Now, if you all are wondering what tangzhong is, its actually a flour water milk roux that is used in making this hokkaido milk bread, a famous delicacy in most South Asian bakeries.The loaf is sweet usually filled with some kind of filling. The bread is usually made in a food processor but since i dint have one, i dared to make it with my hand, all the while, keeping my fingers crossed that i dont over knead the dough and make it dense as opposed to it phenomenal pillow soft texture.
And i succeeded. I did manage to click step by step pictures of shaping the dough and making the tangzhong but as luck would have it, the pictures got deleted by mistake. But no worries. You can all refer to Aparna s elaborate photo tutorial and the original recipe.
This bread is usually made into cute shapes or made into rolls. I chose to make them into rolls and stuffed them with chocolate chips. I went a lil overboard and made six rolls into one loaf with stuffing and all, while the traditional way of making it is only with three rolls. I m looking forward to making the hokkaido again with some savory filling. And i shall share that too when i make it soon. But for now, here s how i made it.
Recipe For Hokkaido Milk Bread
( Bread loaf using flour water roux method)
Prep Time: Tangzhong- 10 mins for mixing.
2 hours to cool
Cook Time: 7 mins for the tangzhong
Bake Time: 20 mins for the loaf
Bake Temperature: 170 C
Flour ⅓ cup
Milk ½ cup
Water ½ cup
For The Dough
Tangzhong ½ cup of the tangzhong that you made
Flour 2.5 cups
Instant dried yeast 2 tsp
Sugar 2 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp ( increase to 1.5 tsp in case you want a savory filling in the bread)
Milk powder 2 tbsp
Milk ½ cup
Cream 2 tbsp
Unsalted butter 25 g or 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp softened and at room temperature
For The Filling
Milk chocolate chips ¾ cup
Milk for brushing
In a pan, combine the flour with water and milk and mix thoroughly until no lumps are seen. Use a balloon whisk for this and rest assured, you will be successful!
Now, place the pan on the stove and cook stirring continuously until you see lines appearing on the surface of the mixture. The lines must not disintegrate immediately. Or if you have a thermometer, wait till the mixture reaches 65 F.
Now,allow the mixture to cool completely and this takes 2 hours minimum.
Now, lets make the dough.
Once the tangzhong has cooled down, take ½ cup of the tangzhong and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, mix cream, tangzhong and milk until smooth. Balloon whisk to the rescue here too!
Now, in another bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, milk powder and yeast and combine well.
Add the flour mixture to the tangzhong mixture and combine well until everything just comes together.
Now, add the butter and start kneading the mixture until smooth and a little less than sticky. Do not be tempted to add more flour to the mixture than called for. Believe me, patience does pay for, so keep kneading. I kneaded for about 10 mins to achieve this but i did this on phone calls in between so i rested my hands here and there.
You will know that the dough is ready when it doesnt break immediately when you stretch. Also, the dough must form a circle when you stretch. And that s when you know its ready.
Now, oil a bowl generously and place this dough into the bowl.
Let it rise until it almost doubles in volume. Took 45 mins for me as the weather here is mercurial. May take longer for you if you live in a cold place.
Shaping the dough
Once the dough has risen, its time to shape the dough.
The dough makes for one 6″ by 4″ loaf and six stuffed rolls on a muffin tin. But i dint bake these small stuffed rolls in muffin tins. I baked them in a regular loaf tin into one big loaf that was as big as 8″ by 5″
Lets shape the dough, shall we?
Grease a 6″ by 4″ bread tin with butter generously. Set aside.
Once the dough is done, gently deflate it.
You wont need any extra flour for shaping this.
Divide the dough into 2 and place one on the counter.
Now, divide this into 3 equal parts and make small balls.
Take one ball and stretch it into an oval that s ⅛ ” thick.
Now, fold the ends of the oval to the middle of the oval, making sure one end lies over the other.
Turn the oval to its other side.
Now, roll the oval into a rectangle that s approximately 4″wide.
Now, roll the rectangle beginning from one end and then pinch the sides together.
Place the roll along the wider side of the tin.
Repeat the same process with the other two remaining pieces and place them, sealed edges down in the loaf tin, adjacent to the first roll.
Cover with a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise for about 45 mins.
Lets work with the remaining half of the dough.
Grease a 8″ by 5″ loaf tin.
Divide the dough into six equal parts.
Repeat the process of rolling into an oval, then making a rectangle for each piece.
Now, place about 2 tbsp of chocolate chips in the beginning of the rectangle and roll.
Place the roll in the loaf tin.
Repeat the process for the rest of the rolls.
And place them sealed edges down in the loaf tin.
Cover and set aside to rise for about 45 mins.
At the end of the 45 mins preheat the oven to 170 C.
Brush the dough tops with milk.