Learn how to easily make this Asian bakery style pork floss buns using tang zhong and autolyse method to make the softest fluffiest buns you will ever have.
ASIAN-BAKERY STYLE PORK FLOSS BUNS
March is a bittersweet month for me. It’s my late dad’s birthday and also the month he left us for a better place! So, I tend to think more about him during this time. How can I not when it involves bread and cakes (kue), which were two of his most favorite foods. Dad used to bring us to a bakery shop to choose whatever buns, kue, or Asian pastries we liked. Pork floss buns were always my favorite. In case you are wondering, what in the world is pork floss or meat floss, I talked about it in this Easy Mini Crispy Pork Floss Rolls post and I also used it in this Super Easy Baked Nian Gao Puff Pastry. These super soft pork floss buns are made using my Soft and Fluffy Hokkaido Milk Bread (Tang Zhong and Autolyse Method), which yield incredibly soft buns. No joke! The baked buns are then brushed with a concoction of kewpie mayo, condensed milk, syrup and topped with pork floss, roasted seaweed, and sesame seeds mixture! OMG! Something that sounds so foreign to you perhaps is highly popular where I grew up and across Asia actually!
THE TOPPINGS ARE SERIOUSLY THE BOMB!
When you mix kewpie mayo (Japanese-style mayo), condensed milk, syrup (I used maple syrup), pork floss, roasted seaweed strips, and white sesame seeds, the result is AMAZING! as weird as it sounds, every single thing in this topping works together to give you that savory, sweet, umami, nutty sensation! Ohhh…the best!
Just stir the kewpie mayo, condensed milk, and syrup together and voila:
Brush this on top of the baked buns
Then press the bun into the pork floss, roasted seaweed, and sesame seeds mixture. Yup, you just made yourself pork floss buns!
I won’t elaborate on how to make the soft and fluffy buns again in this post because I have written pretty detailed instructions in this How To Make Soft and Fluffy Hokkaido Milk Bread in case you are interested to read more about it.
TOP TIPS YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. Only dress the buns with toppings after they cool down
2. Only dress the number of buns you intend to serve on the same day
For example, if you plan to serve 5 buns right away, dress 5. I highly recommend not to dress all of them and keep for the next day. They will not taste good anymore and toppings will get soggy too
These pork floss buns were gone in like 2 days! The kids love them. My kids are suckers for kewpie mayo, anything condensed milk, and pork floss. So these pork floss buns just fit the bills 😉
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Super Soft Pork Floss Buns (Tang Zhong Method)
ROUX STARTER (TANG ZHONG):
- 15 gr bread flour
- 90 ml whole milk
- 120 ml whole milk
- 1 egg about 50 gr lightly beaten
INGREDIENT TO ADD LAST TO THE DOUGH:
- 40 gr butter softened
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tsp water
PREPARE TANG ZHONG:
- Place milk and the bread flour in a small saucepan. Whisk until there is no more lumps. Cook this mixture over medium heat until it is thickened, about 5 minutes or less. Remove from the heat and let it cool down completely
MAKE THE DOUGH:
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredients and the tang zhong you made earlier. Use a dough hook attachment to knead the dough until all the crumbly dough starts to come together into one mass, it may take about 2-3 minutes for this to happen. Don't be tempted to add any liquid. You may need to stop halfway and scrap the dough off the hook and the sides of the bowl and knead again several times
- Once it comes into a dough, stop the machine. The dough will not be smooth, don't worry.Cover the dough and let it rest for 20 minutes. This is an important rest that bakers refer to as an autolyse (though in our case it's a short one. Read my post above for detail)
- After the rest, turn on and knead the dough again and knead for 1-2 minutes until it is a bit smoother. Then add the salt and sugar into the dough. Continue to knead until the dough is relatively smooth. You need to stop and scrape the dough off the hook and the bowl several times during this process. I promise it's worth the effort!
- Once you have a smooth dough, turn the machine back on again to knead and gradually add in the softened butter a bit by a bit. The dough will turn into a REAL sticky mess again because of the butter, just keep kneading and stop halfway and scrape the dough off the hook and bowl again and continue to knead until the butter is absorbed by the dough. IT WILL HAPPEN, don't worry! DO NOTbe tempted to add any extra flour. You will get a shiny smooth dough that is very elastic. I promise!
- Place this dough in a lightly oiled large bowl, cover it with a clean and damp tea cloth or plastic wrap and let it rise at a warm place for about 1 hour. It may not double in size, but it will puff up some for sure.
- Punch the dough down, divide into 12 balls. Cover these doughs loosely with a plastic wrap and let them rest for 15 minutes. Make sure you don't skip this part of resing the dough before shaping
- Pull and tuck the dough to form a smooth round ball or slightly oval (it's up to you) with the seams tucked underneath. Place the seam side down on a baking pan lined with parchment paper and repeat with the rest of the dough. Cover with a plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel
- Let the mini dough proof again for another 40 minutes or until they puff up again to about 50% or more of their original size. Brush the top of the dough with egg wash
- Preheat oven to 350 Fand pop it into the oven (3rd rack from the top) and let it bake for the next 20-30 minutes depending on the oven, mine took 20 minutes. It will be golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and let it cool down in the pan for about 5 minutes and then let them cool completely on a cooling rack. Enjoy and once it's cooled down completely, wrap it up with plastic wrap and it's good for about 3 days or so (it didn't last that long in our house)
- Mix kewpie mayo, condensed milk, and maple syrup in a bowl. Stir to mix. Yes, that's all you need to do. On another bowl, combine the pork floss, sesame seeds, and roasted seaweed strips
DRESS WITH TOPPING:
- Once the buns have cooled down, brush the top of the bun with the mayo sauce mixture you make above. If you plan to serve 5 buns, then dress 5 of them. Don't dress all of them ahead of time and keep for the next day or so as things will get soggy
- Gently press the bun (the side with the mayo sauce) into the floss mixture. Repeat with the next buns
- The plain buns without topping can be kept at room temperature for about 3 days. Wrap them up with plastic wrap tightly.
- Wrap the buns in aluminum foil and reheat in oven or toaster oven or air fryer at 350F for about 10 minutes to warm up. Then you can dress them with the topping as mentioned above