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Thursday, 5 December 2013

Wholemeal 'Puffer Fish' Salmon Mayo Cheese Bun

They say that once you become a mother, you will do anything for your child(dren). Same goes when it comes to food for the tots (especially those picky ones), anything as long as they eat.  Even though I've been making various loaves / buns at home, my toddler doesn't seem to be very interested in them. I wonder why hmm.. Since he is at the phase where he is very fond of animals, be it farm animals, wild animals or household pets, I thought maybe I should make animal-shaped bread to entice him to eat my homemade bread.

Wholemeal 'Puffer Fish' Salmon Mayo Cheese Bun

 Puffer fish bun

The inside of the bun with salmon mayo cheese filling

A successful recipe always starts with failure.. as you can from the picture below,  the 'evolution' of my puffer fish buns started ugly, but I managed to make to somehow improve and make them  slightly better after a couple of tries.

The initial not-so-pretty buns

I'm using my Joyoung bread maker to knead and proof the dough before rolling them into desired shapes for baking. Of course, this recipe is doable with bare hands or better if you have a heavy duty mixer that can knead dough.

Wholemeal 'Puffer Fish' Salmon Mayo Cheese Bun


200g High protein flour / Bread flour
100g Wholemeal flour
200mls Water
3 Tbsp Milk powder
2-3 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tsp Salt
30g Butter
1 Tsp Instant Yeast


1 Can Salmon Mayo Spread
3 Slices of Cheddar Cheese

** If you prefer to make your own salmon mayo spread, just mix together steamed salmon, finely chopped onions, dash of lemon juice, mayonnaise, salt and pepper.

**Other suggestions for savoury bun fillings are: Egg mayo, Tuna mayo, Sardine, Avocado egg mayo or chicken floss with mayo.

1) Place water into the bread tin. Water can be substituted with fresh milk, soya or any plant based milk of your choice.

Place water into the bread tin

2) Add in the flour.

A total of 300g high protein and wholemeal flour

3) Add in the remaining dry ingredients, Dig a pit in the middle and place the yeast in it.

4) Select 'dough fermentation/proofing' function (C-9 for Joyoung) and press start. The entire process will take 1 hour and 25 minutes to complete. (25mins for kneading, 1 hour for proofing).

Add in butter, sugar, salt, milk powder & yeast; Select proofing/fermentation function

The good thing about using a breadmaker for this function is that it actually heats up slightly to an optimum temperature for the dough to ferment and rise.

5) Once the machine beeps, remove the dough and gently knead on a dusted surface for 5 times. Divide the dough into 6 small pieces, then cover with a tea towel and leave it to rest for 10 minutes.

6) For every piece of dough, save up a tiny portion for the tail & fin. Roll out the bigger piece of dough & place half a slice of cheddar cheese on it. Then top it up with a heaped spoonful of the salmon spread. This is my 'cheat version' of using canned Salmon mayo spread instead of making it from scratch.

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7) Roll up the edges and seal the dough tightly.

8) As for the smaller dough portion, cut out a triangle and rectangle shape for the tail & fin respectively, then further cut in slits along the red lines as shown in the ugly template below that I've hand-drawn (I don't know nuts about computer graphics, sorry!)

Pardon for my ugly illustration, but cut along the red lines.

9) Then place the main dough with sealed side down onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

10) For the scales, use a scissors to snip the surface, be careful not to cut too deep otherwise the scales will split open when the dough proofs and expands, spilling out its contents like a roadkill (sorry bad joke hehe).

Do not cut too deep or you will risk having 'exploding puffer fishes' after baking

11) For the eyes, I used chocolate chips. Do press it down firmly onto the dough, otherwise it might drop off as the dough expands during baking. Other alternatives for the eyes include dried blackcurrant, raisin, prune or flax seed.

Before baking: looks just like a regular sized fish eh?

12) After shaping the fishes, spritz some water onto the surface of the buns. Cover the tray of buns with a tea towel and allow to proof/ferment again for 40 minutes.

13) Just before baking, brush the surface with egg wash or milk.

14) Bake in a preheated oven at 200 for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

All puffed up!

That's it! I hope you enjoyed this recipe. My toddler was very excited when he saw the end results. Needless to say, he wolfed down a bun without a flinch!

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