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 and condensed milk, and then 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, 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!
HOW TO MAKE SOFT FLUFFY PORK/MEAT FLOSS BUNS
1. START WITH MAKING THE DOUGH
I won’t elaborate on how to make the dough using tangzhong method again in this post because I have written pretty detailed instructions in this How To Make Soft and Fluffy Hokkaido Milk Bread post. I used the exact same recipe with these buns.
2. AFTER FIRST PROOFING – SHAPING
The dough has doubled up in size after about 1 hour at a warm place. I used “bread proof” function in my oven
Punch the dough down
Knead it a few times with hands to push out air and reshape into a large dough
Divide into 8 large doughs
Slightly flatten with your palm
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
3. SECOND PROOFING
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 F (177C) and 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.
5. COOLING DOWN
Remove from the oven and let them cool down in the pan for about 5 minutes
Transfer to a cooling rack to let them cool down completely
6. PREPARE TOPPING
Mix kewpie mayo and condensed milk together in a bowl
Mix the pork/meat floss with some white toasted sesame seeds and some strips of roasted seaweed
7. DRESS THE BUNS
Brush the mayo mixture on top of the baked buns
Then gently press the bun into the pork floss mixture.
Yup, you just made yourself pork floss buns 🙂
It ain’t so bad, isn’t it ? 🙂 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 😉
USEFUL 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
HOW TO STORE TANGZHONG MILK BUNS
1. Let them cool down completely
2. I individually wrap them up with a cling plastic wrap
3. Put them inside a zipper bag
4. Store at room temperature for about 3 days
5. For longer storage, put the individually wrapped buns inside a freezer bag. Push out all air and seal the bag. They are best eaten within one month for the best result
HOW TO REHEAT FROZEN TANGZHONG MILK BUNS
1. Remove the plastic wrap from the buns. Thaw them overnight in the fridge or thaw them on the counter for about 2 hours
2. Loosely wrap the buns in aluminum foil and reheat in oven or toaster oven or air fryer at 350F for about 10-15 minutes to warm up. Then you can dress them with the topping as mentioned above
3. If you need it quickly, you can reheat them in a frozen state. Remove the plastic wrap from the buns. Loosely wrap the buns in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until heated through
DID YOU MAKE THIS SOFT TANGZHONG PORK/MEAT FLOSS BUNS RECIPE?
I love it when you guys snap a photo and tag to show me what you’ve made 🙂 Simply tag me @WhatToCookToday #WhatToCookToday on Instagram and I’ll be sure to stop by and take a peek for real!
Super Soft Meat/Pork Floss Milk Buns (Tang Zhong Method)
ROUX STARTER (TANG ZHONG):
- 15 gr bread flour 5 tsp
- 90 ml whole milk 6 Tbsp
- 300 gr bread flour 2 cups + 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp
- 5 gr instant yeast 1 1/2 tsp
- 5 gr milk powder 1 1/2 tsp
- 120 ml whole milk 1/2 cup, see notes
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
INGREDIENT TO ADD LAST TO THE DOUGH:
- 40 gr butter softened 3 Tbsp
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tsp water
- 6 Tbsp kewpie mayo or you can use regular mayo too
- 2 Tbsp condensed milk
- ½ cup pork floss or other meat floss of your choice
- 2 Tbsp Sesame seeds
- 1 small sheet roasted seaweed cut into strips
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 cools 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 8 large balls
- 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 doughs proof again for another 30-40 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 F (177 C) and pop it into the oven (3rd rack from the top) and let them 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
- Mix kewpie mayo and condensed milk 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 and serve
Soft, airy and delicious! Thanks for sharing this Marvellina! Omitted milk powder as didn’t have any and it worked fine. Added vertical slit with mayo/ condensed milk mixture before coating surface and that helped add moisture and taste to the middle of the bun. Tasted so good it was all gone in one sitting of 4 hungry hippos!
Ha.ha…4 hungry hippos 🙂 Thank you for sharing your version, sounds good and a great idea to add that mayo/condensed milk mixture on the surface.
I only have active dry yeast, it is ok?
Hi Caroline, yes, you can use active dry yeast. I use it too when I don’t have instant yeast.
I used a shortcut after making the TZ. Just add cold milk into the hot TZ and then the egg. The mixture will be just cooled and ready for the dry ingredients.
So so good! Thank you for sharing!
THat’s a great shortcut! I’m glad you like 🙂
Hi! I’m getting ready to make these. Do I use salted or unsalted butter?
Unless otherwise stated in the recipe, I usually use unsalted butter. I hope it turns out great for you!
What if I don’t have milk powder? Can I use regular milk (liquid)?
Hi Clarisse, you can just omit the milk powder.
Hello! Can i use 2% milk?
Hi Thea, yes you can. The buns won’t be as moist compared to using whole milk, but it should still be acceptable 🙂
Can I use ordinary mayo if I dont have the japanese mayo?
Hi Yolie, absolutely!! regular mayo works just fine
Can you hand knit the dough? I don’t have the fancy kitchen aid mixer at home and do not have the dough hook attachment on my hand mixer either.
Hi Deasy, yes you can. It will be quite messy I have to warn you in advance 🙂 but yes of course you can. That’s how people do their bread back in the old days when no fancy kitchen aid existed 🙂 Let the dough rest longer and it will be easier for you to knead. At anytime when you find the dough is hard to knead, give it a rest and go back to knead. Letting it rest will relax the gluten and when you go back, it will be less resistant and easier on your arms too. You may not get the bread as “fluffy” and as “soft” compared to using a machine to knead though, but it’s doable.
Funny “hairy” buns! I would love to try them, but I have never even heard of pork floss before. I am sorry for your father, but it is nice you make food that reminds you of him.
OMG, Marvellina, I wish I could eat one (five +) of these pork floss buns right now. Absolutely genius to combine all the ingredients for the topping. In my experience the craziest combos lead to the best of flavors, I am sooo sold on these. Must make them! Off to read the other posts you link to, gotta prepare for my newly found weekend project! The beer cheese fondue I was going to make has been displaced, lol!
Hi Milena, I hope the buns turn out good for you and meet your standard!! Thank you for your kind words and supports always *hugs*