Saturday, April 18, 2009

Polo Buns

My earlier experiments with breadmaking last year wasn't really successful. I had problems of sticky dough which led to frustrations. (I have this "weird" dislike of sticky and greasy hands!) That stopped me from making breads for quite a while. Due to an urgent need to clear the packet of expiring-soon bread flour, I'm back to breadmaking again.

The sticky problem is gone! It's either that the recipes are good or the cold method works (or both!), which makes these Polo Buns and Creamy Braided Bread extremely easy to handle.

What is Cold Method? (when using the breadmachine)
Cold Method simply means use cold ingredients. Instead of putting everything into the breadmachine at room temperature, take the extra effort. Measure the water, milk, eggs, butter, cream or any other liquid ingredients, then put them in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. Then put the cold liquid ingredients, followed by the dry ingredients, and lastly the yeast into the breadmachine and start using the DOUGH function. Leave the lid OPEN (a tip from Happy Homebaker). Let it knead for about 10 minutes, then add the cold butter. Restart the machine and knead the dough for another 20 minutes. Then I got the nice, smooth, non-sticky and stretchable dough ready for proofing.

Here's the Polo Buns that I made, another good recipe from Grace Kitchen Corner. The extremely soft interior and buttery pastry on top makes it so good to eat. There's a link in her post that teaches how to push the dough into the pastry easily, which really helps. Try this!


  1. Hi SSB,
    Your polo buns sure looks gorgeous! It's as good as Grace's! Well done! I wasn't able to get this beautiful when I tried last time. Heehee... :)

  2. Hi SSB, your polo buns are so good! I hope with this success you will enjoy bread making again :)

  3. Hi SSB,

    I like Polo Bun a lot. Ur Polo Bun is so tempting, make me crave for it now.

    I wanted to try to make this but too bad my family doesn't like it. How come I am always the odd one in my family. :(

  4. Hi SSB,
    Beautiful baked polo buns! It looks really yummy too! Enjoy!

  5. Hi SSB,
    Thanks for the tips and am so happy that you are back to baking buns. Your polo buns look great. :)

  6. beautiful polo pau like the one sell in bakery!! I like your design:)

  7. Thanks Jane, I'm sure you can make better ones than me the next time.

    Hi HHB, yes, I think I must plan my breadmaking sessions now. Then I will not end up with near-to-expire flour. Haha!

    Hi Angel, maybe you can make smaller portions, I'm sure it can be easily finished. I'm lucky cos my father is a "bread king". He eats so much bread a day and can help us to finish up the remaining ones. :)

    Hi Grace, nice recipe from you. When are you baking more breads? You are my source of inspiration!

  8. Thanks My Asian Kitchen! I just followed Grace's method. In fact, she did a better job than me.

    Thanks Elin! I have read before that it's best to keep the dough temperature below 30 deg C. So using cold ingredients help to keep the temperature down. It's the same if you are using the mixer to knead the down.

  9. wow! this polo bun looks better than those outside ones! I love plain bolo buns...;o) if i don't have a bread machine, am i still able to bake these?

  10. Thanks Ah Teo! Of course you can do it without a bread machine. If you have a heavy-duty mixer, you can use it to knead the dough. The normal stand mixer can't do it though.

    If not, you will need to do it the hard way, using your super arm power. You need to knead it until you get a smooth and elastic dough. Means it can be stretched into a thin film without tearing. Warn you, it's going to be extremely tiring. :)

  11. Lol! okie...Maybe i can eat more spinach before this then turn into popeye! sounds tough. I do not have a heavy duty machine. May i ask, what kind of milk powder do u use? those anlene kind can?

  12. You can use any kind of milk powder, including Anlene. Don't worry, it can be done. Just need some patience and strength, I'm sure you can do it. You can read up Happy Homebaker's blog. She did some of her breads by hand too and they were great! :)

  13. Hi SSB,
    I did this today, following your recommendations about the bread pastry and following grace's recipe. I used cold water and cold egg, but rest of the ingredients were at room temp. Why did you need cold water, cos usually warm water is required to react with yeast?

    Then I used my bread machine to knead for 10+20 min, exactly as advised, the dough was still a little bit sticky but smooth and stretchable. I used my hands to knead the polo pastry into breadcrumbs and cool it in the fridge.

    But I find the polo pastry very fragile and difficult to handle. I couldn't wrap it round the bread without tearing. Did you have the same problem?

    The final baked product was very good but my polo crust was pretty ugly though. :)

    1. Hi Miss B,
      Wow, this was so long ago that I hardly remember. I think I was facing the problem of extremely sticky dough and I was advised to keep the ingredients cold. Because when you use bread machine to knead, the ingredients tend to get heated up, so using cold method will keep the dough temperature down.

      As for the polo pastry, you need to chill in the fridge first for easy handling. Is your pastry too dry or too sticky? It keep tearing, is it because it is too dry. Maybe you can adjust the flour. Just add enough to form a dough.

      Hope I'm giving the right advice, as I seldom make breads also. :)

    2. Hi SSB,
      Should have consulted u b4 doing, :)
      Yes, the polo pastry was chilled in fridge, in fact I was rushing for time so I put in freezer for 5 min, maybe that's why. It was easy to form a dough but it later turned sticky yet brittle. Next time I would add a little more flour. Did you bake in middle of oven or upper half?
      Thanks for your advice!

    3. Maybe the pastry become too hard after you put in the freezer. Could wait for it to soften a bit. I usually bake in the upper half of the oven.