This method of
using Tangzhong is often seen in South Asian breads and was created by a Chinese
woman, Yvonne Chen, who describes this method in her book which translates to
“65 degrees Bread Doctor”.
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
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 that go into a bread dough, it produces
light, tender and fluffier bread.
Milk Bread is very easy to make. First you make a Tangzhong (flour-water roux,
and milk in this case) and then let it cool completely. You can use it to make
the dough after it gets a 2 hour rest. It also keeps for a day or so
Then make the
bread dough using the Tangzhong. If you refrigerate the Tangzhong then let it
come to room temperature before you use it. The bread dough is made like any
other dough. It is a rather sticky dough initially, but kneading it well will
make it smooth elastic and easy to handle.
This is a very
versatile dough. You can make into a plain loaf, or dinner rolls. You can fill
the rolls with sweet or savoury fillings. You can even shape the dough into
knots, or cute little animals. This dough also makes the softest Pav/ Pao for
Pav Bhaji .
Though it has
some sugar in it, this bread is only mildly sweet. If you want to make a
savoury version, with or without filling, you can cut down the sugar to 1 tbsp
and add another 1/4 tsp of salt.
The recipe below
asks for a small amount of cream as an ingredient. The cream does make a slight
difference in texture, but you can use all milk instead. I have tried it both
ways and the bread turns out just as good.
If you would
rather not use cream, just omit it and add 2 tbsp of milk instead. If you would
like to make this vegan or milk and milk product free, then replace the milk
with water and the butter with oil. Of course, then this loaf will no longer
have the typically “milky” taste of a milk bread but will still be a pretty
requires making Tangzhong and using only HALF of it (the other half keeps
refrigerated for about 3 days), probably because it’s not very easy to halvea
1/3 cup of flour. If you can eye-ball half of a 1/3 cup of flour, then make the
Tangzhong using that and a 1/4 cup each of water and milk. I’ve done this and my
Hokkaido Milk Bread has turned out just perfect.
Here’s a video on making Tangzhong and the bread that might be useful . (The recipe in the
video is a different one)
Hokkaido Milk Bread With Tangzhong
from 65 Degrees Tangzhong “65C Bread Doctor” by Yvonne Chen, and adapted from Kirbie’sCravings )
This Hokkaido Milk Bread is being YeastSpotted !
For The Tangzhong (Flour-Water Roux)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
For The Dough:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp powdered
2 tsp instant
1/2 cup milk
(and a little more if needed)
1/8 cup cream
tangzhong (use HALF of the tangzhong from above)
25gm unsalted butter
(cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
1/2 to 3/4 cup
mini chocolate chips if making the chocolate chip rolls
The Tangzhong (Flour-Water Roux):
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 it. Take the pan off the heat at this 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. Discard the tangzhong after that.
The Bread Dough:
I made this
dough in the food processor. This dough can be made by hand but the dough is a
bit sticky and can take some time and effort to knead by hand. If you have some
sort of machine which will do the kneading for you, use it. Don’t punish
yourself. And do not add more flour to make it less sticky either!
Put the flour,
salt, sugar, powdered milk and instant yeast in the processor bowl and pulse a
couple of times to mix. In another small bowl mix the milk, cream and Tangzhong
till smooth and add to the processor bowl. Run on slow speed until the dough
comes together. Now add the butter and process till you have a smooth and
elastic dough which is just short of sticky.
The dough will
start out sticky but kneading will make it smooth. If the dough feels firm and
not soft to touch, add a couple of tsps of milk till it becomes soft and
elastic. 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. This
recipe makes enough dough to make one loaf (9” by 5” tin), 2 small loaves (6”
by 4” tins) or 1 small loaf (6” by 4”) and 6 small rolls (muffin tins).
Depending on what you are making, divide your dough. If you are making 1 loaf,
divide your dough in 3 equal pieces. If you are making two smaller loaves,
divide your dough into 6 equal pieces.
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 oval and 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.
To make the
rolls fold them in the same manner described above, but before rolling them up,
place some chocolate chip on the dough. Roll the dough rectangles carefully and
pinch to seal the edge. Place each roll of dough in a well-oiled muffin cup and
cover with a towel. Allow to rise for about 45 minutes.
Shaping the “hedgehogs”, the “alligator”,
the “snail” and “tortoise” rolls
For the hedgehogs,
divide the dough as for the rolls above and shape them so they are a little
narrower at one end (the nose of the hedgehog). Use black currants or whatever
you have (chocolate chips will melt and fall off) for the eyes and nose making
sure they’re pressed well into the dough or they will fall off when baking. You
can also use edible markers to draw the eyes and nose after baking the
hedgehogs. Using small pointed scissors, randomly make small cuts all over the
body (if the cuts are too shallow the pattern will disappear when the dough
rises and bakes) for the “quills”.
To make the
alligator (mine does look a bit like a very well fed gecko!), roll a piece of dough into a cylinder of sorts. Shate the head, a
slighter thicker body which tapers into a tail. Shape 4 smaller pieces into
limbs, attach to the body and make small snips at the end of each limb with
scissors, for claws. Make similar snips across the back all the way to the tail
for the “scales”. Use currants or raisnd for the eyes.
To make the
tortoise, take a ball of dough and shape it into a smooth ball. Shape a head
and four limbs from smaller pieces of dough. To make the “”shell/ back/
carapace” take another small piece of dough, and shape into a thin round (1/8”
thick) and mark it with a knife. The marks should be deep enough but don’t cut
through the dough. Wet the underside of the dough with water or milk and attach
it to the “back” of your tortoise.
The snail can be
made by rolling a piece of dough into a long “rope”. Curl one end into a coil
and shape the head and back to resemble a snail. Add the eyes.
the tops of the rolls and the loaf with milk (or cream) and bake them at 170C (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.
Serve or else
store in a bread bin. This bread stays soft and delicious even the next day.
This recipe makes enough dough to make one loaf (9” by 5” tin), 2 small loaves
(6” by 4” tins) or 1 small loaf (6” by 4”) and 6 small rolls (muffin tins).
I'm also taking it to Zorra's Blogwarming Party which is the theme for Bread Baking Day #57.
The Breads that have been Kneaded & Baked so far -
January - Herb & Cheese Pull-Apart Bread Loaf
February - Classic Croissants