Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hokkaido Milk Bread using the Tangzhong Method

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This bread is very soft and fluffy. It’s different that most of the artisan style breads that I have been baking. It kind of has a mild Hawaiian Bread taste, and it seems to stay fresh and soft for a long time.  The oven spring is amazing. I haven’t experimented with it, but I bet it would make great pull-apart rolls.  I can also imagine adding herbs and cheeses. 

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Equipment recommended:
You can use a stand mixer or bread maker. You might be able to hand knead it, but the dough is really sticky and it will take you a very long time.  Might be a good workout… =) I use a stand mixer with the dough hook.
 
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A scale. They are inexpensive and take the guesswork out of baking with flour.

An instant read thermometer to tell when the roux has reached 149 degrees. If you don’t have one, cook the roux until the spoon you are using to stir it leaves a trail. Scroll down on Kirbie's Cravings website to the photo of the tangzhong.

-->Recipe adapted from Kirbie’s Cravings… adapted from Christine’s recipes. Check out both sites for the rolling and shaping techniques:




 
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Ingredients

Tangzhong:
50 gm/1/3 C bread flour
1 C Water

Mix the flour and water together until there aren’t any lumps.

Place in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches 149 degrees and then remove it from the heat. If you don’t have a thermometer, remove the thickened mixture from the heat when the spoon begins to make trails. 

Dump the mixture into a clean bowl and allow it to cool. When it cools, cover it with plastic wrap (press it against the mixture) and place it in the refrigerator. Let is sit over night. This recipe is enough for two loaves. If it begins to turn gray, toss it.

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Hokkaido Milk Bread:
350 gm/2 ½ C bread flour
55 gm/3 T + 2 tsp caster/superfine/baker’s sugar (if you only have regular sugar, just grind it to a finer texture in a food processor. Do not use powdered sugar.
1 t. salt
2 tsp instant yeast
1 T + 1 t milk powder (optional)
1 large egg
½ C milk
120 gm of the tangzhong
3 T softened room temperature unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 egg for egg wash.

Whisk the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer (if you are using a bread maker, add the ingredients according to the instructions of your bread maker. Note: use your bread maker only for the mixing/kneading stage/first rise).  

Add the milk, egg, and the tangzhong.

Mix until the ingredients come together, then knead until it forms a dough. Add the butter and continue to knead and medium/high speed until the dough becomes smooth and elastic and no longer sticky. To test the dough, pull it until it forms sort of a thin membrane.  This could take up to 20 minutes.

Place the dough into an oiled bowl or dough rising bucket, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise until doubled. The original recipe said 40 minutes, but my first rise took 2 hours.  

On a floured surface, deflate and divide the dough into four equal parts and form into balls. Cover with plastic wrap and allow it rest for 15 minutes.

Take each piece and, using a rolling pin, roll out into an long oval shape. Fold the shorter sides of each oval over like an envelope, into sort of a square. Flip the squares over, and roll out into an oval again. Flip them back over, and roll each oval into a roll/cylinder, from one end to the other.

Arrange the rolls in an oiled one-pound bread pan, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise to about ¾ of the height of the bread pan. It took my loaf about 40 minutes.

Prior to second rise.
 
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Brush the loaf with the egg wash and bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. If the top gets too brown, tent the loaf with foil while baking.

Remove the loaf from the pan and cool on a wire rack. Let it cool completely. 

Prior to removing from the pan



23 comments:

  1. One question for you - is this bread good enough to follow these insane directions?? :)

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    1. Lol. You might have to be a "bread head" to have the patience, but it is very good if you like super soft fluffy bread.

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  2. Karen, This bread is fabulous! Thanks for sharing with the Artisan Bread Bakers. I enjoyed making and eating it.

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  3. Made hot dog and burger buns from this. GREAT! Thanks.
    (Wife said "Perfect" and she always has complained that buns have been to heavy/dense.)

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    1. Fantastic. I'll have to try other shapes!

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  4. Thanks so much for sharing. Made this twice today. :-). Really soft and fluffy.

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  5. I really would like to try this. The folding sounds confusing to me. Could you put a step-by-step picture of what you do by any chance? :-) Have you ever just made this in a bread machine (rising and baking)? I am in search of a soft sandwich bread recipe.

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    1. I will definitely do another post on this with step by step photos. Thanks for the suggestion. I don't own a bread machine, so I'm not sure how that would work.

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  6. Also, my son has severe allergy to egg. Have you ever tried without the egg by any chance?

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    1. No, I haven't tried it without egg.

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  7. I make roux in an 1100-watt microwave. Use a pyrex cup. 1/2-cup room temperature water, 2-1/2 Tbsp flour. Mix well with whisk. Microwave 20-seconds. Stir, take temperature. Will be about 120-F. Microwave 10-seconds. Stir, take temperature. Will be about 135-F. Microwave 10 more seconds. Stir, take temperature. Will be about 145-F. Microwave a final 5-seconds. Stir and take temp. The roux is at about 150-F . This is enough roux for a 1-lb loaf of bread. Cool to below 130-F, add to bread maker.

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    1. Thanks for the contribution! Especially about the microwave. Very precise.

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  8. my daughter has been asking for soft bread. will try this tomorrow, thank you!

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    1. Thank you! You will love this bread, and so will your daughter. Let me know how it works out!

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  9. Oh Karen, this bread is wonderful. I definitely will make it. Thank you so much for sharing

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  10. THE best bread recipe ever! I have made this bread so many times now; it is definitely my 'go to' bread recipe. Thank you so much for sharing! :-)

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    1. Thank you! It is a revelation, isn't it?

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  11. Thanks for posting this recipe and details of how the loaf is made. My loaf turned out beautifully and the oven spring is amazing. I followed your instructions and recipe to the letter although I added an extra 2 tablespoons of flour because I thought the dough was a bit wet. Also, I used my breadmaker to do the initial mixing and proof. Outstanding loaf - soft, light and just as nice a couple of days after baking.

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    1. Thanks so much for the feedback Sharen!

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  12. Love this recipe, we are all raving about the bread rolls I made from it, will never go back to store bought rolls again! Followed instructions to the 't' perfect loaf, thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks so much Bernice! I love hearing this.

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I love comments and questions and read every one of them.