Saturday, June 11, 2011

Aspiring Bakers #8: Mini Butter Buns 牛油小面包

After my bread machine died in September last year while making the Super Soft Custard Bread, I finally muster enough courage to make bread again, by hand.

I first saw these mini butter buns from Min's blog and find them really cute. The recipe is also simple enough for me who is starting breadmaking all over again. The dough is easy for me to manage, it turn non-sticky after kneading for sometime. Wrapping the buns with butter needs a bit of time and effort, other than that I'm quite enjoying the whole process. :)

I like the smell of breads fresh from the oven, you know when you walk pass the bakeries? This time the smell comes from my kitchen. It makes you forget how your wrestle with the dough earlier and the few hours spent just to make these buns. Although the ingredients are simple (no eggs and milk/cream used), the softness of the bread is still good. Surprisingly, on the next day, it still remain as good as yesterday.

Dough: Not sticky
Same day softness: 7/10
Next day softness: 7/10

Mini Butter Buns 牛油小面包 (from 孟老师的三色土司)

Ingredients (makes 25 mini buns)

150g bread flour
15g sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2+1/8 tsp instant yeast (sorry for the funny measurements because I halved the recipe)
90ml water
10g unsalted butter

50g butter
10g icing sugar
pinch of salt (I added because I like it a bit salty)


1. Mix the ingredients in the filling. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour so that it is easier to wrap later.
2. Mix all ingredients in the dough except butter and knead until the dough is smooth.
3. Add in butter and continue to knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic and able to stretch into a thin film without breaking.
4. Place the dough in a lightly greased mixing bowl. Cover with cling wrap and let proof for about 60 minutes.
5. Lightly knead the dough to punch out the gas. Divide the dough into small balls of 10g each.
6. Slightly flatten the small dough, wrap in the butter fillings and pinch to seal well. Roll the balls round and place them in a greased baking tray 1cm apart (I use 8x8in tray which is a little too big).
7. Cover with cling wrap and proof for another 40 minutes.
8. Brush the top with egg mixture and sprinkle sugar on top.
9. Bake in preheated oven at 180 deg C for 20 minutes.

Recipe adapted from: 孟老师的100道面包 and Min's Blog

I am submitting this Mini Butter Buns to Aspiring Bakers #8: Bread Seduction (June 2011), hosted by Jasmine of The Sweetylicious.


  1. Hi SSB,
    I can't help blurting out a "wow" when seeing the photos of the buns. They're just sooo cute. It seems that they're there urging me to start making and baking buns like that. My kids love buns and butter, so I think I should try your recipe soon. Thank you for sharing.

    Can I ask you something:
    1. Can I make the filling one day ahead? How long can the filling be kept in the refrigerator? We just take the filling out of the refrigerator right when we're ready to use it, right?

    2. When you said "mix the ingredients in the filling", did you mean we should mix all of them with a stand/hand mixer? And can I use only butter (unsalted or salted) for the filling, because I'm not sure I'll like butter with sugar?

    3. The butter you used is all softened at room temperature, right?

    4. What is the egg mixture that you brushed on the tops of the buns? Was it lightly beaten egg? Or lightly beaten egg with water?

    I'm sorry for asking many questions. That's because I'm really inexperienced in baking breads and buns, so I need as many advice as I can get :). Thank you in advance and have a great weekend.

  2. lovely & cute looking little buns! Looks so inviting! :)

  3. RPVN: Thanks for your compliments! I'm also not very experienced in making bread, but I will try my best to answer your questions. :)

    1. Yes, you can make the filling in advance. Should be able to keep for a long time, it's just butter and sugar mixture only. You can spread the mixture, leave it the fridge to harden slightly then cut into small cubes, then chill until ready to use. To make it easier, use salted butter, cute into small cubes. Bring it out only when ready to wrap. Harden butter makes wrapping easier.

    2. I just mix with a spoon, you can use a mixer if you are making a big batch. You can use salted butter, I prefer salty fillings.

    3. The butter I use in the dough is from the fridge. They will turn soft very fast when you knead. My preference. :)

    4. Just lightly beaten egg, no water added.

    Hope I have helped. I also have a lot to learn. :)

  4. They are cute :)
    I wanna make too~

  5. wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww che spettacolo! complimenti!

  6. These mini bread are so lovely! How I wish i can have some for our breakfast tomorrow :p

  7. 哇,好漂亮的小面包喔,很另人温暖的感觉:)

  8. Beautiful butter buns!

  9. I love you for being not selfish in sharing . I have many hours of happiness looking into your blog. Thanks for everything especially this mini bun from this book which is in Chinese. I don't know Chinese. Good that u translate in English. Many thanks!!! Happy baking.

  10. cute dainty buns!! looks ultra soft and fluffy in the middle too.

  11. Beautiful looking buns and very uniformly moulded! Yummy!
    Btw, your link to the AB linked to DG's, and not Sweetylicious! I was trying to copy when I realised it! :p

  12. Thanks for all the sweet comments!

    Jane: I have the habit of copying from my previous post to save time typing. I'm so careless! Thanks for reminding me! :)

  13. Thanks for linking back, I really love this small buns, soft and fluffy. Next time I will put some course sugar on top of the buns like you, will be more delicious I think!

  14. SSB, what a cute lil buns :)

  15. it's so cute n it looks yummy.

  16. 很可爱的小面包呢^^

  17. SSB

    Please help me. I tried baking these little buns twice and on both occasions, the butter started leaking out once it goes into the oven. Bread ended up more fried than baked. It is soft and fluffy in the inside but crust is like fried bun due to the layer of oil in the oven. I ensured I had wrapped the bun properly. Do you know what could have possibly gone wrong? Will appreciate your advice.

    I have tried many recipes from your blog and they worked out really well. Thanks for sharing.


  18. Hi Jas, thanks for trying my recipes!

    I think you need to seal the buns really well. Pinch the ends tightly and put the sealed end facing down as the base.

    Another thing is don't let the edges of the dough get in touch with butter (or any fillings) and use clean fingers to pinch. If not the sealed end will still split during baking.

    Hope it helps! :)

  19. SSB, the bun look so cute! and it look delicious! (: i love the fragrance when baking bread too (:

  20. Thanks a lot, SSB. I'll try again. I basically just wrapped the butter so with your advice now, I think I will get it right this time.


  21. SSB

    I want o ket you know I succeeded in making the buns. Many thanks to your tips on how to seal the buns. Mine however does not look as evenly baked as yours. :)

    Thanks again.


  22. Eileen@Hundred Eighty Degrees14 June 2011 22:21

    Looks so tempting!

  23. That must have been quite an effort to produce such awesome looking buns! So tempting...

  24. Jas: Congrats on your success. The tips apply to wrapping any type of fillings. Happy Baking!

  25. hi, can i know what instant yeast can i use to bake these lovely looking buns? pls email me at
    when when we knead the dough to make bread how to know when to stop. thanks.

  26. looks cute and professional standard :D

  27. Anonymous: You can use Bake King instant yeast which is easily available at any supermarkets.

    You can pinch a small piece of dough, if you can stretch it into a thin film without breaking, kneading is done. If it breaks, then continue kneading and perform the check again.

    Some recipes are harder to achieve this stage esp if you are kneading by hand and not machine. It's ok, as long as it is stretchable, it is good enough.

  28. Hi SSB,

    I tried the recipe you listed, it is so NICE!!! THKS!!!

    You can view my bread here:


  29. hello ssb, how are you? just been to jasmine's blog and browsed thru all the breads! am still enjoying looking at this now! perfectly baked!!

  30. NicNat Store: Glad that you like this recipe!

    lena: Thanks! I haven't finished reading through that long list of breads from the roundup. That was amazing! :)

  31. these little buns look so cute and yummy!! It's definitely on my to bake list!!

  32. Hi SSB, how long did u knead the dough? I kneaded for 20 mins but was unable to achieve the elasticity.


  33. Dolly: I used to have a bread machine to help me knead. It was only recently I started to knead with hands. Extremely difficult to reach the very thin-membrane stage. It's ok, as long as it is elastic and able to stretch without breaking. I never time. Could be up to 30 minutes or more.

  34. hi ssb, tried out these buns yesterday. I have two questions.How to achieve the satin smooth surface for the buns like yours..? Mine was a tad untidy. 2). The buns weren't as soft the next day.. Could you please tell me where i had gone worng..? Thank you for posting the recipe, everybody enjoyed it.

  35. Happy-bowl: Thanks for trying the recipe!

    I found a video for you which shows how to roll the dough round and smooth.

    Homemade buns tend to turn hard on the next day because no additives are added. I'm also looking for the perfect recipe that yields soft buns that can last for a few days. You can keep trying more recipes to find the perfect bun recipe for you.

    Hope it helps. :)

  36. Thank you SSB for the reply. It was of good help. Your blog is very inspiring..

  37. Hi, i am using hand method to knead the dough. i am facing some problem here and i hope for some advice :)
    1. U mentioned mixed all in ingredient except butter, does it include water also? add all at one time, or water to be later, a bit by bit?
    2. My dough did not proof after 60 minutes later, what's went wrong?
    Looking forward to you reply~ :)

  38. Hi, thanks for trying the recipe.

    1) Yes, add everything (except butter) including water. Knead until you get a dough, then add butter and knead until smooth and elastic.

    I normally don't add all water. Eg, for this 90ml, I will add 80ml first, leaving 10ml to be added last, bit by bit. If the dough getting too wet I will not add everything, cos the type of flour and humidity will also affect the water absorption.

    2. I'm not sure why your dough did not proof. Must be something wrong with your yeast. Are you using instant yeast or active dry yeast? Instant yeast can be added directly to your ingredients. If you are using active dry yeast, you need to dissolve it in warm water to activate the yeast first.

    The recommended room temperature for first proofing is about 28-30 Deg C.

    Hope it helps. Happy baking!

  39. Thanks for reply~
    I'm trying it again today~ but still the dough did not proof.. im using instant yeast.. method is as same as what u mention but still not proofing~ :P

  40. It did not expand at all? Or rise very slowly?

    You might want to test your yeast.
    Read here

  41. hi, I am using "bunga raya instant yeast" . I refer to the behind of the packages, the recipe mention has to mix be wet ingredient. i wonder does it because i mix it in dry one 1st caused it doesn't proof at all~ :) i shall try again, thanks for your info and the link~

  42. Then I think you should follow the instruction. Let me know the results. :)

  43. Look good i try now tks ,,,

  44. Hello SSB,
    I was browsing to look for butter buns and it brought me to your blogspot. What a wonderful blog I have found and had enjoyed browsing all your recipes here. Your blog inspired me!

    1. Hi Mel, thanks for your compliments! I have not been updating my blog very regularly nowadays. I hope you enjoy my old posts. I have also visited your blog after knowing you through AB. Lots of great recipes. Keep it going! :)

  45. Hi.yesterday i tried them.not so good. But today i tried it again. Very nice buns. Thanks for sharing