I made my first Japanese-style bread using the Tangzhong method. This method was originated in Japan. It is considered the secret ingredient to making the softest, fluffiest, and most delicious bread. It is easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time, and you can just store what's left in the refrigerator.
The first time I made this was just the plain loaf bread. I made it into tuna salad sandwiches with bits of green bell pepper for the kids' lunch. When I picked the young lady up from school the day that they had it, she said, "Ma, lami ang bread." (The bread was delicious.)
She loved it. Yey! Well, that was a good thing. Yna approved.
So I made another loaf again last night and rolled shredded cheese in it. They loved it too especially the mister.
from Christine's Recipes
To make the Tangzhong, you need:
* 1/3 cup bread flour
* 1 cup water (You can also use a half cup water and another half cup of milk)
Mix both ingredients thoroughly without chunks and lumps. Cook over medium-low heat, stir it continuously to prevent burning because it cooks easily. Stirring it with a whisk was the most effective for me.
The mixture thickens easily and once some “lines” (like this) appear in the mixture for every stir you make, it’s done. Remove from heat right away.
Transfer mixture into a clean covered container to prevent from drying up. Let it cool. The tangzhong can be used right away once it cools down to room temperature.
For this Japanese bread, you only need half of the tangzhong, and the left over can be stored in the refrigerator up to a few days as long as it doesn't turn gray. The chilled tanzhong should always be used at room temperature.
Ingredients for the bread:
* 2½ cups bread flour
* 3 tbsp and 2tsp caster sugar
* 1 tsp salt
* 1 large egg
* 1tbsp and 1tsp milk powder
* ½ cup milk
* half of the tangzhong mixture
* 2 tsp instant yeast
* 3 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature
I couldn't find caster sugar at our local supermarket, so I just grinded granulated sugar with a mortar and pestle.
Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine and whisk all wet ingredients. Make a well in the dry ingredients mixture, and then add wet mixture into the well of the dry ingredients. Knead until you get a dough shape, then knead in the butter. Keep kneading until the dough is smooth, and not sticky and elastic. To test if the dough is ready, stretch the dough, and if it forms a thin “membrane”, it’s done. The length of time kneading the dough depends on how hard and fast you knead.
This is why I use a machine to knead the dough for me.
Form dough into a ball shape. Place it into a greased bowl and cover it with a wet towel or cling wrap. Let it rise for about 40 minutes until it has double in size. If you're using the machine, this process is included in the dough only setting.
After letting the dough rise, prepare and flour surface, transfer and deflate dough. Divide into four portions. Knead and form into ball shaped. Arrange them in the greased loaf pan.
Let it rise again for about another 40 minutes. Then, brush the top of the dough with egg wash. Bake it in a preheated oven at 350°F for 30 to 40 minutes. Let it cool completely on a wire rack. Slice and serve.