Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Japanese Style Bacon and Cheese Bread (Tangzhong Method 湯種法)

There are many different methods of making bread with different styles and tastes. My family likes soft, springy and fluffy bread, like those of Japanese style.

A few years ago, an amazing method of making this kind of soft and fluffy bread was introduced by Yvonne Chen 陳郁芬 who wrote a Chinese book, entitled “65°C湯種麵包” (Bread Doctor). In her book, tangzhong “湯種”, is described as the “secret ingredient” which is originated from Japan, to make soft and bouncy bread. It’s actually a kind of “flour paste”(aka water roux starter), cooked 1 part of bread flour in 5 parts of water to 65°C. So it’s very natural and handy to make. The Chinese community has been fascinated and crazy about this bread making method ever since.

Why does tangzhong 湯種 (flour paste) work so amazingly that can produce fluffy bread and stay soft for many days? At 65°C, the gluten in the flour and water mixture would absorb the moisture and become leavened. When tangzhonog is added into other ingredients of the bread, the bread dough will be heightened and produces softer bread.

Prepare a 10.5cm(W)x 20.5cm(L) x10cm(H) loaf tin (Printable recipe)

Ingredients of tangzhong (湯種 The amount is enough to make two loafs):
  • 50gm/ 1/3 cup bread flour
  • 250ml/ 1cup water (could be replaced by milk, or 50/50 water and milk)
Ingredients of bread:
  • 350gm/ 2½ cups bread flour
  • 55gm/3tbsp+2tsp caster sugar
  • 5gm/1tsp salt
  • 56gm egg (equals to 1 large egg)
  • 7gm/1tbsp+1tsp milk powder (to increase fragrance, optional)
  • 125ml/ ½cup milk
  • 120gm tangzhong (use half of the tangzhong you make from above)
  • 5 to 6gm/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 30gm/3tbsp butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
Fillings:
  • bacon, to taste
  • cheese, to taste
Method of making tangzhong:
  1. Mix flour in water well without any lumps. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to prevent burning and sticking while you cook along the way.
  2. The mixture becomes thicker and thicker. Once you notice some “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon. It’s done. You get the tangzhong. (Some people might like to use a thermometer to check the temperature. After a few trials, I found this simple method works every time.) Remove from heat.
  3. Transfer into a clean bowl. Cover with a cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up. Let cool. The tangzhong can be used straight away once it cools down to room temperature.  Just measure out the amount you need. The leftover tangzhong can be stored in fridge up to a few days as long as it doesn't turn grey. If so, you need to discard and cook some more. (Note: The chilled tangzhong should return to room temperature before adding into other ingredients. )
湯種 Tangzhong

Method of making bread:
  1. Combine all dry ingredients: flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast in a bowl. Make a well in the center. Whisk and combine all wet ingredients: milk, egg and tangzhong, then add into the well of the dry ingredients. Knead until you get a dough shape and gluten has developed, then knead in the butter. Mind you, it’d be quite messy at this stage (That's why I used a bread maker). Keep kneading until the dough is smooth, not sticky and elastic. To test if the dough is ready, you might stretch the dough. If it forms a thin “membrane”, it’s done. The time of kneading all depends on how hard and fast you knead. (Note: I use bread maker to do this hardest part and messy job for me. I added the wet ingredients into my bread maker first, then followed by the dry ingredients. The yeast is the last to add.)
  2. Knead the dough into a ball shape. Place in a greased bowl and cover with a wet towel or cling wrap. Let it proof till it's doubled in size, about 40 minutes (Note: the time will vary and depends on the weather. The best temperature for proofing is 28C. I still used my bread maker in this stage. And my bread maker has a heater.)
  3. Transfer to a clean floured surface. Deflate and divide the dough into four equal portions. Knead into ball shapes. Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape. Sprinkle bacon and cheese evenly as much as you like. Roll from the upper, shorter end down to the bottom (as picture shown). Flatten the dough with your rolling pin. Then roll once again. The seals face down.
  5. Arrange the rolled-up dough in a greased or non-stick loaf tin (as picture shown). Leave it for the 2nd round of proofing, about 40 minutes, or until the dough rises up to 3/4 of the height of the tin inside.
  6. Brush whisked egg on surface. Bake in a pre-heated 180C (356F) oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and tin. Transfer onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Slice to serve or place in an airtight plastic bag or container once it's thoroughly cooled.
Bacon and Cheese Bread Procedures
Notes:
  1. If you find yourself too tired of kneading dough, just like me, you can use a bread maker instead. This recipe is designed for bread makers, yet you can make a soft and fluffy loaf with or without it, by using the tangzhong.
  2. The cheese would be melted and created some holes inside the bread. If you’d like a better looking, cut the cheese into smaller pieces.
Raisin Bread
This is the raisin bread I made with the same recipe. Just replaced the bacon and cheese with raisin.

Photo sharing: one of my fans used the Tangzhong method and made cocktail buns  (雞尾包) .

Other tangzhong bread recipes:


185 comments :

  1. So, that's how they made it. It's a somewhat different method. Interesting. Now, I learned something new. I'm sure mom would love this bread.

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  2. Wow...that looks like from the bakery. It looks perfect! Christine, it's time to open a bakery! They look so irresistibly good....mmmm

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  3. Wow, fascinating! Such a delicious bread! The bacon and cheese filling sounds wonderful!

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  4. Wahh... I love LOVE this. you are so clever!

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  5. It just blows my mind ... you are such an inspiration to me !!! Quick question ..... how many eggs are 56 gm ?? You don't happen to have all the meeasurements in cups or spoons right ???

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  6. To Sue,
    If you get a very large egg, it's very close to 56 gm. But I used to whisk one or two eggs first, then use a weight to measure 56gm out of them. You might have some egg left for brushing on the surface of the bread before baking.

    Yeah, you're right. We use to measure in cups or teaspoons/tablespoons. But for this bread baking method, all ingredients are calculated in proportion in grams.

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  7. I've heard of this method before. I really should try it out. Your breads look beautiful. They are perfect.

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  8. i've never heard of this!!! I must try it.

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  9. THANK YOU THANK YOU! I am so impressed. I love this type of bread - my family goes gaga over it! I'm already imagining the combinations I can come up with.

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  10. I definitely will try this, thanks Christine. I miss Japanese Bread : )

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  11. This looks awesome... I must try it with the raisins! Sorry, I'm a veggie here!
    Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    Happy baking!
    LeeYong

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  12. Good info. you have here. Though I don't bake, I like to read precious info. :D Thanks for sharing.

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  13. your bread looks really fantastic, I think you can open a bakery soon ^_^

    I'm glad you solved the comments issue, yippee =)

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  14. Can you confirm that the water is 250mg for the tangzhong? Do you mean 250ml? Thank you!!

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  15. Can you verify that the amount of water for tangzhong is 250mg? Is it supposed to be 250 ml? I would like to make this tonight but want to make sure of the measurements. Thank you for posting this great recipe!

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  16. To Anonymous & Gigi,
    Oh, thanks for asking. It's a typo (Hitting my head on the wall).
    It should be 250 ml for making tangzhong. I've doubled checked and updated the recipe.

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  17. No one is able to resist such a fluffy and soft loaf!

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  18. Looks so good. This weekend, I'm going to be using up some brioche dough.....pity I don't have any tangzhong!

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  19. You are great Christine!
    Looooove this bread, thanks for sharing.

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  20. Your bread looks amazing and I will have to look into using this method. Thanks for sharing!

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  21. This recipe is definitely a keeper! I just made a fruit loaf and it turned out so soft and fluffy. I use the breadmaker from start to finish. I will definitely be making it again. Thanks, Christine, for sharing this brilliant recipe!

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  22. I've always wanted to try this bread-making method. the bread always look so soft and fluffy!

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  23. I love this tangzhong method. I had made my cheese sticks with this method and it turned out wonderful. You're making me craving for one now and have the urge to make it right now. LOL! ;)

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  24. This recipe is awesome! I want to try! Thanks for sharing Christine!

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  25. Hi Christine,

    What type or brand the milk powder that you are using for this.

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  26. To Anonymous,
    I bought Coles' milk powder. But whatever brand will do for this recipe.

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  27. I tried the recipe twice and twice I failed :(

    The dough seemed watery and more like porridge than dough. It rises very, very little. I had to convert the measurements to tablespoons and cups but I don't think it could have been that off. What could I have done wrong?

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  28. this is amazing!! thank you so much! the bread in hong kong is sooo delicious!! i'm going to try this recipe right after my finals!!

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  29. To Ayla,
    Did you follow the recipe closely? Check the amount of every ingredient you used if they are correct or not.
    Kneading and proofing are two important steps to make your bread rise properly. Did you check your dough whether they are ready before baking?

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  30. I am glad to have found your blog! Would love to try this out!

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  31. Love your blog!!! I have a couple of questions... When do you put the butter on your bread machine? Do you melt the butter first? And when should you put the tangzhong? Can I let the dough proof in the bread machine? Thank you!!!

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  32. To Abigail,
    When all the ingredients come together, then you can add the butter into the bread maker. If it's added too late, it's hard for the dough to absorb the butter thoroughly. I used to melt the butter first in the microwave oven, because it's quick.

    The tangzhong is added together with all other wet ingredients.

    Sure, let the dough proof in the bread machine, great way and handy.

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  33. Hi Christine! Thanks for your previous reply! I've tried the bread for the 3rd time now. Still no luck.

    I made the dough with the dough cycle in the bread machine. It kneads for about 20 minutes or so and proofs it for an hour. The dough is still a flat goop. I see some rising holes but it doesn't hold form. Could it be that I didn't get the tangzhong right? The dough is way too wet and doesn't rise much at all so I figured it must be the tangzhong/yeast. I had to use Active dry yeast, which requires me to dissolve the yeast in a little bit of warm water before adding. It didn't seem like that much more liquid though. I believe the rest of the ingredients were at the proper amounts.

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  34. To anyone that has tried this recipe using the hand kneading method. How long is it actually suppose to take? I get the same results, but kneading for an hour before the first proof is tiring.

    Any tips?

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  35. To Ayla,
    I tried this recipe many many times, and my friends did so, if you followed it closely, it'd be alright.

    Check back when you did wrong. Or it could be the yeast has expired and died when you added in.

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  36. TOTALLY LOVE this recipe. Tried a few times and never gave up. Finally figured out it's the yeast that i used. Been using Active yeast. and then swapped to Instant yeast. Didn't know there was a difference. now i know. Now followed your way, did it fully by machine. all works. Am going to try the custard one next. Love those Chinese Bread varieties in the Chinese bakery. Great to be able to make it ourselves.

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  37. Do I have to use bread flour or would all purpose flour be ok as well? Thanks

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  38. To Anonymous,
    Bread flour would be better if you'd like softer texture.

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  39. OMG, this bread looks better than store bought! Bravo!

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  40. If I choose to use all purpose flour will it proof well?Came across many bread recipes using APFlour,can switch to bread flour instead?
    Cheers

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  41. To Anonymous,
    If you want to bake soft bread, highly recommend bread flour.

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  42. Hi christine,

    is "bread flour" is the same as "bread mix"? i can only find bread mix at woolies in brisbane. where do u buy your bread flour from?

    just want to say thank you so much for you blog. you have the best cooking blog. so easy to understand i get sucess everytime i make something from your blog. thank you once again

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  43. To Anonymous,
    Bread flour is NOT the same as bread mix.

    I bought Defiance's "Baker's Flour" (that is bread flour) from Hypermarket because the 5kg packet is much cheaper. You can find the bread flour from Coles as well.

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  44. what if I don't have a loaf tin? Can I use a regular loaf pan like the type you bake quick breads in? Thank you!

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  45. To Anonymous,
    Yes, you can use smaller tin. But you have to shorten the baking time accordingly.

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  46. hi christine
    can you freeze the bread? because i plan to make a lot and was wandering if its suitable for freezing?

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  47. To Anonymous,
    I know many people like keeping bread in freezer, just like you.
    I don't see why you can't. Although the texture wouldn't be good as those freshly baked, it's a good way of keeping bread for a longer time.

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  48. Christine, I tried the recipe by using the breadmaker and used the tangzhong at room temperature without chilling first. My bread texture - big holes and the crust hollow and wavy. May I know where did I go wrong?

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  49. Hello Christine, love your blog!! I would like to ask how do you prepare your baking tin?

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  50. To Anonymous:
    My baking tin is non-stick, no need for any preparation. I can easily take out the bread just by turning the tin upside down.

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  51. Hii.. Christine. Can u convert the amount of water for tangzhong method from 250 ml to gram (any formula) ? I would like to make this tonight but want to make sure of the measurements. Thank you for posting this great great recipe! haaha..

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  52. To Anonymous,
    250 ml of water is one measure cup. It's easier to measure.

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  53. I just made a loaf with mild and sharp cheddar, bacon, and scallions from my garden and the bread reminds of Taiwanese bakeries. This is a very good thing in my book, so thank you for the recipe, Christine! Also, one last thing for future reference because many comments seem to mention it: the density of water by definition is 1 g/mL. So for anybody trying to convert between g and mL of water, the conversion is just to use the same number.

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  54. Is it okay to add in some cocoa powder and chocolate chips to make a chocolatey bread instead of the bacon and cheese?

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  55. To Anonymous,
    Why not? It's a great idea of mixing cocoa powder and chocolate chips to make some sweet buns. Love it.

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  56. To Christine:

    Can the 55g of sugar be changed to muscovado? Thanks

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  57. To Anonymous,
    I haven't tried muscovado in this recipe and don't know how the end result would be. But I guess you can try.

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  58. hi christine,
    is tangzhong is a kind of flour? im in malaysia, will i be able to find this flour in the bakery shop? thanks, karen

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  59. To Karen,
    Tangzhong is a kind of "paste" by cooking 1 part of flour with 5 parts of water. The best flour for this recipe is "bread flour", that's high protein flour, with 12-13% protein. You can get it from any bakery shops. I bought it from supermarkets here in Australia.

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  60. might be a silly question but....
    is the bacon cooked or raw?
    thanks in advance

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  61. To lilgooseberry,
    It's ok.
    I used the ones for breakfast from supermarkets, that are cooked. Just pop them in the dough.

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  62. Hi Christine,

    what's the minimum duration for chilling the tangzhong? Thanks.

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  63. To Yin San,
    I normally make tangzhong in the evening and chill it overnight, then make bread in the morning. Or make tangzhong in the morning, then use it in the afternoon. Probably a few hours.

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  64. Dear Christine,

    Can you please convert your recipe in measuring cup and tablespoon/ teaspoon ?

    In North America, all recipes are given in these measurement, not in gms and mls.

    Thanks.

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  65. To Jacqueline,
    This recipe was updated as you requested. :)

    Unfortunately, there’s no formula to do the conversion. So I weighted every ingredient with an electric kitchen scale first, then measured one by one with metric cup/teaspoon afterward. Hope it helps you.

    Please take in caution that all ingredients measured in teaspoon/cup have to be leveled, otherwise the amount wouldn't be accurate.

    Would you consider investing an electric kitchen scale? It’s worth saving you from any errors.

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  66. Dear Christine,

    Just wanted to thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes. I've only started cooking for the 1st time about a month ago and all your recipes have been successful so far. I tried making bread with this tangzhong method 2 days ago and all of it was gone before I could have a 2nd bite!! I kneaded by hand, as I don't have bread maker, but I think I'll definitely invest in one!! Please keep posting recipes, I'm a big fan :)

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  67. To Anonymous,
    Aw, thanks so much for your encouraging words.
    You kneaded your dough with hands! Very impressed. Congrats!

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  68. I did make tangzhong method sometime ago,but fail, I will like to try your method, do i have to chill the tangzhong?

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  69. To Yvonne,
    Not necessary to chill the tangzhong. Just let it cool completely at room temperature, then you can use it for baking (Remember to cover the surface with cling wrap to avoid from drying up.) For those unused, chill in the fridge then.

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  70. This blog is the discovery of the century!
    Christine, will this work if you leave everything in the breadmachine to bake?

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  71. Hi Gwen,
    Yes, it works if you leave all ingredients in the breadmachine. Save you much energy. I tried for the first two times. Although you'll get a thin crust on the surface of your loaf, the inner texture is still very soft and fluffy, it worth trying.

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  72. Christine, thanks for the recipe.

    Did you use powdered milk in the recipe? Or can I use liquid full cream milk?

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  73. To Anonymous,
    I used both the full cream milk and full cream milk powder to enhance the fragrance and flavour.

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  74. Thanks for this recipe it is GREAT ...:) everyone who ate it loves it and I tried it without the filling as well still yummy.....:D

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  75. Hi Christine,

    What brand and model of bread machine do you use? I previously purchased a bread machine that did not work well. Thanks.

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  76. Hi irene,
    My breadmaker is Sunbream, the very basic model. I just bought it for kneading dough.
    What's wrong with your breadmaker?

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  77. The bread did not rise even after following the directions on the recipe (from the sunbeam recipe book). I think mine was a sunbeam too.

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  78. To irene,
    Did you check if the yeast was still effective, not expired?

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  79. tried your recipe and it turns out great.I noticed in your picture you were using a pastry board,can you tell me where can I buy the board in Sydney

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  80. To Anonymous,
    I bought the pastry board at a nifty shop in Brisbane. Unfortunately, they don't have any online service.

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  81. I think a problem with recipe not turning as light as originally meant to be is different kinds of flour there is in different countries. In Canada for example we can use all purpuse flour for baking bread, because our flour is harder. In USA they have to use bread flour. It would be interesting to know what country was Christine's recipe baked and countries of those whose bread didn't turn as light as we hoped. I am experienced home baker and baked many breads (with help of bread machine mixing dough) and this recipe turned just "ordinary", not as light. I know I didn't make mistake, so feel that problem is above flour. Did someone in Canada had success? Please let us know.

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  82. o.k., now we know that Christine is in Australia. Was anyone in Canada successful?

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  83. I would love to try this recipe, Christine. I stay in the UK, and am unable to find bread flour or high protein flour - is it just white bread flour?

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  84. To Anonymous,
    Yes, it's white bread flour.
    You can read the ingredient labels on the packet. If you can use bread flour, the bread would be softest.

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  85. Dear Christine,
    I like baking as one of my hobbies, and I'm just a beginner. Yesterday I tried to make a raisin bread with your tip "tangzhong". Bread is good and soft. And today I tried to bake exactly same but with bacon and cheese. While baking, the bread was fluffy, look so nice. And then when it's done, I turn off the oven, leave bread inside the oven.After one hour, bread is flatter...I taste it, it's good but not as I expect. The first bread with tangzhong I made night before and store in the fridge. And for this bacon & cheese bread I made new tangzhong, and I use it right after it cool down. Is it a reason ? Could you tell me why ? Sorry for my not very good English! Thank you very much!

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  86. To steveng312003,
    You're welcome.
    I don't think the fresh tangzhong was the cause of your flattened bread coz I always made breads with cooled down tangzhong right away.

    It could be something wrong in the process of making dough. Could it be over-kneaded or over-proofed?

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  87. Dear Christine,
    Thanks for your reply. I used KitchenAid to knead the dough, I put dry ingredients and add wet ones later. How long do I need to knead ? I did around 10'.
    I think it could be over-proofed because the 2nd dough was so proofed, with the same quantity of ingredients but double in size compared to the first one. But I actually try to follow your time instruction.
    Do I need to follow exactly the quantity you instructed, sample i/o 6gr of yeast I use whole package of 7gr?
    Anyway thank you very much I will try your Hokkaido milk bun next time!

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  88. Dear Christine,

    Have you ever tried tanzhong with whole wheat flour ? I really want to have a good soft WWF bread. It would be great if you could advise it. Thanks a lot!

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  89. To steveng312003,
    The kneading time prescribed in the recipe is only a reference. I used breadmaker to make this cheese and bacon bread. The kneading time of a breadmaker is longer than using a KitchenAid. No matter what kind of machines you use, your goal is to knead the dough to the perfect stage, that means the dough can be stretched and form a thin “membrane”.

    Concerning the problem of your 2nd dough, I think 6 grams or 7 grams of yeast would not make that different. The more yeast you use, the quicker your dough rises. Might be some other things wrong in the process of making dough, I'm afraid.

    Did you measure all ingredients accurately? If using cups/tablespoons, sometimes the difference is so big, you don't even realize. So that's why I always like to post bread recipes in grams to have more quality control.

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  90. Hey christine, thanks for the recipe.
    By the way, I've followed your recipe and baked these delicious incredibly soft bread...Tasted very good. But I have a problem is that My dough is very sticky. I've followed your instructions to knead it until it's not sticky and elastic. My dough was very very sticky, but when I stretch it, it's elastic enough. it forms a thin ''membrane'' like you said, but the stickiness...still REALLY REALLY sticky. So when I shape the dough it sticked to my hands.Is it suppose to happen like this? My bread looks very ugly (because of the stickiness I can't shape them well!!!), but tasted really soft and fluffy.
    Long winded, But I hope you can help me.

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  91. Hi CarinE,
    As I said the tangzhong dough is more sticky than the regular dough. But you can shape it if you sprinkle a bit of flour outside. If you knead by hand again, that means you'd turn the inside out, and make it stick to your hands.
    Basically, if the dough is kneaded enough in a breadmaker, you don't need to knead it anymore after you turn it out.

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  92. Hello Christine

    I just tried your recipe and it worked out perfectly :) Thanks so much for posting this recipe! I'll be experimenting more with the tangzhong method from now on!

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  93. Hi Janine,
    Glad that you made it with a success. Enjoy more tangzhong breads!

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  94. Hi christine,
    I own a mini-bread machine (which makes 1 pound loaves). Can this recipe be used as is in my bread machine? I am just afraid it might spill out of my machine.

    can you just add tangzhong to any bread recipe to make it soft? I want to add it to the milk toast recipe that came with my zojirushi bread machine and see if it can make that one even softer. Just unsure of the amount. What do you suggest?

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  95. @Anonymous
    1 pound is about 454 grams
    This recipe should work in your breadmaker.
    If you add tangzhong in other recipe, remember to take away the amount of flour and water from the original recipe, that make up the tangzhong. Think it works too as long as the tangzhong is not over 20& of the total weight of dry and weight ingredients.

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  96. Hi Christine!
    I just tried the tangzhong method and absolutely love the softness of the bread. I am going to try making other types of breads today to see if I get the same result. Previously I tried the 17 hour pre-ferment method and it takes preciseness to get it right every time. So far I'm loving this tangzhong method. Thanks for sharing! And you have an amazing cooking blog.

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  97. @Lynx
    Compared to other long proofing methods, tangzhong method is very quick and handy, easy to control. That's why I'm addicted to making tangzhong breads!

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  98. Hi Christine,

    I made this bread and the sausage rolls - they taste great, and stay soft even after a few days.

    The only thing is that my bread does not turn out as dense as those i see in your photos - would you know the possible reasons?

    I would like to use this method to make non-sweet dough - do you have a recipe for that? I am thinking of possible putting char siew filling inside, to make a soft siew pau.

    Thanks,
    RL

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  99. @RL
    Probably your dough was over-proofed.

    Do you mean you want a non-sweet dough with tangzhong? If so, just decrease the amount of sugar according to your liking.

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  100. Thks, Christine - will prob try after Ch New Yr :)
    RL

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  101. The link to the cocktail bun is not working. Wonder if you can make it work. Thanks.

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  102. Hi,

    I only added a teaspoon of sugar to the mix... this worked well as I dont like sweet bread!. I also used the tangzhong paste straight away when it was cooled to room temp. I also made the dough into six buns and I used 4 loin parts of bacon chopped into small pieces and about 80g of cheese grated.I flattened the rolls and then put the cheese on the top then I added the raw bacon. I let it rise about 20 mins and then cooked it.... The result was very good:) Thank you so much for your recipe!!

    Anna

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  103. This is my first time using Tangzhong method and I absolutely like it. I use bread machine and follow all the direction on your recipe. The bread turn out so good, so light and so fluffy. Instead of bacon and cheese, I put 4 diferent filling : cheese, choholate, chocolate banana, cheese n ham. All are YUMMY ! Thanks for the recipe and I love your blog.

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  104. Hi Christine,
    Tried this today. Don't have a breadmaker so I did it manually. The dough was so so so wet and stuck to everything it came in contact with.
    It was near imposibble to knead and I nearly gave up. Luckily I tried sprinkling enough flour (a fair bit) to make it workable and let it proof. And hey presto! It worked! So soft and fluffy. Going to try the Hokkaido buns next, after my wrists recover from all the kneading. :-)
    Love your blog!
    Regards from Melbourne

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  105. Hi Christine,

    Thanks for your tutorial on this fantastic bread making technique. I tried making this bread without any filling for the second time this week. It's soft and fluffy... it's a wonderful recipe, BUT I have this weird problem. I smell a fair amount of what I can only describe as a rubbing alcohol smell coming from the bread.

    The only thing I made differently from your recipe is using Active Dry Yeast (Red Star brand). Oh, and I also made the dough using my Sunbeam bread machine. The dough cycle on my machine is 1:30 minutes. Since it was a cold rainy day here in Los Angeles, CA, I let it proof a bit longer on the first rise, about 20 minutes and the second rise, about 10 minutes longer than your recipe.

    Have you ever encountered this problem before or anyone else? I'm going to try to buy some instant yeast soon to see if it's the yeast.

    Thanks again for your recipe. Honestly, it's the best white bread I've ever baked.

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  106. @Anadelle:
    Thanks for letting me know how you loved this recipe.
    The smell could be produced by the yeast. As far as I know, the longer you proof your dough, the stronger smell the yeast would produce.

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  107. Hi Christine, just letting you know that I used the tangzhong method for making ensaymada, which is a Filipino sweet bun similar to the coconut custard bun except that the filling is made of melted butter, sugar and cheese. I did the dough in the bread machine and hand-made the buns. Turned out superb! Now to see if the tangzhong will really keep the bread soft for 3 days or more, if they don't get eaten before then LOL!

    From Irene in Melbourne in OZ Land.

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  108. @Irene:
    Oh, how I love receiving your feedback. Please keep me updated. :)

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  109. Christine, I uaed the tangzhong method to make bread yesterday. I steamed three of the rolls instead of baking them in the oven. The result was fluffy, soft and very light. It's the first time I made such wonderful steamed buns. I think I'm going to make some mantous using the tangzhong method. Thanks. Lorna Tsang

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  110. @Lorna
    Oh, such a great experiment! Thanks for telling me. I might try to steam buns with tangzhong as well. :)

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  111. Hi,can I half the tangzhong recipe for one loaf usage?Thanks.

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  112. I wonder if there is an error in the recipe as posted. The hydration as shown is 84% which is a quite sloppy dough and the photos show a stiffer dough of perhaps 65%.
    In your recipe you have liquid from
    56 egg
    100 tangzhong
    125 water
    30 butter
    totalling to 311g

    and flour from
    350 flour
    20 tangzhong
    totaling 370g

    311/370=84% hydration

    What do I have wrong? Perhaps it should be 450g of flour instead of 350g. That would make it 66% hydration which makes more sense.

    Doc

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  113. @Doc:
    I've used this recipes for a number of times. Every time it works for me.

    A bit confused by your calculating. And butter should be classified as "oil", not counted as liquid. In fact, the tangzhong dough is quite wet, wetter than those made by other methods.

    The dough in above pictures had completed the first round of proofing, then rested for 15 minutes, its texture was quite different from the moment when it was just kneaded. I aslo sprinkled a bit of flour(very little though) in order to help shape the dough into balls actually.

    After reading your comment, I've double-checked this recipe. No typos were found.

    Thanks for your asking anyway. :)

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  114. OK thanks for double checking. I compared your formulation with a number of other sources for tangzhong breads and they are all at 65-66% hydration if you count the fat as contributing to the liquids. I used olive oil instead of butter, but even if we take the fat out of the calculation it comes to 75% hydration. After I got it mixed it was obvious that it was going to be difficult to handle so I added another 100g of flour, remixed for another few minutes and it was fine. Today I am going to make a tangzhong variation on my standard 75% hydration sourdough ciabatta. Five percent of the flour will be in the tangzhong, 30% of the flour in the starter, 2% salt, no added sugars, and no fat or oil of any kind, not even in the fermenting tub. It is not a dough that you can roll out as it is way too soft. I will provide a link to photos of the resulting bread with and without tangzhong.

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  115. Christine - Thanks for the guidance on using tangzhong. I am a convert and I will use it for other things too. I modified a 75% hydration ciabatta formula and put 5% of the flour in as tangzhong. The photos with the detail of the formulation in the captions can be seen at:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/DocDough/TangzhongCiabatta?feat=directlink
    I also included a shot from a previous batch of the baseline from which this was derived.
    The result is a significantly softer crumb and a softer crust as well without losing any of the big holes. In addition, the dough was much easier to handle than a standard batch of 75% ciabatta.

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  116. @Doc:
    Yes, you might say this formula is quite high in hydration % compared to others. That's why I used to make this bread with my breadmaker.
    I don't need to add any extra flour. It turns out wonderfully soft and fluffy in texture.
    Did you try it? Or do you have a breadmaker?
    I tried and tested other tangzhong formula with higher dry ingredients, the texture of the end product was not up to my expectation.

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  117. @Doc:
    Take note that the textures of those Japanese breads and ciabatta are very different. It seems that you're very addictive to use tangzhong in every kind of bread, haha....

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  118. Angie asks...

    Thot of buy'g a bread maker to try yr wonderous bread receipes. May I ask the Sunbream model of yours??? One that can knead and proof as well.

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  119. For me tangzhong is a new tool in the box for managing high hydration doughs. I don't yet fully understand what is going on so I have some experimentation to do, but I like the result. I was more meticulous the second time in adhering to the 65°C upper limit and your description of "ribbon" stage was a useful guide to the property that defines the end point.

    I will go back and try again to see if there was some detail that I did incorrectly or failed to do. I will even go to a solid fat in place of the oil to see if that impacts the outcome. But I think I understand it well enough to get the effect I want even if it doesn't conform to the specific recipe you provided.

    My main mixer is an Assistent N28 from Sweden (what was called the Electrolux or DLX or Magic Mill mixer), and my oven is a Henny Penny LCS-6 combi, so I have plenty of hardware to bring to the game. From here I think it is all about technique.

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  120. Hi Christine, tried your tangzhong bread recipe today, and everything turned out nice. really motivated to bake some nice sausage rolls for church next sunday. could i shape the rolls and refrigerate them, and bake them the next morning? i guess i should wrap them in cling flim. would there be a change in the baking temp. or timing? thank you for your nice recipe, and appreciate your advise.

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  121. Hi, I've tried your tangzhong recipe with wonderful success. Thank you so much for posting this recipe.

    I would like to do some baking for church on Sunday morning. Can I refrigerate the dough after the second proofing a day ahead, and bake the bread the next morning? I assume that there will be a change in the baking temperature and timing yeah? and also do I need to bring the dough to room temperature before baking? Kindly advise.

    Thank you

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  122. @Anonymous
    I used to make breads straight after kneading and proofing dough. I know there's a common way of proofing dough in fridge. It needs longer time though, as the temperature is lower than the room temperature. I haven't tested it with tangzhong dough, yet I believe it works as well. If you spot the dough is proofed and doubled in size. You can use it. Make sure that you let the dough rest in room temperature for a while before shaping and baking.

    Let me know how it goes later.

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  123. How long does this bread keep in room temperature? I read in another blog that it should be eaten within 2 days or the smell will be awful and unbearable. Please clarify. Thanks.

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  124. @Anonymous
    As this bread has got bacon and cheese in it, it shouldn't be kept at temperature for too long. Better to finish it as quickly as you can. If the plain tangzhong bread, it can be kept for a few days and still soft.

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  125. Hi Christine!
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Let me tell you. I have been trying and trying for the countless number of times to make a square loaf of 吐司. But all have failed! I tried this today and I was able to get a nice square loaf. I am so happy! Thank you so much! The dough was sticky but I used my Zojirushi breadmaker to knead the dough. Remove from pan and hand kneaded a bit to get it to round shape (here's when it got all sticky on my hands). Then proceed to proof. I did it plain without any bacon and cheese and I wanted to be successful with the plain one then later play around with the fillings. I am really glad you shared this recipe. Thank you so much. I have placed an order for the book 65C 汤重面包. Everywhere is sold out! Thanks again ;)

    Teresa

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  126. @Teresa:
    Congrats! The tangzhong is the best method of making soft and fluffy Asian breads I've tried so far. Mind you, it's very addictive, haha....

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  127. Hello,
    I am French and I have just discovered your site by looking for the bread in the milk Hokkaido on internet.
    Thank you for this excellent recipe, the bread is delicious and very soft, very well for the breakfast.
    Sorry for my bad English...
    Bye bye
    Claudine from France

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  128. Thanks Christine for sharing you wonderful blog and recipes. you're right, the tangzhong bread method IS addicting :) i'm a beginner at baking and stumbled onto your site after searching for hokkaido milk bread. next i tried your swiss roll and japanese cheesecake, and back to this bread. by the way, would you know how to shape individual bread rolls like asian bakeries? just wanted to say thanks, it's been fun making all these things for the first time...i've added a link on my blog to your recipes. thank you thank you!

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  129. thank you christine for your wonderful blog and recipes! tangzhong bread definately IS addicting. i'm brand new to baking and stumbled onto your site after searching for hokkaido milk bread and have tried a couple other of your recipes since then. today i made this bread again and AGAIN the results are fabulous. i did get a little stumped though. i tried to make individual breads like in asian bakeries but didn't know quite how to shape them.. any insight? i added a link to your page on my blog.. thank you thank you!

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  130. oops.. i think i sent you two similar messages because i thought my computer crashed.. sorry!

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  131. @cracie
    For shaping the dough, you might like to browse the link list below this post. The photos in those recipes would give you some ideas.

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  132. Hii...thanks for the sharing....i just try your Bread...beautfull

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  133. can i use AP flour instead of bread flour ?

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  134. @Anonymous:
    You can use all purpose flour instead. But the texture won't be as soft and fluffy as theose made from bread flour as AP flour has less protein/gluten.

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  135. Hi Christine,

    I have searching so long for fool proof recipe for soft bread bun. i even have many failures of trying out recipe from everywhere. Now i no longer need to bear the failure anymore because i found this recipe of yours. I love tang zhong bread although there are few minor (from sticky dough to hard skin bread) failure but i manage to overcome it.Now, with this recipe i can simply customised it with any filling in it. thank you so much for sharing it. Now i am trying to work on a blog. Can i share this lovely recipe of yours.

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  136. @Joon:
    Thanks for your love and support.
    Feel free to share how you like this recipe. A link back to the original recipe here is much appreciated.

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  137. Hi Christine

    Thank you so much for your generosity. I will definitely do that. However i have yet have time to start but will soon.

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  138. Hi Cristine! Thank you so much for sharing about tang zhong.

    I have a question on kneading...is it ok to use my ordinary electric mixer to knead but using the dough hook? Please advise. Thanks.

    Are Instant dry yeast and instant yeast the same?

    this will be my first time to bake a bread.

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  139. Hi sent my comment but can;t find it..

    I was asking if i can use my electric mixer using the dough hook to knead my bread?

    Also instant yeast, is it the same as the instant dry yeast?

    Please advise. Thanks.
    Thanks so much for sharing about tang zhong.

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  140. @Anonymous:
    Yes, you can use a stand mixer to knead dough with the hook.
    If using instant yeast, just take out some water with sugar dissolved from the recipe and activate it first, then incorporate into other ingredients. The quantity of instant yeast used is about the same.

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  141. Hello Cristine, thank you for your reply on my question about the mixer. I got confused though on your reply about the instant yeast. Your ingredient calls for instant yeast too but there was nothing on your recipe that says about activating the yeast...Please clarify.

    Also, I only have Instant Dry yeast..is this the same as the one on your list of ingredients that says Instant yeast? (Without the word DRY). Do i need to put this into the water with sugar first before incorporating into the other dry ingredients or simply follow your recipe? (no need of water and sugar or activation)..

    Thank you so much for your time. I have bookmarked your site to easily check on your replies :)

    -Gladz

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  142. @Gladz :
    Oops, let me clarify a bit.
    I used instant dry yeast actually, no need to activate it beforehand. Very handy.
    Some brands just labelled it as instant yeast. They are the same things.

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  143. Thanks Christine for clarying and answering my questions. I have two more questions please:

    I don't have a bread machine or bread maker, I only have a multi-function oven where I bake my cakes and stuff. Will this be ok? as for the powedered milk, is skim milk ok to use? Thanks again.

    -Gladz

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  144. @Anonymous
    Any oven that can bake will work. If you don't have a bread maker to help knead dough for you, then you have to knead it by hand.
    Skim milk powder can be used, but doesn't have much flavour as full cream one.

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  145. Thanks Christine :) will try baking tonight :)

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  146. Hi Christine! Made this last night and it's so good! My temp was just 180 but only baked it for less than 10mins and the bread was done. I wonder why it was so fast. I had to lower my temp to 150 on my next batch but still the same, was done in less than 10mins.

    How come? I wonder if my bread could have tasted better If baked longer. If i waited until 10mins i am sure it will get burned and too dark.

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  147. @Anonymous:
    All these things, like the material made of the baking tin, the design of oven and the distance between the bread and the heater will affect the time of baking.

    As long as your bread is cooked through with beautiful texture and colour, it's no problem. The taste is not related to the baking time.

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  148. @Christine@Christine's Recipes

    would love to see the cocktail buns also. cant access link: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1202278&op=1&o=all&view=all&subj=270432613315&aid=-1&oid=270432613315&id=1278663375&fbid=1409025947189

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  149. @Anonymous:
    Oh sorry. The picture was posted by my fan on facebook, was shifted to not opening to public. :(

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  150. Hi Christine, I followed your recipe and it was a success! Everyone LOVED it so much. =) Thank you!

    I do have a question. Do you know how to make the asian bread with corn and mayo/tomato sauce on top of it? (You know the ones you can find at an asian bakery) It's really so yummy and would love to know how to make it~

    Thanks!!

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  151. @Anonymous:
    Glad that you love my recipes.
    Here's a simply and quick way. You might mix some ready made mayo with corn kernel, then add tomato sauce on the bread.

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  152. Hi Christine - love your website and thanks so much for all these recipes - one question - one mixing to make the Tangzhong - what kind of temperature should the bread flour and water be? does it matter?

    Thanks!!

    Naomi

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  153. Hi, Christine

    Thank you very much for this recipe. I had tried it with my bread machine and successfully made nice soft bread for my family. I finally heard some good comments compared to the breads I made in the past.

    My mom is a diabetes and I would like to make a healthier bread for her such as wheat bread. But I don't know how I can apply this tang zhong method to other bread recipes. Can you please help.

    Thanks so much for your help and time.

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  154. @naomi:
    For making tangzhong, the mixture of bread flour and water are cooked to 65C, according to the cookbook, “65°C湯種麵包” (Bread Doctor). But I don't use a thermometer every time I cook tangzhong, just spot lines formed and mixture becomes thickened, it's done, remove from heat. I found the breads are always soft and fluffy. My experimental verdict: no need to get the exact temperature, you still can have nice and good tangzhong. But I found the cooking time is quite crucial. Don't ever cook tangzhong too long and too thick.

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  155. Hi, Christine. I am Grace from Indonesia. I found your blog when I was searching about snow-skinned moon cake and saw this bread recipe. Last week I had tried this recipe and wonderful! I never make one like this. The bread is so soft, moist, and fluffy. I kept it in room (not in refrigerator)and it's soft texture last for 4 days, after 4 days I put it in fridge and still soft until all the bread gone. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. This is what I waiting for so long. By the way, I kneaded it by hands and took 40 minutes to pass the "membrane" test. From now on, I will always use this recipe for making bread. Many many thanks to you :)

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  156. I've tried this with raisins instead of the bacon and cheese, and it's amazing! And I added milk powder but I can only find skimmed ones here in the UK so I don't think it added anything to it.
    Has anyone tried doubling the recipe and using a 2lb loaf pan, will that work?

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  157. hi, Thanks for sharing! I want to know is bread flour the same as all purpose flour? or is it different? Im in the us right now and i miss good bread sooo much!!

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  158. I would like to get a bread maker but I dont know what to get! (this is my first time starting!) What model would you recommend?

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  159. @Mia
    I am using Sunbeam, the very basic model. Quite good.

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  160. Hi Christine,

    I tried this recipe today and it turned out fine but I have some queries about the baking process.

    I do not have a bread maker so I used an electric hand mixer with the dough hook instead (started with low and went to medium after 30 mins). I kneaded it for close to an hour, occasionally stopping to check the texture but I could not get it smooth with a thin membrane. I stopped close to the 1 hour mark fearing that I had over kneaded though the texture did not fit your description of "smooth, not elastic and sticky". What is the estimated time you suggest I could knead for using the electric mixer the next time I do this recipe? Also, based on your understanding, do you think it had been over-kneaded or could I have kneaded it more?

    It turned out fine after baking and I tasted it a few minutes after it came out of the oven and it was really soft and fluffy (: But when I ate it again in the evening, (I baked it in the early afternoon)the bread texture changed and was denser and harder. Do you have any idea what could have caused this?

    Thanks so much for your time! I would really love to perfect this recipe too :D

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  161. @Anonymous:
    Not sure if you over-kneaded the dough without seeing it. Did you take any photos?

    The kneading time is only one of many criteria to judge whether the dough is kneaded enough or not. Some people can knead a dough by hand within twenty minutes, whereas it might take an hour for a new baker. The most reliable test is to see the status of your dough. Without seeing your dough, I can't give you any diagnosis.

    If using an electric hand mixer, I guess the kneading time might be shorter than using a bread maker as far as I'm concerned.

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  162. Oh okay, I'll take a picture the next time i attempt it. Also, the bread had a significant yeast taste the next day. Do you have any idea why? The yeast that I am using is called dry baker's yeast.

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  163. hello Christine do i actually need to sift the flour??

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  164. @Angela^^:
    It's always a good practice to sift the flour after measuring.

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  165. thank u beri much Christine^^

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  166. Hi, I am preparing to try to make this bread recipe of yours and is doing my shopping list of what to buy. Butter is listed and i wonder salted butter or non-salted butter??

    Your finish products is irresistible not to try it out...LOL

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  167. @Erica:
    I used unsalted butter. Better for making dessert.

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  168. i made it and it was great. i dont have a mixer but is easy to work the dough with the bertinet method. i made 3 times your original recipe and have no problem at all. thanks for posting such a beatiful recipe.
    eddie

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  169. Can I know any brand bread maker will work? Because have make one today with hand knead but failed pls advise.

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  170. Took my breadmaker out of hiding to try your recipe as the bread made were heavy and not fluffy.The bread was made using the breadmaker -even baking. Everything went into the breadmaker (except for milk powder - did not have any in the house). Set the option to pizza dough and repeated this step twice (kneading/proofing/resting) and did not take the dough out of the breadmaker and when the dough rose to a big ball (I was sceptical as to whether it would work), I selected bake option and lo and behold a lovely fluffy loaf. However the bread was quite bland and I wonder if this could be because I did not add the milk powder but lovely toasted eaten with jam.
    I remembered long time ago in Malaysia that a chinese'ting ting' man sold STEAMING hot light fluffy bread. Can this be steamed especially as the tangzhong is similar to choux pastry.

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  171. Thanks Christine! I've been looking for this bread recipe for quite some time now! I've been using the basic sweet dough recipe from "Internationa Baking Delights" by Lee-Hwa Lin, but it comes out a bit dry. I made your bread last night and the final result was great, but the dough was extremely soupy at first. I mixed it with my kitchenaid with a dough hook and since it didn't form into a solid, I added in 1 additional cup of flour. It turned out perfectly soft and moist! I don't know how, because a whole another cup of flour seems like a lot, but I'm not complaining! I will try again soon and not alter the recipe and see if it works out better the second time. Also, thanks Eddie for introducing me to the Bertinet Method of kneading!

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  172. @pattithecarbivore:
    One extra cup of flour is really a lot. It might've changed the texture of the bread, quite different from what's expected.

    Actually, I tried this recipe with my stand mixer twice, unfortunately, with no luck too. The stand mixer couldn't help gather all ingredients into a dough shape. The "wet mixture" just sticks to the bowl and the hook, curling up to the top. So that's why I turned to using my breadmaker. It makes a big difference. I didn't need to add any extra flour, but got a dough shape in ten minutes, then generated enough gluten inside after 25 to 30 minutes, passed the windowpane test.
    Guess that it might be the non-stick interior of breadmaker does the magic.
    This tangzhong bread is super soft and fluffy. It's worth trying indeed.

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  173. Thanks for sharing this great recipe. My problem has always been keeping the bread soft the next day and this recipe seems to solve my problem.

    Would appreciate if you can share more variations to this bread recipe as my family loves eating bread. Thanks.

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  174. Hi Christine, thanks for your recipe! I just made the Tangzong and realize 1/3 cup is actually 80ml. Will my Tangzong be able to work? Thanks!

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  175. @canyoupleazzze:
    For making breads, using weight measurement will be more accurate.

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  176. @Stephanie:
    I've included a link list of other tangzhong bread recipes just below this recipe. Please take a look.

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  177. hi! Do you know where i can purchase the book online? Or is there an ebook copy i can download? Thank you.

    Peach

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  178. @peach
    You can order the cookbook online here.

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  179. Hi! just want to know if we could freeze the left over tangzhong. thanks!

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  180. Hi! can we freeze the left over tangzhong? thanks!

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  181. @ruth:
    No, we don't freeze tangzhong. Just chill in the fridge. It can be kept for a few days.

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  182. Comments are closed. I apologize for the inconvenience.

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