I love the tangzhong method of bread baking, it gives such great results every time – pillowy soft, slightly sweet, incredibly versatile bread. If you haven’t heard of tangzhong before then it is quite simple; it just involves making a cooked paste of flour and water which is added to the bread dough; the dough is quite sticky, so is best made in a stand mixer, but it stays soft for days and is SO good!
Here I’ve re-worked my Hokkaido milk bread recipe to make tangzhong burger buns. They are fairly similar to brioche buns, but are lighter on the butter while still being lovely and soft and slightly sweet. They are perfect for burgers, or just for sandwiches or to use as dinner rolls. I will be sharing a burger recipe later on this week that I served in these buns so stay tuned!
Tangzhong Burger Buns
- 20 g (2tbsp) strong white bread flour
- 100 ml (⅓ cup + 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp) water
- 350 g (scant 3 cups) strong white bread flour
- 7 g (2 tsp) fast action yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 50 g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
- 1 tbsp milk powder (optional)
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) full fat milk (or unsweetened non-dairy milk)
- 1 large egg (or 3 Tbsp aquafaba or non-dairy milk)
- 50 g (scant 1/4 cup) softened butter (or vegan butter)
- 1 egg, beaten with a splash of milk (use milk to glaze if vegan)
- sesame seeds
- To make the tangzhong, place the flour in a small saucepan and gradually whisk in the water. Place over a medium heat and cook, whisking constantly until it has thickened to a wallpaper paste-like consistency. Remove from the heat, scrape into a bowl and cover with clingfilm directly on the surface, set aside to cool.
- Place the flour, yeast, salt, sugar and milk powder in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, lightly stir together and make a well in the centre. Add the egg (or aquafaba/milk), milk and tangzhong to the well and mix on a low speed until it comes together into a dough.
- Add the butter and mix on a high speed until the dough is very stretchy and comes away from the sides of the bowl, this can take about 15 minutes, even in a stand mixer.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover with clingfilm and either place somewhere warm to rise until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours, or in the fridge overnight.
- Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Divide the risen dough into 8 equal pieces and shape each piece into a ball on a lightly floured surface. Spread the balls out well spaced apart on the baking sheet and loosely cover with oiled clingfilm. Leave to rise for about 1 hour until puffy.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Brush the risen buns with the beaten egg (or non-dairy milk) and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for about 20 minutes until deep golden, the internal temperature should reach 90°C.
- Transfer the buns to a wire rack to cool before serving, store in an airtight container.