Sweet dinner rolls

DP and I both enjoy chinese breads because they tend to have a very fluffy and soft texture. One of the items you will often see at Chinese bakeries are sweet rolls. The rolls are similar to King Hawaiian rolls, but even softer and fluffier.

I recently made some sweet dinner rolls adapting a recipe found here, but omitting the raisins. I also baked them in a rectangular pan so the rolls would have a better shape. I originally wanted to use an 8 x 8 pan, but mine was in use, so instead I used some bread pans.

The breads came out sweet and fluffy. A perfect bread to go with dinner or for a snack.

The recipe first requires you to make a “tangzhong” paste. It’s easy to make with bread flour and water. This tangzhong paste is supposed to make the bread very fluffy.
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Sweet dinner rolls (adapted from this recipe)


2½ cups bread flour
3tbsp+2tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
½ cup milk
120g tangzhong (use this recipe here for the tangzhong)
2 tsp instant yeast
3 tbsp butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)

1. Make sure you have tangzhong already made from the night before or a few hours before you are going to make the bread as it needs to cool before use.
2. Combine the flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast in a bowl of a stand mixer. Make a well in the center. Whisk and combine all wet ingredients: milk, egg and tangzhong, then add into the well of the dry ingredients. Use the dough hook attachment and mix on low speed until your dough comes together and then add in the butter and continue mixing on medium to high speed. Mix for about 18-20 minutes until the dough is no longer sticky and is elastic. You want the dough to be elastic. So if you were to take a part of it and stretch it out, you can stretch it to a very thin membrane without it breaking. When you poke a hole in the thin membrane, it should form a close to perfect circle.
3. Gather the dough into a ball shape. Take a large bowl and grease with oil.  Place dough into  greased bowl and cover with a wet towel. Let it proof until it’s doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
4. Deflate and divide the dough into eight equal portions. Knead into ball shapes. Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes.
5. Roll out each part with a rolling pin into an oval shape. Take one end of the dough and fold to meet the middle of the oval. Take the other end and fold to meet on top. Turn the dough over, so that the folds face down and roll and flatten dough with pin. Flip dough again, so folded side faces up. Roll the dough up from top to bottom.  Knead into a ball shape. Repeat this step of rolling for  the rest of your dough. With seals of the dough balls facing down, place the eight balls into a greased 8 x 8 baking pan that is lined with parchment paper. Then cover with cling wrap or a wet towel.  Leave it for the second round of proofing, about 45 to 60 minutes, until double in size.

6. Whisk an egg and brush egg wash on surface of buns (this will create the shiny finish). Bake in a pre-heated 350F oven for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
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  1. Kankana says:

    First time in your blog! Are those your sketches ? They are awsm and such an innovative way to describing the steps.. rather than takings photos and getting worries that you might spoil the camera … I am following you in twitter now 🙂

    admin Reply:

    I’m glad you enjoy the sketches! Yes, DP does all the sketches for this blog. I thought it would be more creative way to share recipes.

  2. Kristen says:

    What delicious looking rolls, and I love your sketches too. So creative!

    admin Reply:

    Thanks! We hope you continue to visit!

  3. kitchenarian says:

    I love the sketches on this blog and these rolls look delicious. I look forward to your future posts.

    admin Reply:

    So glad you like the sketches!

  4. Ela says:

    Thanks for the instructions and sketches. You lost me on #5 I don’t understand the part when you said, “Roll the dough from top to bottom. Knead the dough into a ball shape.” Can you explain it further. Thank you.

    admin Reply:

    Sure, so when you roll up the dough it will be like a roll or burrito shape. But you want to make it a round circle shape. So usually I will take that, turn the ends down and pinch then together and the bottom, and then sort of roll the dough between my palms until it is a circle. Hope this helps. If you have any more questions let me know!

  5. Lori says:

    just wondering if you have the recipe for the tangzhong because the link isn’t working

    DP Reply:

    sorry, the link works now.

  6. MAH says:

    So, I just finished making these rolls! They are absolutely delicious, and definitely worth the time it takes to make them. My grandma suggested adding more salt though. We also estimated how much tangzhong to use, we used about 2/3 of a cup and ended up adding an extra spoonfull of flour while mixing it.

    admin Reply:

    So glad you like them. Hmm, I never tried to see how much in cups the 120g of tangzhong is. Next time I make this I’ll have to look.

  7. Sarah Bear says:

    120 gms is about half a cup per this website: http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/cooking-conversions/gram-conversions-general.aspx

    Making right now, as I type, but without a mixer (poor! yay!). I’m trying to stir, but I think kneading might have to happen. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    admin Reply:

    This recipe does require a lot of kneading, so it’s going to be a lot of work by hand. It can be done, but a lot of work. good luck!

  8. Sarah Bear says:

    Hey there, me again. Sorry I didn’t come back and tell you how everything went. I don’t think my texture was quite the same as your bread (a bit denser because I didn’t develop the gluten enough) but it’s the best.bread.I.have.ever.made. It was chewy and crusty and tasted like the bread that they serve in the cafeteria (which is not a slight in the least). I fixed it for my dad for Father’s day, and he got teary eyed when he made it. Thanks so much for posting this recipe darlin, it’s really delicious no matter how you make it.

    admin Reply:

    I’m so glad it turned out well for you! Thanks for coming back and letting me know!

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