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A new meaning for pork buns

When I think of pork buns I think of char shi bau - chinese steamed buns stuffed with barbeque pork.  But then I saw a photo of tiny little bread rolls shaped like pigs.  They are SO CUTE.  I just had to bake them.  I did not use the recipe on the original website faithfully.  I have adapted it and you can choose which one you want to do.

Ingredients - makes 20 tiny little piggy buns

300 g plain white wheat or spelt flour
190 g milk heated to boiling point and allowed to cool completely
6 g fresh yeast (3 g dry/1.5 g instant)
6 g salt
30 g sugar
30 g butter
2 eggs, separated

Make a pre dough:

Measure the flour into a bowl and make a well in it.  Measure the sugar and the yeast into the well and pour over the milk.  Flick flour on top of the well to close it and let it rest for 60 minutes.

Add the egg whites and salt and knead for 10 minutes.  Add the butter and knead for another 10.  This is a very soft dough so use a scraper and set to with a will.

Pop the dough back in the bowl and cover it.  Let it rest for 2 hours.  OR let it rest for 4 hours in the fridge.  It's slightly easier to handle the dough when it is cold.

Remove the dough onto a non floury surface and divide it into 20 portions of 30 g each.  Shape each into a tight ball.  Flour your hands well - you will stick to the dough otherwise - but try not to flour the dough.

Once you have 20 balls, divide the remaining dough into 20 pieces and divide each of the 20 pieces into three pieces.  One for the snout, and two each for the ears.

There's no easy way to do the next thing and it's really fiddly.  You have to shape the snout iby shaping a tiny cylinder out of one of your 3 pieces of dough and kind of "pinch" it into place.  Do it about 2/3 up the side of each ball or it will drop off! Shape two ears and "pinch" them on either side of the head - more on the top than on the sides.

Move the piggy head to a baking tray lined with non stick parchment and repeat for the other 19 balls of dough.  Cover them with a very light muslin or very thin plastic bag (not clingflim, it will stick) and let them rest for 1 hour.

Pre heat the oven to 220 degrees.

Beat the egg yolks with 2 tablespoons of water and a pinch each of salt and sugar.  Using a paintbrush (seriously, they are so small), paint the glaze on and stick two seeds (I used black sesame) to make the eyes.  I tried to make nostril holes with a floury toothpick but it did not work too well - the dough is a bit soft.

Bake for 15 minutes or so, watching them because they will brown quickly.

Remove and let cool on a wire rack.  The are DELICIOUS even if they are a bit wonky.

Like this recipe?  There are more fun bun recipes just like it in The Book of Buns.

Piglet buns for dinner Piglet buns for dinner

Piglet buns cooling on a rack Piglet buns cooling on a rack

Book of Buns for more fantastic bun recipes Book of Buns for more fantastic bun recipes

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