What do you do when you are completely stressed out? I am sure you have your ways to beat the stress but have you ever tried kneading dough? Funny question? Not really, try kneading dough and you’d know what I mean! And the beauty of the whole process is… you end with something productive. If nothing else then at least soft pliable dough for chappatis! So how do I do it? You’d know in a while if you read it till the end. It is up to you to guess what mood was I in when I baked these amazingly soft and Sweet Buns!
It’s the most forgiving recipe, you can’t go wrong with it, I promise. The only way you’d go wrong would be if the dry yeast plays hokie with you! Make sure about the expiry date on the packet before using it. Here is what you’d need to bake these soft and delicious sweet buns:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (Maida)
- 1/2 cup milk or as required (for kneading the dough)
- 2 teaspoon dry Yeast
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the glaze:
- 2 tablespoon fresh cream
- 1 tablespoon castor sugar
Dissolve sugar in ½ cup warm (not hot) milk, add dry yeast to it. Stir it once and let it rest for about 10 minutes. It will become frothy and rise. Mix salt to the flour and rub in softened butter to the flour, the texture of the flour would become grainy. Now start adding the bubbly milk mixture to the buttered flour and start kneading. Use your hands to mix the dough so that it comes together in the bowl. Here is my recipe for ways to beat the stress…
Toss the dough on to a clean work surface and knead well. For a loose dough like this, be patient, put on your headphones (music) and knead for a good 10‑15 minutes… that is if you are not that stressed out but if you are in need of a real stress buster, become a karate champ and beat the s*** out of the dough, vent out all your stress on the dough- slapping it back down on to the surface…as many times, punching it, twisting it and do not forget to accompany the act with a loud ‘hiyaa’ or whatever!
You may drizzle dry flour as and when required. I have tried both these ways of kneading the dough and they work! You see with a little work, the dough will begin to lose its stickiness and become smoother and more pliable and that’s the gluten developing , which is exactly what we want. Let the dough be slightly loose, but not runny or sticky… as I said, it takes about 10 minutes of dedicated hand kneading time.
Once kneaded, grease the inside of a large bowl with oil, toss in the dough and set in a warm place covered for about an hour or until it doubles in size.
Gently push down the dough, turn out of its bowl on the floured surface and divide into equal sized little balls. Shape it rolling in circles in your palms. Arrange these little balls in a deep large tray, lined with baking sheet, space them out so that each dough ball sits a little apart from the other. The idea is to give them space to rise one more time (they will double again). Cover and leave them in a warm place, let it rise for 30-45 minutes, or until nearly twice their original size.
While the dough rises the second time, prepare the glaze by mixing 2 tablespoons of fresh cream with 1 tablespoon of castor sugar, beat it nicely. Preheat the oven to 175 C. Brush with the glaze and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. If you feel the top of the buns is browning too quickly then cover it midway baking. I use a thin wooden chopping board to cover and save from quick browning.
Remove the buns from the oven and brush them immediately with the glaze one more time.
Now imagine having these oven fresh sweet buns with a hot cup of tea, in the verandah… on a rainy day! A sure shot way to beat the stress! Try it and let me know.
TIP- The ‘maida’ ( all purpose flour) in the dough can be replaced with whole wheat flour ( although the buns come out slightly stiffer than the ‘maida’ version but definitely it’s the healthier version). This dough can be adapted to many flavours…just replace the extra sugar with spices/herbs/flavours of your choice. And the glaze can be made without the castor sugar, just with plain beaten full cream (just use it to brush the buns).