If you follow my blog regularly, you know by now that I get sentimental about food that I have grown up with. Don’t get me wrong, I like being adventurous with food and try out different cuisines ever so often, but familiar tastes can give you a sense of warmth that is incomparable.
Yesterday’s post on strawberry jam was a sweeping hit; I had visitors from Nigeria and Lebanon which I almost never do. I can’t thank you enough for stopping by, by the way. But I took a moment and thought about what was so unique about a simple jar of jam? And there, I said it myself, “simple”.
In the course of all that exposure, to sushi on one end and macaron on the other, we all want to get back to basics once in a while; food that brings us back fond memories, a bottle of jam for instance, that stood by us and comforted us when we fell ill, when we needed company for our toast at breakfast, when plain butter got too rich and lonely or when a spoonful rescued us momentarily from our sweet craving (or maybe that was just me).
Buns for me go in the same league. Not just some bun, but warm ones that ooze out jam when bit into. As a child, buns were a staple for me. I would go to this one particular bakery that slashed the bun in two, slathered it with generous amounts of jam and butter and sandwiched them together, all for Rs 5.
Other than everyday consumption, I wanted to put my strawberry jam to good use. I couldn’t think of anything better than these jam buns, simple and straight from the oven.
- 200 g all-purpose flour
- 45 g sugar
- ¼ salt
- 25 g unsalted butter
- 7 g active dried yeast
- 5 tbsp milk, lukewarm
- 1 egg, beaten
- 4 big dollops of strawberry jam (or any jam of your choice)
- Icing sugar, to dust
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar (reserve a tablespoon) and salt. Add the butter and rub the butter in with your hands till you obtain sand-like texture.
- Into the lukewarm milk, add a tablespoon of sugar, yeast and egg. Stir gently until combined and allow it to rest for 5 minutes, for the yeast to start activating (it will froth up).
- Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour the yeast mixture in. Combine till the mixture becomes a ball of dough.
- Tip the dough on a floured work surface and knead the dough until it becomes soft and elastic (5 minutes).
- Once kneaded, place the dough back into the bowl. Cover the dough with a tea towel and allow it to prove for an hour or until it is risen (in a warm place).
- Once risen, punch the dough back in gently and divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Roll out each portion into 4 inch circle. Place a teaspoon full of jam in the center of the circle. Pinch the ends of the circle and press them tightly together (like you would for a dumpling. Place the bun, seam side down on the prepared sheet. Repeat for all portions.
- Cover the buns with a tea towel and let it prove again for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
- After the second proving, bake the buns for 20 minutes or until brown and risen.
- Dust with icing sugar. Serve it warm with coffee or tea.