Japanese Milk Bread
1/3 cbread flour
·all the tangzhong (roux from above)
1 cwarm milk
1cube of butter, soft
4 1/2-5 cbread flour
How to Make Japanese Milk Bread
- Whisk together the flour and milk/water in a small saucepan. Whisk over low heat until no lumps remain and keep whisking until the mixture has thickened up. Do not go read your email at this time! Watch over your mixture! It should be thick, but not too thick. It should still be pudding like and if you read the temperature, read about 150 degrees. It should still pour slowly off the whisk.
Now set this aside to cool, or store in fridge for another day.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the tangzhong and the milk.
Add everything together except the butter.
- Let the dough rest, covered, for 30 minutes. This allows some gluten to form. This rest time is called “autolyse” and is especially useful when making whole wheat breads.
- Now turn the mixer on medium-low speed and add the butter, a bit at a time, while it gets incorporated into the dough. It might be sticky and messy, but not to worry. After all the butter is in, push the speed up to medium and knead for 7 minutes. Cover again to rest for 20 minutes. Mostly to give the mixer a rest. You don’t want to overheat the little darling.
Uncover and knead again on medium speed for 7 more minutes.
- Test the dough for elasticity. It should be tacky and bouncy and smooth. Try out the windowpane test where you tear off a piece and pull it gently, like silly putty. If you can see light through it before it pulls apart, if it stretches out nicely, then it has the gluten development it needs. Put the piece back.
Now oil the top and cover the dough (I like to use old bread bags, cut open on one side and top) and let it raise for about 45 minutes to an hour.
- Turn it out onto a work surface, using very little flour sprinkled over it. Cut into 2 equal size pieces.
Working with one piece at a time, cut that piece into 4 equal pieces. (Don’t lose sleep over the ‘equal’ part. Just eyeball it if you don’t have a kitchen scale.) Cover the pieces and let them rest for 10 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Brush the top of the dough with an egg wash. (An egg whisked with a Tbsp of milk or water). Put into the preheated oven and bake 35-40 minutes. If it starts getting too brown you can cover it with foil to finish baking.
Remove from oven. Let rest 10 minutes and remove from the pan. Let cool on a rack. Cool before slicing. Watch it pull apart beautifully! Enjoy with some Irish butter on top!