Saturday, May 2, 2009

Soft Sesame Seed Buns

So we finally fired up that giant 4 burners + 1 stove barbie grill that we bought 2 months ago .The heat was so strong that my bro Joe burnt half the ribs and lamb chops and we were done eating within 1 1/2 hours. Talk about efficiency. Gas grills are so convenient aren't they. And my hair didn't smell of smoke, unlike using charcoal grills. Only bummer is the cleaning up, and should the grease plates under the grill be cleaned up each time after use, or should the grease be left to contribute flavors to future grilling? Please advise, anyone.


We had baby back ribs basted with a sauce that Wey had cooked for more than an hour. The sauce was supposed to be a clone of that by the American chain restaurant Roadhouse Grill but we had substituted the Jim Beam whiskey with Harvey's Bristrol sherry and we couldn't get hold of any liquid mesquite smoke so it turned out tasting like tomato puree and cider vinegar mix. That confirmed it for me: making your own barbie sauce is a waste of time. Just buy the bottle. Still, the baby ribs were good. We also had some bratwursts my other bro Clive had brought in from Singapore. I liked the big green prawns best, grilled to almost charred outside and moist and springy inside. The head of the prawn was intense with flavor. But when Joe started serving his pork belly marinaded in red bean curd and wine, everything else tumbled to second place. The belly pork was savory sweet and juicy, with a strong red bean curd flavor.

My sesame seed buns were a hit. I've often used the same sweet dough recipe for making garlic rolls and cheesesticks but tonight's buns were extra cottony soft. I know it's not the Gold Medal bread flour. The secret was in the water-flour ratio. I've always added extra flour to the recipe (which is from a book called Make Your Own Bread--author's name is in Chinese) because it makes a messy, sticky dough but this time, I stayed true to the recipe (except for reducing the sugar and cutting short the steps) and what a big difference it made. I have simplified all my bread making into one step, no matter what recipe. As long as the yeast is good, I throw all the ingredients into the mixer without making a starter mix or adding the ingredients in stages and the bread'll still come out good.

This is a great recipe I treasure and which I'm sure you would too once you've tried it. You can add some raisins or cheese or garlic and butter or meat floss, or red bean paste...It is simple and easy to make yet yields amazingly soft, light and moist bread that stays soft without the use of bread improver and whatever else the commercial bakers use.



Soft Sesame Seed Buns
500 g bread flour
1 1/2 t dry active yeast
50 g castor sugar*
1 t salt
1 medium-sized egg
50 g cold butter
260 ml cold water (lukewarm water if room temp is low)

1 egg yolk, white sesame seeds

*reduce or increase according to the type of bread you are making

1. Put all the ingredients into your mixer bowl and knead at medium speed for 12-15 minutes. The dough will be very wet and sticky at first and gradually becomes less wet but still sticky. Take out the dough hook, cover the bowl with a cloth and leave in unheated oven for 1 hour until all puffed (they always say until dough doubles but really the dough triples).

2. Take the dough out and put on a lightly floured surface. Use a pastry cutter and cut into 10-12 equal pieces (I made 13).

3. Lightly flour your hands and roll each piece of dough on the counter in a circular motion. Press the dough out (using hands or rolling pin) into an oblong shape and roll it up, swiss-roll like, from the shorter side. Tuck in and press the open sides firmly to seal. Repeat for all dough pieces.

4. Pull the dough pieces lightly to lengthen and put them on a greased baking tray about 1 cm apart and let them rise in an unheated oven for an hour.

5. Take the tray out, heat the oven to 200 C. Brush the tops of the buns with a beaten egg yolk and sprinkle some sesame seeds over.

6. Bake until golden, about 13-15 minutes.

Some bread-making tips I've learnt:

--unless you have iron arms, kneading by machine using a dough hook gives best results
--make sure your yeast is active by 'growing' some of it in sugar, water n flour. If it bubbles & foams, it's good
--after the final/second proofing, be very careful when handling the proofed dough. If you bang it or give it a thud, the dough will deflate and the bread will be hard
--a wet dough gives softer bread


Daedae said...

Hey food looks yummy as usual. We don't clean our grill after cooking but when we fire up the grill for the next cooking, before we put the food on, we use a grill wire brush on it to clean it. drip pan, it collects the oil and then we throw it out after a few use and put a new one in.
How's everything going in Api?

leo said...

Aunty Terri, can I use the soft sesame seed bun recipe for making soft pizza? Thank you

Siew said...

Cleaning the gas stove is one of the reasons which kept me from getting one. Must try the buns one day, looks really good.

Anonymous said...

Ooooh la lala!! These photos are killing loudly!

Anonymous said...

'killing me' hahaha

terri@adailyobsession said...

dae:ah yes, the drip pans, tt's what they r called.sounds like a fun way of keeping the grill--no work at all. now i'll hav to look for a wire brush.

everything's fine yet not fine in Api. on the surface life's the same but inflation on food stuff has really kicked in. supermarkets r selling 2nd or 3rd grade imported produce at 1st grade prices. home-front, niongniong is getting bettern hing is back with his wife a cute 6-month old baby, staying with me until monday. will miss tt little ball. he's such a good baby, hardly fusses, so unlike my r u guys? still doing a lot of competitive swimming n basketball? my love to all:D

leo: no no, with the addition of egg n butter, the douch may be too soft. go to my search box n search for 'pizza'--use tt recipe.

siew: i know. yes, u must make those buns

anon: i hear u:)


ganache-ganache said...

Hey, where did u get the grill ? Sausages ? Oh, I've got the liquid smoke, next time u have a bbq, call me & my smoke :)!!

daomingsi said...

Hai Terry, I would like to ask can I substitute the flour with whole wheat flour? Do I need more yeast for whole wheat flour? Thanks.

Dae said...

Our drip pans are disposable, don't know if yours is- so you might want to line it up with tin foil? takes a lot of elbow grease out since you can just throw that away and reline the drip pan again. The place where you bought that good looking monster of a grill, they should sell accessories to the grill- tongs, forks, so probably the long handled wire brush as well?
It's Long course swim season so yes, we are busy with that. Penny does not play basketball here in the States, just too too short. Both play volleyball tho but the season is over so we get to have more "free" time.
love, hugs and kisses to Niongniong and the rest of the family.

Denise ^ ChickyEGG said...

LOlz ! my bun fails today! the bread didnt want to puff! guess i didnt knead enuff ? or is the yeast problem? I dont have stand machine to knead, so I have a hand-held machine with knead-hook. next time, i should knead it i guess ?

Leo said...

Thanks aunty!

terri@adailyobsession said...

ganache: smbody shipped it in when he moved here frm brisbane. when i bought mine, there was one left. i think it's still available bc the guy left for bris the next day, n will be back end of may. tell me if u really want it. sausages r frm singapore..sure, u must bring ur family n we'll hav a cook out provided u bring a cake, nvr mind the smoke :D

daomingsi: i think it'll work fine with whole meal too but u can always increase the yeast to 2 tsp, just in case...

dae: oh thank u dae, the foil is a good idea. hey, i seasoned the teppan plates b4 using by heating it for half an hour but when i wipe it, the tissue is black. what shd i do? er, this monster was shipped frm australia n i can't get extra parts unless i go there:)

denise: oh dear, n today was such a hot dy, perfect for bread making. i think ur yeast is the most likely porblem. do test it by mixing with some sugar n flour n water. if it bubbles n grow, it's good. if not, throw it all away. i always leave my yeast in the fridge. now regarding kneading, i never made a good loaf of bread by hand. i just don't have the strength or the skills. my bread were always hard as rocks. one night i threw the dough inot the mixer n tt loaf of bread was the beginning of my bread adventure.

i hope u succeed...tell me if u need help

leo: welcome; made it yet?

LilyAnette said...

I agree with you when you noted that when the dough is messier, the softer the bread turns out. I also experience the same thing when making any type of bread and I always make sure the dough feels heavy and wet on the hands instead of heavy and dry.And of course, having a heavy duty mixer can never go wrong!

Leo said...

Aunty do you mean using "Rocket-Parma Ham Pizza" Recipe for the dough?? I wanted to make for tomorrow's party but cannot be done as it has to rest overnight. Mmm...... so after i've thawed the dough for 1/2 hour, I can use immediately.. am i right? Thanks

Unknown said...

Hi Terri, the bread looked oh-so-yummy and I will definitely try it out! Always wanted to make my own bread :p Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

will the bread be hard the next day? bread will always be soft when out of the oven but turn dry and hard the next day. Trying to get hold a nice bread recipe that stays soft and fluffy the next day.

Anonymous said...

Thank God Wey isn't American, else he wouldn't be eating any pork now coz of the swine flu.

TeaLady said...

OOOOO!!!!! BarBQ. Love it. Hubs BBQ's often and his ribs are outstanding. Your buns look great. I will have to try this one. Recipe looks easy.

Bratwurst. Haven't had that in years. Looks very tasty!!!

zurin said...

ooh good ! m always on the look out for new bread recipes. have quite a list but havnt made them urs look very soft and fluffy..yes dough hook...must make myself use that nxt time..otherwise its iron arms.:)

terri@adailyobsession said...

lilyann: yes, thnx for confirming :D

leo: oh i'm sorry about is tt recipe i'm talking about. next time, u can use plain flour too & use it on the same day bc it will not shrink n pull away when u roll it out. if u use bread flr, u have to leave it overnight for the gluten to relax. take it out longer, say an hour if u live in a cold place.

johnathan: i want to see u make these, so do it!

anon: these were good 5 hours later after they were fully cooled. i don't know about next day b c there weren't any left! but i think they would've stayed soft.

anon: honey, the present swine flu is a new strain tt passes among humans. we didn't have to avoid monkeys when AIDS became pandemic, for the same wey can eat all the pork he wants!

tealady: i was thinking about ur hub's barbie when writing this post, swear! i was thinking, oh dear, there are bbq EXPERTS out there. so i didn't post on my barbie stuff :D

zurin: u must try, pls!

My Food Adventure said...

Thank you Aunty Terri for your Tips and Pizza REcipe!! I've made "Heart" Shape Pizza for my mum on Mother's Day. Welcome to my Blog and have a look...


My cooking journal said...

Thanks for this recipe!!! It was yummylicious!!!

Anonymous said...


jackie said...

Hi Terri, hope you are keeping well. My darling hubby just bought me the kitchenaid mixer. Anyways - I've been meaning to try your bread recipe for the longest time and now I can. Just wondering if I can use AP flour to make the rolls instead of bread flour. Read somewhere that AP flour is actually better suited for making dinner rolls as it has less gluten - hence yields a softer roll. Hope you can help. Again - thanks in advance and I'm sure your recipe will work wonders :-)

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