Saturday, October 17, 2015

No knead breads: Sugar Rolls and Rotiboy Coffee Buns

I don't know if you feel the same as me. I find that the taste of breads/buns from neighbourhood bakeries are getting worse. I wonder if it is because they are using low quality or unhealthy type of oil or butter/margarine that makes me feel yucky after eating. The upmarket bakeries are slightly better but the price of one bun is close to eating a meal in hawker centre and the bun is so small not enough to fill the stomach.

I really long having a nice home-baked bread. But without a mixer and bread machine, it is really very troublesome, tiring and time consuming to make breads at home.

While going through my old photos, I found these no-knead breads that I baked in 2011 which I totally forgotten to post and hardly remember I baked them before! I added apples and omitted the cinnamon because I don't like cinnamon taste.

I decided to revisit this recipe again. It is from Happy Home Baking's Magical Rolls recipe.

I stick to the recipe and made the Sugar Rolls (cinnamon omitted again).

Making the no-knead bread dough:

1. Mix 250ml milk, 50g sugar and 62.5ml vegetable oil in a pan.
Heat the mixture until just before boiling (I off heat when start to see steam). Leave to cool for 45min to 1 hour.

2. Place 250g plain flour and 1 tsp instant yeast in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the above mixture. Stir with a spatula until the mixture comes together to form a thick batter. Cover and let the batter sit for at least 1 hour.

3. Add in 30g plain flour, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp (scant) baking soda and 3/4 tsp salt. Stir until the mixture comes together. Cover and leave to chill in fridge overnight. (Note: dough will be more firm and easier to work with if left to chill in fridge).

For Sugar Rolls:

50g sugar + 1 tbsp ground cinnamon (mix well)
50g unsalted butter (melted)

1. Dust the work surface freely with flour. Dust the top and bottom of dough with flour. Roll out the dough into a rectangular shape. Then roll out as thin as possible. Dust the dough and work surface with flour when necessary.

2. Brush the rolled out dough with melted butter. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture evenly over the surface.

3. Start from the opposite end of the dough, roll the dough neatly in a line towards you. Roll as tightly as possible. Dust fingers with flour if the dough feels sticky. Pinch the seams to seal.

4. Cut into 1 inch thick slices and arrange on baking pan lined with parchment paper (or greased with butter). Place the rolls close together so that they are almost touching. (sorry the buns I made are a bit smaller)

5. Cover and leave to rise for 1 hour or until the rolls double in size. (Note: the rolls can be left to chill in the fridge over night and bake them the next morning. If rolls have doubled in size, bake them right away. Otherwise leave to sit on counter until double in size before baking.)

6. Bake in preheated oven at 180 degC for 20mins until golden brown.

Looks better than I expected!

I become so excited that I tried the second time, making them into buns. But remind you that the dough is very soft and sticky to actually shape them properly, so my buns are not very well-shaped.

For Rotiboy Coffee Buns:

Topping ingredients:
50g unsalted butter
50g caster sugar (I reduced to 20g)
50g egg, lightly beaten
50g cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon warm water

1. Dissolve instant coffee powder with the warm water, mix in vanilla extract. Set aside.
2. Beat the butter with caster sugar, until light and fluffy. Add the beaten egg one teaspoon at a time, beat well after each addition (add in egg gradually to prevent the mixture from curdling). Add in the coffee mixture gradually, beat well after each addition. Sieve over the cake flour. Mix with a spatula until just combined. Transfer topping into piping bag fixed with pipping nozzle (round tip). Let the topping chill in the fridge until needed. Remove from fridge about 5~10mins earlier before use to allow the topping to soften a little.


1. Follow the steps of making the no-knead bread dough. After chilling overnight, dust the work surface and dough freely with flour. Divide the dough into 30g each (feel free to make bigger buns). Roll each dough into smooth rounds and place on a lined tray. Space doughs two inches apart to allow them to expand. Cover and leave to rise for 1 hour or until the rolls double in size.

2. Pipe topping onto each dough. Make sure to cover the entire surface with the topping.

3. Bake in preheated oven at 180 degC for 15-20 mins until golden brown.

Smelling great!

The fluffy interior.

Let me sum up my experience.

The advantages of this recipe is, first it is a no-knead bread, so no more tiring hands. Second, there's less waiting time, I just throw into the fridge overnight and shape and bake the bread next morning. Third, it uses plain flour which I use commonly and do not have to get bread flour as I seldom make breads. And last, they do taste like soft buns, reasonably close to the bread method. Quite amazing!

But I do not like that baking powder and baking soda have to be added, probably to make it rise better, as I try to avoid too many chemicals in homebakes. I tried to omit them for the rotiboy buns and results in flatter buns but stay good. Also the dough is extremely soft and sticky so will have a bit of problem if you intend to shape into little buns.

Adapted from original recipe: Magical Rolls and Coffee Buns from Happy Home Baking