Fred Bread Buns with Roast Duck and Scallions

I love making “Fred Bread”, which is my take on Japanese milk bread. I also adore making steamed buns with duck. So I figured, why not combine the two? The end result? A really light, fluffy steamed bun with a buttery crumb. It’s pretty awesome. We made these for new years, and since the recipe I make for milk bread yields so much dough, you could easily get 16 buns out of this recipe. We garnished the buns with slices of roast duck breast, fresh scallions, and a soy-honey glaze made with reduced duck stock to round it out. The perfect Chinese style brunch dish, in my opinion.

For the dough:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 packet active dry yeast
1/4 cup malted milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 eggs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
a pinch of salt

Heat the malted milk to 110 degrees before adding in the yeast and sugar, mixing to prevent lumps from forming. In a pot, melt down the butter into the heavy cream over low heat. Temper into the eggs to bring down the temperature rapidly. Sift the flour. Combine ingredients and knead for 5 minutes. Allow the dough to sit for 1 hour in a warm room. Prepare a steamer over a pot with water. Cut squares of parchment; you will place the buns on these. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces and roll each out into ovals. Fold in half along the width and place on the squares. Steam the buns in a bamboo steamer for 25 minutes.

For the roast duck breast:
4 duck breasts

Score the duck breasts and season the skin and flesh. Place in a cast iron pan, skin side down, and place on high heat. Cook on the skin side for 8 minutes, before searing on the flesh side for another 1 minute. Remove and reserve any residual fat. Place in a 400 degree F oven for another 10 minutes, skin side down. Rest for 10 minutes on a cutting board before slicing.

For the honey-soy sauce:
1 cup duck stock (can substitute with chicken stock)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 shallot, diced thinly
2 scallions, sliced
2 tablespoons peeled and sliced ginger
Reserved duck fat

Sweat out diced shallot, scallion, and ginger. Deglaze with duck stock then reduce down with soy and honey for 5 minutes on medium heat. Strain and continue cooking on medium low until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

To garnish:
Scallions, sliced thinly

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