Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ham & Cheese + Koala Bear Buns

After the long school break, it's back to my usual routine again. Some how I am glad because I get to have more time to myself which means more baking!^_^. It's usually bread that comes to mind when I wonder which recipe to try out. What can I say, it's my favorite comfort food! After a visit to the salon yesterday, I went to buy some cold cuts, and decided on some lovely smoked chicken breast. Yup! Been wanting to make some ham & cheese bread for my family, which happen to be my husband's favorite sandwich combo. After some "research", I came up with a bread dough recipe which should be pretty good. :) Hard work does pay off! The bread is great with the delicious smoked chicken and thin slices of Cheddar....why did I wait so long to make this?!
This bread recipe is great! However this recipe requires a starter, which I think can be prepared a day ahead. Furthermore, its a really sticky dough, so pretty hard to knead, took me more then >30 mins to get to the texture I want! Hold it....did I say "Koala Bear" in my title? Heehee, almost slipped out of my mind...yeah, here it is:
Nowadays I always double my recipe so that I can have some "play-dough" session...get it? Heehee, it's so fun to shape those dough into cute shapes to attract my kids to eat them. If they recognise what you mould out...then you've done a great job shaping the dough. If'll be something like what I did in the picture:

Hahaha, this bun totally looks like some prehistoric creature/reptile that has yet finish evolving! Didn't quite know what was going through my mind when I snipped scales at the back?!'s one yummy prehistoric bun alright, heehee. ;D Need convincing? Check out the picture below, let it do the "talking":
The bread is super duper soft and nice....go so well with the ham & cheese! Me & my family ate up half of the loaf ring once it came our fresh from the oven! This recipe is definitly a keeper...will probably make it again with other savory fillings, yummy!Since my recipe is doubled, feel free to portion it to half if it's too much for yourself. Okay...I know you want it is:

Ingredients for Soft Sanwich/Bun bread:

(starter dough)湯種:
150g bread flour
12g caster sugar
200ml hot water
60g unsalted butter

Main Dough:
450g bread flour
100g cake flour
1 whole egg
350ml water
9g instant active yeast
6g salt
75g caster sugar
25g milk powder

30g unsalted butter

200g smoked chicken breast, sliced (cold cuts of your choice)
8 to 10 slices sandwich Cheddar Cheese
Nutella / Cream cheese filling

  • In a small pot, cook the starter dough ingredients with low fire till the mixture comes together. Remove from fire and set aside to cool completely before use.
  • Mix all ingredients in main dough except for butter together in a large mixing bowl to form a soft dough. Place on work area to knead or mixer to do the kneading. Knead the dough till it is not sticky, about 20 minutes.
  • Add the unsalted butter in and continue to knead till the dough is shiny and elastic. To test if the dough is ready, pull a small piece off and stretching it with your fingers. If dough is very elastic and pulls to almost see through without breaking, then it's done.
  • Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and allow to proof for at least 90 minutes to 2hrs.
  • Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Half for ham and cheese, the other for other fillings of your desire.
  • In one half of the dough portion, divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll round and let rest covered before shaping them. The remaining half dough portion, do what ever shape you like, else make more ham and cheese buns.
  • For the 8 pieces, roll it into a round flat circle. Place a slice of ham and cheese in the center and roll it up like a swiss roll. Seal the edges and cut right in the middle, so you have 2 small logs.
  • Place the 2 small logs, cut side facing up in your desired greased baking pan. Repeat until all dough pieces, ham and cheese slices are used up.
  • Let proof covered for 45 mins. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese
  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Bake in the oven for 40 minutes till the top is golden brown. Remove from mould after 5 minutes and let cool on rack.

Here it is, the whole lot that I made. Some how after making all these bread...I still feel it's not enough to go around! I guess, it's never enough good stuff, haha! One last picture to show you all before I go...well, maybe you already noticed it....
Yikes! This Koala bear is spitting foam! Technically it's cream cheese...but just pop out right at the mouth area?! Have to admit it looks gross! If you know what "吐白沫" means...this is the exact looks for that, hahaha! Hope you did not lost your appetite upon seeing this. :-P Guess I better "clean" up the "foam" before giving it to my girls...else they might find it not so appetizing after all, haha!


Sweet Tooth said...

The taste and soft texture of this Ham and Cheese bun really hit the right spot. I think this bread is better than the one we get from Lavender :-)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Sweet Tooth! So happy you like it. Me and the girls love it too...shall make it more often.

ReeseKitchen said...

Love the cheese and ham..;) The bear??....Cheryl said its for her...:( but i stole a bite....hee hee! Nice!! Thanks!

janice said...

Hi Bee Bee.... wah.... so nice & cute koala bear buns!! I vil try to make the Ham & Cheese Bread next week... cause tis week busy vit mooncakes! TQ for the secret recipe...hehee :D
May i know wat is Parmesan Cheese? Can i put Chedar Cheese on top instead of Parmesan cheese? TQ

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Reese,
Haha, so glad you and Cheryl like the bread. :) Next time we should have a timetable who and when should make bread...else we have an so much yummy bread to eat in such a short time....can get fat fat! Hahaha!

Hi Janice,
Yes, do try this recipe, it's really good. :) Want to know more about parmesan cheese? Go to this link:

You probably can find it in Jusco or Cold storage under dairy section. You can sprinkle it on pasta, and pizza...very nice. ;)

In a CakeBox said...

The koala bear is cute, and like your description "foaming at the mouth"...make me LOL.

Tricia said...

Very cute bakes! Great Job!

I wish I can bake these nice breads/bun!! ... Aahhh... someday!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi quizzine,
Yeah, it's nice to have a good laugh even when you are baking. ;) Thanks for dropping by.

Hi Tricia,
If you follow the recipe closely, and bake as often as you can, I'm sure you will bake excellent home baked bread too. Remember to send me a picture / link when you finally get to do of luck! ;)

Kitchen Corner said...

The Ham & CHeese Buns look really SOFT! Beside the koala bear, I've no idea what it is but it looks very cute like very innocent :)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Grace!
I thought so too..that "creature" looks weird but innocent, haha! BTW, heard from "so and so" that you both met up and had a home made feast at your place! Hmmm...*feel left out*. Must remember to invite me next time harr. ;)

Francisca said...

Hi honey bee.. I loveeee ur blog and so very nice of you to share these amazing recipes. Last night I tried your choc banana chiffon cake and it turned out well hehehe.. Next time I wanna bake a bread for my girls too.. may I know what do you use to brush the top of the bread? Is it the same for all other bread recipes? Thx a bunch!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Francisca, If I did not mention in my recipe, means I don't brush anything on. Else it would usually be an egg with 1 tbsp of water, mixed and brush on the bread tops. Glad my blog is motivating you, happy baking!