Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tang Zhong Milk Bread

 There has been a lot of good reviews on the Tang Zhong bread recipe and although it has always been in my to-do list, I just never got down to really use and bake it. The other day, I've got a friend who posted her Tang Zhong bake photos on facebook and that instantly spark off the urge to try the recipe.

So, I went on to prepare the Tang Zhong the night before. The recipe for Tang Zhong is simple. Just add 50g bread flour to 250ml cold water, stir till there is no lumps and put on low fire, stirring constantly till it reaches 65 degrees celcius. I have read that the rule of thumb to Tang Zhong is 1 part of flour to 5 parts of water and if you do not own a thermometer, you have to know when to stop cooking the Tang Zhong. When the mixture starts to thicken and each stir you make leaves a trail, that's when you take it off the heat. Pour it over a clean bowl and instantly use a cling wrap to cover ensuring the wrap touches the surface of the tang zhong mixture so that when it cools, a hard layer will not form or something like that. Once cooled, keep refrigerated up to 3 days.Well, simple enough but when I cooked it, I was like ' is this the right stage?". Nevertheless, it worked.

The recipe for the dough is the recipe that has been tried and tested among bloggers. But the dough is very sticky and in my opinion needs a lot of effort to roll and shape. But the result is amazing Soft and fluffy.

Dough Recipe : ( Makes 2 small loaves using loaf pan)

350g bread flour
3 tbsp + 2 tsp castor sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup fresh milk
120g Tang Zhong ( you need to measure out the Tang Zhong prepared)
2 tsp instant yeast
30g butter

- Place all dry ingredients into the stand mixer bowl. Make a well in the centre, throw in all the wet ingredients except butter. Knead with the dough hook till everything forms a rough dough.
- Throw in butter ( cut into pieces) and continue kneading till smooth and elastic. At this stage, the dough will not stick to the bowl. You will need to pinch out a bit of the dough and do a stretch test. The dough should be able to stretch to a thin membrane and not tear easily.
- Transfer dough to a clean surface and shape into a round ball. Place dough in a clean oiled bowl and cover with a cloth to proof. Takes about 40 mins.

- Punch out the air and knead slightly. Divide dough into 4 parts. Let it rest for about 10 mins.
- Roll dough into rectangular shape. Fold the two long sides in, flip to the other side and roll the dough. Flip it back and roll from top to bottom like a swiss roll. Place it into the baking pan. Leave enough space to expand for the rest of the dough.
- Cover and let it proof the second time. Takes another 40 minutes. By now, it should have doubled in size. Brush with egg wash and bake at 170 degrees celcius for about 30 minutes.
- Remove bread to wire rack to cool once out of the oven.

I am using a small loaf pan. The rest of the dough were used for hotdog rolls :).

 I am glad I finally used this method to bake some breads that is soft. Almost perfect for an amateur baker like me.

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