Doesn't this bread look like three little alien faces? Or Angry Birds?
About six months ago, I posted about baking Hokkaido Milk Bread using a Tangzhong. Since then, many of you have asked about a whole wheat version of this bread.
Tangzhong is a mixture of water and flour that is cooked to 64 degrees C/149 degrees F. For one explanation of how it works, I recommend reading this post. Or... it could just be magic. (The writer also discusses how to incorporate using a bread machine to make this dough.) Regardless, this method produces a very soft and fluffy bread that has great shelf life.
I've also received requests for a clearer explanation on how to shape this bread. I've taken some photos of the process, which I will post here, but I thought I'd show you the diagram I made and upon which I rely to shape my loaves. I'm sure any confusion will be cleared up after this..... not.... Here you go....
Hope you enjoyed. We all have different learning styles. I promise, I will include some "real life" photos below. All I know is that the oven rise was amazing. Freakishly so.
Tangzhong Whole Wheat & Rye Bread
30 g bread flour
150 g water
200 g bread flour
75 g whole wheat flour
75 g dark rye flour
5 g instant yeast
55 g light brown sugar
5 g salt
125 g whole milk, heated to 95 to 100 degrees F
120 g of the tangzhong
30 g very soft butter
- Prepare the tangzhong by whisking the water and the flour together in a sauce pan over low heat. Constantly stir the mixture until the it reaches 149 degrees F. It should thicken and resemble a roux. Using an instant read thermometer is really helpful.
- Move the mixture to a bowl and let the tangzhong cool completely.
- Whisk the bread, wheat, and rye flours in the bowl of a stand mixer (you can also use a bread machine to make the dough).
- Add the yeast, brown sugar, and salt and whisk.
- Add the milk, tangzhong, and the egg and mix with a spoon or a dough whisk to blend.
- Add the butter and knead with the dough hook for 15 to 20 minutes. You might need to stop and scrape down the bowl a few times before the dough hook can really work the dough.
- You will know when the dough is ready when you tear off a small piece and can stretch it into a thin membrane.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl or dough rising bucket, cover it, and allow the dough to double. It took about two hours in my case.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and degas the dough.
- Divide the dough into 3 pieces.
- Form each ball into a rectangle and fold the long ends of the rectangle over each other like an envelope.
- Cover the loaf with plastic wrap and let rise until it reaches the top of the loaf pan (or just under the top). This took 40 minutes for me.
- Brush the loaf with milk, egg, or the rest of the tangzhong, and bake for about 35 minutes, until the bread is golden brown.
- De-pan and cool completely on a cooling rack.