It was close to the day before the big Alcan DragonBoat Festival in Vancouver (close… I mean the day before) and I wanted to surprise my team with some snacks. I decided they had to be nerdy and awesome.
About 4 years ago, I joined a dragonboat team called DragonBoat Z. It was an amazing group of paddlers; full of energy, team spirit and of course a love for Dragon Ball, the japanese anime. They became my paddling family (I love you guys!). Over the years, people joined the team and more of them didn’t know what Dragon Ball was. We taught them what it was like to be on our team, how to Kamehameha and encouraged them to watch episodes of Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT. We integrated many of the anime aspects in our cheers and in our team shirts designs.
The Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival is the biggest dragon boat festival in Vancouver. The festival is a great time to bond, play games during slow times and of course to eat snacks. My sister and I (also known as the team moms) provide our team with kale chips, gatorade and other snacks.
This year I decided to make dragon ball buns. In the Dragon Ball series Goku and his friends travel the world in search of collecting the seven dragon balls. I wanted my buns to look like the dragon balls they collected.
Because of the short amount of time I had to bake, I looked for a recipe for quick bread. I found one for 30 minute rolls!
When I got home, I took the eggs out of the fridge. I mixed the sugar, oil, warm water and bread yeast in a bowl and left it on the stove to rise. Warm water and sugar help the yeast produce carbon dioxide which helps bread become nice and fluffy. Make sure your yeast has not expired since yeast is a living organism and expired yeast does not produce a lot of gas.
Shake the yeast on the top of water in a thin layer. This will prevent the yeast from clumping which makes it harder for the yeast to dissolve.
It only takes a couple of minutes to notice the yeast growing. In 15 minutes, the yeast has grown a lot! Look at all the bubbles!!
In the yeast mixture, mix in the eggs. Remember to prevent egg shells in the dough, crack the eggs in a bowl before you mix it in.
Add flour, 2 cups at a time until the dough becomes a ball. At this point, I kneaded it a little just to increase the gluten. Gluten helps give elasticity in the dough. It helps trap air pockets making the dough fluffy.
For other bread recipes, you need to knead the dough for a long time to create lots of gluten. Doughs that are kneaded are chewy and has a real substance to them. Breads which are not kneaded as much are softer and just doesn’t have the substance the real bakery breads have. You’ll notice this more if you compare a nice crusty italian bread baked in a bakery to that of a store bought one like Wonderbread.
While the dough is resting, grease some baking trays. I recommend using canola oil or a vegetable oil and not olive. Olive oil burns quicker and can cause a lot more smoke. A tip to grease your tray! Use a paper towel to spread the oil around. This helps get the oil in a nice layer on the tray.
Resting the dough lets the yeast make bubbles in the dough. The more bubbles or carbon dioxide helps make the bread fluffy. Allowing your dough to rest help make more air pockets. After resting for 10 minutes, divide the dough in small balls. Spread them out a little bit because they will puff up when you bake it!!
The buns are ready when it is golden brown. Make sure to put them on a cooling rack so the bottoms don’t get soggy.
While the buns are cooling, prepare your food colour paint. I used some orange and red gel food colouring and mixed it with water. My gel food colouring was a little dry so it got lumpy. Using a clean paint brush (one that has not been used for anything other than food!) paint little red stars on the top of each buns.
In the end, you should have an even amount of numbered stars because you never know when someone wants to collect all seven dragon balls to summon Shenron!
30 Minute Rolls
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp warm water
- ⅓ cup oil
- 2 Tbsp yeast
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 eggs
- 3½ cups flour
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine water, oil, yeast, and sugar. Allow mixture to rest for 15 minutes.
- With a dough hook, mix in salt and eggs and 2 of the cups flour until combined. Add remaining flour ½ cup at a time.
- Shape dough into 12 balls and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Place rolls in a greased 9×13 pan or baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes until tops are golden brown. Makes 1 dozen.