Baking bread can be addictive and i am loving learning new breads. As you all know We Knead to Bake is a group In Facebook, where in we all bake a new bread each month. This Months bread was Hokkaido Milk bread and i have heard it for the first time. It is known for its soft cottony/ pillowy texture. Apparently it’s very popular bread in South Asian bakeries across the world.
This is how Aparna describes this bread in her blog….i have not made any changes to the recipe and have followed it completely. So the recipe and description that follows is completely her writing i am just writing it her for my reference.
The Hokkaido Mild Bread owes its texture and height to the use of an interesting ingredient called Tangzhong. Basically, the Tangzhong method involves cooking 1 part of bread flour with 5 parts of water (by weight) at 65°C (149 °F) to form a roux.
At 65°C, the gluten in the bread flour and water mixture would absorb the moisture and create a “leavening” action. When the Tangzhong is added into other ingredients of a bread dough, it produces light, tender and fluffier bread.
So lets jump to the recipe now…Do try this bread as i am sure you will love it. The texture of the bread is very nice and we have them as soon as it out of the oven with some butter and cheese. I shaped them into a loaf and some more into pav rolls. The texture was very soft crumb in the bread and i am sure this will be a regular at my place. 🙂
Hokkaido Milk Bread
Recipe from: My Diverse Kitchen
For The Tangzhong (Flour-Water Roux)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
For The Dough:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar
2tbsp powdered milk
2 tsp instant dried yeast
1/2 cup milk (and a little more if needed)
1/8 cup cream (25% fat)
1/3 cup tangzhong (use HALF of the tangzhong from above)
1/4 tsp salt
25gm unsalted butter
The Tangzhong (Flour-Water Roux):
- Whisk together lightly the flour, water and milk in a saucepan until smooth and there are no lumps. Place the saucepan on the stove, and over medium heat, let the roux cook till it starts thickening. Keep stirring/ whisking constantly so no lumps form and the roux is smooth.
- If you have a thermometer, cook the roux/ tangzhong till it reaches 65C (150F) and take it off the heat. If like me, you don’t have a thermometer, then watch the roux/ tangzhong until you start seeing “lines” forming in the roux/ tangzhong as you whisk/ stir s point.
- Let the roux/ tangzhong cool completely and rest for about 2 to 3 hours at least. It will have the consistency of a soft and creamy crème patisserie. If not using immediately, transfer the roux to a bowl and cover using plastic wrap. It can be stored in the fridge for about a day.
The Bread Dough:
I made this dough by hand, you can use a food processor which will make things easier for you.
In a bowl mix flour, salt, sugar, powdered milk and instant yeast.
In another bowl mix milk, cream and Tangzhong till smooth.
Add this to the flour mixture and mix nicely and knead it into a dough.
The dough is quiet sticky and transfer this onto a smooth surface and knead the dough nicely for 10-15 mins. (I usually love this part and find it quiet relaxing as well)
When the dough is done, you should be able to stretch the dough without it breaking right away.When it does break, the break should be form a circle.
Form the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl turning it so it is well coated. Cover with a towel, and let the dough rise for about 45 minutes or till almost double in volume.
Place the dough on your working surface. You don’t need flour to work or shape this dough.
I made this into 1 small loaf and 6 small rolls.
I made one small loaf and 6 small rolls. So I first divided my dough into two equal pieces first. Then I divided the first half into three equal pieces to make the loaf. The other half was divided into six equal pieces for six rolls.
The shaping of the portions, whether for the loaf or the rolls, is the same.
Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling-pin into an oval shape, about 1/8” thick. Take one end of the dough from the shorter side of the ova land fold it to the middle of the oval. Take the other end and fold so it slightly overlaps the other fold. (See the collage)
Roll this folded dough with the rolling-pin so the unfolded edges are stretched out to form a rectangle. Roll the rectangle from one short edge to the other, pinching the edges to seal well. Do this with each of the three larger pieces and place them, sealed edges down, in a well-oiled loaf tin. Cover with a towel and leave the dough to rise for about 45 minutes.
For rolls i just rolled them into a ball and shaped them into small rounds.
Brush the tops of the rolls and the loaf with cream and bake them at 180C (325F) for about 20 to 30 minutes till they are done (if you tap them they’ll sound hollow) and beautifully browned on top.
Let them cool in the tins for about 5 minutes and then unmould and transfer to a rack till slightly warm or cool.
Enjoy this Bread as it is or you can also prepare mini cheese sandwiches as i did with the leftovers.
If you want a savory version you can cut the amount of sugar to 1 tbsp and add more salt.
I did a second batch of this bread and made them into garlic rolls and they turned out great.