First and foremost, I have to encourage you to check out the original recipe at http://homecookinginmontana.blogspot.ca/2013/03/japanese-milk-bread-using-tangzhong.html. Homecookinginmontana has become one of my top 3 cooking blogs.
I adapted the recipe slightly as I have problems following recipes to a T, however, Ellie’s version is worth the read, for her directions, tips and photos.
NOTE: (I’m in the process of testing out how this recipe freezes. Here are the steps I’m going to follow.) This recipe is for two batches. I used one batch the same day, and I froze the other batch for later. Freeze the second batch right after Dough Directions: Step 4. When you want to use it, thaw it out in the fridge, knead it for 8 min (that’s an arbitrary time, you just want to make sure the dough is stretchy), then proceed with Dough Directions: Step 5.
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup water (could be replaced by milk, or 50/50 water and milk)
3 cups all-purpose white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 tsp instant yeast
6 TBS sugar
1 tsp table salt
2 eggs at room temp.
1 cup warm milk
all of the tangzhong
8 TBS (1/2 cup) butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
5 Tbsp of pesto (optional, you can fill it with whatever you want, or not fill it at all!)
1 beaten egg, (egg wash)for brushing unbaked loaves
Tangzhong roux Directions:
1. Place the whole wheat flour and water/milk in a small pot or sauce pan.
2. Whisk the mixture until all the lumps are gone.
3. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon over medium heat to prevent burning/sticking.
4. The mixture will become thick pretty fast. It will feel like warm polenta (or if you don’t know what warm polenta is like, then stop stirring the mixture when it begins to resist your stirring like cold pudding). It shouldn’t be liquidy, and shouldn’t be a thick mass.
5. If using on a different day: Transfer the tangzhong into a clean container. It can be stored up to 3 days in the fridge. Bring the tangzhong to room temperature before use.
If using the same day, cool the tangzhong to room temperature before use.
1. Combine all dry ingredients in a stand up mixer: flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast. Mix to combine.
2. Add all the wet ingredients, milk, egg and tangzhong… and any flavorings of choice, if you desire.
3. Knead until you get a dough shape and gluten has developed(about 8 minutes). The dough will be extremely sticky. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl, but will be sticky enough to stick to your fingers.
This is how sticky the dough is. I had just added butter to it.
4. Add in the butter and continue kneading for an additional 12-14 minutes.
This is half of the dough in a Heavy Duty Ziplock Bag. Ready for freezing!
5. Remove dough from mixing bowl, and put it into a well oiled large bowl to proof.
Here’s the other half of the dough :)
NOTE: The first time I made this dough, it was VERY soft and sticky. I couldn’t hold it long enough to make a ball. Regardless, I stuck it in a well oiled bowl, and then let it proof anyway. After it has risen, I added flour to my table and kneaded it by hand until it was more pliable, and felt like regular dough. Then I added my Pesto and let it rise again.
6. Proof until it has doubled in size, about 40 minutes… though the time will vary depending on the weather and warmth in the house.
7. Deflate dough and divide into 8 equal portions. (Or, do what I did, and roll it out into a huge rectangular mass.)
This is the part where you can go crazy creative:
For non-filled: Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling-pin into an oval shape. Fold 1/3 from top edge to the middle and press. Then fold 1/3 from bottom to the middle and press. Roll flat then roll into a cylinder. Place the roll with seal facing down in greased and parchment lined loaf pan. This is kinda like folding a burrito! Repeat with rest of the dough.
For filled: Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling-pin into an oval shape. Spread/sprinkle filling of choice evenly over the rolled out dough and fold jelly style, pinching the seam to seal. Repeat with rest of the dough.
8. Place in a pan lined with parchment paper, cover it with plastic wrap, and let proof for about 30-40 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size. The filled dough tends to rise slower, about 40-50 minutes or so.
9. Preheat oven to 350 F
10. Brush risen dough with whisked egg on surface. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. (My oven only took 30 min to cook this humongous batch of bread.)
11. Remove from the oven. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely for best results. We never wait for our bread to cool completely. I like to eat my bread warm. Slice to serve or place in an airtight plastic bag or container once it’s thoroughly cooled…. you can freeze it or reheat it for the next few days and it will still be soft and fluffy!
Delicious Pesto and Ham…yum.
I ate the bread with some Bolognese sauce . Pesto, ham, Bolognese sauce…omg.