Hamburger buns (tangzhong method)

This is a new version of my hamburger buns recipe. The difference is mainly the use of “tangzhong” (aka “water roux“).

This Japanese technique cooks a small amount of the total flour and liquid (it could be water or milk or both) before combining the resulting paste with the other ingredients.

Cooking flour and water (or milk) causes the starches contained in flour to gelatinise, meaning they can absorb more water. In fact, flour will absorb twice as much hot water or milk as it does with the water or milk you’d usually use in yeast dough.

The tangzhong mixture then holds moisture and, when it is added to a bread mix, the dough bakes with a much softer texture and the bread keeps for longer.



40 ml H20
40 ml milk
30 g Manitoba flour (or high protein bread flour)

In a small saucepan add water, milk and flour and set over medium-high heat. Cook the mixture whisking constantly. It will quickly start to thicken. One minute or so will be enough to get a thick paste. Let it cool until lukewarm and then add it to you regular dough.

The dough

380 g Manitoba flour (or high protein bread flour)
160 ml milk (lukewarm)
55 g softened butter
1 whole egg
50 g sugar 
8 g salt
10 g fresh yeast
the lukewarm tangzhong paste

Mix all the ingredients (except the softened butter) in the mixer at medium speed for 6-7 minutes. After a couple of minutes add the butter, a small piece at the time. The final dough will be quite sticky. Don’t worry about that, transfer it to the workbench and make some folds to strengthen the dough. Form a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover with cling film and put it in the oven (with the light “on”, to generate some heat) for 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in volume.

Create 6 balls (around 140g each) and put them on an oven tray covered with parchment paper. Let them rest for 1 hour in the oven (with the oven light “on”).

Brush them with an egg wash (a whole egg plus some milk), sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional) and cook in a preheated convection oven at 180-190° C for 14-16 minutes. Always check the oven, each oven cooks differently. Let the buns cool on a cooling rack. Enjoy!


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