When I created my sundried tomato pesto swirl bread, I discovered the magic behind milk buns. I always knew that milk bread is incredibly soft and has a longer shelf life but it wasn't until I made it myself that I realized just how amazing it is. Regular white bread just doesn't compare with milk bread. So when I decided to make bacon cheddar scallion buns, I knew I had to use the tangzhong method. Ready for some wonderfully soft and delicious bacon cheddar scallion milk buns?
Bacon Cheddar Scallion Milk Buns
- 3 tablespoon water (45 grams)
- 3 tablespoon milk (45 grams)
- 2 tablespoon bread flour (18 grams)
Bacon scallion cheddar milk buns
- 2 ½ cups bread flour (370 grams)
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar (25 grams)
- 2 ¼ teaspoon instant yeast (7 grams)
- ½ cup warm milk, 100-110 degrees F (125 ml)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup butter, softened (57 grams)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup shredded mild cheddar (84 grams)
- 4 strips bacon
- egg wash 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- ½ heaping cup chopped scallions (40 grams)
- 2 tablespoon butter, melted (28 grams)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ¼ cup shredded mild cheddar (28 grams)
- Make the tangzhong. Combine the water, milk, and bread flour in a medium saucepot and heat over low heat. Cook the mixture, whisking constantly until thick paste forms, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Combine the tangzhong with the remaining ingredients for the milk buns except for the cheddar (bread flour - salt) in the bowl of a stand mixer. Knead the dough with the mixer or by hand until a rough dough forms. Add ¾ cup shredded cheddar and continue to knead until the dough is soft and smooth, about 7-8 minutes. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm area for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, cook the bacon either on the stovetop or in the oven until browned and crispy. If cooking in the oven, lay the bacon on a sheet pan lined with a wire rack and bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until crispy. Lay the cooked bacon on paper towels to drain the excess fat. Break the bacon into small pieces and set aside.
- Punch down the dough. Divide the dough into 15 equal portions, about 54 grams each. Shape each portion into a round ball and arrange them in a 9x13 inch baking dish into 3 rows of 5 rolls. Loosely cover the rolls and let rise for 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Uncover the rolls and use a bread lame or scissors to cut a diagonal slit across the top of the buns, about 1 centimeter deep. Brush the rolls with egg wash.
- Season the chopped scallions with 2 tablespoon melted butter and 1 teaspoon sugar and spoon the scallion topping into the slits. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon and ¼ cup shredded cheddar on the buns and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
If you never had the pleasure of enjoying milk bread, I highly encourage you to give it a try. What makes milk bread so special? It's all about the tangzhong method. Before you make the dough, you first cook a small amount of milk, water, and flour to make a paste.
By cooking the flour, it activates the starches in the flour and ultimately allows it to absorb more water. The more water it absorbs, the higher the bread rises and the softer it becomes. Science, people. It's incredible.
Combine the cooled tangzhong with the remaining dough ingredients excluding the cheddar. Once a rough dough comes together, add the cheddar and continue to knead until it's smooth. Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm area until it's doubled in size.
While the bacon scallion cheddar milk buns are proofing, cook the bacon. You can cook the bacon however you like. I personally like to bake the strips for more even cooking. No matter the method, just make sure to drain the excess fat.
Punch down the dough and divide it into 15 rolls. I used a scale to get consistent sizes at 54 grams per bun. Arrange the buns into 3 rows of 5 rolls per row, giving them a bit of space in between. Cover the rolls and let them proof for another 45 minutes.
Now, prepare the scallion topping by combining chopped scallions with melted butter and a touch of sugar.
Brush the tops of the buns with egg wash. Then, use a bread lame or scissors to cut a diagonal slit across the top of each bacon cheddar scallion milk bun. You want the slit to be about 1 centimeter deep. Spoon the scallion topping into the slits and sprinkle the bacon and cheddar on top of the buns.
Don't they look delicious already?
Bake the milk buns at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until the buns are golden brown. As hard as it is to resist, let them cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Now bite into that warm bacon cheddar milk bun and enjoy all of your hard work. And since you used the tangzhong method, these buns will stay soft days later!
For more savory bread inspiration check out this Korean croquette bread!
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