Friday, October 1, 2010

Another 2 Good Breads - Earl Grey Milk Tea Loaf and White Loaf

Yesterday morning I woke up and found no bread left for me, all my butter sugar buns from the day before were gone. 

Me: "what happened to my buns?"

Hubby: "I only ate three."

Me: "No, I asked you did you finish them all?"

Hubby: "You had a lot yesterday, didn't you?"

Me: "I made 13, grandpa and BB had 4 during lunch and you ate 2 before dinner, and there were 3 left for this morning. So I must have eaten 4. But that's not the point. The point is why didn't you leave any for me today."

Hubby: " were sleeping, I didn't wanna wake you up..."

Me: "Oh, you are so sweet, you didn't wanna wake me up, and you finished all my buns!" 

I was quite angry that I didn't get to eat my butter sugar buns yesterday morning, I wanted to taste if they were still fresh after a day. But then I thought, hey if they weren't good, he wouldn't have finished them all, right? I still remembered a year ago, when I baked my first bread, everybody was so polite that the bread was left untouched and in the end I threw a little teaparty for my chickens. They were my best supporters, they still are. I was so upset by that failure that I stayed off baking bread for almost a year and now my buns were snapped up like nobody's business. Strange how things turn out!

Anyway, so much bitching about having nothing to eat in the morning. It always happens, cos THE MAN has to go to work, and THE MAN has to bring bread to work. It doesn't matter if THE WIFE has nothing to eat. Or the BB has nothing to eat. They will fend for themselves somehow, cos the breadwinner gets to eat all the bread, whereas the dependants can count themselves lucky if they have breadcrumbs to eat. LOL.

Hubby told me I baked too much bread when I baked my first sandwich loaf last week. Yesterday afternoon I baked another 2 loaves again, Earl Grey Milk Tea Loaf and a Plain White Loaf. Hubby said "you baked so much bread again, how are we gonna finish it?" I replied "It's better than baking too little and end up I have nothing to eat in the morning, right?"

Then this morning, hubby woke me up early in the morning, and said "Hey hurry up, please wake up, you need to slice the breads for me." I said "Can't you slice it yourself?" "You promised to slice it for me, quick I am running late for work!"

Ok Ok, I baked the breads and either I end up having no breads left for myself or I have to wake up just to slice the bread for my bread-winner.

Now back to my 2 precious sandwich loaves. I found a very good recipe in Plumleaf's blog. Intrigued by how beautiful her earl grey milk tea loaf had turned out, I decided to take up the challenge and made one myself. Then I realised that actually her preferment dough can make 2 loaves, all the more better, since I can try out her earl grey milk tea loaf and white loaf recipe at the same time. Kill two birds with one stone. 一石二鸟,一箭双雕,一举两得。

Hoho. The preferment dough calls for making the dough starter 17 hours ahead of time. This must be something similar to my "really good sandwich loaf" which only requires a 12 hour dough starter. So I prepared the preferment dough on Wednesday 11am and I started only at 4pm on Thursday, so it was more than 24 hours. Strange that the bread recipes that I came across recently all involve preparing the dough either 12 hours or 17 hours in advance. Anyway, for first-timers, it is always good to follow the recipe exactly, then once you are more confident with the recipe, you can cut short the proofing time as you wish.

So here is how it goes:

Step 1 : Prepare the Preferment Dough half a day or one day in advance. I forgot to measure the weight of the preferment dough but it was enough to make 2 loaf breads according to Plumleaf. So I divided them into 2 equal portions, one half for making white loaf (WL) and the other half for making earl grey milk tea loaf (EGMTL). Before I baked the two loaves, I measured each one of them, the  WL weighed about 800g whereas the EGMTL weighed about 700g.

Preferment Dough (for making 2 loaves)
Bread flour 464g, water 265g, sea salt 7g, skim milk powder 13g, fresh yeast 13g.

Dissolve the yeast in water. Add bread flour, sea salt, skim milk powder and knead until soft. Cover the dough in cling wrap. Refrigerate to let it prove for 17 hours. If you wish to make just 1 loaf, simply half the quantity of the preferment dough.

Step 2 : Prepare the ingredients for white loaf (WL) and earl grey milk tea loaf (EGMTL). To summarise, for both breads you need bread flour, salt, sugar, yeast and butter. The only difference is of cos in the quantity of each, and the fact that the EGMTL has a couple more ingredients such as milk powder, eggs (which I omitted), milk tea concentrate and ground earl grey tea leaves.

Here is the breakdown of ingredients in case anybody gets confused.

Dough for White Loaf (WL)

Bread flour 100g, sea salt 3g, sugar 35g, 100g water, 1.5g fresh yeast, 30g unsalted butter

Dough for Earl Grey Milk Tea Loaf (EGMTL)

Bread flour 100g, skim milk powder 13g, sea salt 3g, sugar 40g, egg 40g, 80g milk tea concentrate, 3g fresh yeast, 30g unsalted butter, 6g ground earl grey tea leaves.

Note that the WL has 100g water added to it instead of 80g milk tea, but I found the dough so wet and sticky, that I ended up adding 6 more tbsp flour (150g) during kneading. The EGMTL fared better during kneading, it was not so wet and sticky and I only had to add 3 more tbsp flour (75g) for flouring and kneading. Maybe I would reduce the amount of water for the WL the next time, but then again I was very satisfied with the texture of the WL, it was very soft and moist and just like cotton, far superior than those bought from the bakery.

To prepare the milk tea concentrate for the EGMTL, you can do as Plumleaf suggested, pour about 130ml of milk and warm it up (I used microwave) and throw in 7 earl grey teabags, let it brew for 15 min or so. After that, measure 80g of the milk to be used for the EGMTL. If you use 80g milk tea concentrate, then you can omit the 40g eggs. If you use 40g eggs, then cut down the milk tea concentrate from 80g to 40g. In total, it should add up to 80g liquid for  the EGMTL whether you are using eggs or not. 

To obtain the ground tea leaves, I just cut a hole in each teabag (7 teabags in total) and pour the tea leaves into the other dry ingredients for the EGMTL.

From here onwards, you can refer to Plumleaf's step by step instructions, there are pictures attached to each step and the steps are very detailed and self-explanatory. The picture of her earl grey milk tea loaf simply puts mine to shame, I could never achieve such a nice and tall bread like hers. For simplicity and easy reference, I am just gonna reproduce the following steps and share my experiences with making the 2 loaves. But all credit for making the 2 loaves should go to my dear Plumleaf from whom I owed this fantastic recipe :) 

Step 3 : Cut the preferment dough into small pieces.

Step 4 : Knead all ingredients of dough together (except the butter). Add preferment dough piece by piece.  Knead after each addition until soft and smooth. Add butter.  Knead until stretchable consistency. Put the dough into a big bowl. Cover with cling wrap and let it prove for about 25-30 minutes. 

(The steps are about the same for making both loaves: you add all the dry ingredients, and then you add water for WL, whereas for EGMTL you add milk tea concentrate plus ground tea leaves, then you add the preferment dough followed by butter. I proved the dough for 1 hour bcos my dough was slow to rise as a result of a miscalculation of quantity of instant dried yeast which I used instead of fresh yeast, and cold room temperature)

Step 5 : Divide the dough into six small equal portions. Flatten each portion with your hands to drive the air out. Hand square it and cover with cling wrap. Set aside to rest for about 20 minutes. (Again here I let it rest for about 40 min due to the same reason)

Step 6 : Flatten each piece of dough with your hands to drive the air out. Roll each out into a rectangular sheet with a rolling pin. Fold about 2cm from both sides towards the centre and roll it out again.  Roll the dough up (the width should be the same as the loaf tin) and put them into the mould.  Cover with cling wrap.

Step 7 : Let it to prove for about 40-45 minutes or until the dough has risen to 80% of the depth of the loaf tin. Close the lid. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170-180 deg C for about 30-35 minutes. (I baked in the lower half of the oven at 180C for 35 minutes)

Here are pictures of my white loaf, baked in a 30x15x10cm loaf tin. :)

Here are pictures of my earl grey milk tea loaf, baked in a 30x10x7 cm loaf tin. :)

My 2 loaves didn't rise as beautifully as Plumleaf's loaves due to my instant yeast, I miscalculated and added too little. You should check out her pictures, they look simply awesome. 

Nevertheless, I really enjoy eating these 2 loaves. I hope you enjoy baking and eating them as much as I do, and thanks to Plumleaf for her fantastic recipes!

This post has been submitted to YeastSpotting.


  1. Well Done!
    Good job & I'm really pleased they turned out well for you! I loved reading your post and I was thinking the same - at least the buns were well received but shame you had none for breakfast! Better to be enjoyed by family than the chickens? Chickens don't express their enjoyment!?!? :0D
    Thanks for your reference to my blog & pics. Just wait til I make the Orange & Choc Chip Loaf this weekend! ;0)

  2. Hi Plumleaf,

    I will be waiting for your orange and choc chip loaf as I have both ingredients in stock. :)

  3. OK, have just made the pre-ferment dough for this one and is in fridge.....
    Have just posted the ingredients so you can start the pre-ferment! (We can both try this this weekend and see how we both get on - like you say, tandem baking! lol :0D

    Will post method later - although, you will spot the same pattern as before! ;0)

  4. Incidentally, before u even post ur recipe, I saw jane chew's mandarin toast recipe, and I was thinking of tweaking the plain white loaf recipe to incorporate some orange juice, orange zest and marmalade jam, but without the choc chips though :)

  5. The story about you and your husband was so cute. I enjoyed reading about it. The bread looks great btw.


Thank you for dropping by my blog and taking the time to comment. All feedback and comments are greatly appreciated. Please leave your name (real or nick) if you would like me to answer a recipe question, otherwise all. anonymous questions and comments will be strictly ignored. Anonymity is one of my pet peeves. And any spam or links to adverts will be deleted. Thank you and have a nice day!

Print Button


Related Posts with Thumbnails