Monday, 30 September 2013

Hokkaido Milk Buns with Sweet Purple Potato Fillings

Have been to Hokkaido once, I was really impressed by the local diary products such as cheese, butter, chocolate and ice cream.  Even the fresh milk in Hokkaido also tastes smoother. So, when I heard Hokkaido Milk Bread is the theme of the month chosen by Free and Easy Bake Along event, I am more than happy to join the organisers (Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Lena from Frozen Wings ) and bake along this savory bread!

As I have some sweet purple potato fillings on hand, I decided to bake Hokkaido Milk Buns instead of the loaf. As for the recipe, I used Angie's, which is a direct method without tangzhong. It's good to explore different methods each time.

The recipe calls for 150g of whipping cream. What I got from supermarket is a 200g pack. In order not to waste the 50g (most likely it will be kept in the fridge for a while, and then thrown away), I poured the whole pack of 200g whipping cream in. I believe that's the reason why the batter is sticky.

Anyway, this is not the first time I handle sticky batter. Based on my experience, it would turn out to be manageable after the proof.  so,  I simply mixed all the ingredients until well combined and left it to proof. Did not bother whether it formed a ball or not. As expected, the batter is much better after fermentation. With a few rounds of kneading, it eventually became a smooth and elastic ball that I can hold with my hands. It looks lovely, doesn't it?

The buns are soft with strong milky smell.   Everyone loves them! Sometimes, my friends ask me how many days homemade buns/bread can be kept, and whether I need to store them in the fridge.  Honestly, I don't have the answer. They are always gone within a day or two!     

- 540g bread flour
- 60g cake flour
- 10g dry active yeast
- 30g milk powder
- 80g sugar
- 9g salt
- 1  egg
- 250g fresh milk
- 150g whipping cream (I used 200g )

Egg wash
- one egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon milk

- 250g sweet purple potato (steamed and peeled)
- 50g sugar
- 50g fresh milk
For the filling:
In a electric mixer, add sweet purple potato and sugar, mix well. Slowly add milk and mix until well combined. Set aside.

For the batter
  1. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl with hand or a wooden spatula until well combined. Remember separate the yeast from salt and sugar to avoid the dehydration.
  2. Knead until gluten is fully developed and the dough is elastic, smooth, non-sticky and leave from sides of mixing bowl.  Cover with a damp towel and allow the dough to ferment until double in size, about 60 minutes.
  3. Take out the dough and press out the gas produced during the proof. Give a few rounds of kneading, about 10 minutes until the dough is elastic, smooth and non sticky.
  4. Divide the dough into 40g each and mould it round. Let it rest for 10mins and flatten it. Place 2 tablespoons of purple sweet potato filling in the center and wrap it up. Shape it into a ball and let rest for about 20 minutes.
  5. Place onto a greased round baking pan. Repeat for the rest of the dough.

  6. Proof for 30 minutes or until double in size. Brush with egg wash.
  7. Bake at preheated oven at 200C for 15mins


  1. hi little joy! is this how i shld address you? nice to know you thru bake along. yes, i hv read that hokkaido is also well known for its diary products..and you are right, it is always good to experiment with different method of making them. Usually i keep my homemade bread at room for 2 days and after that, straight into the fridge. Your buns turned out great as i can see, thanks so much for sharing your experince with the dough and thx for baking along with us!

  2. Hi Lena, nice to know you too. Like your blog, and your "products " always look wonderful. Will try to join Bake Along more, it's a good platform for everyone to learn and share!

  3. Hi Little Joy,

    With 50g of extra cream, your bread look similar to the Angie's one that I baked. They look fluffy and yummy! However, it must be quite tricky to shape sticky dough...

    Nice to have you baking-along with us. I like to follow your blog too :D


    1. Hi Zoe,

      Nice to hear from you! Thank you for following my blog, it's my honour :).

  4. Hi,
    Filling your buns with some sweet potato filling looks really yummy! And the bread looks so soft. I would love to try Angie's method one of these days too! Glad to see a new face in Bake-Along, thank you for linking. Do feel free to join us again.
    Hope you have a great weekend!

    1. Hi Joyce,

      Glad to know you through Bake Along event. Hope to "see" you all again in the next Bake Along !

  5. What is the size of the circle baking pan?


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