Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Roti Paung Version 2.0

I was quite pleasantly surprised to see my old post Roti Paung (Terengganu Butter Buns - Old School Method) on my sidebar. Some people saw it fit to make that their favorite post for the week (at the time of writing). Well, my foray into bun making started there. I was basically clueless then but had some training from my auntie whom I consider to be my sifu.

I thought, since I know how to make buns using starter dough, I should revisit this recipe. In my previous roti paung post, I used a supposedly ancient method which my auntie learnt from a friend.

The making of the yeast starter was rather tedious and frankly quite wasteful if you do not bake often. But I have to concede that this old method produced fantastic smelling and tasting roti paung which is hard to replicate using quick methods.

In fact I was so obsessed with making roti paung using my alternative method that I even sketched a roti paung game plan during a slow day at the office.

My game plan. It is a lot more interesting than computing capital allowance.
This roti paung using overnight starter dough method produces a bun that is soft and fluffy. The softness and fluffiness lasts until the second day. I don't know about day three because there wasn't any left to test hah..hah...

Let me document what I did and take you through the steps if you are interested in making a good (in my opinion) roti paung. Remember, use good butter to get a fragrant and tasty bun. Butter is good for you, OK? Avoid margarine as it is an unhealthy product.

First up, make the starter dough by mixing 150g flour, 15g sugar, 3/4 teaspoon yeast and 120ml water to form a rough dough. Just mix the dough, there is no need to knead it. Once it comes together, put it into a container, cover it and chuck it into the fridge to sit overnight. Or for a day or two if you don't have time to make the roti paung the next day.

It looks like a human brain at this point.

The next day it should look like this, all bloated and ready to explode.

Just take off the cover and let it stand for half an hour or so. Or you could even use it straight from the fridge but it will be kind of hard to work with. But it's fine.

At this stage, it has a sweet yeasty smell. Then stir your eggs (1 large egg or 2 small eggs), sugar (55g) and butter (50g, soft at room temperature) together like this.

Then add your starter dough and mix it all up.

It looks all lumpy and grumpy at this point but fear not. Next add 150g flour, bit by bit and incorporate it into the lumpy mixture. You add water only if necessary, ie if your mixture is too dry. Sometimes I don't need to add water, sometimes I need to add a tablespoon or more of water. It is important not to add too much water or you will end up with a sticky dough.

I mix and knead the dough using my pink plastic spoon until the dough comes together. I know. This method is unorthodox. This is not what bakers do. But what the heck, some people use a stand mixer or a bread maker. So I don't see what's wrong with using my good old senduk nasi.

When the dough is elastic and firm (it will be difficult to work with the spoon at this point), I turn it onto a lightly floured board and knead some more with my hand. Then I form it into a ball and put the dough into a well oiled bowl.

Cover with clingwrap and put it in a warm place. To make a warm place, I purposely distill water when I am making roti paung. My dough sits near the water distiller to rise as the distiller hums away.

While the dough is doing its thing, I get ready the butter for the filling. I cut the butter into 4 sections following the shape of the pats of butter. Then I put them into the fridge.

Then I get ready the enamel plates. You must use enamel plates to get a brown bottomed roti paung. That's one of the characteristics of roti paung - the browned buttery bottom. Butter the plates generously or else the roti paung will stick. 

Let's check the dough. There, see? The dough has risen beautifully. It takes about an hour. 

Then I punch down the dough to expel the gasses and turn the dough onto a lightly floured board. I knead the dough briefly. To avoid the dough sticking, I rub some butter on my hands. That's my dirty trick. 

Then I divide the dough like so into 32 pieces.

One, two, three...yes, I've got 32 there. One piece is hidden. 

I try to get them equal (but failed) and I don't bother to weigh the dough. I take one pat of butter out of the fridge. Then I take one piece of dough and knead it briefly between my fingers. Then I wrap one segment of butter into the dough and form it into a ball and place the dough onto the buttered enamel plate.

I repeat this process until all the dough and butter is used up. I know. My little dough balls do not look perfectly round. And they are of different sizes hah..hah... But who cares.

Then I cover the plates and place them near the distiller again.

About 40 minutes later (sometimes it take an hour) the little balls are all puffed up.

Let's take a closer look.

Bake in a preheated oven at 160C for 20 to 22 minutes until the buns are nice and brown.

It smells wonderful and buttery. I remove them from the pan to cool on a cooling rack. They are fantastic eaten warm. 

This version is fluffy and soft unlike the traditional one which is denser. I think so lah.

Let's see how my roti paung looks compared to the one I had in Kuala Terengganu not too long ago.


The one from the shop.
Mine is kind of out of shape but can lah, right? hee...hee...

So here's the recipe in case anyone is interested to make roti paung. You can also visit my cousin here to see her recipe. Her roti paung looks a lot better than mine.

Roti Paung
Recipe source : Adapted from here and here

Starter Dough :
- 150g bread flour (or plain flour)
- 15g sugar
- 3/4 tsp instant yeast
- 120ml water (I use at room temperature)

Main Dough

- 150g bread flour (or plain flour)
- 55g sugar
- 1 large egg (or 2 small eggs)
- 50g butter (soft at room temperature)
- some water, if dough is too dry.

Filling :
- 8 pieces of Ballantyne butter, each cut into 4 portions
(or any other brand or you can just cut from a block of butter)

Method :

Starter dough :

1. In a mixing bowl add flour, sugar and yeast.
2. Stir them with a spoon or a whisk to mix.
3. Add water and stir the mixture to form a rough dough.
4. Put the dough in a covered container and leave in the fridge overnight.

Main Dough :

1. Take out the starter dough about an hour before making the main dough. (You could use it straight from the fridge if you like)
2. In a mixing bowl add sugar, egg and butter. Stir to mix. Then add starter dough and mix again. The mixture will be lumpy but don't worry.
3. Then add flour a few tablespoons at a time (this makes it easier to mix) and mix.
4. If you find that the dough is too dry, add water, a little at at a time until the dough comes together.
5. At this stage, you can do the gila method like I do i.e. knead the dough using a big spoon or you behave yourself and turn the dough onto a lightly floured board to knead the correct way. (Note : I turn it onto the board once it becomes elastic after kneading with my senduk nasi)
6. Once the dough is elastic and pliable, form it into a ball.
7. Place the dough into a well oiled (I used grapeseed oil. You can use any vegetable oil) bowl and cover with clingwrap.
8. Place the dough at a warm place to rise. It take about an hour or more depending on the temperature of your surroundings.
9. Once risen, punch down the dough to expel the air.
10. Pour the dough out onto a lightly floured board and flatten it into a rectangular shape. 
11. Divide dough into 32 portions (or less if you want bigger buns)
12. Prepare your enamel plates by buttering them generously.
13. Take each piece of dough (butter your hands so that the dough does not stick to it) and briefly knead it using your fingers.
14. Take a piece of butter and wrap it with the dough. Form into a ball and place on the enamel plate.
15. Repeat until all dough is used up.
16. Cover the enamel plates and place in a warm place for the dough to rise (it take between 40 minutes to an hour).
17. Once risen, bake at 160C for 20-22 minutes until the top of the buns are brown.
18. Remove from oven and take the roti paung out of the plates to cool on a cooling rack.

Note : 
1. You may find that using 1/4 of the Ballantyne butter a bit much for each bun. I suggest using 1/8. That way your roti paung won't be too oily.
2. Make sure that you pinch the dough securely after wrapping the butter or else the butter will leak out.


  1. Nowadays i not hardworking, i very long didn't bake bread liao...

    1. You arrr...always say like that hee..hee...

  2. Yours look much better, I think. I prefer soft and fluffy roti too.

    1. Thanks :) Yup, soft and fluffy gets my vote anytime.

  3. I love Roti Paung at all times. In fact I prefer to make it at home instead of buying from the shop...look at it the shop ones look so dry on the surface. Yours .... perfect 10!

    1. Thanks, Mel! The one I ate in KT was a bit dry and it had margarine instead of butter.

  4. Fuiyoh, version 2.0, sounds canggih wei.. Your roti paung looks so so soft, I can eat all just like that or with butter+marmalade.. Oh yes, butter is good, margerine is bad, but to be honest, I'm mixing both, eating butter and margerine, alternating them.. Butter is too expensive, especially those spreadable ones.. We eat bread everyday for breakfast and one pack of spreadable butter can only last about a week..

    1. Wah Louiz, you all consume a lot of butter. I only use for baking and my favorite Golden Churn butter now is like buying gold hah..hah... I don't like the taste of margarine :(

  5. Thanks for sharing step by step.... gonna try one day and BTW yours looks better than the shop ones

    1. Thanks, Elaine! Hope this recipe works out for you.

  6. roti paung order dua biji please...coming pick up tomorrow...hehehe....

    can kalah the shop punya la. Shape looks okay to me

    1. hee..hee... wait lah once I retire, I can full time make roti paung :D

  7. Hi Phong Hong, I haven't tried making Roti Paung yet cos' the butter content in it puts me off. But I did bookmarked it ever since your first post. Must find time to try it these days. The texture looks good, moist and fluffy.

    1. Hi Kimmy! The butter for the main dough is quite acceptable and you can actually reduce the amount used for each bun. This has been a childhood favorite but over the years, the quality of roti paung sold outside has dropped a lot.

  8. woot woot, the second attempt to bake your roti paung!! and this time definitely better since you have did lots of enhancements.. and true enough, seems like this batch looks even nicer - golden brown outside, snowy white inside and looks so fluffy like cotton cloud..

    so that was a planning how you go about baking this roti paung!! errr, you just scribble things on a piece of paper?? you should have digitised it and saved it or posted it somewhere, then this will be more permanent..

    and then i love the enamel thing, hahaha, really taste better with enamel huh?? i saw those enamel mugs in an online store and so tempted to get a few, would be nice to tabao kopi-beng from kopitiam and put that into the enamel mug and slowly enjoy for the morning, hehehe~~

    1. hee..hee... nowadays those enamelware are very expensive. Last time never realized it will come back in fashion or else would have collected a set. Anyway, I am happy with my roti paung because the taste it lots better than the store bought ones.

  9. Must ask my girl to look at this. She's into making bread...dunno what recipes she followed, I wish she would just stick to such nice familiar ones, old school no doubt but nice. Really not into those artisan ones or whatever - not my thing. I'm a dinosaur!

    1. Me too prefer simple straightforward bread/bun recipes. Those fancy ones are out of my league. Your girl could try this as it is simple and she can already bake quite well.

  10. Your roti paung looks softer than the one from the shop. Nothing beats freshly baked roti...I don't want to make, I just want to eat! :D Another good butter you can try...Lurpak :)

    1. hah..hah... that was me too long ago, just want to eat but don't want to make! But then, no make, no roti paung :( Oh yes, I must try Lurpak one day. Butter is so pricey these days so I have to eat less often.

  11. Hi Phong Hong,
    Well, who cares it it's out of shape ... it's the taste that matter most. I see your roti paung is so fluffy soft too as compared with the one from the shop. It's been quite a while since I last baked some buns. I've yet to make buns with starter dough / main dough method. Must find time to try one day.

    1. Hi Karen! When you are free, you can try this roti paung. That way you can eat Terengganu buns without going to Terengganu :D

  12. Phong Hong, your buns look much better than the one bought from shop. I am sure I would love your roti paung!

    1. Thanks, Nancy! Well, I wish that I could share some with you in exchange for some plants hee..hee...

  13. Your roti paung looks so pretty! How to eat leh? :p

    1. Hayley, sure can eat after you smell it!

  14. Wow, you use the expensive small packs of butter instead of cutting cubes from one big slab of butter. Looks good. How come the small piece of butter you put in each dough melted evenly into the each bun after it is baked? I was expecting to see a buttery spot in each bun but the photo shows all nice and even texture. Did you rub or knead the butter into each dough when you were forming each ball?

    1. Mun, those small packs of butter are convenient to use. Besides it is tastiest using good butter. I wrapped the butter in each dough. I already bit off the buttery part hee..hee,,,

    2. The same brand of butter comes in big blocks too but I understand about the convenient part. Aiyo show us the buttery part lah. Made me confused, why no buttery part in the cross section photo of the bun, hehehe.

  15. You roti looks so soft and fluffy! Love your game plain sketch for roti paung !

  16. Wow! Sweet memories. I remember your Roti Paung. This one looks so neat and nice after being baked in a round tray. I didn;t know it is from Terengganu.
    I saw the Indian bread man selling them in Penang during my childhood days but they were small sized in tiny squares. Now I think the hypermarkets stole your hometown's idea to make Potato Bread. No?

    1. TM, I love those potato bread from the bakery. I think I can learn to bake those too. Anyway, I love breads and buns. But these are so fattening!