I am a member of We Knead to Bake(WNTB), a wonderful bread baking group which I joined recently. For this month challenge Aparna has suggested to choose any of her bread recipe or our own. Since Basic White Bread was in my dream for a quite long time, I choose this soft pillow like milk bread recipe. Though I kneaded the bread dough with my hands I got the perfection, so you too can follow the same procedure or use food processor. Also as usual I have given alternate for few ingredients , do read the recipe in detail to make it perfect…
Yields :- 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.
* MilkPowder and Cream/Condensed Milk mentioned here in the ingredient list are optional, I made the big loaf using regular milk, another day I used cream and milk powder to make small loaf and round bun in can/tin (the idea i got from WNTB members, shown in pic below), I couldn’t find any big difference in texture, so use the ingredients as per availability.
Recipe Source :- Kirbie
For The Tangzhong (Flour-Water Roux)
All-Purpose Flour – 2 n 3/4 Tbsp
Water – 1/4 Cup
Milk – 1/4 Cup
For The Dough
All Purpose Flour – 2n1/2 Cups
Tangzhong – 1/3 Cup (use all the above prepared tangzhong)
Milk (and a little more if needed) – 1/2 Cup
Instant Dried Yeast – 2tsp
Sugar – 3 Tbsp
Unsalted butter – 25gm/2 Tbsp (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
Powdered Milk – 2 Tbsp (Optional can alternate with Regular Milk)
Cream (25% fat) – 1/8 Cup (Alternate with Condensed Milk or Regular Milk)
Salt – 1/2tsp
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 65C (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.
- Check the picture here for the tangzhong consistency.
- 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.
- 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.
The Bread Dough
- I made this dough using my hands, just pulsed the dry ingredients in mixie/blender for few secs. If you have food processor then go ahead.
- This dough is a bit sticky, can take some time and effort to knead by hand.
- Do not add more flour to make it less sticky either.
- Put the flour, salt, sugar, powdered milk and instant yeast in the processor bowl and pulse a couple of times to mix.
- In another small bowl mix the milk, cream and Tangzhong till smooth(Pic 1) and add the flour mixture(Pic 1) until the dough comes together.
- Now add the butter(Pic 2) and knead till you have a smooth and elastic dough(approx 7-10 minutes) which is just short of sticky.
- The dough will start out sticky but kneading will make it smooth (Pic 3).
- 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 (check the picture here). When it does break, the break should be form a circle.
- 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(Pic 4).
- Place the dough on your working surface, You don’t need flour to work or shape this dough.
How to Roll the Bread Dough
- Divide in to 3 or 6 parts (Pic 5, Step 1)) n roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape (Pic 5, Step 2) , 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(Pic 5, Step 3).
- Take the other end and fold so it slightly overlaps the other fold (Pic 6, Step 4).
- Rotate 90 (Pic 6, Step 5) n roll this folded dough with the rolling pin(Pic 7, Step 6) so the unfolded edges are stretched out to form a rectangle (Pic 7, Step 7).
- Roll the rectangle from one short edge to the other(Pic 7, Step 8), pinching the edges to seal well.
- Do this with each of the three larger pieces and place them(Pic 8), sealed edges down, in a well-oiled loaf tin.
- Cover with a towel and leave the dough to rise for about 45 minutes (Pic 9).
- Carefully brush the tops of the loaf with milk (or cream), I usually brush 2-3 times, starting after 30 minutes of second proof.
- Bake them at 170C (325F) for about 20 to 30 minutes till they are done (if you tap them they’ll sound hollow) and beautifully browned on top (Pic 10).
- Apply butter immediately when it is out form oven, Let them cool in the tins 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.
- Bread goes plain as it is with cream cheese spread or toast as you like.