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Whole Wheat Stuffed Buns – The story of Surabhi Bajaj

Multitasking could be Surabhi’s middle name with the multiple hats she wears in a single day. She is a Learning Professional with Accenture, a passionate baker, a mother and a curious learner. Her son, Advait is a jolly, bright and enthusiastic kid who was keen to understand what was going on during the video shoot. Surabhi tried her best to keep him busy in another room but he would not stay in one place at all! He started showing us the toys he plays with, the things he has drawn and chattered about his day too! Little did he know that his mother was frantically trying to manage everything from the shoot to the baking to the cooking.

The video shoot with Surabhi was probably the one with the longest duration, we were at her place for more than 7 hours ! And, it was worth it because the end result was not only the wonderful recipe of her stuffed buns, but also having them with her son!

Surabhi is a healthy homebaker based in Bengaluru who bakes solely out of passion. She experiments with gluten free flours, dry fruit powders, tries out recipes and tries to get better at the craft with every passing day. Alongside her job, she manages to keep healthy bakes stored in containers for Advait so that he does not consume any junk food.

Keeping the idea of health in mind, she demonstrated to us, her recipe of Stuffed Buns, made from scratch with whole wheat and filled with health as well as goodness. Let us learn how to make them step by step.

 

TIME REQUIRED- For cooking: 45 mins,   For proofing: 1.5 hours

Ingredients: For the buns (yields 6 standard or 10 medium sized buns): ·

1 tsp yeast  

  • 1 tsp honey
  • · 1 cup + 2-3 tbsp water
  • · 2 cup + 2tbsp whole wheat flour (WWF)
  • · 1 tsp salt
  • · 3 tbsp milk powder
  • · 3 tbsp oil (any odorless oil – I have used sunflower oil)
  • · 1 tbsp sesame seeds

For the filling:

  •  · 1 medium-sized onion
  • · 4-5 pods garlic
  • · 2 tbsp boiled corn kernels
  • · 2 tbsp boiled and chopped spinach
  •  · 1/3 cup chopped mushrooms
  • · 1 tbsp whole-wheat flour
  •  · 1/4 cup milk
  • · 1-2 small cubes of regular cheese chopped
  •  · 1 tsp mixed Italian seasoning
  • · 1/4 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • · 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • · Salt to taste
  • · 75-100 gms chopped mozzarella cheese cubes
  •  · 2 tbsp butter

Note: 1 cup = 240 ml

This recipe has three building blocks

1. Tangzhong* or water-roux (a slurry flour paste for the dough),

2. The dough itself 

3. And the filling *this technique pre-gelatinizes the starches in the flour and makes it absorb more water resulting in a softer bread.

TANGZHONG We will begin with making the Tangzhong.

 In a thick bottom pan, add 2 tbsp flour and 1/2 cup water and cook it on low flame.

 Keep stirring continuously for 1 min or until the mixture thickens. Once thickens, remove from flame and let it cool. 

PROOFING THE YEAST Now, work on proofing the yeast.

 Take 1/2 cup of warm water (shouldn’t be too hot else it would kill the yeast), mix it with 1 tbsp honey (you can use sugar also) and add 1 tsp instant dry yeast. Cover it and leave for 10 mins.

After 10 mins, you’d see that the yeast mixture has nicely bubbled up. In case it hasn’t, discard this mix and re-do the steps to make the yeast mix. A well raised yeast is critical to a well raised dough.

 MAKING THE DOUGH

In a large bowl, take 2 cups WWF, add 1 tsp salt, and 3 tbsp milk powder. Mix it well.

Then, add the flour paste that we made in the first step followed by the yeast mix.

Combine this dough. If needed add 2-3 tbsp water.

Now we will knead this dough for 15-20 mins – this is the most important step for making a soft bread.

Grease the counter, sprinkle some flour, and move your dough on it.

Start kneading the dough by stretching and folding. Add oil bit by bit as needed. Be patient and keep kneading for at least 15 mins.

You will get a soft supple dough at the end.

Now grease a big bowl and keep the dough. Brush with a little oil and cover it.

Leave it to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

PREPARING THE FILLING

While the dough rises, we will prepare the filling.

For this recipe I have used Italian filling, you can change it to paneer/potato/any other stuffing as per your preference.

Place a pan on low flame, add 1 tbsp butter (or olive oil), add chopped onions, followed by garlic, cook till they are translucent (not brown), then add the mushrooms, cook on high until the water released gets dried, then add 1.5 tsbp flour, cook for while (don’t let it brown), then add 1/4 cup milk and mix well.

Now add corn kernels, spinach, salt, pepper and seasoning (be careful with the salt as cheese and mushroom have salt of their own).

Now add the processed cheese chunks. And mix it.

Cook until the mix thickens.

Since we want to stuff this mixture, we are looking for thick manageable stuffing. Once done, let it cool. Prepare your baking tray by lining it with parchment paper and greasing it.

STUFFING THE BUNS

After one hour, you’d notice that the dough would have doubled in size.

Lightly grease your hands and the counter again, and move the dough there.

Divide it into ten (or 6) equal parts with a knife and shape them as balls.

Sprinkle some flour and roll each ball slightly to form a cup (you can do it on your hand too), stuff 1 spoon of filling, add 3-4 pieces of mozzarella cheese and seal the balls by pinching the edges.

Roll them into a sphere again on your palm.

Place them on the baking tray with the seamed edges at the bottom.

Do this for all the balls.

BAKING

Cover the tray with a dry kitchen towel and let it sit for second proofing for 30 mins. After 30 mins, pre-heat the oven for 10 mins at 200c.

Brush some water on top of the dough balls, sprinkle sesame seeds and bake at 20-25 mins at 200c, after which the buns will turn golden brown on top.

Once done, brush them with melted butter and cover with a damp cloth allowing to cool.

Our super soft stuffed buns are ready. Enjoy!

 

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