I once learned how to bake a bun the hard way, and I know everything that can go wrong with it. Here I share all my best tips so that you can succeed on the first try!
In this post, I show step by step how to make a good (vegan) bun. I guarantee you can serve this bun to any non-vegan and they won't notice a difference! However, the instructions are by no means particularly vegan, but are just as suitable for use with cow's milk.
Which vegetable milk is suitable for bun dough?
I prefer to use cashew milk for bun dough. Cashew milk tastes like cow's milk, so the bun will have a very authentic taste.
If cashew milk is hard to find, almond milk is also a very good option.
On the other hand, I wouldn't use oat milk for bun dough, because its taste is far from cow's milk and usually the taste of oats comes through the dough.
An egg substitute?
Contrary to common (wrong) assumption, bun dough does not need eggs. I haven't put egg in bun dough even before I became vegan.
Eggs are not used in bread dough either! And bun dough is basically just like any bread dough, only sweeter. You can happily leave the egg out, and there is no need to replace it with anything.
Dry yeast or fresh yeast?
I like dry yeast in baking, because it lasts a long time in the cupboard at room temperature and is easier to handle than fresh yeast. It is not necessary to dissolve the dry yeast in the liquid, it is enough to mix it with the dry ingredients.
You should know about dry yeast that it requires a temperature of about +42C to work. At too low a temperature, the yeast does not activate, and at too hot, it dies.
If you use fresh yeast, heat the milk to +37C. Let the yeast dissolve completely in the milk before adding the other ingredients.
Is it worth melting the margarine?
Traditionally, butter/margarine is melted for bun dough, but the dough may then be harder. With rendered fat, more flour may need to be added, and the rendered fat may also remain too hot, which affects the activity of the yeast.
I have baked buns with both melted fat and refrigerator-cold margarine. Either way you get a good bun, but with the latter method, the buns are guaranteed to always turn out spongy. So I recommend adding the fat soft but not melted.
Making the bun dough
Heat the vegetable milk in the microwave for about 1 minute and then check the temperature, e.g. by dropping a couple of drops of milk on the back of your hand - the milk should be clearly warmer than your hand.
Mix the dry ingredients (including the dry yeast) together in a large bowl. Add warm milk and soft margarine in small spoonfuls, about a teaspoon at a time.
Mix the dough until smooth and continue to knead the dough after that for about 5 minutes, so that the dough forms a so-called to endure. Sitko gives the bun just the right fluffy texture and ensures that the dough rises well.
The dough can easily be kneaded with the dough hooks of an electric mixer (those corkscrew-shaped parts), but if you don't have an electric mixer, you can just as well knead the dough by hand. Use your hands to press the dough evenly on all sides.
When the dough begins to form silk-like strands and the dough can be stretched between the hands without breaking, the dough has a suitable consistency.
How do I make the bun soft?
The bun will have the best consistency when the dough is left relatively soft. However, dough that is too loose is difficult to handle and shaping the buns is difficult.
It is impossible to give the exact amount of flour, because the composition of the flour varies, but you can tell when the dough is suitable, because it starts to pull away from the edges of the bowl. That is, when you knead the dough, it starts to form a ball that looks like this in the middle of the bowl by itself:
If you have never baked a bun before, I recommend that you add flour to the dough a little at a time and knead the dough in between. As soon as you notice that the dough has the right consistency, stop adding flour.
If you have already added too much flour and the dough is dry, you can correct the dough by adding a little vegetable milk.
Raising the dough
The bun dough is raised twice, i.e. first in a bowl and then again just before baking.
Well risen bun dough looks like this:
When you bake a bun, the rising time is completely dependent on the temperature of the dough, i.e. whether the yeast works quickly or slowly. The rise also depends on the temperature surrounding the dough. Try to rise the dough in a warm and draft-free place, if possible. For example, you can move the bowl inside the microwave to rise.
I raised the dough at room temperature (about +21C at this time of year), but it was time to rise a lot longer than any instructions say. The lifting time is often said to be only half an hour, which is quite wishful thinking - for me it doubled or even tripled.
So you should be patient with the lifting - it may take a couple of hours. Bun dough should not be prepared in a hurry! It's best if you kind of forget about the dough for an hour or so and then come back to the perfectly risen dough and pick up where you left off.
With a long rise, you can get good buns even from a slightly harder dough, i.e. a long rise also compensates for possible flaws in the dough. A short rise requires a looser dough.
If you want to shape small buns, take an amount of well-raised bun dough that fits in the palm of your hand and start rolling it under your palm. Press the dough against the table just enough so that it sticks a little to the base, but does not flatten. While rolling the dough, guide and shape it with your thumb and little finger so that the dough does not spread to the sides but forms a ball.
If the dough sticks to the surface and hands too much, add a little flour to the surface. On the other hand, if there is too much flour on the surface, the dough will not stick to the surface at all and it will be difficult to roll it. I myself roll the little buns on an almost flourless surface.
Tip: If the dough became too loose, you can sprinkle more flour on the dough at this stage when shaping the bun.
You can also shape the bun dough:
- long buns
- bun-based pies
The buns are raised a second time just before frying. Place the buns on a tray lined with baking paper, the same tray you plan to bake them on. The bottle should not be moved after lifting.
Cover the buns with a cloth or baking paper. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place for about half an hour.
Lubricating the bun in a vegan way
In order to get a nice color and shine on the bun, it should be greased before baking. I used the same mixture as for lubricating the balls vegan pancake for lubrication, i.e. a combination of maple syrup and vegetable milk.
Tip: To get a surface that browns properly, grease the buns all over twice. The combination of vegetable milk and syrup should be poured over the buns in a generous layer.
However, if you cannot find the syrup in the cupboard, Kamomilla Confectionery lists many other options for bun lubrication.
What to top the bun?
You can sprinkle granulated sugar, almond flakes, ground almonds or a combination of these on top of the bun. For example, granulated sugar and almond chips go well together.
You can also bake the buns as they are and decorate them with powdered sugar when they have cooled.
The butter eye is made in a bun like this: take a small dollop of vegan butter or margarine and press it into the center of the bun with a knife. Then sprinkle granulated sugar over the butter. The buttermilk melts in the oven and gives the bun a wonderful, fleshy "heart".
How do you know the buns are ready?
If you have greased the buns with, for example, the syrup and vegetable milk mixture mentioned above, you can tell when they are ready by the color of the buns. However, the buns will not be quite as dark as buns greased with egg, so don't overbake!
You can also take the bun in your hand and tap it on the bottom with your knuckles. If the knock makes a soft sound, the bun is ready.
Freezing the bun
Ripe buns withstand freezing well. Cool the buns and then transfer them to the freezer, for example in a freezer bag.
Tip: The bun can also be frozen raw! Freeze the buns on a small tray or even a large plate. Transfer the frozen buns to a freezer bag. Bake in the same way as store-bought frozen buns.
Here are all the bun tips! Let me know in the comments if these were helpful? Did something bother you, or what point could you still elaborate on?Tulosta
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