I was glad when Karen H Kerr decided the theme of bread with levain or tangzhong for October 2017. This was time to make Hokkaido milk bread recipe with tangzhong.
What is tagzhong? Is this what you just asked? Hang in, I will explain the tangzhong method a little later.
Hokkaido milk bread recipe is a long pending recipe I was contemplating to make. When I told my sweet ladoo about this water roux bread, he was like, say it again. He was curious to know what water roux means. He was excited to know that we are going to make Japanese soft bread recipe. I just loved his expressions.
The moment I entered in my kitchen, my ladoo tailed me. He was after me to assist me in making this Hokkaido bread recipe. His excitement level multiplied when I told him that this will be one of the softest bread he would have had in the past. His eyes were asking only one question. How to make soft and fluffy Hokkaido milk bread?
Hokkaido Milk Bread with Tangzhong Method
Hokkaido milk bread recipe is one of the popular Japanese Bread types that have rich flavors of milk. Last year when I baked whole wheat bread with tangzhong method, the bread turned out to be awesome. I knew the benefit of tangzhong, hence was equally excited to try my hands on Hokkaido bread.
By the way, tangzhong bread recipe is a pretty old Asian baking technique. It refers to adding water roux to the flour which makes it lighter and fluffier when baked. Tangzhong bread recipe originated in Japan. But it is more popular in China after the release of the 65 °C Bread Doctor, a cookbook written by Yvonne Chen in 2007. According to this book, 65 °C is the temperature when starch in the flour gelatinize and comes together into a pudding-like roux.
All of those who want to know the making of tangzhong, the technique is just as simple as it could be. Make a roux by mixing one portion of the flour with five portions of water. Watch the video to see how to make tangzhong.
When we add this roux to flour and knead the dough for bread, it locks in the liquid throughout the process. As a result water roux bread has a higher moisture content. Homemade bread gets hard and dry in two days but bread baked with tangzhong stays soft and fresh for longer time. This is another reason why Hokkaido milk loaf is more popular among Chinese Home cooks.
What is Hokkaido?
So far we were talking about the technique used in this bread. But, what is the difference between Japanese Hokkaido bread recipe and regular white sandwich bread? For a regular white sandwich bread flour, salt, sugar, yeast, and water are the ingredients. But for Hokkaido, milk is the most important ingredient. Not only this recipe needs milk powder but the dough should also be kneaded with milk. Hence the name, Hokkaido Milk bread.
I have curated the list of recommended tools and ingredients for baking. I recommend only tried and tested products that have given satisfactory results in my kitchen.
If you bake this recipe, please share a picture with me on my Instagram using #bakewithsonia
To prepare the Tangzhong (Water Roux), whisk flour and water in a pan. Place the pan over medium to low heat. Continue to whisk the mixture and cook it until it thickens like pudding. The whole process will take no more than 5 minutes. Moreover, if you want you can check the temperature. It’s done when the temperature reaches 65 °C. Let the prepared water roux cool to room temperature.
In a bowl, add active dry yeast, sugar, and lukewarm milk. Stir the mixture and set aside until yeast froths. Time taken by yeast to froth depends upon the weather conditions. Warm and dry weather is most favorable for the yeast to grow.
In a large mixing bowl, take flour, milk powder, salt, prepared water roux (Tangzhong) and activated yeast solution. Start kneading the dough with milk. The dough will be sticky because of water roux. Kneading this dough will need more patience. Add 1 tbs of oil and continue to knead.
After 10 minutes of kneading, you will get a non-sticky, soft and elastic dough. Place this dough in a greased bowl and cover it with cling wrap. Let the dough rest until it doubles in Volume.
It’s humid in Pune nowadays. It took 40 minutes to double the dough. Punch the dough to release the air and gently fold the dough.
Divide the dough into four equal parts and then roll each part into a rectangular sheet. Fold both the opposite edges towards the center. Now start rolling this sheet as shown in the picture.
Similarly, shape all the dough portions and arrange all these in a greased loaf pan. Brush with milk and cover with cling wrap. Let the shaped dough rest until they double in volume.
Once shaped dough doubles, remove the cling wrap and bake it in a preheated oven at 200 °C for 35 minutes.
If you feel your bread is browning faster, then cover it with aluminum foil and continue to bake. This will prevent the bread from getting burn. Once baked, take the loaf pan out from the oven and demould the bread. Place it on a wired rack and let it cool completely. The beauty of this bread is in its swirl.
Hokkaido bread with Tangzhong is ready. This is one of the extremely soft, light and fluffy bread I have ever baked. I loved to have it with butter and slices of cucumber.
BreadBakers Theme for October 2017
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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