Friday, April 11, 2014

Whole Wheat HK Style Sausage Buns

Fresh out of the oven.

Every time I visit a Chinese bakery, this bun has always been a popular choice among the many. You could call it a hot dog roll, but the soft and fluffy texture makes it different from the Western hot dog rolls.
The fun part? Making different shapes with the dough, of course ("play-dough?").

The traditional Chinese style sausage buns uses plain white bread flour, but I only had whole wheat bread flour at the time so I've changed the recipe a bit (healthier anyways). Fortunately the original recipe is quite flexible with flour types and toppings. 

Whole Wheat HK Style Hot Dog Buns 

  • 300g whole wheat bread flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast (about 7.4g)
  • 10g sugar
  • 6g salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten and divided
  • 170g warm milk (egg + milk should equal about 220g)
  • 30g unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 hot dog sausage/your favorite sausage
  • Japanese mayonnaise (for toppings)
  • 1 stalk of green onion
  • sesame seeds
  1. In a stand mixer bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Add in 1 of the lightly beaten eggs and the milk, stirring until it starts to come together. Attach the bowl to the stand mixer.
  2. Using the dough hook attachment, knead on medium-low speed (#4 on KitchenAid) for 5 minutes. Add the softened butter and knead another 3 minutes or until the butter has been completely and thoroughly absorbed into the dough. The dough should feel smooth, satiny, and not sticky. If it's sticky, add more flour in tablespoon increments until you reach the right texture. The dough should pass the windowpane test (you can stretch it out very thinly without it breaking). Knead until it does.
  3. Spray a good size bowl with cooking spray. Take the dough out of the mixing bowl and form into a ball, pulling the sides down so that it becomes taut. Place the ball of dough in the greased bowl, cover it, and let it rise in a warm area for about 90 minutes,or until about doubled in size.
  4. Take the dough out of the bowl and divide into 8 equal pieces, about 72g each (deflating the dough is fine).
  5. To form the braided rolls, roll out one of the pieces into a rectangle, with the longer side about the length of your hot dogs. Slash both sides of the rectangle into about 7 strips, without actually cutting through to the other side. Spread shredded cheese down the center if you wish, then place the hot dog on top. To seal, fold the strips down in an alternating pattern.

    To form the poofy rolls, roll out one of the dough pieces between your hands until it's about 2 to 2 1/2 times the length of the hot dog. If you want the center to be bigger than the ends, make sure you roll your dough accordingly, so that the middle of your long piece of dough is bulkier than the ends. Wrap the length of dough around a hot dog; it should be enough to make 3 loops, with the tapered ends at the bottom of the hot dog. 
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the shaped buns on the paper, leaving enough room in between each for the dough to have a place to go while it's rising.
  7. Cover the buns loosely with plastic wrap or a clean cloth (you don't want to ruin the rise by having to peel anything off them). Let the dough rise again for another 90 minutes or so, until it's about doubled in volume and look nicely plump.
  8. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400°F.Chop the green onions, sprinkle it on top and drizzle with mayonnaise. 
  9. When the buns have risen, gently brush egg wash (the remaining egg) generously onto each, making sure to get the sides as well, and sprinkle sesame seeds on top, if desired.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 5-8 minutes, until the buns are an attractive golden brown.

Some ingredients

Dough before first rising

After first rising, doubled in size

Japanese Mayonnaise, lighter than American ones and makes pretty drizzles

After second rising

Not sure how the color of the sausage turned purple...but this is the before oven pic :)

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