Japanese Milk Buns -Tangzhong Method

Milk Buns

Japanese milk buns also called tangzhong buns or hokkaido buns are the softest buns you can ever make. The texture lies in making ‘tangzhong’- cooked flour- and adding to the dough. These are extremely soft buns!! Perfect for sweet and savoury fillings.

Japanese Milk Buns /Tangzhong Buns/ Hokkaido Buns

For Tangzhong (starter):
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp water
3 tbsp milk (I used 1 tbsp milk pwd +3 tbsp water)

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp milk powder
1 tbsp instant yeast
¼ cup sugar (avoid if making buns with savoury filling)
1 tsp salt
½ cup milk (see notes)
1 egg beaten
4 tbsp melted butter or canola oil

Egg wash:
1 egg
1 tbsp water

Add all ingredients to a saucepan and whisk well until no lumps remain.
Place the pan over medium heat and whisk continuously.
The mixture will soon start to thicken and as soon as all mixture is thickened, take off fire.

Milk Buns 1

Transfer the tangzhong to a bowl and cover with cling wrap touching the tangzhong.
Let the mixture cool.
This can be refrigerated, but make sure to bring to room temperature when you make the dough.

Milk Buns 2

Use a food processor. Can be done by hand, but the dough is little sticky.
Add all dough ingredients including the tangzhong into the food processor bowl or in a large bowl and mix and knead till a smooth dough forms.
If its too sticky, add 2 tbsp flour and mix. Don’t add more flour, the dough is supposed to be sticky.
Oil a large bowl and place the dough in it.
Rub oil on a piece of cling wrap and cover the bowl with it and leave aside in a warm place for 1 hr. The dough will become puffy.
Lightly flour your work surface scrape the dough to it. Knead lightly to deflate: 4 or 5 times.
Divide the dough into equal parts and shape into a ball.
Place in a lightly greased pan with 2 inch distance between each and keep aside for 30-40 mins.
During the last 10 mins of rising, preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.
Beat an egg with 1 tbsp water and brush the surface of the buns carefully.
Bake the buns on the lower half shelf for 20-25 mins, the top will become golden brown by now.
Take out of oven and let it cool in pan for 10 mins. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
Serve and enjoy.

Milk Buns 3

I add 2 tbsp milk powder to the ingredients (so total 4 tbsp) and use water instead of milk to make the dough.
Don’t add sugar if you plan to use the buns with savoury filling.
You can rub cold butter on top of buns as soon as you take out to keep the top soft and to get a nice glaze.
I use all-purpose flour in all my baking.
If the tangzhong changes colour in refrigerator, discard and make fresh batch.


Bread Bowls

Bread bowls

Bread Bowls

Few bread slices

Preheat oven at 150 degrees Celsius.
Remove the sides of white or brown bread. Roll each with a rolling pin.
Cut into 2 or 4 pieces as per size. (I cut mine into 4)
Lightly grease a mini muffin pan with oil. Place one slice in each mold and slightly push down to hold shape.
Brush some oil very lightly on the bread. (It’s still ok without oil)
Place in the oven for 8-10 mins. You can transfer the half-baked ones to another flat tray (side by side in oven) and use the muffin tin for second batch. It becomes crispy when cool. Or once all are done, switch off the oven and leave the bread bowls in the oven for half hr.
Stays crispy for 2 days in an airtight container.
Place 1 tsp stuffing in bread bowls and serve.

Stuffing ideas: Place in cool bread bowls just before serving.
1. Heat 2 tsp oil. Saute 1 tsp ginger and garlic, half chopped onion. Add ½ cup cooked minced meat or chicken. Add seasoning of your choice, ½ chopped tomato. Saute till almost dry. Add chopped coriander leaves and mix. Cool mixture.

2. Mix 1 medium boiled potato cut into small cubes, 4 tbsp chopped onion, 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves, ¼ tsp red chili flakes, 2-3 tbsp tamarind sauce.

3. Heat 2 tsp oil. Saute 4 tbsp chopped onion & 1 tbsp chopped garlic. Add ½ cup chopped mushroom and ½ cup chopped spinach. Mix and cook. Add seasoning, 2 pinch dried basil and 4 tbsp cream. Mix well and cool. (in picture)

4. Egg salad or chicken salad or tuna salad (use dressing only to bind)

5. Any leftover finely chopped!!

Bread bowls 1

Apple Cinnamon Loaf

Apple Cinnamon Loaf

Apple Cinnamon Loaf
Recipe source: Celeste

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp cinnamon powder
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
½ cup butter
2 large eggs
½ cup milk
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 large apples, peeled and finely chopped

Mix brown sugar and cinnamon powder in a small bowl and keep aside.
In a large bowl, beat white sugar and butter for few minutes.
Add one egg at a time and beat well.
Add flour and baking powder and mix.
Add vanilla essence and milk and beat to combine well.
Grease a loaf pan and pour half of the batter.
Cover with half of the apples. Push slightly down with back of a spoon.
Sprinkle half of brown sugar mixture.
Pour rest of the batter on top.
Top with apples and remaining brown sugar mixture. Slightly push down with back of a spoon again.
Bake in a preheated oven at 160 degree for 40-50 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked in the center of the cake.
Cool in the pan for 10 mins and invert on a wire rack to cool.
Tastes yum warm and cold.

Apple Cinnamon Loaf 1

Quick & Easy Fried Chicken Steak

Quick Chicken Steak

Quick & Easy Fried Chicken Steak

5 chicken breasts
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1tsp salt
1 tsp pepper powder
Oil to shallow fry

Wash and pat dry chicken breasts. Cut horizontally into 2.
Beat eggs with a fork in a shallow dish.
Mix flour, salt and pepper powder in a flat plate.
Place a piece of chicken on flour and coat both sides.
Now dip in egg mixture and back to flour and coat both sides with flour.
Complete all pieces this way and refrigerate for 15 mins.

Quick Chicken Steak 1

Heat oil in nonstick pan and shallow fry chicken steaks for approx. 4 mins each side or until golden brown. Maintain fairly medium heat.
Serve with white sauce, potato wedges or vegetable salad.

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake
Recipe source: Leelabean

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp nutmeg grated
½ tsp ground dry ginger
¼ tsp cardamom powder
¼ tsp cloves powder
1 ¼ cups oil (canola or sunflower)
2 tsp vanilla essence
4 large eggs
3 cups grated carrots (grate or use chopper)
¾ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup raisins

No electric beaters required- 2 bowls and a whisk.
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and cardamom powders in a bowl.
In a larger bowl, whisk white sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla until mixed well.
Add eggs, one at a time and whisk well.
Add half of the flour mixture and whisk to combine.
Add the carrots and mix.
Add rest of the flour and nuts and mix well.
Pour into desired baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake in a preheated oven at 160 degree Celsius for 35-40 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let the cake rest in the pan for 5 mins. Invert and let it cool on a wire rack.

Perfect birthday layer cake!!

Carrot cake

Mushroom Tikka Masala

Mushroom Tikka Masala

Very yummy mushroom tikka masala……the recipe looks long and time consuming, but its very easy and quick!!

Mushroom Tikka Masala
Recipe source: adapted from Dassana

To marinate:
250 gms small button mushrooms cleaned and wiped dry
4 tbsp hung curd thick yogurt
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tbsp besan (chickpea flour)
1 tsp salt

Mix all the above and keep aside for 30 mins.

Mushroom Tikka Masala 1

To make paste:
1 large ripe tomato (if not red, add 2 tbsp store brought tomato paste)
8 cashewnuts

Boil 1 cup water and place tomato and cashewnuts in it for 10 mins.
Chop the tomato and blend with cashewnuts to smooth paste without any water and keep aside.

½ medium onion finely chopped
1 medium capsicum cut into big pieces
2-3 green chilis (optional)
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp coriander powder
½ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp crushed kasoori methi
3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
2 tbsp cream or milk
½ tsp sugar
2 tbsp + 2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste

Heat 2 tbsp oil and add mushrooms one by one. (Preferable nonstick pan or it will stick).
Cook till one side is brown and turn over. Cook for few mins more. Keep aside.
Meanwhile heat 2 tbsp oil in another pan and saute onion still translucent.
Add capsicum and green chilis and saute for few minutes.
Add ginger garlic paste and saute till raw smell goes.
Add powders –chili, coriander, garam masala, turmeric and cumin and mix well.
Add tomato cashewnuts paste ( and tomato paste if using)and stir till all water evaporates and mixture becomes thick.
Add 1 ½ cup hot water (or more to get the required consistency) and simmer for few minutes.
Add salt and sugar and mix. (sugar will not make the curry sweet….it will balance all flavours)
Add mushroom and simmer for few minutes.
Add kasoori methi and coriander leaves and mix well.
Add cream and stir and take off fire.
Serve with basmati rice or chapathi.

Perfect Banana Cake/Cupcake

Banana Muffin

Perfect to bake as layer cakes, cupcakes or loaf !!

Perfect Banana Cake/Cupcake
Recipe source: Julie

2 ¼ cups all- purpose flour
1 – 1½ cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup oil or butter (use butter for cupcakes)
2 eggs
2 large ripe bananas
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda

Mix flour, salt and baking powder and keep aside.
Mash bananas smoothly with a fork and keep aside
Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until almost fluffy. (Or mix sugar and oil)
Add one egg at a time and beat well.
Add bananas and vanilla and mix well.
Add baking soda to buttermilk (it will start to froth)
Add flour alternately with buttermilk to banana mixture and beat well to combine.
Pour batter into 2 9” inch greased pan or 12-15 cupcake molds.
Bake for approx. 30-35 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. (Baking time varies for cake and cupcake)
Cool in the pan for 10 mins and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Serve with or without frosting…tasty either way!

You can add 1 cup chocolate chips or nuts. Toss chips or nuts in 1 tbsp flour before adding or they will sink to the bottom.
Ideal for making layer cakes; frost with buttercream or peanut butter frosting.