This method of bread making involves making a tangzhong which is a starter made from flour and water. Adding this to the bread mix results in a loaf that is soft and fluffy like the ones found in Asian bakeries.
The first batch I made I was a little over ambitious and I decided to make chocolate buns. I really shouldn't tinker with recipes that I am trying out for the first time....Murphy's Law always holds true. As well as adding cocoa powder, I didn't knead the butter into the dough properly and so my ball of dough wasn't really a ball and it was nice and glossy rather than being round, smooth and matte. Also the oven was too hot hence the cracks.
I had another crack at it the next day since I had some of the starter left. This time I closely followed the recipe. The result? Buns so perfectly coloured, they look like they were airbrushed. Next time I will be back to tinkering with the recipe. ;)
Adapted from Ivonne Chen, via like a strawberry milk
Makes 6 buns
For the tangzhong
For the dough
55g caster sugar
one tsp instant yeast
30g butter, at room temperature
For the wash
Milk or one egg, beaten
To make the tangzhong
- Whisk together the flour and water until there are no lumps.
- Cook this over a low to medium heat, whisking constantly until it reaches 65°C. Place in a clean bowl and let it cool.
To make the dough
- Combine the flour, salt, yeast, sugar in a bowl. In another bowl combine the tangzhong, milk and egg.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix the liquid in until you get a sticky dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. You will know when it is ready when you can stretch a piece of dough until it is very thin without it splitting.
- Work the butter into the dough and knead until it is smooth.
- Transfer to a lightly floured bowl and let it rise for 40 - 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and punch to deflate. Divide the dough into 6 piece and knead each piece into a ball.
- Place onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper and let the dough rise for another 40 minutes. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 180°C or 170°C for fan-forced ovens.
- Brush the dough with the eggwash or milk.
- Bake for 20 - 30 minutes until the bread is golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack.