I finally bought a Kenwood bread machine couple of weeks ago and was searching for bread recipes when I came across this website by Christine’s Recipes, on making bread using tangzhong. Tangzhong is a flour paste “water roux starter” made of one part flour to five parts water and heated to 65 degress Celsius.
Tangzhong is supposed to make the bread softer, so that it would not harden after a few days. To quote her: At 65°C, the gluten in the flour and water mixture would absorb the moisture and become leavened. When tangzhonog is added into other ingredients of the bread, the bread dough will be heightened and produces softer bread.
Do try this as the making the tangzhong takes only minutes but produces really soft fluffy bread.
HOW TO MAKE TANGZHONG
- 50 grams plain flour
- 250 grams water
(this makes sufficient tangzhong for 2 loaves of bread.)
- Mix flour in water well without any lumps. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to prevent burning and sticking.
- The mixture starts to thicken (about two minutes thereabouts). Once you notice some “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon, the tangzhong is ready. Remove from heat.
- Transfer into a clean bowl. Cover with a cling wrap and ensure that the cling wrap covers the surface of tangzhong to prevent a film from forming on the surface. Let cool. The tangzhong can be used straight away once it cools down to room temperature.
The leftover tangzhong can be stored in fridge up to a few days as long as it doesn’t turn grey. (Note: The chilled tangzhong should return to room temperature before use)
WHOLEMEAL BREAD RECIPE USING TANGZHONG
Recipe from Christine’s Recipes
- 110 gm milk
- 45 gm whisked egg (one egg)
- 100 gm Tangzhong
- 40 gm sugar
- 5 gm salt (1 tsp)
- 200 gm bread flour
- 150 gm wholemeal / whole wheat flour
- 6 gm instant dry yeast (1 tsp)
- 40 gm unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
Add all ingredients (except butter) into a breadmaker, first the wet ingredients (milk, egg, tangzhong), then followed by the dry ingredients (sugar, salt, bread flour, wholemeal flour, yeast). Tip – make a small well in the flour and add the yeast into it. Also make sure the yeast does not come into contact with the salt before kneading begins, otherwise the yeast would not work.
I added the butter after the rest of the ingredients had mixed together (about 20 minutes into the kneading process).
Christine’s Recipes had used the bread machine to make the dough and proof the first round, before taking it out to deflate, shape and rise again. I was lazy and used the bread machine to do everything – knead, proof and bake.
Take the bread pan out of the machine once it is finished baking, and turn out on a wire rack to cool thoroughly before slicing.
It still turned out great and the tangzhong really made the bread very soft! It tasted much softer than the commercially made ones from the supermarket. As a result of the bread being really soft, I had to slice it thicker so that it wouldn’t crumble. I am going to use tangzhong in my bread from now on.
Tips on adapting other bread recipes to work with tangzhong
The proportion of ingredients in bread making is very important, and it is quite simple to adapt other bread recipes to include working with tangzhong. Simply decrease the weight of the flour by the equivalent amount of flour in tangzhong; similarly decrease the weight of liquid by the amount of liquid used in the tangzhong.
(For example, if the recipe had called for 300 grams of flour, and there is already 25 grams of flour used in the portion of tangzhong, the weight of the flour to be used in the recipe would then be reduced to 275 grams.)
I used the wholemeal bread in this simple Easter lunch bento:
I placed the strawberries and grapes in Easter eggs.
They also had some chicken soup (not pictured) and enjoyed dipping the bread into the soup.