Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hokkaido Milk Loaf (Tangzhong Method) ~ 北海道牛乳面包 (汤种法)

This bread needs no introduction, I'm sure lots of people have heard about it. This recipe was all the rage as early as 2008. It has been on my to-do-list since I have gotten hold of this book 65°C 汤种面包 (陈豫芬/Yvonne C) eons ago. I can't remember exactly when, but I think I must have lugged it back from Singapore 2-3 years back, a book (among many others) which my sis bought on one of her frequent biz trips to Taiwan. I dunno what took me so long to attempt this bread, not that I am chinese-illiterate, quite the reverse. 

Anyway, I realise I have been making breads using Alex Goh's Sweet Bread Dough for far too long, it's a recipe that I am very used to, having made tens of breads and buns using the same recipe. Now it's time to try out another good sweet bread dough recipe. The very famous Hokkaido Milk Loaf. I am glad I made the switch, albeit 2 years late, but better late than never. I think I would have to try out Alex Goh's Sweet Bread Dough one of these days together with this Hokkaido Milk Loaf in order to compare the softness and fluffiness of these 2 breads. I think the Hokkaido Milk Loaf may win because of the high milk and whipped cream content, I am not sure. I don't think the difference lies in the "tangzhong" method versus the "scalded dough" method, I think the difference lies in the milk and whipped cream content. Hmm, now I have another pet project in mind, to change the water to milk/whipped cream in Alex Goh's recipe and come up with an improved version of the sweet bread dough recipe, haha. :)

Note the surface was slightly wrinkly bcos I covered the loaf while it was still hot with alum foil while I went picnicking with the round bread, resulting in condensation. Silly me!

I am gonna state down the amount of ingredients both for making 2 loaves versus 1 loaf, to save me from making the same silly mistake again.  You know what, I originally intended to make just one loaf, but I didn't jot down the halved quantity, I just looked at the original recipe on my tablet and did the mental calculation on the fly, everything went fine, until I forgot to halve the yeast, salt and sugar! Shit, got to double the flour and other ingredients again, thank god I haven't started my bread machine yet. I think human minds cannot do mental calculation when they are under stressed conditions, at least mine couldn't. Talk about multi-tasking, I am apparently not very good at it! 

I adapted the recipe from Christine's recipe although I do own the book, reason being the original chinese recipe in the book does not tell me how long I need to knead the bread, it only says to knead until "完全阶段". I didn't have the patience to read through the front part of the book which describes in chinese what the various stages are in kneading. But now I understand that "完全阶段" means to knead until stretchable like a membrane with smooth edges round the holes (完全阶段=可拉开的薄膜,破洞边缘为光滑状), whereas "扩展阶段" means to knead until stretchable like a membrane with rough edges round the holes (扩展阶段=可拉开的薄膜,破洞边缘为锯齿状). It sounds almost exactly like my Alex Goh's sweet bread dough recipe where you can test the stage of the dough with either the membrane test or the poke-a-hole test. Alex Goh uses the "scalded dough" method whereby 70ml of boiling water is added to 100g of bread flour and mixed into a rough dough, which is then covered and placed in the fridge for at least 12 hours. On the other hand, Yvonne C's "tangzhong" method requires mixing 50g of bread flour with 250ml of water in a pot over low-medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches a temp of 65C, or until lines appear in the mixture as you stir with a spoon. 

The texture of this Hokkaido Milk Loaf was, needless to say, very soft and fluffy, and it remained so even on the 2nd and 3rd day. I baked this last Saturday and we finished off the round loaf during a picnic on the same day, whereas I had a chance to taste the rectangular loaf on the 2nd day and 3rd day. It was still very soft, because I kept it wrapped in 2 layers of clingwrap and then in a bread bag.

Recipe adapted from Christine's recipe

Ingredients for Tangzhong (sufficient to make 2 loaves)
50g bread flour (1/3 cup)
250ml water (1 cup)

(Note: proportion of bread flour to water should always be 1 part bread flour to 5 parts water. However do not be confused with the volume/density of bread flour versus that of water, since 1 part bread flour is 1/3 cup whereas 5 parts water is 1 cup.)

1. Mix water with bread flour and stir well until it is no longer lumpy. Cook over medium low heat in a non-stick pot, stirringly constantly with a wooden spoon/rubber spatula/egg whisk, to prevent burning and sticking to the pot.

2. The tangzhong (汤种) mixture is ready once it achieves the temp of 65 degrees celsius or once you notice that "lines" start to appear in the mixture every time you stir it. At this stage, the tangzhong should have the consistency and texture of glue. 

3. Remove the pot from heat immediately and transfer the tangzhong into a clean bowl, and cover with clingwrap sticking onto the surface of the tangzhong  to prevent it from drying up. The "tangzhong" can be used as soon as it cools down to room temperature. You can keep it chilled in the fridge for 2-3 days but discard it as soon as the mixture starts to turn grey. 

Ingredients for 2 loaves (about 1080g in total)
540g bread flour
86g caster sugar
8g salt or 1.5 tsp (1 tsp is about 5.5g)
9g milk powder or 1 tbsp (1 tbsp is about 10g)
11g instant yeast or 3.75 tsp (1 tsp is about 3 g)

86g whisked egg or 1.5 egg (1 average egg is about 60g)
59g whipping cream
54g milk
184g tangzhong dough
49g unsalted butter, melted

Ingredients for 1 loaf (about 540g)
270g bread flour
43g caster sugar
4g salt or 0.75 tsp 
4.5g milk powder or 0.5 tbsp
5.5g instant yeast or 1.8 tsp 

43g whisked egg (3/4 of 1 egg)
30g whipping cream
27g milk
92g tangzhong starter dough (see above on how to make tangzhong)
25g unsalted butter, melted

1. First add all the wet ingredients except the butter (egg, whipping cream, milk, tangzhong) into the bread machine, followed by the dry ingredients (bread flour, sugar,  salt, milk powder, yeast) and select the "dough" mode. Do not add the melted butter yet. Only when all the ingredients come together to form a rough dough, then add the melted butter and knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. (Based on my experience with Alex Goh's sweet bread dough, I let it knead for 2 dough cycles, i.e. 2*20 = 40 min in total. My dough mode is 20 min kneading + 10 min rest + 20 min kneading, but I always skip the resting and restart the dough mode again. I tested the dough at 30 min, but it was still very sticky, so I decided to stick to 40 min kneading.)

2. Cover the dough with a greased clingwrap and place it in a warm enclosed space to let it undergo the 1st proofing, about 40 min. (I made the quantity for 2 loaves and I proofed the dough for about 40min.)

3. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface. Divide the dough into 2 if you are making 2 loaves. Punch down and deflate each dough and divide into 3 equal portions. Roll it round, cover with clingwrap and let it rest for 15 min at room temp. (The total weight for 2 loaves was about 1080g, divided by 2 = 540g per loaf, divided by 3 = 180g per portion. I let them rest for 15 min at room temp.)

4. On a clean floured surface, roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape. Fold 1/3 from the left edge to the middle and another 1/3 from the right edge to the middle, and seal both edges in the middle. Turn it the other way round so that the sealed edges are facing down. Roll it flat so that it stretches to about 30cm in length.  Then flip it back again so that the sealed edges are facing upwards, and roll the dough into a cyclinder, like a swiss roll. Do it for all 3 portions, and place the pieces into a greased loaf tin, cover with greased clingwrap and let it proof in a warm enclosed space for the 2nd proofing, for about 1 hour or until doubled in size. (I only have a 400g pullman loaf tin, so I put 3 pieces into the pullman loaf tin. For the other 3 pieces, I sliced each piece further into 2, so that there were 6 pieces, and I placed them facing upwards in my 8-inch chiffon pan. I was rushing for time, so I only proofed both breads for 40 min, ideally you should let it proof for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.)  

5. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Brush the surface of the bread with egg wash and bake for 30 to 35 min, or until it turns golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack for cooling.  (I baked both my breads in the lowest shelf of the oven for 30 min. Halfway through, I took out the breads and applied the egg wash a second time. Do note that you should only apply the egg wash gently with a baking brush on the top surface of the bread. Do not press too hard and do not allow the egg wash to drip to the sides, otherwise it will be difficult to unmould the bread later.)

Wanna see other hokkaido breads I have baked?
- Hokkaido Wholemeal Milk Loaf that can do Yoga (16 May 2014)
- Hokkaido Wholemeal Milk Loaf Horlicks Version (11 June 2014)
- Hokkaido Milk Loaf Straight Dough Method Using BM (13 Aug 2014)
Hokkaido Wholemeal Loaf (Tangzhong Method) using Pain de Campagne Flour (22 Sep 2014)

I am submitting this post to Bake-Along #52 - Hokkaido Milk Loaf organized by Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids, Joyce of Kitchen Flavours and Lena of Frozen Wings.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pumpkin Kaya Jam again!

Empty bottle on the left was that of my finished homemade pandan kaya :)

This is my 2nd time doing Pumpkin Kaya Jam, using the same recipe as the one made 2 years ago in September 2011. However the pumpkin kaya jam this time is much thicker due to a different type of pumpkin that I bought from the supermart and I added pandan leaves this time to give it an additional fragrance. Doesn't it look like peanut butter, hehe? I think my previous pumpkin kaya jam looked much better in terms of appearance. :)

Picture of my previous Pumpkin Kaya Jam made in Sept 2011.

My dear son still prefers my homemade 15 min pandan kaya which he can easily finish one bottle per week all by himself, and I have been making it at least 20 times to say the least. He doesn't seem to like pumpkin that much, so I will have to finish this bottle by myself. :)

I am submitting this post to Little Thumbs Up (September ) - Pandan hosted by Josceline of Butter, Flour & Me, organized by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Mui Mui of my little favourite DIY.

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