This method of making bread is using a dough starter. The bread is really soft even if it is made in the bread machine. I just kneaded using my hands since I dont have a bread machine. The dough starter can be refrigerated and used for another loaf. It can be kept for at least 3 day as long as it does not turn grey.
Ingredients of tangzhong ( The amount is enough to make two loafs)
- 50gm/ 1/3 cup bread flour
- 250ml/ 1cup water (could be replaced by milk, or 50/50 water and milk)
- 350gm/ 2½ cups bread flour
- 55gm/3tbsp+2tsp caster sugar
- 5gm/1tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 7gm/1tbsp+1tsp milk powder, optional
- 125ml/ ½ cup milk
- 120gm tangzhong (use half of the tangzhong you make from above)
- 2 tsp instant yeast ( 1 packet)
- 30gm/3tbsp butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
Method of making the tangzhong (dough starter)
- 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.
- 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. You get the tangzhong. Remove from heat.
- Transfer into a clean bowl. Cover with a cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up. Let cool. Chill in fridge for several hours. (I chill it overnight.) Then the tangzhong is ready to be used. (Note: When you are ready to use the tangzhong, just measure out the amount you need and let it rest in room temperature for a while before adding into other ingredients. The tangzhong can be stored up to a few days as long as it doesn't turn grey. If so, you need to discard and cook some more.
Method of making bread
- 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 ( Its better to use a bread machine). 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”, it’s done. The time of kneading all depends on how hard and fast you knead.
- 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.
- Transfer to a clean floured surface. Deflate and divide the dough into four equal portions. Knead into ball shapes. Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes.
- Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape. Flatten the dough with your rolling pin. Then roll once again. The seals face down.
- Arrange the rolled-up dough in a greased or non-stick loaf tin 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.
- Brush whisked egg on surface. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degrees oven for 35 to 40 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.
Note : If you want to add filling such as raisins/bacon and cheese would be great.