Skip to main content

Sourdough Treacle Buns recipe from Lady Wynwood's Spies 2: Berserker


If you read my Christian Regency Romantic Suspense novel, Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 2: Berserker, you will have noticed that Miss Tolberton brings humble treacle buns to eat with tea at the church.

I got the idea for treacle buns from looking through old cookbooks from the 1800s. Commercial dry yeast cakes for making breads were not available until 1825, which is 15 years after the date of my book, so most breads during the Regency period were made with sourdough starters.

“Black treacle” is the same thing as molasses, and was mentioned in cookbooks published during the Regency period, but in those books, I couldn’t find a recipe for treacle bread or treacle buns or brown bread. This seemed a bit strange to me since brown bread (made with whole wheat and black treacle) has been around since before the Regency period, but I am guessing that it was such a common food, most cooks probably already knew how to make it or would simply buy it from a local bakery.

So I did a Dr. Google search for how to make sourdough brown molasses bread. There are lots of recipes to choose from, but I wanted a super soft molasses bread that could be made into the slightly sweet buns featured in my book, which the heroine eats with tea.

I’ve been doing a lot of sourdough baking since last year, since I couldn’t buy yeast for several months after the pandemic started, and I had come across a really neat recipe for sourdough milk bread rolls by The Perfect Loaf. The recipe uses an Asian bread roux technique referred to as tangzhong, which is often used in Japanese Hokkaido milk bread and Taiwanese milk bread recipes.

I really wanted to try making a molasses bun with tangzhong, so I took a bunch of molasses bread recipes and mashed them with the sourdough milk bread roll recipe above to come up with my own Molasses Sourdough Milk Bread Rolls! (Say that five times fast)

I doubt Regency London would have used the tangzhong roux technique, and you don’t have to use it in the recipe below if you want to make just regular treacle buns. But the tangzhong is not difficult, and it makes the buns super soft as well as making them stay soft and fresh for a few days longer than normal sourdough bread.

The buns turned out really great and UBER soft! You can do an optional sugar glaze to make it sweet to eat with tea (see at the very end of the recipe below), or you can eat them (unglazed) like my husband does, as sliders. They tasted fantastic with pulled pork!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and enjoy some treacle buns from my book!

Camy’s Molasses Sourdough Milk Bread Rolls


Adjusted from: Super Soft Sourdough rolls by The Perfect Loaf
Makes 16 rolls

Ingredients:
For the roux (tangzhong):
* 41 grams all-purpose flour
* 166 grams whole milk

For the sourdough levain:
* 74g all-purpose flour (can also use bread flour if desired)
* 74g water
* 15g sugar
* 30g ripe sourdough starter

For the main dough:
* Either 496g all-purpose flour, or a mix of 328g all-purpose flour and 148g bread flour (using some bread flour makes the rolls more firm and makes the rolls rise more, while using all all-purpose flour makes the rolls softer)
* 95g butter
* 126g molasses (if you like your bread sweeter, you can add more sugar in addition to molasses. Some molasses bread recipes add about 35g sugar)
* 181g water
* 11g salt (about 1 tablespoon)

Instructions:
(Optional) Make ripe sourdough starter:
I keep my sourdough starter in the fridge, and I only keep a small amount (like 20-40 grams), so in the morning, I’ll feed my starter and let it rise before making my levain.

Mix about 25g each flour and warm water to about 1/4-1/2 cup cold starter and leave at 77°F (25°C) until doubled. You will only use 30g of the doubled starter, NOT the entire volume.

Camy: Since my kitchen can be cold, I actually put my starter jar in my Instant Pot on a steamer trivet, with 1 cup of hot water on the bottom, and the Instant Pot on Yogurt, using the low yogurt setting (not the normal yogurt setting).

Prepare levain:
Mix the following ingredients in a glass container (I used a quart mason jar with plastic lid) and leave at 77°F (25°C) (Again, I used Instant Pot on low Yogurt setting) for 5 hours. Alternately, you can leave covered at room temperature for 12 hours overnight.

* 74g medium-protein bread flour or all-purpose flour
* 74g water
* 15g sugar
* 30g ripe sourdough starter

Make the roux:
* 41g medium-protein bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
* 166g milk

In a saucepan, add the flour and milk. Turn the heat to medium and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens to the consistency of mashed potatoes, about 5-8 minutes. (It will not seem to be doing anything but then it will suddenly start to thicken and it will continue to thicken very quickly so be careful.) Cool the roux before mixing with the levain or the heat might kill the yeast.

Note: If you don’t want to make the roux, just leave it out of the recipe. Instead, when making the dough below, don’t add the entire amount of water and instead add water (or milk, or a combination of both) slowly just until the dough forms. How much water will depend on your flour and the humidity of your kitchen. The resulting dough will not be as sticky as the dough would be with the roux.

Make the dough:
To the bowl of a Kitchenaid stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add:

* all of the pre-cooked flour (roux)
* 95 g butter (cut into 1/2” pats) (In the original recipe, he added the butter after the dough had formed, but I am lazy and added it here instead)
* Either 496g all-purpose flour, or a mix of 328g all-purpose flour and 148g bread flour (using some bread flour makes the rolls more firm and makes the rolls rise more, while using all all-purpose flour makes the rolls softer)
* 181g water (about 3/4 cup)
* 126g molasses (if you like your bread sweeter, you can add more sugar in addition to molasses. Some recipes add about 35g sugar)
* 11g salt (about 1 tablespoon, although add less salt if you desire)
* all of the levain

Mix the dough at speed 1 for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the sides, until the dough comes together. Then, mix at speed 4 (yes, speed 4) for 5 minutes. The dough will slightly clump around the dough hook but it will mostly be extremely sticky. Avoid the temptation to add more flour—trust me, it will be fine once the gluten develops (see below).

Let the dough rest in the mixing bowl for 10 minutes.

After resting, mix the dough again for 10-15 min at speed 4 to develop the gluten, scraping down the sides a couple times. The dough will still be EXTREMELY sticky, but it will seem more firm than before, and it’ll clump together like a ball of dough better than before (see picture below).


Bulk fermentation:
Transfer to a non-reactive bowl. Wet your hands and do one set of stretch and folds.

Let the dough rise (bulk fermentation) at 77°F (25°C) for 3-5 hours. (The duration I let it rise usually depends on how late in the evening it is by this time.)

Camy: I actually put the bowl on top of my Instant Pot, with a cup of hot water in the Instant Pot, and put it on the normal Yogurt setting (not the low yogurt setting) and covered it with a towel.

(Optional) Do 3 sets of stretch and folds every 30 minutes after the start of bulk fermentation. (Sometimes I forget to do more than the first stretch and fold, and the dough still comes out okay.)

Chill dough overnight:
After 3-5 hours, place the dough container in the refrigerator overnight for retarded rise.

Shape the rolls:
Butter your pan.
Camy: I used a large deep-dish pizza pan, but you can use any large pan for your dough. It’ll rise a lot and squish together (see photo below), so if you want your buns to be more round and separated, use a couple cookie sheets instead.

Divide the dough into sixteen pieces and shape each as a very tight ball (I weighed the dough and divided it into 16 by weight). The dough will still be sticky (although easier to manage since it will be cold), so dust your workspace with flour. However, try to avoid the temptation to knead more flour into the dough if you can help it—if the dough is just way too sticky to handle, then add more flour, but the roux allows the dough to absorb more water than a regular dough, so it will be a bit more sticky than traditional sourdough bread.

Place the balls in the buttered pan to proof.

Proof the buns:
Cover the buns with a towel and let the buns proof for 2.5 to 3 hours at 77°F (25°C) (I found it rose better on top of my Instant Pot on normal Yogurt setting for 5 hours, but you can also put it in your oven with the light on or with a pan of hot water underneath.)

Bake your rolls:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the rolls for 15 minutes, rotate pan, then bake another 10-15 minutes more until the internal temperature is at least 201°F.

Remove from the oven and let cool in the baking pan for 10 minutes. Then knock the rolls out to cool on a wire rack. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before eating.


Optional: I’m from Hawaii, so I love Hawaiian sweet rolls, and for my book, I envisioned these buns with a light sugar glaze. So if you like slightly sweet rolls to eat with tea, try this: in a saucepan, heat sugar and water together, about 35 grams of sugar per tablespoon of water. When the sugar has completely dissolved, glaze the rolls with the sugar and let it cool. It’ll form a sticky glaze that perfectly compliments the molasses flavor.



***


Buy Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer:
Kindle
Paperback


Sign up for Camy's newsletter

* indicates required

Comments

Popular Posts

Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 2: Berserker is now on sale!

For seven days, from January 30th until February 5th, book 2 in the Lady Wynwood’s Spies series is only 99 cents. If you haven’t gotten it yet, be sure to snatch it up while it’s at this sale price. Here’s the back cover description: A Christian Historical Adventure set in Regency England with romance and a supernatural twist Part two in an epic-length serial novel A dire situation Mr. Solomon Drydale and his team are reeling. After only a single act of mayhem by underworld lord Apothecary Jack, one of their group is down and another is missing. An urgent plea Desperate, Sol acts on his forbidden knowledge of an agent for the Crown who is known only to the highest levels of government— le petit prince , master of disguises. He defies his superiors and asks the Prince for help. A hazardous hunt Now, the team must learn to work with a new member to save one of their own. But time is running out before Jack finds him and breaks him—and puts all of their lives at risk.

Just another day at youth group

My Christian contemporary romance, Single Sashimi , includes some of the wilder tales from my and my husband’s stints as youth staff workers at our church. The Steven character in the book is actually the same Steven who’s the associate pastor and youth group leader at our church now, since I wrote Single Sashimi when he was still in youth group. :) He’s a young man in his late twenties (maybe early thirties?), and he’s full of great ideas and lots of energy. On one particular Saturday, my husband and I were at youth group as usual. Steven had bought a tug of war rope—the really long, thick kind that looks like it belongs on a sea trawler. The opening game for the kids was, of course, tug of war. Then we came indoors for a three-song worship set. After worship, we usually split up into Junior High and High School for lessons, but this time Steven had an idea: “Okay guys, we’re going to have a tug of war--staff versus kids. If you guys win, we’ll ditch the lesson and go out t

Year of the Dog serial novel

About Year of the Dog : A month or two ago, I remembered an old manuscript I had completed but which hadn’t sold. It was a contemporary romance meant for Zondervan, titled Year of the Dog . The book had gone into the pipeline and I even got another title ( Bad Dog ) and a cover for it, but eventually my editor at the time decided she didn’t want to publish it, for various reasons. She instead requested a romantic suspense, and so I cannibalized some of the characters from Year of the Dog and thrust them into the next book I wrote, which was Protection for Hire . Honestly, I didn’t take a lot from Year of the Dog to put in Protection for Hire , aside from character names and a few relationship ties. I was originally thinking I’d post Year of the Dog as-is on my blog as a free read, but then it occurred to me that I could revamp it into a romantic suspense and change the setting to Hawaii. It would work out perfectly as (yet another) prequel to the Warubozu series and introduce

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

Year of the Dog serial novel, chapter 9

I’m posting a Humorous Christian Romantic Suspense serial novel here on my blog! Year of the Dog is a (second) prequel to my Warubozu Spa Chronicles series. Year of the Dog serial novel by Camy Tang Marisol Mutou, a professional dog trainer, is having a bad year. While renovating her new dog kenneling and training facility, she needs to move in with her disapproving family, who have always made her feel inadequate—according to them, a job requiring her to be covered in dog hair and slobber is an embarrassment to the family. She convinces her ex-boyfriend to take her dog for a few months … but discovers that his brother is the irate security expert whose car she accidentally rear-ended a few weeks earlier. Ashwin Keitou has enough problems. His aunt has just shown up on his doorstep, expecting to move in with him, and he can’t say no because he owes her everything—after his mother walked out on them, Aunt Nell took in Ashwin and his brother and raised them in a loving Chri

Grace Livingston Hill romances free to read online

I wanted to update my old post on Grace Livingston Hill romances because now there are tons more options for you to be able to read her books for free online! I’m a huge Grace Livingston Hill fan. Granted, not all her books resonate with me, but there are a few that I absolutely love, like The Enchanted Barn and Crimson Roses . And the best part is that she wrote over 100 books and I haven’t yet read them all! When I have time, I like to dive into a new GLH novel. I like the fact that most of them are romances, and I especially appreciate that they all have strong Christian themes. Occasionally the Christian content is a little heavy-handed for my taste, but it’s so interesting to see what the Christian faith was like in the early part of the 20th century. These books are often Cinderella-type stories or A Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett) type stories, which I love. And the best part is that they’re all set in the early 1900s, so the time period is absolutely fasci

A new tier in my Patreon

I started my Patreon for my fans and for people who didn’t want to buy my books on Kindle. My patrons get each new ebook 2-3 weeks early for only $3 (which is usually the newsletter-only price), and they only get charged when I release a book, not every month. At the moment, I’m releasing my Christian historical romantic suspense series, Lady Wynwood’s Spies. But after I finish that series, I’ll be releasing my Christian contemporary romantic suspense series, the Warubozu Spa Chronicles, and those in my Patreon will be able to get those books early, too. I just added a new $1.00 tier for fans who would prefer to read my books in Kindle Unlimited or buy the Kindle ebook, but just want to support me. Click here to read more about my Patreon. Thank you so much for reading my books!

Tabi socks, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.25.2008 (If you're on Ravelry, friend me! I'm camytang.) I made tabi socks again! (At the bottom of the pattern is the calculation for the toe split if you're not using the same weight yarn that I did for this pattern (fingering). I also give an example from when I used worsted weight yarn with this pattern.) I used Opal yarn, Petticoat colorway. It’s a finer yarn than my last pair of tabi socks, so I altered the pattern a bit. Okay, so here’s my first foray into giving a knitting pattern. Camy’s top-down Tabi Socks I’m assuming you already know the basics of knitting socks. If you’re a beginner, here are some great tutorials: Socks 101 How to Knit Socks The Sock Knitter’s Companion A video of turning the heel Sock Knitting Tips Yarn: I have used both fingering weight and worsted weight yarn with this pattern. You just change the number of cast on stitches according to your gauge and the circumference of your ankle. Th

ひとり寿司第28章パート2

「ひとり寿司」をブログに連載します! ひとり寿司 寿司シリーズの第一作 キャミー・タング 西島美幸 訳 スポーツ狂のレックス・坂井 —— いとこのマリコが数ヶ月後に結婚することにより、「いとこの中で一番年上の独身女性」という内輪の肩書を「勝ち取る」ことについては、あまり気にしていない。コントロールフリークの祖母を無視するのは容易だ —— しかし、祖母は最終通告を出した —— マリコの結婚式までにデート相手を見つけなければ、無慈悲な祖母は、レックスがコーチをしている女子バレーボールチームへの資金供給を切ると言う。 ダグアウトにいる選手全員とデートに出かけるほど絶望的なわけではない。レックスは、バイブルスタディで読んだ「エペソの手紙」をもとに「最高の男性」の条件の厳しいリストを作った。バレーボールではいつも勝つ —— ゲームを有利に進めれば、必ず成功するはずだ。 そのとき兄は、クリスチャンではなく、アスリートでもなく、一見何の魅力もないエイデンを彼女に引き合わせる。 エイデンは、クリスチャンではないという理由で離れていったトリッシュという女の子から受けた痛手から立ち直ろうとしている。そして、レックスが(1)彼に全く興味がないこと、(2)クリスチャンであること、(3)トリッシュのいとこであることを知る。あの狂った家族とまた付き合うのはごめんだ。まして、偽善的なクリスチャンの女の子など、お断り。彼はマゾヒストじゃない。 レックスは時間がなくなってきた。いくら頑張っても、いい人は現れない。それに、どこへ行ってもエイデンに遭遇する。あのリストはどんどん長くなっていくばかり —— 過去に掲載済みのストーリーのリンクはこちらです。 *** キッチンテーブルの上にごちゃごちゃと置かれている食べ物を見つけた。フルーツが入ったお皿は、すでに子供たちがめちゃくちゃにしていたが、新鮮なマグロの刺身は、巻き寿司の隣にきれいに並んでいた。天ぷら鍋から取り出したばかりのもち粉チキンは、まだ湯気が立っていて、祖母の自家製たくあんが、その隣の小皿に置かれている。 「わあ、叔母さんか誰かが、エビの天ぷら作ったんだわ」トリッシュはエビの天ぷらを紙皿に取った。 レックスはお皿をつかんだ。ここに来た唯一の理由。祖母ですら、美味しい日本食を食べていると

A List of my Free Blog Reads

Curious about what my writing is like? Here’s a list of all my free books and the free short stories, novellas, and novels that you can read here on my blog. I’ll update this post as I add more free reads. Christian Humorous Romantic Suspense: Year of the Dog (Warubozu Spa Chronicles series, Prequel novel) (Currently being posted monthly on my blog as a serial novel) Marisol Mutou, a professional dog trainer, finally has a chance to buy a facility for her business, but her world is upended when she must move in with her disapproving family, who have always made her feel inadequate. When she stumbles upon a three-year-old missing persons case, security expert Ashwin Keitou, whose car she accidentally rear-ended a few weeks earlier, is tasked with protecting her. However, danger begins to circle around them from people who want the past to remain there. Can they shed light on the secrets moving in the shadows? Christian Romantic Suspense: Necessary Proof (Sonoma series #4.1, n