Reading and following the many amazing food blogs, I have come to know a new method of bread making which has become the rage among asian bloggers who like baking their own bread at home. This new method of bread making which incorporates tangzhong was first introduced by Yvonne Chen who wrote a Taiwanese cookbook, entitled “65°C湯種麵包”(Bread Doctor). In her book, she claimed tangzhong “湯種” as the secret ingredient in making soft and springy bread. Now what is tangzhong? It is a mixture by weight of 1 part bread flour and 5 parts water cooked over gentle heat until it has 'gelatinized' at a temperature of 65°C. This 'gelatinized' starch or 'tangzhong' traps and locks moisture from the water when cooked to 65°C , and thus produces a softer and more elastic bread dough when used in bread making.
|Springy, airy & moist.|
How to make Tangzhong:
- Mix together flour and water until well combined and without any lumps. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to prevent burning and sticking.
- Cook the mixture until it has reached the temperature of 65°C. (If you do not have a thermometer like me, keep an eye on the mixture; once the mixture has thicken and looks glossy, somewhat gelatinous and gluey, remove from heat).
- Remove from heat. Transfer the mixture into a clean bowl and cover with a cling wrap. Let cool. The tangzhong is ready to be used. Store unused tangzhong in the fridge up to 3 days. Discard if it turns grey.
|Buns in the oven!|
- Combine together brread flour, wholemeal flour, yeast, sugar & salt and make a well in the center. Then whisk together honey, egg, milk & tangzhong and pour into the dry ingredients and mix till a dough has formed and pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl. Add in the butter and mix till well incorporated.
- Knead the dough till it's elastic and has reached the windowpane stage--i.e. a thin "membrane" can be formed by slowly, gently pulling and stretching out a small piece of the dough. It might take longer for the stickier wholemeal bread dough to reach this stage compared to plain white bread dough.
- Round the dough up and place it into a greased bowl, cover and let it proof about 1 hour or till it's doubled in size.
- On a lightly floured working surface, knead and divide the dough into 16 equal portions (I've added chopped dried figs to half the rolls at this point), then round up and cover them to let rest for 15 minutes.
- After resting, lightly flour your hands, if necessary, reshape the dough portions into tightly rounded balls and arrange them on a greased baking pan and leave to rise until doubled in size for about 1 hour.
|Good eaten with lashings of butter!|