- 750g (27 oz) plain flour
- 150g (5.2 oz) sugar
- 125g (4.5 oz) margarine
- 125ml fresh milk (warmed up)
- 250ml warm water
- 1 1/2 tsp yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 125 ml oil
- 3 tbs sugar for the glaze
- 15 ml water for the glaze
This was a pretty challenging task I set for myself. I had no full idea of how to make these buns. I just had bits and pieces in my memory of how my mom used to make bread from home when we were growing up. So as I started out those things started to come back to memory and it wasn’t perfect the first time. They say third time is a charm and this definitely applied to me when I was making these mabhanzi but I was determined not to throw-in the towel. That’s just me, I don’t give up! 🙂 For those who might not be in the know, mabhanzi is the more common local name among Zimbabweans. It simply means (sweet) buns. I guess calling them mabhanzi invokes more exciting nostalgic feelings.
The first time around, of my attempt, they looked more like hamburger rolls. The second time around they were much closer to looking like buns but something was missing and then I finally had my eureka! moment. I even went to my local supermarket’s bakery section in a bid to find out how they make theirs. I didn’t really get much useful information there as they said they used pre-mix. They tried to explain how to do it from scratch but it was rather more confusing!
I finally put two and two together with the little knowledge that I had about how to make them combined with a professional baker’s experience and tadaa they came out WAY better than the first two times. So go ahead knock yourself out and don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t work out the first time. Keep trying.
- Put flour, sugar and salt in bowl and mix. Create a hole in the middle and set-aside. Melt margarine, add milk and warm up the mixture. Add yeast to the milk mixture. Nb: do not make it hot, it should be warm to the touch.
- Stir the milk, butter and yeast mixture until the yeast dissolves. Take set-aside bowl with dry ingredients and pour the milk and yeast mixture then the water. Pour the water a bit at a time to avoid a runny dough. (You may or may not have to use all the water) Stir until a sticky dough is formed. Put sticky dough on lightly floured board and knead for a good 15 minutes (serious exercise 🙂 )
- Lightly oil a separate bowl which is large enough to contain your dough when it rises. Take your dough and place it in the oiled bowl. Cover with a wet cloth and put in warm place for an hour or until it has doubled in size.
- When your dough has doubled do what my mom called “ a fist test“. This is when you knock the dough to displace air. Take your baking sheet and grease it. Remove dough from bowl and return it to your lightly floured board and knead it one more time for another 15 minutes (my arm was about to fall off from all this kneading!! 😀 ). Break-off small portions of the dough at a time and shape them into a circle and put them on your greased baking sheet.
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees (360 F, gas mark 6) bake. Boil 1.5 Ltrs (0.4 ga) of water and put in a container. Take your baking your sheet and place it on top of the container with boiled water. Take your wet cloth again and cover the buns. Leave in warm place for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes your buns have doubled in size. Remove the cloth and give them time to stand again for another 30 minutes. After 30 minutes put your buns in the oven and bake for 25 minutes to 30 minutes at 180 degrees (360 F, gas mark 6) bake. Whilst your bans are baking prepare your glaze by dissolving the sugar into the water and heat it up for 40 seconds using the microwave oven or you may use the stove.
- After 25 – 30 minutes and your mabhanzi have nicely browned up, remove them from the oven and straight-away glaze them.
Pictorial Detailed Instructions
Enjoy!. These are really tasty buns and was well worth the effort and persistence. Remember, never give up. Consider signing-up for our newsletter so I can send recipes to your mail box. You may also leave a comment below. Thanks!