I adapted the Sourdough Discard Bread recipe from Baking With Gina to make these soft and fluffy Black Sesame Sourdough Discard Buns in a checkered pattern

She has a lot Sourdough Discard recipes shared on her Instagram and they are all lovely bakes.   I shared Gina's Sourdough Discard Recipe with my friend in Australia and she loves it.  It seemed to work even better for her as the weather there is not warm enough for the starter to proof until tripled prior to baking.  With this recipe, she can bake anytime whenever there is enough discard.

It is advisable to read the below general notes before starting baking.


Why I use milk powder?  

Milk or milk powder will enhance the flavour of the bread and make the bread texture softer due to the fat in the milk. 
Milk powder is shelf stable and you can have it anytime when you want to use.  Unlike liquid milk you need to finish in certain days once is opened.

The enzyme found in the fresh milk can weaken the gluten development in the bread dough. However, you do not have to worry about this if milk powder or pasteurized milk is used.

For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.


Some have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  If that happens it is due to over kneading.  Please stop the machine and check your dough during the final cycle of kneading to ensure that you don't over knead. Every machine is different and there is always a chance of over-kneading when using a machine. You may need to adjust this timing and stop as soon as you reach the window pane stage.  This happen especially to Yudane dough method.   I noticed that it is harder to achieve a very thin window pane  with Yudane method dough. 


The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.   To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  The protein content is around  12 - 13%.

The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:


Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 


If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. 

Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.


Yields:  16 small buns 

Plain Buns

250g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
200g sourdough discard, room temperature (I used 3 - 4 days old discard) 
30g brown sugar (I used organic brown sugar)
1 tsp salt (original recipe asked for 3g, about 1/2 tsp)
30g milk powder (Original recipe no milk powder)
30g butter, room temperature
110g water (Original recipe uses 100g full cream milk)

Black Sesame Buns

250g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
200g sourdough discard, room temperature (I used 3 - 4 days old discard)
30g brown sugar (I used organic brown sugar)
1 tsp salt (original recipe asked for 3g, about 1/2 tsp)
30g milk powder (Original recipe no milk powder)
30g butter, room temperature 
115g water (Original recipe uses 100g full cream milk)
45g black sesame, toasted and blended into paste

11" square pan



Knead both dough separately.  I prepared plain dough first then black sesame dough.
Put all ingredients (except butter) into a bowl of stand mixer.
Slightly combine the mixture by hand with the paddle attachment before turning on the machine so that the flour will not splash out.  Using the paddle attachment, mix for 2 minutes or until all incorporated.  
Change to hook attachment and knead for another 3 minutes or until the dough comes together. Add in butter and continue knead for 10 - 12 minutes or until reach window pane stage.  The whole kneading process, I stopped few times to scrape down the dough from the hook to be sure it is evenly kneaded and also to prevent the motor from overheating.

1st Proofing/Resting:  
In the same bowl, let the dough rest for about 60 minutes. Keep it covered with clingfilm or use a lid.  I rested plain dough for 60 minutes and black sesame for about 50 minutes.  The dough rose slightly.  

Shape both dough separately.  I started with plain dough first then black sesame dough.
Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide dough into 8 equal portions for each dough.  8 portions (around 81g each) for plain dough and 8 portions  (about 86g each) for black sesame dough.  Please use a kitchen scale if you want to be exact.  
Form each portion to a ball.  Please watch the video here "How to shape bun"
Place them in a checkered pattern within a 11 inch square pan.  4 X 4 buns (16 buns).

Final Proofing:
Let the buns proof at a warm place until the dough rise double in size. This one took approximately 3 1/2 hours at at room temperature of 30C.  The duration of proofing depends on your ambient temperature and the starter.

Preheat oven at 150C (top & bottom heat) for 10 - 15 minutes.
Bake in a preheated oven for 35 - 40 minutes, or until slightly light brown.  I covered the buns with aluminium foil after 30 minutes to prevent the buns from getting too brown.
Remove buns from oven and pan.   Let them cool on rack.

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