Baked lapseng buns

These are the baked version of my childhood favorite lapseng buns that we would get at dim sum when I was a kid. I guess growing up in America, and being more familiar with hotdogs than I was har gow at that point in my life, lapseng buns, being so similar to a hotdog, were an instant source of comfort for me, being the more “American” item in a dim sum restaurant besides maybe egg tarts? What I love about them is the fluffy bread on the outside that houses a sweet, salty, and smoky Chinese sausage, called lapseng, on the inside. For this recipe, I went with a baked version instead, since not everyone has a steamer, using milkbread dough for that springy texture! For the lapseng itself, you can buy it in most Asian grocery stores.

For the tangzhong:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
a pinch of salt

Whisk together your ingredients in a pot until combined. Switch to a heatproof rubber spatula and stir on medium-high heat until the mixture is thickened and the liquid is reduced by about half. Pour onto a nonstick surface and allow the tangzhong to cool down completely before adding it into your bread dough.

For the milk bread dough:
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast(1 packet)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup lukewarm milk
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
4 tablespoons neutral flavored oil
2 eggs
2 cups bread flour
1 packet lapseng sausages

In a bowl, mix together the yeast, sugar, and milk and allow that to sit for 10 minutes. Mix the tangzhong with the butter, oil, and eggs first to combine, then add in the yeast-milk mixture and finally, your flour. Mix the dough together in a stand mixer with a dough hook for at least 10 minutes, or until the dough comes together and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl anymore. Cover the dough and allow it to rest in a warm place for at least 1 hour. Then refrigerate the dough for another 20 minutes.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece out into a log that is about 1/8-inch in diameter, and wrap around a lapseng sausage. Proof at room temperature, covered, for another hour. Then bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes.

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