Thursday, January 7, 2016

Baking Tangzhong Bread

II'm sitting here at my dining room table drinking a Jameson Manhattan and writing this blog post and saying to myself. I really like baking bread. I mean I must like it because this is the 2nd time I've made bread in as many days. I've been toying around with the Tangzhong lately and I really like it!  Basically a Tangzhong is nothing more than a roux made with 15g flour and 75g water. Whisk out the lumps and continue on low-medium heat until it's gone translucent and makes ribbons when you move the whisk around.

Then you get this lovely silky ribbony stuff

So let's get on with today's bread. It's called Hokkaido Milk Bread and I got this particular recipe from Dessert First Girl but I modded it a little so it wasn't as sweet. First you have to make the Tangzhong, that's pretty easy. Next, while the Tangzhong was heating up, I mixed together all the dry ingredients
  • ~4 c. Flour (350 g, I measure with a scale so using a recipe like this is easy for me)
  • 2 t. Yeast (give or take)
  • I used about 25g of sugar (which is about 1 Tb, give or take)
  • 1 t. Salt
By that time, the roux was ready. So I took the ready roux and rendered it into the receiving receptacle with righteous rigor (really?!?) and added the rest of the "Wet" ingredients
  • 1/2 c. Warm milk (warm to the touch)
  • About 2.5 Tb butter (30 g, or about 1/3 of a stick, room temperature)
  • 1 lg egg, "confused"*
A "confused" egg is one that I've forgotten to add till almost the very end and I've basically beaten it enough to break up the yolk and start making it uniform in texture, but not enough to say it's completely beaten. Hey, I'm a busy guy and sometimes I get ahead of myself!
Anyway, you mix that in the old kitchenaid for about 10 minutes give or take (probably less, I'm also impatient) Then you knead the dough by hand for about 10 minutes. This next bit is pretty important because it helps the glutens develop: Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes before you finish kneading. This also allowed me a little time to get the tools and counter cleaned up so it's really not that big of a deal, and for a guy as impatient as I am, doing something other than staring at a ball of dough is just a good thing.  
Mr. Bread is sitting comfortably watching me clean
  Once you've kneaded it for a second time (make sure you make the bread troll which prevents bad bread.) 
Who's a happy troll? HE's a happy Troll!
  Then of course you have to let it sit for about an hour.  It more than doubles in size after that...but watching that happen is truly more boring than Watching corn grow!
After the magic of time lapse
I rolled mine into just loaves, not the bun-looking roll things that this recipe called for because I like the bread to be fairly uniform in shape. Not that crazy Camel Backed bread contraption.
Waiting to Rise after proofing
  There's a lot of science that goes into this stage, the glutens are developing their pockets of awesomeness and the CO2 is building in the bread and the gasses are building and the water is being absorbed and just wow! Science is so cool! Once they're risen and ready for the oven, I cut the tops and brushed them with an egg wash. I should have brushed first then cut, but I get distracted easily.
Into the oven they go
  And about 35-40 minutes later, the magic of science once more makes ... Um ... Magic!
Science is So Cool!
  Then hack it into slice-like chunks so you can spread ground nuts and gelatinized fruit onto it and consume!
You got some good glutens baby!
  Well that's the end of that, but here's a picture of my dog, who is feeling Dapper after his trip to the groomer!
Murphy is a Dapper Dog!
  I love that Tie! Well, that's all for now, This is my first bread post back after the great destruction times. And I hope this continues to work out. Wish me luck and post a comment!    

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