Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Spicy Sardine Wholemeal Buns

Yield about 9 buns

Sardine filling
1 can Sardines in tomato sauce 230g
1 big onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
Dash of seasoning powder
1 tbsp lime juice
The seasoning quantities may adjust according individual taste.

1. Pour away the canned sardine tomato sauce leaving about 1/4 of the original quantity.

2. Crush the sardines together with the remaining tomato sauce using a fork. I removed the bone and stomach of the sardine prior to crushing, this is optional.

3. Heat up about 1 tsp of olive oil in a non-stick pot over medium heat. Pour in the chopped onion and stir-fry till the onion turns soft. Try to evaporate most of the water content.

4. Add in the crushed sardines and seasonings and stir fry in medium heat till the sardine filling become partially dry.

5. Scoop out the sardine paste into a clean container. Set aside.

Wholemeal buns
The sponge dough method consists of two stages of proofing. First, prepare the sponge using about 2/3 of the total qantity of flour + yeast + milk. Then, combine the sponge together with the remaining ingredients to form the dough.

A) The Sponge
200g bread flour
130~150g milk
1/2 tsp instant dry yeast

1. Mix all ingredients together, leaving about 30g milk behind.

2. Use a chopstick to mix the ingredients together. Then use your hand to knead the flour mixture into a soft dough. Add in the remaining milk, a little by little, to the dough while kneading.

3. Knead for about 7 to 10 minutes, or till the starter dough becomes smooth and non-sticky.

4. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a bowl coated with a thin layer of oil.
Sprinkle some water onto the dough and cover it.
Let the dough proof for about 80 minutes.

B) The Dough
Sponge from above
70g bread flour
30g wholemeal flour
30g condensed milk
50g milk
15g fine sugar
1/8 tsp salt
30g salted butter, softened

1. Mix all ingredients, except leaving 10g milk and butter for later addition, together.

2. Use a chopstick to stir first, then use your hand to knead for about 5 minutes or till all the ingredients formed into one lump.
Slowly add in the remaining milk at this stage.

3. Use an electric mixer fixed with dough hooks to help you do the kneading faster. Knead the dough at medium speed for about 5 minutes.

Before kneading

End of kneading

4. Add in the softened butter to the dough. You may continue to use the electric mixer to knead. However, I prefer to use hand to mix as the electric mixer tends to splatter the butter.
Similarly, use 5 minutes to hand-mix the butter with the dough, or until all the butter is well incorporated to the dough.

5. Continue to use the electric mixer to knead the dough at medium speed for 5 minutes, then follow by low speed for another 5 minutes.

At the end of kneading, the dough becomes
smoother, elastic and non-sticky

6. After the kneading, I prefer to give the dough about 20 minutes of hard throws/slam to the work top or bowl. This helps to make the dough to becomes elastic faster.

Continue this process till you get the window pane membrane when you stretch the dough.

7. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a bowl lightly coated with oil. Sprinkle some water and cover the bowl.
Let the dough proofs for about 50 minutes.

8. At the end of the proofing, insert you finger coated with flour into the middle of the dough, if the hole stays, then the proofing is complete. Otherwise, continue to proof and test again.

9. Sprinkle some flour over the work top and dough surface. Turn out the dough to the work top and deflate the dough with your palm. Fold in the 4 sides and shape into a ball.

10. Divide the dough into 10 even portions, each portion weighs about 55g. Shape each portion into a ball and place in a covered bowl. Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes.

11. Take a dough out, flatten it lightly and rolls into a thin dough with middle thicker than the edge.

12. Flip the dough skin so the smoother side will face outside after wrapping the filling.

13. Scoop a heap teaspoon of sardine filling (about 25g) to the centre of the dough skin.

14. Lightly brush a thin film of water around the dough edge using your finger.
Wrap up the bun and pinch the seam to seal tight.

15. Use you hand wrap around the bun and lightly roll it into a smooth ball.
Place the bun into a paper cake mould with the sealed end facing down.

16. Arrange all the buns onto a baking sheet leaving about 2 cm in between.
Let the buns do the final proofing in a closed oven for about 25 minutes.

17. Take out the tray of buns and preheat the oven to 170 degree Celsius.

18. Brush all the buns with a thin coat of egg wash. Then place 2 thin strips of onion on top to resemble a fish. Finally, place 2 black sesame seeds near the fish head.

Use these onion rinds and black sesame seeds
to decorate the buns onto a fish

19. Bake the buns for about 20 minutes at 170 degree Celsius. Cool the buns in the rack before serving.

At the end of the baking, you'll immerse in the air of nice bread and onion aroma.

Enjoy :)

Spicy sardine buns

Spicy sardine buns

Spicy sardine buns

You can also place Chinese coriander leaves on the bun surface to decorate.
First, apply a thin coat of egg wash,
Follow by placing a coriander leaf onto the surface,
Finally, apply a second coat of egg wash over the leaves.

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