food 4 tots

Taro Pumpkin Buns

taro pumpkin buns, taro buns, pumpkin buns, homemade bread, Food For Toddlers

RECIPE FOR TARO PUMPKIN BUNS (17-hour sponge dough method)

Source: Adapted and modified from Natural Breads Made Easy (天然面包香) by 独角仙@蓝色大门

Make: 9 buns


A) Pre-ferment dough (中种)

BP * (note 3)      Weight           Dough
70%                        219g            bread flour (high protein flour)
40%                        125g            water
2%                           6.5g             fresh yeast (or 2.2g instant yeast)
1%                              3g             sea salt
2%                           6.5g            skim milk powder


  1. Dissolve the yeast in water.
  2. Place bread flour, sea salt, milk powder in a mixing bowl. Add in item from step (1). Fix on the dough hook and switch on the kitchen mixer. Let the machine knead the ingredients till dough is soft.
  3. Transfer to a lightly greased plastic container and cover with lid. (Alternatively, place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with cling wrap). Refrigerate at 0-5°C to let it prove for 17 hours. (Note 2)

B) Dough (面团)

BP *  (note 3)       Weight            Dough
30%                               94g          bread flour (high protein flour)
4%                              12.5g           skim milk powder
1%                                   3g            sea salt
12%                          37.5g            sugar
14%                              44g            water
8%                                25g            egg
1%                                  3g            fresh yeast (or 1g instant yeast)
6%                                19g            unsalted butter
20%                          62.5g            taro pumpkin paste
pre-ferment dough from (A) – cut into small piece with equal sizes

For garnishing (optional):
black or white sesame seeds

For filing:
350g taro pumpkin paste [note 6] (or other types of paste such as red bean paste) – 62.5g for the dough and the rest for filing

For egg wash:
1 egg yolk
1 tsp milk


  1. Place all the ingredients for dough (except for butter and taro pumpkin paste) into the mixing bowl. Fix on the dough hook and switch on the kitchen mixer. Add pre-ferment dough piece by piece into the bowl (No need to thaw the pre-ferment dough). Let the machine knead after each addition till soft and smooth. Add butter and follow by taro pumpkin paste. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic (stretchable consistency note 4).
  2. Round the dough, transfer to a lightly greased bowl and spray some water on it. Cover with cling wrap. Let it prove for 25 minutes at room temperature.
  3. Divide the dough into 9 portions with 70g each. Round each portion into a ball shape and seal the bottom tightly. Cover with cling wrap and let it proof for another 15 minutes (at room temperature).
  4. Then, with the bottom side down, pat the dough to drive the air out. Then turn over and use your palm to flatten it. Add 30g taro pumpkin paste and wrap it up. Seal the bottom tightly and place into a baking paper cup. Place the cup on a baking tray. Spray some water onto the buns. Place the buns inside the oven with door close and heat off. Proof for another 15 minutes. Place a cup of hot water inside to create moisture (Relative humidity is 85%, 38°C).
  5. Slightly press down the buns* and give the bun eight 1cm cuts around the edge* (refer to photo 19). Proof for another 30 minutes inside the oven again (without heat) or until the dough has risen to 80% of the depth of the mould.
  6. 15 minutes before the end of the proofing, remove the tray and preheat oven at 170°C. Brush the buns with egg wash. Wet the tip of a rolling pin, dip the sesame seeds and press the tip lightly on the surface of the buns*.
  7. Bake in a pre-heated oven for about 30-35 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and brush the buns with butter.


  1. If your digital weighing scale can’t provide decimal point, use your own judgement to estimate it.
  2. The pre-ferment dough lasts well in the fridge up to 72 hours.
  3. Baker’s percentage (BP)
    • You can use baker’s percentage to recalculate the amount of each ingredient if you want to increase or decrease the amount you want to bake. To measure the baker’s percentage, the weight of flour is always set at 100%. The rest of the ingredients are then measured in relation to that of the flour.
    • Formulas:
    • a) baker’s percentage = [weight of individual ingredient/ weight of flour] x 100
    • b) weight of individual ingredient = baker’s percentage x weight of flour
  4. Take out a small piece of dough, gently stretch it outwards at all the directions to form a thin layer of “membrane”. This is called “membrane test”. If not, continue kneading.
  5. * These are optional steps that I have added.  You may skip them as you like.
  6. Get the recipe for taro pumpkin paste at PAGE 3 BELOW.


taro pumpkin buns, taro buns, pumpkin buns, homemade bread, Food For Toddlers

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  1. Alice says:

    Wow! What a healthy and good looking bun! It is worth the time! Welcome back my friend! 🙂

  2. Welcome back! Love the pretty buns you have there.

  3. Lynn says:

    Just want to say “thank you” for answering our questions. I know how it is like to move house across countries and trying to settle down… The buns look great! Have not tried baking any bread… Will try it some time.. Keep it up!

  4. noobcook says:

    wow, you shifted back. Hope you enjoy your new house and have time to bake some CNY goodies. I like the fact that the buns dough can keep for so long in the fridge.

  5. Janine says:

    wow looks like you had a lot on your plate the past few months – with a major move! hopefully you settle in quickly and we get to see yummy bakes from you soon! 🙂

  6. Priya says:

    beauties, very catchy buns definitely.

  7. tigerfish says:

    I can understand how hectic it has been for you and your family. We have done four major moves in the past 5-6 yrs and gosh it was tough!

    Good to see you back to blogging(sharing your cooking and baking). The buns look so well-glazed on the outside and I bet they taste delicious too.

  8. mycookinghut says:

    Welcome back LK! Hope to see more recipes soon!

  9. ChristineT says:

    Glad to read another of your interesting post. I have always enjoyed looking through and trying out your recipes. I hope you will fully settle down soon. Looking forward to more future posts.

  10. Looks great LK! Thanks for the idea 🙂 Hope you’ve been well 🙂

  11. sharon says:

    Just awesome! My son and I were browsing your website to plan our snacks and breakfast when we saw this and he wants to bake this! Loved this, just not just if we can pull it off!

  12. lise Thorsen says:

    Hi, Love your site. I Don’t have any Tots in the house any more ,just hungry teenagers that love Asian inspired fun foods. I will be using your recipes. Thanks

  13. Clarice says:

    Hi, may i know how long do we need to mix/knead for the pre-ferment dough? Can i use bread machine kneading function to mix it? Tks

  14. Clarice says:

    Thanks. Can i ask what is the different between ’17 hr low temperature pre ferment dough’ and ‘sponge dough’ (does not keep the dough in the fridge) ? I tried sponge dough method (just let the sponge dough fermented for abt 2 hrs, then continue to mix it with “Bread dough”, and the bread came out was dry n hard (sigh. Any tips or advice ?

    • food-4tots says:

      Clarice: My wholemeal milk buns recipe is also using sponge dough method. You can do it the same day or leave the starter dough in the fridge for 2-3 days. The problem you face can be due to many reasons such as under/over kneading, overbaking etc. Most of the breads, if knead and bake correctly, should be soft once they are freshly out from the oven. I suggest that you give my wholemeal milk buns recipe a try. 🙂

      • Clarice says:

        HI, I tried to make sponge dough again last nite, the dough is very sticky after knead for 20 min. I left it to ferment for abt 2 hrs, when i took the dough out, it is still very sticky. The bread came out is soft n but texture is quite rough n not fluffy :(. I duno what went wrong, is the sponge dough suppose to be sticky or its elastic and drop from hand when taken up ? tks

        • food-4tots says:

          Clarice: May I know which recipe did you use? Why do you need to knead the starter dough for 20 minutes? How did you knead it, by hand or machine?

          • Clarice says:

            hi, i use bread machine to knead, it only has function of knead either 5min or 20 min. If i knead by hand, i should knead for how long? At this stage it does not require to pass window panel test, rite? I use bread machine to bake bread, and the texture is quite dense and thick. Thus i would like to learn sponge n dough method. Thanks

            • food-4tots says:

              Clarice: May I know which did you follow? For starter dough, you just need to knead until everything is well combined (without having to pass the membrane test). Please watch this video until 1:13. It will give you some ideas on how to knead to starter dough. 🙂

  15. Stacey says:

    You introduce the whole new world about the 17 hour low temperature pre-ferment method to me. Thank you so muchhhh!

  16. Christian Brady says:

    Not sure what type of mold or liners you used for this as the only kind available near me are essentially cupcake liners and for them this recipe more or less fills them before the 30 minute proofing. If you could provide info for what type you used that would be helpful so i could find them online. Thank you.

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