Tuna and Sweetcorn Buns



Covid Day 10. Getting a negative reading on my lateral flow test is like getting a Get Out of Jail Free card in Monopoly.



This is such good timing as we had planned a week away in the English countryside. We start tomorrow by visiting some National Trust houses in Devon.

Catering in NT properties is often lacklustre, so I decided (now with a spring back in my step) to make my own buns for a picnic lunch.

The background to the milk bread recipe is here, and in Kristina Cho’s book the recipe for open tuna buns is on pages 92 and 93. A recipe for open miso corn buns is on pages 90 and 91. I am enclosing the tuna and sweetcorn because I don’t want to be licking my fingers or dropping the filling onto my lap.



For the Milk Bread and Filling:

150 g full-fat milk + 30 g bread flour, for the tangzhong.

190 g full-fat milk

1½ teaspoons instant dry yeast

45 g unrefined caster sugar

500 g bread flour

¾ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or fine sea salt

85 g beaten egg (use the remainder for the egg wash)

85 g unsalted butter, softened

300 g tinned tuna steak (drained weight)

150 g mayonnaise

10 tablespoons (90 g) frozen sweetcorn

rest of egg + 1 tablespoon double cream, for the egg wash

sesame seeds for sprinkling over


You will also need two lined baking sheets, and a large bowl oiled with 1 teaspoon of sunflower or rapeseed oil. My recipe is specifically for use with a Thermomix.


How to Make:

First make the tangzhong. Place 150 g full-fat milk + 30 g bread flour in a small saucepan over low heat. On my electric hob this is level 6. Stir the mixture vigorously for around 3½ minutes. This will result in a soft paste.

Remove the paste from the warm pan and place in a bowl to cool down. Place the tangzhong next to the other ingredients you are using for the dough.

Start on the bread dough. Place 190 g full-fat milk + 1½ teaspoons instant dry yeast in the TM bowl. Warm 2 minutes / 37 C / speed 2.

Add 45 g sugar, 500 g bread flour, ¾ teaspoon salt, 85 g egg and 85 g butter. IMPORTANT: now add the cooled tangzhong. Knead 3 minutes / dough function.

Using an oiled silicone spatula, scrape the dough into the oiled bowl. Pull the sides of the dough gently towards the middle, then turn it over to make a ball. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm spot to proof until doubled in size. This take around 1½ hours (or 1 hour in an oven with a dough-proofing function). You can also keep the dough overnight in the refrigerator, to have a longer proof of 8 hours. Bring the dough back to room temperature before continuing with the recipe.

Whilst the dough is proofing, place the tuna in a large mixing bowl. Break up the tuna with the end of a flat wooden paddle i.e. hold the paddle as you would a pestle and ‘pound’ the tuna using the end of the paddle. Add the mayonnaise and a few twists of black pepper. Divide the tuna into 10 portions of 45 g each.

After the first rise, divide the dough into 10 portions, around 100 g each. I weigh each portion out to ensure uniformity.

Roll each dough ball into a circle 12 cm in diameter. Place 1 tablespoon of sweetcorn followed by 45 g of tuna in the centre.

Gather the edge of the dough towards the centre. Twist the top of the dough together and turn upside down, forming a bun.

Place the bun onto the lined baking tray. Repeat with the remaining buns.

When all the buns have been formed, cover with a piece of cling film and proof for around 45 minutes.

Towards the end of this second proofing heat the oven to to 180 C / 160 C fan. Beat the egg with the cream and use this egg wash to brush the top of the buns. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds.

Bake the buns for 18 – 20 minutes until golden brown. Let the buns cool down before eating.




Divide the tuna filling and dough into 10 portions, weighing out for accuracy


Roll out each dough portion to 12 cm. Place 1 tablespoon of sweetcorn and 45 g of tuna in the centre. Gather the edge of the dough towards the centre. Twist the top of the dough together and turn upside down, forming a bun


Proof the buns a second time for around 45 minutes. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle over with sesame seeds before baking


Bake for 18 – 20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool down the buns before eating



The Book:

Mooncakes and Milk Bread by Kristina Cho, published by Harper Horizon, ISBN 978-0785238997. Her website is eatchofood.com