Tangzhong

So i am pretty sure every Zimbabwean (who is on social media) has come across this recipe. I mean every week there are posts on facebook with variations of these sweet buns and honestly Zimbabweans are in love with this recipe.

I first tried out this recipe in 2011, back when the Baking and cooking ZW diaries Facebook group had about 800 members. Back then they were called Fiso’s buns. Lets just say it was an epic fail. Fast forward to 2014/15, someone else updated the recipe and made tangzhong and its been a hit. So today i decided to make some and i think i did well. Here is the recipe:

The little secret to making super soft buns is adding a flour-water thick roux or paste which the Japanese call Tangzhong. They have used this method for years and as a result they are known for making the softest/fluffiest breads in the world. Other Asian countries have borrowed the recipe and now the method is among us Zimbabweans 🙂

Supersoft buns recipe
3 and 3/4 cup all purpose/ plain or bread flour
1tsp salt
4tbs melted butter
4tbs sugar
2tsp instant yeast
1cup luke warm milk
1egg

Flour/water mixture (roux/Tangzhong)
1/3cup flour
1cup water

Method:
1. Start by making the roux, in a small pot mix 1/3flour and 1cup water then heat the mixture on medium heat and stir continuously until it forms a thick mixture. Remove from heat and mix thoroughly the mixture until it looks smooth and sticky as shown in the picture. Leave the mixture to completely cool to room temperature and set aside for later use.

2. In a bowl put 3 and 1/2 cups flour, add salt, sugar, yeast and mix. Make a well in the centre and add melted butter, lukewarm milk, egg. Mix well.
3. Add the roux ( that flour paste) to the dough mixed in step
2 and mix well as shown in the picture. Using the remaining 1/4 cup flour dust the surface regularly as you knead the dough for 15mins. Add a little more flour if its too thin. The dough is very sticky so add a little flour on the surface as you knead until it looks smooth and elastic.
4. Put a tsp of cooking oil in a clean bowl and put the dough, roll it over to completely coat it with oil then cover with plastic wrap or damp kitchen towel, put in a warm place and allow to rise for about 1hr. ( I switch on my oven 2-3mins then off to create a warm environment for the dough to rise)
5. Punch the dough and knead about 1min on a floured surface to remove all air bubbles. Divide the dough into 12 and shape into tight balls and place them in greased 9x13inch deep baking pan. Dust your hands with a little flour on shaping to prevent any stickiness.
6. Place the little balls about 1.5-2cm apart and cover the pan with greased plastic wrap to prevent buns from sticking on it after rising or cover with a damp clean kitchen towel. Put the buns in a warm place again and allow to rise again about 30mins.
7. Preheat oven to 400F or about 200C and bake for about 15mins or until nicely browned.
8. As soon as they come out of oven brush with sugar water syrup to glaze.

Result should be super-soft buns, very fluffy.
Serve with any hot beverage of your choice. Amount of sugar can be reduced and that converts them to savory buns to eat with soup.

Happy cooking ladies using this ancient Japanese recipe Tangzhong 🙂

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