Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Raisin Buns

Raisin Bread

Raisin Bread

Does Coronavirus Social Distancing made you go stir-crazy? If you have shied away from making bread from scratch in the past, now might be the time to finally give it a go.  It is one of the most rewarding and satisfying things you can do in the kitchen.

You can knead the dough in a stand mixer with a dough hook or knead it by hand. Although kneading bread dough by hand may seem to be mindless, it actually helps us to mindfully do something productive and it is quite therapeutic too. Since this is a small dough, I decided to get my hands messy! (To learn more about how to knead by hand, refer here)

280g bread flour
10g milk powder
50g caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
5g dried instant yeast
120g fresh milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
45g butter, room temperature
40g raisins (marinated in rum for at least 30 min)
white sesame seeds

Egg wash :  Lightly beat an egg with 1 tbsp of milk

  • Fit the stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.  In the bowl, combine all the  ingredients, except butter.  Turn the mixer on and knead until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Add in butter and continue kneading until dough is smooth and elastic and passed the "window pane test" (Refer to note below).  Then knead in raisins.
  • Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl.  Cover with cling wrap and let it rise until doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough to release trapped air.  Divide dough into 8 equal portions and roll into round shape.  Cover and let them rest for 15 minutes.
  • Shape the buns and place them onto a lined baking tray. Cover and let them rise until doubled in size.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Brush each bun with egg wash and sprinkle the tops with sesame seeds.
  • Place the buns on the rack in the centre of the oven, and bake for 20 - 25min or until lightly brown.
  • Transfer buns onto a cooling wire rack.

Window Pane Test:  This is the best way to determine if your bread dough is properly kneaded.  To do this, take a small chunk of dough and stretch it between your fingers.  If the dough tears, that means the gluten has not developed and it needs more kneading. The dough is ready to rest and prove if it stretches without tearing (like the picture above).

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