Saturday, 20 April 2013

White bread with Tanzhong method (Eggless)

Baking with yeast has finally been conquered. Checkout the softest and spongiest milk bread ever eaten in our household and to top it all home-made. What better joy than seeing your efforts bear fruit? 

Baking a whole wheat loaf is not quite there yet. But I am trying... hang on... In the meanwhile, check this  recipe out... 

I came across this recipe on Baking Partners, but at that time I did not have this wonderful yeast, so I missed that challenge. I finally made it when I got my packet of good yeast. I did not understand what the Tangzhong would do and how it would help, but apparently it acts as a dough enhancer. It produces really soft and spongy bread. 

Recipe source Christine's recipes
Ingredients of tangzhong
50gm/ 1/3 cup bread flour
250ml/ 1cup water (could be replaced by milk, or 50/50 water and milk)
Formula of  1 parts of flour with 5 parts of water heat at 65 c/ 150F

Ingredients of bread:

350gm/ 2½ cups bread flour (I used Maida)

55gm/3tbsp+2tsp caster sugar

5gm/1tsp salt

56gm egg (equals to 1 large egg) ( If you want eggless, increase amount of milk or add a cooked potato) 
7gm/1tbsp+1tsp milk powder (to increase fragrance, optional)
125ml/ ½cup milk
120gm tangzhong (use half of the tangzhong you make from this recipe)
5 to 6gm/2 tsp instant yeast
30gm/3tbsp butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)

Method of making Tangzhong:
  1. Mix flour in water well without any lumps. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to prevent burning and sticking while you cook along the way.
  2. The mixture becomes thicker and thicker. Once you notice some “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon. It’s done.  If you want to check the temperature of tangzhong it is 65 C/149 F.Remove from heat.
  3. Transfer into a clean bowl. Cover with a cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up. Let cool. The tangzhong can be used straight away once it cools down to room temperature.  Just measure out the amount you need. The leftover tangzhong can be stored in fridge up to a few days as long as it doesn't turn grey. If so, you need to discard and cook some more. (Note: The chilled tangzhong should return to room temperature before adding into other ingredients. )
Method of making bread:
  1. Combine all dry ingredients: flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast in a bowl. Make a well in the center. Whisk and combine all wet ingredients: milk, egg and tangzhong, then add into the well of the dry ingredients. Knead until you get a dough shape and gluten has developed, then knead in the butter. Mind you, it’d be quite messy at this stage  Keep kneading until the dough is smooth, not sticky and elastic. To test if the dough is ready, you might stretch the dough. If it forms a thin “membrane”/ window pan test, it’s done. The time of kneading all depends on how hard and fast you knead.
  2. Knead the dough into a ball shape. Place in a greased bowl and cover with a wet towel or cling wrap. Let it proof till it's doubled in size, about 40 minutes (Note: the time will vary and depends on the weather. The best temperature for proofing is 28C/ 80 F.) During summer in Bangalore, it only takes 30-35 minutes for the first rise.
  3. Transfer to a clean floured surface. Deflate and divide the dough into eight equal portions. Knead into ball shapes. Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Grease and prepare a 8" square pan. 
  5. If you want to make a simple white bread roll without filling you can do that at this time. Roll each ball of dough into an oval shape. Fold the shorter edges of the oval and form a square roughly. Turn it over and roll it again into a rectangle or oval. Turn it over and then start rolling from the wider side of the two shorter sides of the rectangle. Place it in the prepared pan as shown. This picture is after the second rise.
  6. Leave it for the 2nd round of proofing, about 40 minutes, or until the dough rises up to 3/4 of the height of the tin inside.
  7. Brush some milk on the surface gently. Bake in a pre-heated 180C (350F) oven for 35 to 40 minutes. I baked for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and tin. Transfer onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Slice to serve or place in an airtight plastic bag or container once it's thoroughly cooled.

Verdict: This is by far the best bread we have ever eaten at home. Mom was thrilled at the sponginess of this fresh loaf. Hubby and daughter downed large chunks at breakfast and tea times. I strongly urge you to try it out!
priya's signature image at photobucket

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