Milk Bread Honey Buns
Author: Gesine Prado
These honey buns are extra special because the tangzhong makes them super light, fluffy and tender. Tangzhong is a Japanese technique that simply involves cooking a mixture of flour, water and milk to create a paste that is later added to the bread dough.
Milk Bread Honey Buns Video Tutorial
Scroll down for printable recipe.
Make the Tangzhong: Add flour, water and milk to pan. Heat on medium heat, whisking constantly, until you achieve a thick, smooth paste.
Add the milk, egg, honey and salt to the Tangzhong. (Tip: whisk the egg with the milk before adding to the Tangzhong.) Blend together the flour and yeast. Add mixture to the mixer bowl and mix on medium-low speed until dough comes together.
Add softened (not melted!) butter, a small piece at at time, until fully incorporated. Turn mixer to medium speed and knead for 10 -15 minutes (mix times may vary) until dough comes together around the dough hook and is soft, shiny, and slightly tacky.
Transfer dough to an oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until almost doubled in size. After rising, place covered dough in refrigerator for 30-60 minutes. This will allow for easier shaping.
Punch down dough, and turn out onto lightly greased counter. Divide dough into 16 equal pieces (about 60 grams each). Shape each piece into a tight round ball and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled and an indent remains after lightly touching dough with finger.
Brush gently with egg wash. Bake for 25-27 minutes at 350˚F.
- (Makes 250 grams)
- ½ cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (120 milliliters) whole milk
- ½ cup (120 milliliters) water
- 3 ½ cups plus 3 tablespoons (444 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 packet (¼-ounce, 7g) Platinum Yeast
- ½ cup (120 milliliters) lukewarm (105˚F) whole milk
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons (63 grams) honey OR ⅓ cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) fine sea salt
- 4 tablespoons (56 grams) softened, not melted, unsalted butter
- 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water, whisked together, for egg wash
- For the Tangzhong: In a saucepan, add the flour, then while whisking, add the water and milk. Whisk constantly over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens into a smooth paste. Mixing time is approximately 3 ½ minutes. Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
- For the dough: In a mixing bowl, add the flour and Platinum Yeast. Stir to combine.
- To the lukewarm milk, add the egg, stir, then add it to the Tangzhong. Add the honey and salt; then add the flour-yeast mixture. Mix on medium-low speed with the dough hook until the mixture just comes together and then add the butter, a small piece at a time, until incorporated. Raise the mixer speed to medium.
- The mixture will be very soft, and shaggy at first, sticking to the bottom and sides of the bowl. Continue mixing until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth and shiny, about 10-15 minutes. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn the dough over to coat the dough in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature until the dough almost doubles in size. (See note below for overnight rise option.) Place the dough in the refrigerator to firm up for shaping, about ½ hour. Note: the dough is very soft and slack, but by cooling it in the refrigerator, the butter in the dough seizes and the dough firms enough to shape more easily, much like brioche dough.
- Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly greased counter. Divide dough into 16 equal pieces. Using the “claw” method, roll each bun into a tight ball. Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan, seam side down, a few inches apart (8 rolls per pan), and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Allow buns to rise in a warm area, no warmer than 90˚F, for 40-50 minutes or until about doubled in size and pass the ripe test (an indent remains after lightly touching dough with finger tip). Brush with egg wash and bake until golden brown and the internal temperature reads 190˚F, about 25-27 minutes.
Other variations of this dough:
Gesine Prado is a self-taught baker, teacher and author. Visit G Bakes! for more of her delicious recipes.