour is widely available, I tend to use it more and the results are perfectly satisfactory.
  • Heating milk and then cooling it seems like a step that can be avoided but it is very crucial in determining the texture of the Bread. So please don't avoid that step. 
  • The doubling time for the dough will depend on the power of the Yeast and the temperature of the surroundings. So please wait till the dough doubles in your cooking conditions.As Buns got most Yeast (and Sugar, the food in which Yeast grows) this will double faster than Bread dough and  so one can make Buns faster than Breads.
  • I used active dried Yeast in this recipe. Don't let it rise for more time as mentioned in the recipe, for if you do, that will reduce the sweetness of the Buns and increase the sourness due to the overactive Yeast. So keep it only till it is doubled.
  • The temperature of the Water to which we put the Yeast should be lukewarm. That temperature will activate the Yeast, but if the temperature of the Water is high then it may kill the yeast. So after dissolving the Yeast in Water give it a few minutes to become active, that is shown by the bubbling of the dissolved Water. If it doesn't show a bubbling action either you have killed the Yeast or the Yeast is of poor quality (happens when it is very old). In both cases, start over again with fresh Yeast. 
  • A second kneading is very important in the case of Buns because that gives a very light and airy texture to the Buns (at least in my experience).
  • Shortening refers to any solid fats like Dalda or Margarine. In US the commonly used Shortening is Crisco. Butter usually have around 80% fat (the rest Water, Milk solids etc:) while most of the Shortenings are 100% fat.
  • I like these Buns when it touches each other because, personally, I know whether it is cooked well inside by the way it feels when I pull it apart to separate (a procedure that I borrowed from the making of Dinner Rolls).

    Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and 
    serve it to your family with love…


    Mr. Bronzon said...

    I wonder whether I'll ever make this one but I am proud that one of my friends (that is YOU) did it!! You continue to amaze us, Asha. Just bad bad luck we ain't there with you!

    Asha said...

    hey... at last a comment from you...We miss you guys a both were such good food critics!!!

    Resna Arun said...

    Thanks Asha, for a 'Perfect Bun' recipe.
    I do make buns with some sort of spicy filling in it,(something like ur bread rolls) but mostly the bun will end up a little tougher and chewy to eat. But with this bun recipe of urs it came out really light and soft.

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