Inspired by my travels to Hong Kong in the summer, I found a recipe to make these Sausage Buns, which are incredibly popular over there and can be found in most of the bakeries on the street and in the shopping centres.
The dough itself is enriched with egg, milk and butter as well as more sugar than you would expect in a savoury recipe, however it really works with the unique flavour of the frankfurter sausage, which is the sausage traditionally used in these buns; whilst I love a good Cumberland or an Italian sausage, it just wouldn’t work here. The recipe comes from a Chinese bread book and is really authentic; you cannot taste the difference.
Normally these buns are simply a whole lump of dough shaped around an entire frankfurter with the ends hanging out but I elevate these from Hong Kong street bakery to British high-end bun by rolling out the dough into a long length and wrapping it around the sausage like a cream horn. As the dough proves, the sausage gets completely covered by the dough and I top it cheese after brushing with egg to give it a great finish.
250g plain flour
50g granulated sugar
1 x 7g sachet of fast-action dried yeast
1 medium egg
About 100ml tepid milk
8 frankfurter sausages
50g grated Cheddar
Place all the ingredients for the bread except from the milk into a large bowl, making sure that the yeast is not touching the salt. Add three-quarters of the milk and bring the dough together, adding more milk gradually if necessary. Then knead the dough for around 8 minutes until it is smooth.
Shape into a ball and place into a bowl, cover with a tea towel or clingfilm and allow to prove for around 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Prepare the frankfurter sausages by cutting them in half and placing them into a heatproof bowl with some boiling water. Microwave for 1 minute and drain off the water.
Knock back the proved dough and divide into sixteen 30g portions. Shape each dough ball into a sausage shape and using your hands, roll out the dough to 25cm long which is tapered at the end and thicker at the centre.
Wrap the dough around each frankfurter half, flattening the tapered end onto the sausage and continuing so that there is clear definition of each layer.
Place onto a baking tray lined with parchment, leaving space for spreading. Cover with clingfilm and allow to prove for about 40 minutes, or until they’ve grown by at least half.
When the buns have proved, preheat the oven to 150°C.
Brush the whole bun with some milk or beaten egg and top with some of the grated cheddar. Place into the oven and turn the oven up to 200°C. Once the surface of the buns has turned golden brown, turn the oven back down to 150°C. The buns are done when the base is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.