Fortunately, I worked at Tata Steel (TISCO) at Fort where there were several Irani cafés nearby. The famous Yazdani Restaurant and Bakery, Mocambo, Cafe Military and Cafe Excelsior. Every morning, loyal patrons would be sitting inside these cafes, reading the newspapers or socializing with friends while enjoying one of their popular menu item; the bun maska. It is very easy to prepare the bun at home, the process simplified with step-by-step illustrations. The dough kneaded, proofed, deflated and shaped into round balls. Each one then, flattened and set aside to rise, brushed with milk and baked at 375 F or 190 C for 15 minutes until golden brown. Super soft with a milky flavour and touch of tutti frutti, the buns are beautiful and delicious.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup + a pinch of white granulated sugar
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon milk
1/4 cup salted butter (softened)
2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast (7 grams or 1 sachet)
1 tablespoon red tutti frutti
1/2 teaspoon salt
Add the yeast to 3/4 cup lukewarm milk along with a pinch of sugar and set aside for few minutes to foam and froth.
Note: The milk was heated in the microwave for 38 seconds. It should be slightly warm to the touch not hot.
Sift the flour into a stand mixer bowl. Include salt, 1/4 cup sugar and yeast. Mix with the dough hook to form a dough. Once the ingredients come together (still dry), add the butter and let the mixer do all the work until well combined. Transfer dough onto a work surface (no extra flour required for dusting) and knead well for 5 to 8 minutes to a soft, smooth dough. It should spring back when pressed with two fingers. Now, gently distribute the tutti frutti into the dough.
Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm place for 1 and 1/2 hours.
Once risen, punch the dough down to deflate the air. Weigh dough and divide into 4 equal smooth balls. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Place each ball inches apart in a baking tray lined with parchment paper or silpat.
Then, flatten ball into 3.5-inches in diameter.
Cover tray and let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 F or 190 C.
Brush each ball with the reserved 1 tablespoon milk.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully, remove bread from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
Slice each bun in the middle, slather with a generous amount of butter and serve with piping hot tea.
- Dough was proofed in the oven with the lights on. After shaping the dough into balls, I placed the tray covered, again in the oven. When they doubled in size, I removed the tray from the oven and then preheated the oven. If your oven has a feature where you can put the lights on without turning the oven on, you can proof the dough using this method.
- I use Red Star dry yeast from Costco, always in proportion to the flour. Please refer to the chart at the following link: https://redstaryeast.com/yeast-baking-lessons/yeast-conversion-table/