recipe

Ham and Cheese Buns, a Chinese Bakery Treat

Total time: 110 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 12 people
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Ingredients
heavy (double) cream
2/3 cup (at room temperature)
Milk
1 cup (plus 1 tablespoon, at room temperature)
Egg
1 large (at room temperature)
Sugar
1/3 cup
cake or plain flour
1/2 cup
Bread flour
3 1/2 cups
Active Dry Yeast
1 tablespoon
salt
1 1/2 teaspoons
Ham
12 slices
Cheese
12 slices
Egg wash: whisk together 1 egg with 1 teaspoon water
Sugar
2 teaspoons

You may be surprised to find ham and cheese buns in a Chinese bakery, but these are no ordinary savory buns!

Made with a super-soft and tasty milk bread dough, these buns are filled with slices of ham and cheese, then brushed with an egg glaze and baked in the oven for 25 minutes, until the cheese has melted, and the dough is cooked.

These ham and cheese buns can be eaten at any time, for any reason – why not try having one for breakfast on the go? Kids will love them too!

Instructions

Add the heavy cream, milk, egg, sugar, cake flour, bread flour, yeast, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer.

Use the dough hook attachment, and turn on the mixer to low. Let it mix for 15 minutes, stopping the mixer every so often to push the dough together and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

If the dough seems very sticky, feel free to add a little more flour, 1/4 cup at a time until it comes together. If you are kneading by hand, extend the kneading time by 5-10 minutes.

After 15 minutes of mixing, the dough should be ready for proofing. Cover the mixer bowl with a clean, damp dish towel and place in a warm place for 1 hour. The dough will grow to around 1.5 times its original size.

After the hour is up, put the dough back in the mixer and stir on low for another 5 minutes to get rid of any air bubbles.

Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and cut it into 12 equal pieces.

Roll out each piece into a rough rectangle shape (big enough to fit the ham slices on), and lay the ham and cheese on top.

Roll each bun together from the short side into a log shape, and cut three slits into the top of each bun (about 1/2 inch deep). Place on the baking tray with the seam side down.

Continue until all the buns are made. Cover with a clean, damp towel and leave to rise for another hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F/160C fan/gas mark 4. Brush the buns all over with egg wash and bake for 20-24 minutes until golden.

Remove the buns from the oven and brush them with sugar water if you want, to give them a shine, sweetness, and color.

Notes

You can use any kind of good melting cheese for these buns. I used mature Cheddar, but smoked cheddar or sliced Edam would also work well.

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