Sunday, March 1, 2009

a bread which I can't brag about

I have not blogged about any bread recently not because I was baking any, rather they have been the same old bread. Then it strike me it's time to try out a new recipe... so I went to my trusted bread book - The Handmade Loaf which has lots of fantastic recipe made without breadmaker.

I picked out this sweet bun cos we were to have a Wii party at my sister's place and I think the kiddos can't resist a sweet roll.

It took an incredible amount of time to proof so end up I brought the dough to my sister's place, continue the proofing in the car booth :-)
As you can see here, my non-baker sister's house has a oven but no wire rack... so we improvised; resting the hot bun on a pair of chopsticks. This is still better than leaving it the baking tray cos the water will condense in the baking tray and make the bun sticky wet.

Sweet Brandy Buns
Source: The Handmade Loaf, Dan Lepard
For the Ferment:
125g whole milk
50g caster sugar
150g bread flour
1 ½ tsp fresh yeast, crumbled (I use 1/2 tsp active dry yeast)
50g double cream

Whisk all the ingredients into a large bowl, cover and leave in a warm place (20-22C) for 30min.

For the Dough:
350g bread flour
1 ½ tsp fine sea salt
100g butter, softened
1 medium egg
50g brandy
the ferment
extra brandy for brushing the buns
extra caster sugar for dredging the buns

For the Dough:
  1. In a bowl, mix the flour and salt together, then rub the softened butter into it until there are no lumps and the flour starts to resemble fine breadcrumbs.

  2. Whisk the egg and brandy into the ferment, then work the mixture into the buttered flour, squeezing it thru your fingertips. When roughly combined, cover the bowl and leave it for 10min.

  3. Tip the dough out on to a lighted oiled work surface and knead gently for 10-15sec. Return the dough to the bowl, leave it for a further 10min, then knead once more for a further 10-15 sec. Return the dough into the bowl, leave for a further 10min then knead one final time for 10-15sec.

  4. Give the dough a turn (see basic technique), and repeat after 30min and 1 hour. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking parchment (or use well buttered brown paper).

  5. Divide the dough into 12 pieces, each weigh rougly 80g. Round each into a bun and sit them seam-side-down on a baking sheet, evenly spaced.
    Cover and leave to rise in a cool place (15-18C) for 1.5-2 hours.

  6. Preheat oven to 200C (400F).
    Brush the surface of the buns with the extra brandy, then dredge them lightly with the additional caster sugar. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15min. Then reduce the temperature to 180C (350F) and bake for further 15min until the buns are golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack. When cold, place in a paper bag (or freeze) to help them stay soft.


  • The filling was my homemade kaya... for the first time, the filling didn't leak out from the roll.

  • Unfortunately this bread wasn't the fluffy & soft as I would normally expect from Mr. Lepard. It was ok when warm, but when cold, it was dense and heavy.

I was certain that I didn't anything on the recipe nor I missed a step. Tsk tsk. Gotta to do some homework to find out what's wrong.

1 comment:

Art of Eating said...

I love eating homemade bread only things is ... the process time to too long.

You are very innovative and improvised with things around. A big salute to you.