This is the very first time I am featuring bread here - I have tried baking bread at home just a handful of times so far but I have never been really satisfied with the results. Now finally I've found an excellent recipe for making soft and fluffy bread at home. This is thanks to Christine of Christine's Recipes' wonderful bread recipes. I think I have vaguely heard of the 'tangzhong' (湯種) method (water roux) for baking bread which is a flour paste starter that ensure soft, fluffy bread that will stay soft for days - but I only started to be really interested after seeing so many of Christine's wonderful bread creations on her blog, especially her bacon and cheese bread recipe.
I did this the hard way though that is I kneaded the dough by hand, the dough with this method is stickier than most other bread doughs and I tried my best to not add too much additional flour while kneading and just stuck with the stickiness. Luckily for me, the bread still turned out soft, fluffy and delicious. There are endless possibilities for this bread recipe, pick any filling of your choice or just leave it plain for yummy toast. Today I just experimented with a very simple filling, sugared raisins with dabs of butter.
Recipe from Christine's Recipes
For the starter:
1/3 cup bread flour
1 cup water (room temperature)
For the bread:
2 1/2 cups bread flour
3 tbsp + 2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp dry milk powder
Half of the tangzhong from above
2 tsp instant yeast
3 tbsps butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup of raisins
4 tsps sugar
4 tbsps butter
For the starter:
1. Mix the bread flour with the water well, making sure there are no lumps.
2. Cook the mixture on medium-low heat and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula frequently to keep from burning or sticking.
3. The flour paste should be getting thicker and thicker slowly. Once you see lines appearing after running your spatula through your mixture, the tangzhong is ready. This took me about 8 minutes but the time may vary so watch carefully.
4. Place the tangzhong in a bowl and wrap with clingwrap with it touching the top of the tangzhong to prevent from drying out. Let cool in room temperature and then place in fridge. I left mine overnight before using.
For the bread:
1. Firstly, combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl (large enough for kneading) - the bread flour, sugar, salt, yeast. Make a well in the center of the ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together, the egg, tangzhong and the milk. Pour slowly into the well of the first bowl.
2. With your hands, mix the ingredients well together until a crumbly dough starts to form. The dough will be sticky. Knead with your hands for about 5 minutes. Add in the butter and continue kneading.
3. I kneaded for about 20 minutes at least. Use the heels of your palms to knead. If you're using a bread machine, add the dry ingredients first then the wet ingredients. Add the yeast into the yeast dispenser if you have one on your machine if not, add it in last.
4. The kneading gets pretty messy especially if you did it like me - the hard way! Knead until when you stretch the dough, a kind of membrane forms and the dough feels elastic and smooth.
5. Shape the dough loosely into a ball. Place in a well-greased bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rise to double its' size (around 1 hour).
6. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface. Deflate the dough by pummeling on it lightly. Divide the dough into 4 roughly equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball shape and let rest covered with cling wrap for at least 15 minutes.
7. Take each ball and roll out to a flat oval shape (pictured), spoon the raisins, sugar and butter onto the dough. Roll the dough from top to bottom. Flatten with your rolling pin and roll out again. Repeat the folding and flatten again before placing in a non-stick or well-greased loaf pan. Do the same for the rest of the dough portions.
8. Allow to proof the second time for also about 30 minutes in the baking pans. Once proofed, brush the whisked egg on top of the dough lightly.
9. Bake the bread in a preheated oven of 180 degrees celcius for about 35 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately remove from the baking tins. Let cool on wire rack.
Thursday, November 25, 2010 | Labels: Baking, bread, Snacks, Tea-time, teatime |
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