The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough Tangzhong Buns

mycroft's picture

Sourdough Tangzhong Buns


This is my first post here after browsing on the site for a really long time. I just thought I would like to share this recipe of super soft and fluffy buns/rolls using the tangzhong method with a SD starter instead of instant yeast. I have been an avid SD baker and coming from an Asian background, am always trying to use SD into popular Asian recipes. This recipe was derived from several of my go-to recipes, including hokkaido milk loaf, sweet bun dough, SD rolls etc

Hope this will contribute to the growing recipe base of SD Enriched Bread. (ps, sorry i am not into bakers % and the hydration and stuff, so i will just keep it very simple).

1. 100gram active starter -  fed and active and happy! (my starter is a rye starter. I did not convert it to AP and used it anyways in this recipe which gave the final bread a slightly darker shade and great taste!)

2. tangzhong

2 TBSP bread flour

8 TBSP milk

2 TBSP water

- cook the flour, milk and water on a pan over medium heat until it turns into a gel-like substance. (or 65C on thermometer) leave the tangzhong to cool to room temp.

3. main dough

250g bread flour

250g AP flour

60g sugar

120ml milk (or half milk and half water)

40g butter

1tsp salt

- mix the two flours, tangzhong and the milk/water together. it will be a shaggy dough. let rest 30 mins

- add starter, salt, sugar and butter to the mix. Now, put your muscles to good use and knead the dough very very well. Throw the dough around on the counter a few times if you like.

- let rest for 3 to 4 hours to get the starter going before putting it in the fridge covered with cling wrap. rest in the fridge for 8 hours. (prior to going into the fridge, the dough should have starting rising a little)

- take it out of the fridge and bring it to room temp. anywhere between 2 to 4 hours. the dough should be up and awake now.

- divide the dough into 12 pcs and shape them anyway you like (with added filling too if you want). I did mine into round rolls and long rolls and added different savoury/sweet fillings into them.

- let rest till the buns puff up (another 1.5 hours or so). you can eggwash or milkwash them. (i milk washed mine)

- pop them into the oven at 190c (preheated) for 20 mins.

*you can cut down sugar if you are going to put fillings into the buns. Or, if you are going to eat it on its own, you can adjust the sugar to your taste.

hope this is helpful for those looking for a different SD enriched bread baking experience! Cheers




Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

And it's in the starter!  

Looks like the tangzhong is a good way to fluff up sourdough.   They look yummy!   :)


mycroft's picture

hello mini! thank you, yes they were quite yummy - my hubby finished half of all the buns at one sitting.

in regards to the 10% rye, yes, tangzhong is a real miracle worker. I have done this recipe before with same amount of rye starter - and half of the ingredients in the main dough (i wanted to half the amount of buns but i forgot to half the starter) and they turned out equally as soft and fluffy too! so i guess that was even higher percentage of rye in the total dough.



Bakingmadtoo's picture

Everyone is making buns! They do look beautifully fluffy.

dabrownman's picture

multigrain Tang Zhong SD bun maker too!  Yours look great - soft ,moist and shreddable - no wonder your hubby at half of them all at one sitting:-)  I like TZ so much we use it in breads quite a bit too. 

Welcome and Happy Baking

mycroft's picture

for your kind words, dabrownman and bakingmadtoo

dabrownman, i say, viva la Tangzhong! i am gonna try out your recent recipe post soon!

Foodzeit's picture

like a baozi with a nice crust, just imagine some char siu filling in those awesome looking little buns and getting hungry by the thought :)

mycroft's picture

hello foodzeit, i presume baozi is chinese steamed buns, yes? yes some char siu would be amazing, i actually filled up one of those buns with dried chilli shrimps (wonder if you know that? it's called he bi).

this weekend, am actually going to try making SD steamed chinese buns with custard filling ( 奶黄包), or maybe just man tao.




Foodzeit's picture

U are 100% correct, baozi are those steamed breakfast buns indeed. You woke two people's interest when talking about chili shrimp filling :) I am one of them, even if I am not so much a shrimp guy. But that does sound intriguing. And yes of course I know he bi. 

For the topic of the man tou, I am looking forward to see how you transferred the recipe to work with SD. I only know the yeast version, though I heard some Cantonese talking about making them with "lao fen". But I always enjoy them for our occasional dim sum.

vickyT's picture

What is your SD hydration?  Today made some buns, rolls and a Hokkaido loaf, crust seems a bit hard unlike Hokkaido milk bread, is yours that way?  I use all milk in TZ. other than that it has a soft. pillowy crumb and  spread the rolls with he bi sambal, the buns filled with aloo matar and curry puff stuffings but reduce 20gm sugar in the dough.   

As for mantou, have made both versions SD and lao fen.  It takes 3 days B4 you can use lao fen, if you don't have one on hand, personally I prefer SD for health benefit and an overnight on the counter.  Usually I let it for about 2 hr room temp then retard overnight in the fridge but you can make them on the same day.

SD mantou makes 6 large or 8 small: 140gm Spelt (Einkorn/AP, 50gm Cake FL (or all AP), 10gm ground almond (black sesame/chia/flex, etc), 80gm SD, 88gm kefir (buttermilk/milk), 2 pinches turmeric powder, 12gm cane sugar or 10gm sugar they can sour together with the rest of the dough cover let it sit overnight up to 24 hours.  Next day sprinkle 2gm pinches salt and oil ghee (EVO/peanut, veg).  Optional a pinch of baking powder if using non acidic and anything acidic a pinch of baking soda .  Mix & rest 10 min.  Roll into an oval shape then tri fold, turn 90 degree repeat 6 X, Swiss roll, divide and shape however you so choose except flower twist mantou and place on parchment paper.  Proof 11/2 to 2hr steam for 12 minute, wait 3 min B4 open the lid.

For half moon shape hamburger bun brush half of the surface with sesame oil or any oil B4 folding over.

Thanks mycroft for sharing, this recipe is for keeps




mycroft's picture

hi vicky! 

my SD hydration is 1 to 1 and it has been that way for ages. :) i m just glad it is still alive now! 

thank you for your man tou tip - i have made some since and dont really exactly remember the recipe as i was experimenting but i will try yours very soon. 


vickyT's picture

Is it North America flours you used?