Wednesday, August 26, 2009

65°C tang zhong (湯種) bread

I first saw this in Angie's Recipes and later in Florence's blog and many bloggers gave good reviews for the bread using this water roux starter/tang zhong starter. I've always wanted to give it a try after reading the positive reviews. What deters me was the cooking of the water roux starter as I do not have a cooking thermometer. After procrastinating for over a year, I finally made an effort and gave it a go today.

Here's my tang zhong/water roux starter, I'm not sure if I've obtained 65°C but the texture looks quite similar to what Florence has posted so I assume I'm almost there.

I doubled the recipe again and managed to get 100g x 9 buns.

At this point in time, how I wished I've got a pullman loaf pan or in French, a Pain de mie. Though the desire is great, I have no additional counter space for this unless I start clearing out my old pans.

I've initially wanted to add some black sesame seeds to make a loaf of sesame bread but I forgot to add it in at the last stage. These were already washed and drained, had to discard it since I do not know if they keep well. I just hate to waste ingredients or whatsoever food, it is just too sinful. Everytime I dumped leftovers into the bin, I always feel a great sense of guilt, thinking of the poor folks in developing countries dying of poverty. This leads me to recall Kevin Carter's Pulitzer Prize winning photograph, featuring a vulture waiting for a famine striken child to die. We should be constantly reminded never to waste food and not to take things for granted.

Alright, back to the bread, I'm not exactly satisfied with the texture of this bread. To me, the Matcha bread and the Anpan bread yield the same softness. Also, the bread is somewhat chewy and DH doesn't quite like it. I'm not sure if it's because I've replaced water and milk powder with milk (which I doubt) or I've not achieved the correct roux starter temperature. I'm sure I'll give this roux starter another try (not so soon though).

Water Roux/Tang Zhong starter
Ingredients
50 g Bread flour
250 ml Water

Method
  1. Mix flour and water till it is smooth in a small saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium heat and stirring constantly with a hand whisk to prevent burning. You will see lots of small bubbles forming on the top. Keep stirring and when the bubbles disappear, you will see streaks in the mixture for every stir you make with your whisk. Stop at this stage and you will have the 65°C TangZhong.
  3. Pour the hot TangZhong into a bowl and cover it with a piece of glad wrap with the wrap touching the surface of the mixture. This is to prevent a film from forming on the TangZhong.
  4. Leave the 65°C TangZhong to cool till room temperature before using it. Leftover TangZhong can be kept refrigerated and should be used within 3 days. All chilled TangZhong must return to room temperature before using. If your chilled TangZhong has turned greyish in colour, you should discard it.

65°C tang zhong (湯種) bread
Ingredients
500g bread flour
160g TangZhong/Water Roux Starter
200ml milk
1/2 salt
50g sugar
2 tsp dry yeast
50g butter

Method
  1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Let the machine knead for 15mins, stop the cycle and re-start the machine and let the dough knead for another cycle.
  2. Let it proof in machine for 30 - 45 mins or till double in size.
  3. When proofing is completed, punch down the bread dough to release the air.
  4. Roll out dough and shape into small balls. Let the dough rest for 15 mins.
  5. Shape as required and let it proof on lined or greased baking tray for another 45-60 mins or until dough is double in size.
  6. Bake at pre-heated oven at 170C - 180C for 25 to 30mins.
  7. Remove bread to cool on rack completely.

6 comments:

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Hey, Blessed Homemaker! I think your tangzhong, as shown in your pic, was a bit too thick. Mine always turns out too be runny whist being slightly thick. Besides constantly whisk the flour-water mixture at all times, make sure you keep an eye on its consistency. As soon as you start to see streaks following right behind your (metal whisk), immediately turn off the flame and remove it from the heat to stop the cooking process.

It's true that the dough made with tangzhong tends to be sticky. So, I always have my working surface, hands and rolling pin floured in order to work with the dough. However, I've found that dough that's been proofed for the first round becomes more manageable. I guess we can attribute that to sufficient resting time of the gluten.

Also, for a glutton like me, my wholemeal tangzhong bread is already good and soft enough for me, provided that I have not overbaked it. Because it's soft enough for me, I suppose plain white bread should be even softer!!?? This was what that happened to my rotiboy and polo buns, in which I broke my own record by using just plain bread + cake flour for these buns!! (Have yet to blog about them, but they can be found on my Flickr. I'm gonna do it sometime.) I bake wholemeal and oatmeal bread 98% of the time because I try to avoid refined white bread. I mean really, I don't compare my home-made bread to store-bought ones. Like what I've shared with you in my tangzhong post, store-bought ones contain additives to improve their texture and lengthen shelf life. I've gotta acknowledge that Asians tend to have a palate for super soft, fluffy bread that melts in your mouth. Since I started working for an international food distribution company that distributes additives on behalf of multinational additives manufacturers, I've seen commercial recipes for bread (be it plain or wholemeal bread), Swiss rolls, ice cream, ganache coating for ice pops, gourmet chocolate, mayo and yogurt! They all have at least two different additives! All these have made me detest store-bought stuff, at least, I try to avoid consuming though I know deep down that the "raw" ingredients we purchase from baking supply stores do contain some sort of additives! Sigh ... What to do when we're living in a highly commercialized, fast-paced world!

If you have any other questions, please let me know! I'd be glad to help you! I make bread almost every week for my lunch at work, and tangzhong almost always ends up in mine. I hope you can enjoy tangzhong bread real soon!

Blessed Homemaker said...

Pei-Lin, thanks for your detailed explanation. I'm definitely going to give this another try. Haven't been baking bread for a long time :P

Rainbow said...

Hey Blessed Homemaker,
I tried to bake the bread using the 65C Tang Zhong. But after I put in the butter into my mixer,it sticks all the way. It did not form into a elastic dough.
Please advise me what went wrong.

Thank you.

Blessed Homemaker said...

As what PL mentioned, when using TZ method, the dough tend to be sticky. You will have to knead it longer so that it is manageable to shape.

Unknown said...

I make roux in an 1100-watt microwave. Use a pyrex cup. 125-ml room temperature water, 25-gm flour. Mix well with whisk. Microwave 20-seconds. Stir, take temperature. Will be about 50-C. Microwave 10-seconds. Stir, take temperature. Will be about 55-C. Microwave 10 more seconds. Stir, take temperature. Will be about 60-C. Microwave a final 5-seconds. Stir and take temp. The roux is at about 65-C . This is enough roux for a 500-gm loaf of bread. Cool to below 55-C and add to bread maker.

Unknown said...

I make roux in an 1100-watt microwave. Use a pyrex cup. 125-ml room temperature water, 25-gm flour. Mix well with whisk. Microwave 20-seconds. Stir, take temperature. Will be about 50-C. Microwave 10-seconds. Stir, take temperature. Will be about 55-C. Microwave 10 more seconds. Stir, take temperature. Will be about 60-C. Microwave a final 5-seconds. Stir and take temp. The roux is at about 65-C . This is enough roux for a 500-gm loaf of bread. Cool to below 55-C and add to bread maker.