Friday, 20 July 2012

Wholemeal Curry Buns

Breadtop is an Asian influenced Australian bakery franchisee, that serves a wide range of breads, cakes, buns and pastries. While their cakes and sweet pastries are all good, they are more in demand for their savoury buns and pastries. Their chicken curry bun and spicy beef bun are the favourites in our house. There, comes the demand from my little ones to try curry buns at home. And their Mum thinks "Why not"?

I've never baked any breads or buns at home. So my first experiment was to bake some plain buns that I made with plain flour. With success at hand, I felt confident to try out curry buns, but with wholemeal. All recipes I read, warned me to avoid working with wholemeal by itself, since it lacks gluten, which is very important to trap air inside to make soft, light bread. So this time I decided to mix plain flour and wholemeal flour to make the buns for my curry buns. The success story repeats!!!

The curry buns are a hit with my sons' friends and they keep asking for more. There is nothing more satisfying than feeding these kids with food that I know they will love.

Makes: 8 - 10 Buns
Preparation Time: 30 minutes + time for proving dough (approx.)
Cooking Time: 40 minutes (approx.)

For the filling
  • 3 cups boneless chicken thighs, cooked in salt and pepper, shredded
  • 2 cups brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 - 2 green chilly, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup carrot, grated
  • 1 tsp curry leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 - 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 -3 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 pinch turmeric
  • 1 tsp + 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For Bun
  • 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp raw sugar
  • 1 tbsp dry yeast
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup, cold butter, diced
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 egg white
  • Sesame seeds, to sprinkle 
  • Cooking oil, to apply on hands before working with dough
To prepare filling
1. Heat oil in a pan and saute' onion, chilly, garlic and ginger till onion starts to lose its colour. Add coriander powder, chilly powder, turmeric powder, 1 tsp garam masala, salt and pepper and fry till aroma rises. Then add carrot and curry leaves, mix well and leave in closed pan for a minute to cook. Add shredded chicken, remaining garam masala and vinegar. Mix well and season to taste. If the mixture is too dry, add a few teaspoons of water now. Cook for a few more minutes. Remove from flame and keep aside to cool.

To prepare bun
1. Mix 1/2 cup of warm water, yeast and sugar in a bowl and keep it aside to foam (around 10 minutes). In a large flat mixing bowl mix flours and salt and rub in butter with your finger tips. Add warm milk, beaten egg and foamed yeast and knead well. Add remaining 1/2 cup of water as required (you may or may not need all of this) to make a smooth but slightly sticky dough. (It is good to keep the dough slightly sticky to get better results from mixing the wholemeal flour). Let this stand for 10 minutes. Knead well again. Cover with a damp cloth and let it stand for at least 90 minutes to 2 hours (the dough should double in size). Punch it down lightly using your palm.
2. Oil your hands and divide dough into 8 to 10 balls. Flatten each dough ball in your palm (as flat as you can) and fill with 2 - 3 tbsp (approx.) of the chicken filling. Pinch together the open sides and shape into smooth balls.Arrange on baking tray and let is stand for 30 - 40 minutes. The balls will double in size.
3. Meanwhile prepare egg wash by beating together egg white and very little water. Brush dough balls with egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Bake in fan-forced oven at 170° C for 20 minutes or till buns become golden brown in colour.

Serve hot!

- Instead of using wholemeal flour use an entire batch of plain bread flour to make normal plain buns. You will have to adjust the amount of water accordingly. However the dough needs to be smooth but not sticky as when we use wholemeal flour. 

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