Hong Kong Bakery Style Sausage Buns

Sausage buns are one of me and my sibling's favourite things to eat in Hong Kong. The bakeries always smell so delicious, and if anyone has tried Chinese or Asian bakery breads, you'll agree that they are totally different to western breads. The texture is so soft and fluffy! There are Chinese bakeries in the UK but why not recreate it at home?

This bread stays soft for a couple of days and doesn't require any special/artificial preservatives. The secret? Tangzhong:

I first came across this method of bread making via Christine's Recipes. Tangzhong is basically a water roux- if you're thinking the above photo looks like a bowl of goop then yeah, it pretty much is! Bread flour, water and milk, cooked to a paste. The cooked mixture retains the moisture, so adding it into your bread mix produces a softer bread that stays soft for several days. This method of bread baking ist all the rage and I urge you to try it too!

The recipe below is the egg free version. It's slightly less rich than the version with egg but nonetheless yummy. 

(Yields 14-16 mini sausage buns)

Tangzhong (Water Roux)

**Tangzhong is made using a 1:5 ratio (1 part flour, 5 part liquid)- you could always make more and store it in the fridge for a few days, should you wish to make more fluffy bread!**

50g strong white bread flour
125ml water
125ml milk


1. Mix all the ingredients together- tip: to avoid lumps I put these ingredients into a jam jar (or any other container with a sealable lid) and shake vigorously- this helps get rid of any lumps of flour)
2. Pour flour/water mixture into a saucepan and over medium heat, heat the mixture whilst constantly whisking (I stir with a rubber spatula).
3. Heat the mixture until it starts to thicken and the whisk (or spatula) starts to leave lines, and looks like a sort of runny paste. Take off the heat. (Tangzhong is actually also known as 65°C Tangzhong. You could heat the mixture until 65°C but I have found in the past the mixture gets too thick so now I just eyeball it, which seems to work!).
4. Cover Tangzhong with cling film directly onto the surface of it to avoid a skin developing and leave to cool to room temperature before using. If you're using Tangzhong from the fridge, let it reach to room temperature before using.

Bread Ingredients

375g strong white bread flour
120g tangzhong
38g caster sugar
1 1/2 tbsp full fat milk powder
7g fast action dried yeast
6g salt
157ml warm water (approx 45-50°C)
38g butter, room temperature


8 regular size frankfurter sausages cut in half, pat dry with a kitchen towel (you could also use 16 small hot dog sausages, if you prefer).

To finish:

1 egg, beaten (or milk).
Honey syrup- 1tbsp honey mixed with 1tbsp water.


** This is best done using a mixer attached with a dough hook, or a bread machine on dough function- trust me, I've done this by hand and it just doesn't work very well. The dough can be quite sticky, so unless you've got arms of steel you're more than welcome to try! **

1. Add all the ingredients (minus butter) together in the bowl of your mixer and mix on low-medium until the mixture starts coming together.
2. Add the softened butter until it is incorporated.
3. Turn mixer onto medium-high (for at least 10 minutes) and mix until the window pane test:

The dough should be super elastic-y and when stretched it should form a thin membrane without breaking easily. When the dough gets to this stage, it is ready for the first rise. If not, keep mixing!
4. Shape the dough into a ball, place into a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise at room temperature, or a relatively warm place for 30mins-1hr (or until double in size), depending on the temperature of the day/your house.
5. Prepare two baking trays lined with baking paper.
6. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and deflate the dough by pressing down with a rolling pin, fold into thirds and roll out again. Divide the dough into approximately 16 pieces (mine weighed approximately 45g each).

8. Roll each piece into a long sausage shape, approximately 10-12 inches long, and wrap around your prepared hot dog/frankfurter sausages and place on the baking tray (the ends of the dough should be on the bottom. If not, they will unravel, like some of mine did as I didn't roll the dough out long enough).

9. Loosely cover with cling film and leave to rise until double in size.
10. Preheat oven to 190°C and brush the tops of the sausage buns with the whisked egg (or milk) and bake for 8-9 mins until it starts to lightly brown.
11. Take tray out of oven and brush honey syrup onto the tops of the buns and bake for a further 3-5 mins until the tops are beautifully golden brown.
12. These are best eaten when still warm (or boiling hot in my case-gluttony is a sin..) or leave to cool and store in an airtight container. 

So there you have it! My first proper blog post with a recipe. Feel free to leave comments (feedback much appreciated) or any questions! Hopefully I've inspired you to try this bread out and if you do, do let me know how it turns out. Happy Baking :)

-Unfortunately I can't remember where I originally saw the recipe that I have based this recipe on, so cannot credit the author.
- I have been told I never take photos of the baking process (no wonder, my kitchen is usually a bomb site) so hopefully these photos explain the methods a little more.
- If the bread ingredient amounts seem weird to you- it's because I've been fiddling around with the recipe so much (doubling, halving, adding/reducing this and that)
- Practice makes perfect- my first batch I ever made turned out like rocks, so don't despair if they don't look right the first go!
- This bread stays soft for days but if it does happen to firm up slightly, nuke in the microwave for a couple of seconds or warm slightly in the oven before eating and it'll be beautifully soft and fluffy again.



Blogger news



Interior designer & part time baker. Lover of architecture, design and all things cute.