Corner Café

December 8, 2010

Sweet Bun Dough (scalded-flour version)

Filed under: Basics,Breads & Quick Breads — SeaDragon @ 12:00 am
Tags: , ,
Cinnamon Buns, left and Black Sesame Ring Bun 黑芝麻麵包圈, right.

After my last try with the scalded-flour & sponge version of the sweet bun dough, I’m playing with the same recipe again. This time discarding the sponge dough totally and just doing it straight with just the slightest adjustment.
Last time, I did find it quite tedious to mix the lump of scalded flour dough into the main dough. The scalded flour dough just refused to break down easily and mixed smoothly into the main dough ingredients and it took quite a lot of kneading before I could not feel any lumps from the scalded flour dough. After thinking about it, I decided to adjust it slightly by adding a little room-temperature water to make it pasty so there are no dry lumps when mixing it into the main dough later on. This is quite similar to the Chinese Warm-Water Dough Method where you add cold water after scalding the flour with boiling water to make the dough. And yay, it worked and the scalded flour paste mixed into the main dough without any trouble!
Lastly a small footnote which demonstrates how important it is to adjust water content when making breads or buns. Last time I mentioned I needed to add an extra 10ml of boiling water to scald the flour. That was in a mid-winter cold day, and I was sure it was not a humid day. This time, I was able to scald the flour with just 70ml water which was the amount recommended from the original recipe (recipe written by a Malaysian author in a hot and humid country!), and the day that I made the dough was humid (had been raining constantly the past few days) and hot with temperature about 30°C outside.

Makes approx. 16 buns

Scalded Flour:
100g bread flour
70ml boiling water
30ml room-temperature water

Main Dough:
300g bread flour
100g plain flour
80g caster sugar
1 teaspoon salt
20g milk powder
7g (2 1/2 teaspoons) instant yeast
1 egg
150ml (approx.) lukewarm water, adjust as necessary
60g butter, chopped into small pieces
Scalded Flour:
Pour boiling hot water all at once over the flour and stir quickly with a pair of chopsticks (or fork) until combined with no more visible dry flour. It should be a doughy clumpy mixture at this stage (pic #1). (Here I did knead it into a dough first at this stage (pic #2) as I was experimenting, but I think you can skip forming it into a dough as it will be harder to mix in the room-temperature water.) Rest 5 minutes for the dough clusters to fully absorb the heat and the moisture. Then slowly add the room-temperature water and mix into a pasty dough (pic #3); just stir together with the chopsticks. This pasty dough will make it easier to mix into the main dough later on. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.




For the Main Dough:
1. Combine all ingredients except lukewarm water and butter in a mixing bowl. Add the scalded flour paste, then gradually add just enough lukewarm water to mix into a dough. Transfer to kitchen bench and knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. For more detailed description on the kneading process, see the post on Japanese-Style Sweet Bun Dough.
2. Finally knead in the butter until incorporated. Form the dough into a round ball and let it rise until doubled in size in a large greased bowl, covered with cling film (should take about 1 hour in warm weather, longer in winter months).
3. Punch down, knead briefly and form into a ball shape. Then divide into 16 equal portions. Form each into small balls and let them rest for 10 minutes.
4. Shape and fill the buns according to recipe. Place all finished buns on a greased baking sheet, lightly cover with cling film, and let rise until puffy and doubled in size (about 1 hour in warm weather, longer in winter months). Eggwash if necessary according to recipe just before baking.
5. Bake in preheated 190°C oven for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Taste: Soft, fluffy and light in texture
Consume: Equally good served warm or at room temperature
Storage: Can be kept in airtight container for a couple of days at room temperature in cool weather or up to a week in the refrigerator, re-heat in the oven or microwave before serving
Recipe Reference(s): Basic Sweet Bread Dough recipe by Alex Goh, with thanks to coolcookie for sharing the recipe


  1. I like your blog and your recipes ! thanks for sharing them.

    Comment by Fatiha — December 9, 2010 @ 6:02 pm | Reply

  2. Hi SD, I just discovered your blog and have tried your Japanese-style white bread. I used my Thermomix to prepare the dough for baking…did it yesterday and today…and the bread turned out beautifully. Thank you for sharing. Do you mind if I send the Thermomix adapted recipe to my Thermomix friends?

    Comment by peggy — December 15, 2010 @ 12:53 am | Reply

    • No worries, you may do that. If you want, you may also post your adapted recipe in the comment section under the Japanese-Style White Bread Loaf post so other readers here are able to access your adapted Thermomix recipe.

      Comment by SeaDragon — December 16, 2010 @ 8:42 pm | Reply

  3. Hi SeaDragon,

    I have been using your recipes for about a year now, especially the Japanese Sweet Bun Dough. Here in Hong Kong you can buy something called Japanese Bread Flour with a protein content of 12.8%. I understand a lot of Western style bakeries use it for baguettes. Have you ever heard of this? Is the protein content too high for a sweet bread?

    Thanks for all your wonderful recipes.

    Comment by Beenz — January 23, 2011 @ 11:30 am | Reply

    • No, I haven’t heard of Japanese Bread Flour. But I do know that different brands of bread flour will have slight variation in protein content. The one I use is about 12%.

      What you can do is use cake flour to replace plain flour in the recipe, then the total protein content will be lower.

      Comment by SeaDragon — January 26, 2011 @ 5:16 pm | Reply

  4. Hi SD,
    As posted earlier, I have tried yr Japanese Style Sweet Bun Dough successfully. Today when I browsed at yr site I found this page and wonder if with scalded-flour version the result will be much fluffy and soft as compared to with water-roux version. Thanks a lot for your advice.

    Comment by Yenny — March 2, 2011 @ 4:16 pm | Reply

    • The result is quite similar, but I do find this version just a little bit “chewier” and just a little bit denser, but very slight though. However, as I have not done the two versions together to compare, the differences may be due to other factors…

      Comment by SeaDragon — March 5, 2011 @ 7:42 am | Reply

      • Thanks SD. I will try the scalded-flour version. Did you use egg-yolk + egg-white or egg-yolk only ?

        Comment by Yenny — March 7, 2011 @ 1:06 pm | Reply

        • I used 1 whole egg as indicated in the recipe.

          Comment by SeaDragon — March 12, 2011 @ 4:20 pm | Reply

  5. Is there anyway to replace and omit the milk powder?

    Comment by alienwy — September 11, 2012 @ 8:45 pm | Reply

    • You can either omit it, or replace the lukewarm water with scalded fresh milk.

      Comment by SeaDragon — September 14, 2012 @ 7:01 pm | Reply

  6. […] Two thumbs up for this method. It’s a good use for me if i’m not in the mood to make water roux. You can find the complete recipe & others here. […]

    Pingback by Sweet Bun (Scalded Flour Method) | Jeany Weekend Cooking — January 10, 2013 @ 1:55 pm | Reply

  7. Hello and thank you for really good recipes – I’m from Scandinavia and have been trying to test out “water roux” methode to get fluffy and moist brioche-like results. Then I now looks at your scalding methode, and I have to smile- because that’s a methode I really know, we do scalding the coarse flour types to make them sweeter in taste and also changing the consistens in the dough. That’ an usual methode been doing in Scandinavia for a long time, when baking our “dark” coarse bread to achieve a both good taste and consistency.
    The scalding methode you did use is the semi- scaldind, using boling and then room temp water. This methode is a little gentler to the flour.
    But do you think scalding-methode is as good as water roux, when baking sweet doughs?
    Best regards ~ mayK

    Comment by mayK — February 11, 2014 @ 12:52 am | Reply

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