I have been absconding from the blogging world for over a month now. We were busy moving and with all the packing, unpacking and setting up, things were just crazy. My little one kept removing everything I packed, making me rework multiple times. I had a tough time packing her toys…she was so mad at me. Guess it is part of the “terrible two” phase. Anyways, we are limping back to normalcy. I did start baking last week, but couldn’t post anything because of my laziness rather tiredness. It is the 24th of the month and is time for Aparna’s “We need to Bake”. This month Aparna shared yet another classic recipe – Hokkaido Milk Bread. I had never heard about this bread and was very intrigued with the method used. I must admit it was one of the best bread I’ve ever baked…super soft texture with a milky taste making it just perfect!
Hokkaido Milk Bread also known as Asian Sweet Bread and Hong Kong Pai Bo, is known for its soft cottony/ pillowy texture.I believe it’s a very popular bread in South Asian bakeries across the world. It is The Hokkaido Mild Bread owes its texture and height to the use of an interesting ingredient called Tangzhong.The Tangzhong method involves cooking 1 part of bread flour with 5 parts of water (by weight) at 149 °F to form a roux. When the Tangzhong is added into other ingredients of a bread dough, it produces light, tender and fluffier bread.
This method of using Tangzhong is often seen in South Asian breads and was created by a Chinese woman, Yvonne Chen, who describes this method in her book which translates to “65 degrees Bread Doctor” .The Hokkaido Milk Bread is very easy to make. First you make a Tangzhong (flour-water roux, and milk in this case) and then let it cool completely. You can use it after a 2 hour rest. It also keeps for a day or so refrigerated.
You can make both Sweet or Savoury ones with the same recipe. If you want to make a savoury version, you can cut down the sugar to 1 tbsp and add another 1/4 tsp of salt. I baked two different kinds of bread the same day. For the sweet version – a Chocolate Marble Hokkaido Bread (9×5 loaf) and for the savoury – Spiced Hokkaido Rolls with Potato filling. The original recipe was adapted from here.
CHOCOLATE MARBLE HOKKAIDO BREAD AND SPICED HOKKAIDO ROLLS WITH POTATO FILLING
For The Tangzhong (Flour-Water Roux)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
For The Dough:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoon sugar ( reduce for the savoury ones)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon powdered milk
2 teaspoon instant dried yeast
1/2 cup milk (and a little more if needed)
1/8 cup cream
1/3 cup tangzhong (use HALF of the tangzhong from above)
25gm unsalted butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
Apart from the above, for the Sweet version you’ll need:
1/3 cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoon all- purpose flour
a pinch of cinnamon, powdered
Savoury version ( for the dough):
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoon cilantro,chopped
2-3 green chillies, minced
Potato Filling :
2 large Potatoes,cooked, peeled and mashed
¼ cup frozen peas
2 teaspoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper/chili powder
Salt as per taste
Directions:The Tangzhong(Flour-Water Roux):
Whisk together lightly the flour, water and milk in a saucepan until smooth and there are no lumps. Place the saucepan on the stove, and over medium heat, let the roux cook till it starts thickening. Keep stirring/ whisking constantly so no lumps form and the roux is smooth.
If you have a thermometer, cook the roux/ tangzhong till it reaches 150F and take it off the heat. If you don’t have a thermometer, then watch the roux/ tangzhong until you start seeing “lines” forming in the roux/ tangzhong as you whisk/ stir it. Take the pan off the heat at this point.
Let the roux/ tangzhong cool completely and rest for about 2 to 3 hours at least. It will have the consistency of a soft and creamy crème patisserie. If not using immediately, transfer the roux to a bowl and cover using plastic wrap. It can be stored in the fridge for about a day. Discard the tangzhong after that.
Chocolate Marble Bread Dough:
1. In the bowl of the stand mixer, put the flour, salt, sugar, powdered milk and instant yeast and pulse a couple of times to mix. In another small bowl mix the milk, cream and Tangzhong till smooth and add to the processor bowl. Run on slow speed until the dough comes together. Now add the butter and process till you have smooth and elastic dough which is just short of sticky. Remove 1/3rd of the mixture and keep it aside.
2. The dough will start out sticky but kneading will make it smooth. If the dough feels firm and not soft to touch, add a couple of teaspoons of milk till it becomes soft and elastic. When the dough is done, you should be able to stretch the dough without it breaking right away. When it does break, the break should be form a circle.
3. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl turning it so it is well coated. Cover with a towel, and let the dough rise for about 45 minutes or till almost double in volume.
4. Now for the chocolate part of it, melt the chocolate chips and allow it to cool down. Mix it with ¼ cup milk and cinnamon powder. Pour it to the 1/3 rd mixture (which is set aside from step 1). You may need about 2 tablespoon of flour( add more if needed) to form a soft dough. Continue with step 2 and 3.
5. Place the dough on your working surface. You don’t need flour to work or shape this dough. This recipe makes enough dough to make one loaf (9” by 5” tin), 2 small loaves (6” by 4” tins) or 1 small loaf (6” by 4”) and 6 small rolls (muffin tins). Depending on what you are making, divide your dough. If you are making 1 loaf, divide your dough in 3 equal pieces. If you are making two smaller loaves, divide your dough into 6 equal pieces.
6. Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape, about 1/8” thick. Take one end of the dough from the shorter side of the oval and fold it to the middle of the oval. Take the other end and fold so it slightly overlaps the other fold. Roll this folded dough with the rolling pin so the unfolded edges are stretched out to form a rectangle. Roll the rectangle from one short edge to the other, pinching the edges to seal well. Now repeat the above method for the chocolate dough. Place one on top of the plain one and fold the sides; try and roll it into a cylinder. (I wanted to make a Chocolate Spiral Bread, but couldn’t roll it well). Do this with each of the three larger pieces and place them, sealed edges down, in a well-oiled loaf tin. Cover with a towel and leave the dough to rise for about 45 minutes.
Savoury Rolls with Potato Filling:
Add the cumin seeds, caraway seeds, garlic and chillies at Step 1.(from above) and follow step 2 and 3.
Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape, about 1/8” thick. Take one end of the dough from the shorter side of the oval and fold it to the middle of the oval. Take the other end and fold so it slightly overlaps the other fold. Roll this folded dough with the rolling pin so the unfolded edges are stretched out to form a rectangle. Roll the rectangle from one short edge to the other, pinching the edges to seal well. Place a small portion of the potato filling and bring the sides together and shape it into a roll. Place each roll of dough in a baking sheet and cover with a towel. Allow to rise for about 45 minutes.
Before working on the rolls make the filling. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and when it splutters add rest of the ingredients. Saute for two minutes; remove from heat and allow it to cool.
Carefully brush the tops of the rolls and the loaf with milk (or cream) and bake them at 325F for about 20 to 30 minutes till they are done (if you tap them they’ll sound hollow) and beautifully browned on top. Let them cool for about 5 minutes and then unmould and transfer to a rack till slightly warm or cool.
Serve or else store in a bread bin. This bread stays soft and delicious even the next day. We enjoyed each and every bite of the bread. From the left overs, I made an Eggless Bread Pudding which was delicious too.
Thank you Aparna for sharing a great recipe
So far in “We need to Bake”
Herbed and Cheese Pull-Apart Bread with Sundried Tomatoes