Little Kaya Bun (汤种method)

I wanted to do a mini twist loaf by spreading kaya and butter but somehow I cannot manage as the dough was quite sticky.  With my limited skill and knowledge, I have to go for the easiest wrap around method, the same as I did for the butter buns. 

This recipe is adapted from Happy Home Baking ‘Cinnamon Rolls’.  Some steps have been modified due to both machine mixing and hand kneading being applied in making this bread.

Am submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers # 8 – Bread Seduction (June 2011) hosted by Jasmine of The Sweetylicious.

Makes about 16 mini buns using two 6” round loose bottom cake pan


Tang Zhong (water-roux)

25g bread flour

125ml water

( yields about 90g tang zhong )


Place 25g bread flour in a saucepan. Add 125ml water, mix till smooth, making sure there are no lumps of flour. Cook over medium to low heat, stirring constantly with a hand whisk to prevent it from burning. Within 1 to 2 mins, the mixture will start to thicken, stop when you see traces in the mixture for every stir you make with the hand whisk. The 65degC tang zhong is ready. Immediately transfer the hot tang zhong into a bowl and cover it with a cling wrap, making sure the cling wrap sticks onto the surface of the mixture. This is to prevent a film from forming on the surface. Leave to cool completely before using it.

Bread Dough

210g bread flour

56g cake flour

20g milk powder

42g caster sugar

1/2 tsp salt

6g instant yeast

30g egg, lightly beaten (about half an egg, reserve the leftover for egg wash)

85g water

84g tang zhong (water-roux)*

22g unsalted butter



Method ( bread dough )

1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add in the egg, water and tang zhong. Mix to form a rough dough.

(I used KA mixer at speed 2 to mix for 10 mins until the dough comes together.   I kept 50ml water for hand knead in step 2)

2. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough till smooth. This should take about 10mins. The dough is quite wet and sticky, it helps to have a dough scraper on hand to scape up the dough as your knead.

3. Knead in the butter. Continue to knead the dough until it no longer sticks to your hand, becomes smooth and elastic. This should take about another 20 to 30 mins. Do the window pane test: pinch a piece of the dough, pull and stretch it. It should be elastic, and can be pulled away into a thin membrane without tearing/breaking apart easily.

4. Place dough in a lightly greased (use vegetable oil or butter) mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and let proof in room temperature (around 28 to 30 degC) for about one hour, or until double in size.

(I place a bowl of hot water together with the bowl of dough inside the oven and let it proof for about an hour)

5. Remove the dough from the bowl and give a few light kneading to press out the air in the dough.

6. Roll the dough into desired shape : divide and shape bread dough into a small ball weigh 30g each.  Spoon kaya filling and wrap inside the small dough ball.  Arrange dough balls on a suitable greased baking pan.  Cover with damp cloth or cling wrap and leave doughs to proof for the second time for about 45 mins, or until double in size.

7. Brush top with egg wash (mix leftover egg with 1 tbs water). Bake in pre-heated oven at 180 deg C for 15-20 mins or until golden brown. Remove from oven and once cool store immediately in an airtight container.


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