Thursday, October 6, 2016

Like BreadTop Shacha Pork Floss Bread - Highly Recommended!

Whether you are an Asian or not, do you know what is shacha sauce? And have you tasted it before?

Surprise surprise... the Asian me never knew the existence of shacha sauce until I tasted BreadTop shacha pork floss bread at Melbourne!!!

According to Wikipedia, Shacha sauce (沙茶) or paste is a Chinese condiment primarily used in Taiwanese cuisines. It is commonly made from soybean oil, garlic, shallots, chili, brill fish, and dried shrimp. It is savoury with loads of umami taste plus a subtle hint of spicy aftertaste. Thus, this tasty sauce is used as 1) a base for soups, 2) a rub for barbecued meats, 3) a seasoning for stir fry dishes and hot pots 4) a component to make up dipping sauces and 5) at here, a base sauce to make yummy pork floss bread.

At Melbourne, you can find and buy shacha sauces in most Asia grocery shops and they are commonly available in several options like the regular ones with the addition of fish and shrimp, the extra spicy ones with added chili and the vegetarian ones with no fish and shrimp and I usually buy the popular brand which is the Bull Head ones.

Why shacha bread??? My son and I discovered this bread at BreadTop when he was a baby! I wasn't baking a lot at that time and often buy bread from BreadTop (a popular Asian bakery chain in Melbourne) for my quick lunches and I remember the day when I bought my first shacha bread...

It was an early summer afternoon, I was carrying my son in my Ergobaby carrier with his front facing me and his bare chubby feet dangling
. As I was walking home and munching my shacha bread, I felt a little hand tugging me. I looked down and saw a pleading face that says "can we share this bread?"

"Baby, this bread is not suitable for you to eat..." I tried to explain but realised that it was pointless to talk sense to a 9 month-old baby. Then, of course I gave in and fed my baby a small piece of my shacha bread and took a bite subsequently.

"Gosh! It's spicy!!!" I was worried at first but was relieved seeing that my happy son was reaching out for my hand, asking for more. In less than 10 minutes, the entire shacha bread was gone and my baby and I were happy.

Even until now, my 7 years old son and I still like to eat shacha bread together and I wonder if it is the shacha bread or the mother-and-son feeling of enjoying shacha bread together is what we are after...

"Mum, I think you can bake these shacha bread too!"

"Great idea! And I will."

And these are what I have baked...

breadtop shacha pork floss bread
Like BreadTop Shacha Pork Floss Bread
These are the shacha sauces that I bought and used:
the regular one and the vegetarian one.
After baking...
breadtop sha cha pork floss bread
A must do before serving...
Brush the bread with syrup glaze and garnish with seaweed powder or dried parsley.

I have a one-minute video showing you how I baked these very soft and delicious bread if you are interested...

breadtop sha cha pork floss bread
Very delicious!
Not bragging but I think ours are way way way better that the ones from BreadTop!!!
 ... because ours are more optimally filled with shacha sauce and pork floss filling! :)

"Sweetie, I have just baked shacha bread for you!" I told my son when we were walking from school to home.

"Yay!!!" And we were jumping with joy on my way home...

Here's the recipe that is very adapted from here
Makes six about 6 x 12 cm flat breads

For the bread dough:
200ml pasteurised milk, not UHT, lukewarm*
300g bread flour with 12% protein
25g caster sugar
1 tsp salt
15g unsalted butter, soften at room temperature
3/4 tsp instant dry yeast

For the filling:
4 tbsp shacha sauce (well mixed including the oil) or more if required but please be aware that too much shacha sauce can make your bread too salty
1 cup (about 100g) pork or chicken or fish floss
1 tbsp white sesame seed, toasted

For the syrup glaze:
2 tbsp (20g) caster sugar
1 tbsp malt syrup, optional but this will make syrup thick and glossy
1/2 tbsp hot boiling water

For the egg wash:
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp milk

For the topping:
1 cup grated tasty or pizza mozzarella cheese, any mild and firm common type of supermarket grated cheese
2 tbsp corn kernel
1 tbsp aonori (Japanese seaweed powder) or dried parsley flakes 

*The milk in this recipe doesn't require scalding but need to be lukewarm or at least room temperature for efficient proving.

To make the bread dough:
Using a breadmaker, add and mix all dough ingredients according to the above order and knead into a smooth and elastic dough and allow it to prove for 1 hr.

If breadmaker is not available, kneading by hand or electric mixer with a dough hook is possible. Using your hand or an electric mixer, mix all dough ingredients (except butter) to form a dough. If you are using an electric mixer, increase the mixing speed to medium low and knead the dough until smooth. If you are kneading by hand, you need good muscle and endurance to keep kneading until the dough is smooth. Mix in the unsalted butter and keep kneading at medium low speed or by hand (about 10-15 mins) until dough is elastic and can stretch to form "thin light-penetrating-membrane-like window panels". Allow the dough to rise for about 60 mins or until doubled in size.

While the bread is proving, prepare the filling and syrup glaze.

For the filling:
Combine 2 tbsp shacha sauce and pork floss (or chicken or fish floss) until the floss are well moisten with the sauce. Depending on the brand and the type of the floss that you used, you might to add more sauce to moisten the floss mixture. It doesn't have to dripping wet with the sauce but it should be moist enough to keep the floss mixture together. Taste to see if the filling is good enough for your palate as too much shacha sauce can make the filling too salty! Set aside.

For the syrup glaze:
In a heat proof bowl, combine sugar, malt syrup and hot boiling water and stir until the sugar dissolves. If it doesn't, you can place the syrup in a microwave with short pulses of low power and cook and stir until the sugar dissolves. Please do not over-cook the syrup! Set aside to allow the syrup to cool completely at room temperature. 

Divide dough into 2 equal portions, then allow to rest for another 10 mins.

To shape each portion:
Flatten each portion of dough and use a rolling pin to roll the dough on a non-stick working area until it form a large and flat rectangle shape. It can be in any size but if you have to roll the dough into a large and thin rectangle so that you will have more area to spread the sauce and this will make your bread more flavoursome!

Spread a thin layer of shacha sauce (about 1 tbsp) and sprinkle half of the shacha floss filling evenly on the rolled dough. Pick up one short side of the dough and fold 1/3 of the dough inwards and do the same with the other short of the dough and the dough will be 1/3 of the rolled size.

Use a knife to cut the dough along the non-folded short side into 3 portions and transfer them onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Repeat the same shaping, filling and cutting steps with the half of the dough and filling. 

Line baking trays with baking paper. Arrange the shaped bread dough with its seam side down on the prepared trays and use a rolling pin to roll the dough briefly again to ensure that bread is nicely flattened. Allow the dough to rise for another 1 hr or until doubled in size.

To bake:
Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F.

Combine egg yolk and milk for the egg wash by using a fork to beat the mixture briefly and brush egg wash on the surfaces of the dough.

Sprinkle one-sixth of the grated cheese and corn kernels evenly on each dough. Bake one tray at a time at 180°C for 15 mins or until golden brown. Transfer the breads immediately onto a wire rack to cool for about 20 mins or cool enough to touch. Brush syrup glaze on the surfaces of the bread generously and sprinkle aonori or dried parsley flakes on them. Note: You can brush less syrup on your bread if you prefer your bread to be less sweet. Nevertheless, my son and I like ours to be "full-on"!!! :)

Serve immediately and most ideally within the same day of bake.

Wrap any uneaten bread individually in cling wrap and store in an airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature. To re-heat, microwave the bread without removing the wrap for 10-20 secs with high power. Serve immediately after microwave and the bread is just as soft and good as it is freshly baked!

Happy Baking
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  1. Wow. Love your post. Gonna try this... looking forward to read more of your posts....

  2. I have never heard of this sauce either. This looks amazing, Zoe and the bread recipe is doable. I like!!

  3. Love the video. This is so tempting....!!!

  4. Me! Me! I don't know what is shacha sauce but seen it in many Taiwanese recipes. And goodness, Zoe your shacha pork floss bread looks so yummy!

  5. at First I thought you misspelled siracha sauce LOL.

  6. This looks incredible as well.
    Blessings, Kristy

  7. This recipe is superb awesome! I have tried it out today and it's rly rly goooood! But the next time I might apply the syrup before I roll it up, maybe there would be more kick to the sweetness! Thanks again for the recipe! :)

    1. Hi Alexis,

      I'm happy to hear that you like this recipe. I prefer to brush the syrup only on the top of the bread before baking it so that the sugar won't cause the bread to brown too quicky and also won't wet the fillings. Cheers!