A Japanese Method to Making Fluffy Light White Bread
Each time I get an email notifying me that a new post was published on Valérie’s blog “C’est ma fournée”, my heart rate increases in anticipation. That’s because each and every post from Valérie is a gem. She has the knack to unearth the best recipes, her style is brilliantly funny and her step by step explanations are fool-proof.
This time is no different and she sells this bread recipe so well that I had to try it the very next day. Indeed, the secret behind this bread is that it uses a mixture of water and flour cooked at exactly 65C (Tangzhong) until thickened, left to mature for 1 day before using it in the bread dough.
Apparently, cooking the flour at 65C develops the gluten levels and makes the bread extremely soft and fluffy inside. I must say that my first batch wasn’t as fluffy as the one she had made but it tasted amazing and was a fairly good loaf overall. I guess I wasn’t sure as to what flour to use for this bread.
She mentions the T45 French flour, which we don’t have in Ireland, so I used what I thought was the closest match: plain flour. Next time, I’ll use the strong white flour that we normally would use for breads to see if my dough rises more…
20g bread flour
350g strong flour
100g tangzhong (you will have slightly more than 100g so don’t use it all)
110g full fat milk
7g skimmed milk powder (I didn’t put it in)
5g dried instant yeast or 15g fresh yeast
- The day before, make the Tangzhong: place the water and flour in the TM bowl and cook 3 min/70C/speed 3.
- The mixture should be thickened. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to get the thicker bits to mix with the thinner ones and mix 10 sec/speed 6 to homogenise. Tip out into a small container and refrigerate minimum 6 hours or overnight.
- The next day, place all the ingredients for the dough and mix 30 sec/37C/speed 3.
- Knead 3min30 at interval speed (wheat button) on the lid locked position. The dough should be quite wet. Take it out, scraping the dough out with the spatula. Let the dough rise in an oiled bowl covered with a tea cloth until doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough and cut into quarters. Roll one quarter on a floured surface into a rectangle.
- Fold in 3.
- Turn 1/4 to the right.
- Roll again into a rectangle shape.
- Roll over itself like a Swiss roll.
- Place in an oiled loaf tin.
- Repeat with the other 3 balls of dough.
- I let it prove in the fridge covered in cling film but you can prove it in a warm place until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven at 150C and bake the loaf for 50 minutes.
- Leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning it onto a wire rack.