Things have been silent here for a while.I have been cooking and trying out new things more than ever, but am finding lesser and lesser time to blog about them and share them with you all. At the very least, I have been taking pictures, so we can hope that the posts could see the light of day at some point.
News on the Baby A front is that we celebrated his second birthday with a little party and a cake. So, he doesn't qualify to be called Baby A anymore. Since none of the established bakeries was willing to make a birthday at CNY, we placed an order with a home baker. We were so stunned by her creation. We asked her to put a few of A's favourite things: Thomas, Spot and Lightning McQueen. A was thrilled! A also started with a playgroup and seems to enjoy it. In his first week, he made pizzas at school! Another foodie in the making?
Earlier this year, I signed up with Aparna to bake 12 breads in 12 months with. I was in India for 3 weeks in February and so I dropped out of February's bread. We enjoyed the pull apart pesto bread so much that I was certain I simply had to try the others. (OK, let's say the fear of being thrown out of the group also had something to do with the attempt.)
When we returned from India and were unwell for what felt like the longest time. I thought up every excuse in the book to opt out of this one. And then the pictures started pouring in. And I thought it'd be criminal to not even give this a try! So I went along with our credo: We Knead to Bake!
Hokkaido Milk Bread
A little time consuming, but very easy. The original recipe is for this bread is from 65 Degrees Tangzhong “65C Bread Doctor” by Yvonne Chen, and adapted from Kirbie’sCravings.
For The Tangzhong (Flour-Water Roux)
1 1/2 tbsp Flour
1/4 cup Water
1/4 cup Milk
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.
Watch the roux/ tangzhong until you start seeing “lines” forming and 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.
For The Dough:
2 1/2 cups Flour
3 tbsp Sugar
2 tbsp Milk Powder
2 tsp Instant Yeast
1/2 cup Milk
1/8 cup Cream
Tangzhong from the recipe above
25gm Unsalted Butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
Put the flour, salt, sugar, powdered milk and instant yeast in a bowl and mix with a hand blender and dough hooks. 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 a smooth and elastic dough which is just short of sticky.
Knead the dough to make it smooth. If the dough feels firm and not soft to touch, add a couple of tsps 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.
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 1 hour or till almost double in volume.
Place the dough on the working surface. Divide the dough in 3 equal pieces. 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. 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 another hour.
Brush the tops of the loaf with cream and bake at 170C (325F) for about 20 to 30 minutes till done and beautifully browned on top. Let the loaf cool in the tin for about 5 minutes and then unmould and transfer to a rack till slightly warm or cool. Slice and enjoy the fruits of your labour!
Soft and so tasty. This is, by far, the best bread I've baked.