Up to the time of writing this post, I think this is the stickiest tangzhong dough I’ve ever made, and also the most fluffy and softest homemade bread I’ve ever enjoyed. If it’s not impossible, it would be tremendously hard to knead the dough by hands. Please take this as a kind note that this bread is very easy to make as long as you use a breadmaker. Many fans of my Chinese blog showered me with emails asking what brand of breadmaker I use. My breadmaker is the very basic model of Sunbeam. I just bought it for kneading dough because I like shaping the dough myself and bake breads in oven to have more fun and ensure the best results. You can use other brands of breadmaker though. The key is to let your dough properly be kneaded to the “elastic stage”. Why didn’t I use a stand mixer? I experimented with my stand mixer once. As this tangzhong dough, especially the one of Pai Bao is extremely sticky, the dough was stick to the hook and curled all the way up to the top. Having tried many times of scraping the dough out and get it started again, the dough couldn’t be kneaded properly after a long time. I ended up with turning the dough back to my breadmaker.
Having gone through all the trials and errors, I keep using my breadmaker to knead tangzhong dough since then. I must say that I’m really satisfied with the end results. The texture of every tangzhong bread is exactly like the kind that I’m after, very fluffy and remains soft for days.
Pai Bao (Hong Kong Sweet Buns) (Printable recipe)
Prepare two loaf tins, 12cmx22cmx6cm each
- 370 gm bread flour
- 65 gm caster sugar
- 5 gm salt
- 12 gm full cream milk powder
- 6 gm instant dry yeast
- 1 egg yolk
- 30 gm whisked egg
- 125 gm milk
- 120 gm tangzhong (refer to this recipe for making tanzhong, use half of the amount for this recipe)
- 28 gm condensed milk
- 75ml whipping cream
- 35 gm unsalted butter, softened
- Add all ingredients (except butter) into a breadmaker, first the wet ingredients (milk, cream, egg, tangzhong), then followed by the dry ingredients (salt, sugar, milk powder, bread flour, yeast). (Note: I used to make a small well in the bread flour, then add the yeast into it.) Select the “dough” mode (refer to the menu of your breadmaker to select the kneading dough programme). When all ingredients come together, add butter, continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. (The time of kneading in my breadmaker is about 30 minutes.) Then let the dough complete the 1st round of proofing, about 40 minutes, best temperature for proofing is 28C, humidity 75%, until double in size.
- Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface. Deflate and divide into 6 equal portions (see picture 1). Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
- Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape (See picture 2). Fold 1/3 from top edge to the middle and press (see picture 3). Then roll to the bottom. Pinch to seal (see picture 4). Turn seal downward. Roll and stretch to about 20cm in length (see picture 5). With seal downward, place in the loaf tin. Repeat this step with the rest of the dough. Let proof in the tins, covered with cling wrap (see picture 6). The best temperature for 2nd round proofing is 38C, humidity 85%.
- When the dough rises and almost reaches to the rim of the load tins, lightly brush the surface with whisked egg. Bake in a pre-heated 180C (356F) oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until turns brown. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.
Other tangzhong bread recipes:
- Japanese Style Bacon and Cheese Bread (with detailed steps of making tangzhong)
- Japanese Style Coconut Custard Buns
- Hong Kong Style Sausage Rolls
- Apple Custard Buns
- Japanese Green Tea Bread with Red Bean Fillings
- Nutella Cream Horns
- Hokkaido Milk Toast (Japanese style)
- Braided Raisin Walnut Bread (Tangzhong Method)
- Pineapple Buns (For Pig Pig’s Corner)
- Hot Cross Buns (Tangzhong Method)
- Tangzhong Wholemeal Loaf