Wednesday, May 7, 2014

40 Minute Bread Rolls

Today is Wednesday and every Wednesday is half-day till 11.30am for His Majesty (my 5 year old son). I woke up, had my breakfast and started thinking what to cook for lunch for both of us, then I remember seeing a 40 minute bun recipe (some say 30 minutes but that is a bit far-fetched) which went viral in a closed facebook group. It seems a lot of people are making buns following that recipe so I decided to check it out.

I didn't really time how long I took to make this bread, but if you calculate the total time taken, it should take you 15 min (activating the yeast) + 5 min (kneading by machine or by hand) + 10 min (proofing the dough) + 10 to 12 min (baking), a total of 40 min. Well, this is not inclusive of the time taken to divide and shape the dough. In fact, I spent the most time dividing the dough, weighing each piece and shaping them round. I must admit I am a control freak because I need to weigh everything so that each piece weighs the same. ;p

So I woke up, had my breakfast, made the dough, put it in the oven, the buns came out of the oven and my 3-month-old cutie pie was still fast asleep. It wasn't even 10am yet. Was I super-efficient or just plain lucky to have such a wonderful baby? :p

Recipe adapted from Domestic Goddess Wannabe

Ingredients (makes 12 buns)
1 cup + 2 tbsp warm water (280ml)
1/3 cup oil (83ml)
2 tbsp active dry yeast or instant yeast (16g)
1/4 cup sugar (56g)
1.5 tsp salt (9g)
1 egg
3.5 cup (476g) of bread flour (you can use all-purpose flour too but bread flour is preferred)

1. Preheat oven to 220C or 428F.

2. Combine water, oil, yeast and sugar in a bread machine bowl (big mixing bowl if you are kneading by hand), mix well and allow it to rest for 15 min. (Do not add salt at this time, otherwise it will kill the yeast.)

3. After 15 min, the batter would become foamy. Add in salt, egg and bread flour. Knead with dough hook until it forms a smooth dough which comes away from the sides of the bowl. The dough will still be a little bit sticky. This will take around 3 to 5 min if you knead using bread machine. If you are kneading by hand, just knead for 5 min will do. If it is too wet, add a little flour and knead a few times more. (Do not over-knead as this is a quick bread.)

4. Divide dough into 12 equal portions, shape each into a ball and place in a greased 9 x 13 inch pan, cover with greased clingwrap or damp kitchen towel and allow to proof for about 10 min in a warm draught-free place. (I did not use a 9 x 13 inch pan but I used the oven tray instead. My dough weighed 888g, divide by 12 makes about 70 to 75g per piece. Note that you should not proof for >10 min as this is a quick bread, it will become hard if you over-proof.)

5. After proofing, brush each bun with egg wash (1 egg beaten with few drops of water) and bake for 10 to 12 min on the middle shelf until golden brown. (I baked mine for 10 min only.)

Notes This 40-min bun or bread roll was really quick and easy, and the taste was pretty good too, they were fragrant and soft, although I think they were not as soft and fluffy as sweet bread dough or hokkaido milk bread, but still given the short time, the result was already quite good. This kind of soft bun is what we called a "sandwich" in Belgium. We finished 10 buns for lunch and there are still 2 left for tomorrow. I will let you know how it tastes like tomorrow, if I managed to get up in time before the rest. :p

I am submitting this post to YeastSpotting.


  1. I would say you are efficient! Cannot imagine how u can bake while having to care for your 3 month old cutie pie :)

    1. Yes, nowadays I really have to plan ahead and be really quick in baking, no more dilly-dallying since the baby will wake up anytime !

  2. Thanks for the recipe. I will order (in a kind way) my husband to make these sandwiches during the weekend. They look soooo delicious!

    1. You are lucky to have a "useful" hubby, mine only steps into the kitchen to eat. :)

  3. I will try these tomorrow...looks gd:)

  4. Hi Ms B, Tried this today but it turned out like a french loaf - hard outside & soft inside.
    What I added was kneading time to 10 mins instead of 5 mins as the dough looks quite wet/sticky. Even it was still a bit sticky when i divided to 12 portions. When baking time i also added time to about 30 mins since it did not turn out to golden brown. Is there any steps I had done wrong?

    1. Dear fong fong,
      I am afraid you didn't read the instructions carefully. I stated that this is a quick bread which you should not over knead. If the dough is too sticky, add a little bit more flour, but do not over-knead (refer to step 3). If your oven temp is correctly set to 220 degrees celsius, you would only need 10 to 12 min, if you bake for 30 min at 220C, then there is something wrong. You are required to adjust the recipe according to the "temperament" of your oven, so if you are unsure of your actual oven temp (some ovens can heat up to a lower or higher temp than what you set), I suggest you get an oven thermometer.

    2. I understand the instruction & I did add the flour when it turns sticky. However, it was still sticky when I transferred out to divide to 12 portions, so I added little bit more flour & kneaded a little while more. I also did turned to 220C to 12min for 1st round but it looked so white, so I baked another 10mins for 2nd round & 3rd round only it turned golden brown.

    3. The next time you bake this, try not to add all the liquid at one go, so your dough won't end up so sticky. And try to grease your hands and work surface with oil, then it will be easier to handle sticky dough, because adding too much flour during kneading will affect the bread texture.
      Did you preheat the oven long enough? If your oven is not warm enough or takes too long to attain the right temp, you may want to cover with aluminium foil after a while to avoid it getting brown, while at the same time the bread gets enough time to get baked properly. But to be honest, 220C for 30 min is far too long, I will be surprised if it doesn't turn black. I would usually bake at 180C for 15 min to bake buns for most of my bread recipes, but for this case, I'm just following the stated temp in the original recipe.


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