Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Chicken Curry Buns

I have always been intimidated by bread making as most bread making calls for yeast - a "formidable" ingredient that could very much determine the success or failure of bread making. @_@ Although I have attempted bakes using yeast for my Rainbow Flower Buns and Cinnamon Rolls in my past baking experiments, I still wasn't confident in dealing with yeast until after a considerable amount of time spent on researching and understanding about yeast and how it works. After plucking up my courage to attempt these Chicken Curry Buns, I guess I'm not "scared" (of working with yeast) anymore. ^_^

Chicken Curry Buns

And I realised that the happiest moment in bread making isn't when I could finally sink my teeth into these buns, but it is when I know that the yeast is working and I see my dough rising well. Hahaha!

Chicken Curry Buns
Recipe referenced and modified from: Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover
Makes about 15 muffin-size

Ingredients Required

Chicken Curry Filling

3 medium-sized potatoes, cut into small cubes
200 grams boneless chicken breast, cut into small cubes
2 spring curry leaves
1/2 big onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 shallots, finely chopped
1/4 cup corn kernels (optional)
Salt & sugar, to taste

Curry paste (mix to form a paste):
1 1/2 tablespoons meat curry powder
1/2 tablespoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon tumeric powder
4 tablespoons water

Bread Dough - Overnight Sponge Dough

215 grams bread flour
125 grams full cream milk (cold)
2 grams instant dry yeast

Bread Dough - Basic Dough

1 overnight sponge dough (as above)
90 grams bread flour, more for dusting
30 grams egg (about 1/2 of an extra large egg)
4 grams instant yeast
3 grams fine salt
60 grams fine sugar
45 grams unsalted butter / margarine, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk (cold)

Egg wash: Balance of 1/2 egg + 1 tablespoon milk
Handful of white roasted sesame seeds, for garnishing
Sugar syrup: 1 teaspoon white sugar + 1 tablespoon hot water

Bakeware Required

Large baking sheet or Standard muffin pan

The Dream Baker's Experiment
  1. For the chicken curry filling recipe, the original source recipe did not specify the size and type of potatoes used. I thought this information would be useful, so I actually used approximately 180 grams of peeled yellow potatoes in my above recipe.
  2. I added frozen corn kernels (defrosted) to the curry filling for an additional crunch and sweetness which I personally prefer. This is totally optional.
  3. The original source recipe suggested 2 spring leaves and 1/2 big onion which I have omitted in my experiment because I've not seen any supermarkets in this foreign city selling curry leaves and I was out of onion. ^_^
  4. For the dough recipe, I used 2% reduced fat milk and margarine (with 80% fat) instead.
  5. This is quite a sticky dough to begin with. I sprinkled, gradually, approximately 1/4 to 1/3 cup of additional bread flour in total, on the table top and on the dough itself during the kneading process to keep the dough from sticking.
  6. I left the dough to proof by placing it (in a bowl covered with cling wrap) in a switch-off oven. This is the best warm spot in the kitchen I could think of which is ideal for the yeast to work.
  7. The original source recipe did not specify how long to leave the dough to rise, but instead mentioned to leave dough aside to proof until double in size. I set the dough aside for roughly two hours.
  8. The total weight of the dough came to about 631 grams and I divided the dough into small balls of approximately 42 grams each.
  9. I wrapped each dough with about one rounded tablespoonful of chicken curry filling. 
  10. I baked the buns in the middle rack of the oven and baked them for 13 minutes (baking time varies across different ovens).
  11. I suggested brushing a layer of sugar syrup on the surface of the buns immediately when they are out from the oven as it gives a glossy finish when the buns cool and it adds a little sweetness to each bite.

Preparation Steps

Chicken Curry Filling
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok.
  2. Add onion, garlic and shallots and sauté till aromatic.
  3. Add curry paste, curry leaves and stir fry till fragrance. 
  4. Add chicken and potatoes and mix well.Add just enough water to cover the chicken and potatoes, cook over low to medium heat until the potatoes are softened, add salt and sugar to taste. Set aside to cool.
Overnight Sponge Dough
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients to form a rough dough.
  2. Cover dough with cling wrap and store overnight in the fridge (non-freezer compartment).
Basic Dough
  1. Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl except overnight sponge dough and butter / margarine. 
  2. Beat the ingredients with an electric mixer, and tear the overnight sponge dough into pieces and throw into the mixing bowl piece by piece while beating. 
  3. Turn the dough onto a clean table top sprinkled with bread flour (to prevent sticking) and knead the butter into the dough by hand to form a smooth, shinning and elastic dough. Knead for approximately 10 minutes. 
  4. Put dough into a large mixing bowl covered with cling film or a piece of damp cloth. Leave aside to proof till double in size.
  5. Punch down the dough to expel the air, divide into equal weight portions and mould into round balls. Cover and let dough rest for another 10 to 15 minutes.
I kneaded the overnight sponge dough and basic dough by hand
as I don't have a dough mixer.
One look and you know that the yeast is definitely working!

Assembling and Baking the buns
  1. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough into a round disc and spoon filling in the center of the dough. Wrap dough around filling and seal. Shape them round and place in a muffin tray lined with paper liners (or on a baking tray). Let proof for another 45 to 60 minutes.
  2. Gently brush the surface with egg wash and bake in the preheated oven at 355 degrees F (or 180 degrees C) for about 13 to 15 minutes, or until surface turns brown.
  3. Once baked, remove from oven and  gently brush the surface of the buns with sugar syrup while hot. Transfer buns to wire rack to let cool slightly before serving. Be careful of the hot filling although the outside of the bun may have cooled slightly.
Pinch to seal the ends of the dough tightly and place the sealed side down on the paper liners.

Placing the dough in each individual cavity of the muffin pan lined with paper liners allows the buns to form its shape.

It is important to brush the surface of the buns gently with egg wash without "deflating" the dough.

The sugar syrup makes a whole lot difference to the appearance of the buns.

Consider using waxed liners so that the buns don't stick.

"Taste just like those sold at the neighbourhood bakery"!
A very encouraging and satisfying compliment received indeed. ^_^

I am sharing this Chicken Curry Buns with blog event, Little Thumbs Up (April 2015: Chicken) organised by Doreen of my little favourite DIY and Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, hosted by Diana of The Domestic Goddess Wannabe;
AlphaBakes (April 2015: Letter "B") hosted by Caroline of Caroline Makes and Ros of The More than Occasional Baker on alternate months. "B" stands for Buns!

New blog event, Family Bakes hosted by Jenny of Modern Family Baking; and

Recipe of the Week hosted by Emily of A Mummy Too.

I can't wait to explore more bread making...! For those of you who are going to attempt bread making, good luck and don't be afraid of the yeast. ^_^

Dare to dream.
The Dream Baker


  1. These look absolutely awesome and so professional, like something you'd buy in a shop! Bet they taste great too :) x

    1. Hi Elaine, your words are so encouraging. They have really boosted my confidence. Thank you so much! ^_^

  2. Hello Kerene,
    Lovely & tasty curry buns you've baked.
    I'm also like you feel the joy when the yeast is working and the dough raised big & round to give that punch down.

    1. Hello Karen, thank you! I can totally understand the joy you have described. And that punch down moment, it just felt like a winning punch. ^_^ Thanks for your lovely note.

  3. Glad that you like baking bread now... I have to say that nothing beat freshly home baked bread and you have nailed it so well with this chicken curry buns bake :D

    1. Hi Zoe, I'm just so glad too that I pluck up the courage to try bread making. And indeed, I am totally enjoying my homemade bread. Thank you for the lovely note. ^_^

  4. Yum! These sound so tasty and a new twist to eating chicken curry. #recipeoftheweek

  5. I love bread making - these look lovely and the fact that you've in effect got a self contained packed lunch is great. Thanks for linking to #FamilyBakesAndMakes I will pin, tweet and round up.

    1. Thanks much Jenny! And in fact I enjoy bread-making so much now! ^_^

  6. What an unusual idea, I've never seen anything like this before - they look very enticing! Thanks for sharing with Alphabakes.

    1. Hi Caroline, I'm glad to know that, thank you! And I hope they are inspiring too. :)

  7. This is something I can totally eat any time of the day. Or night!

    1. Hi Diana, I can't agree more.. Thanks for dropping by. :)