I don’t have any life-story to share with you today; only the story of the ridiculous bouts of indecision I’ve been going through when it came to sharing this Matcha-Milk Tangzhong Bread post.
See, I filmed me making this a while back and when I transferred it to my computer and watched the footage it didn’t quite look as good as I anticipated. It was dark and the angles felt all wonky. So I kept putting it off and putting it off until I started filming my recipe videos at an area of the house that has better lighting.
And as you all know, with cameras better lighting always means better images and videos. So I kind of felt like putting this out now would seem kind of strange. There’s definitely a noticeable difference, mostly to me since I’m the one producing this.
On the other hand, I really wanted to put up a video about tangzhong bread on my blog. What the heck is a tangzhong bread anyway? It’s actually that super-soft bread from Asian bakeries, and it’s made using a water roux which I will be showing you in the video below. It’s a genius but simple method that creates crazy soft bread that I adore.
I’ve wanted to share a video like this for a while now but hadn’t had the time to film a new one. Considering the fact that this Matcha-Milk Tangzhong Bread is THE BOMB, I decided that putting it up it wouldn’t be so bad ultimately. Just bear with me on this older video for now. 🙂
The tangzhong method requires just a bit of work compared to normal yeast breads, but I find the extra step of making the water roux totally worth it for the kind of bread that gets created. I am always so amazed by the texture of Asian breads made this way, and frankly speaking, I don’t think I’ve ever made and tangzhong bread that I didn’t like.
It’s not just the texture, but that lightly sweet taste of the bread as well that lends itself to so many variations using just one base recipe. And oh, the things you can make with it! I’ll be writing about more tangzhong bread soon. 😉
When you enter an Asian bakery, it looks as if they carry hundreds of differently shaped breads with all the fillings you can imagine– from savoury curry to sweet bean rolls– but they’re pretty much using just one base tangzhong bread recipe to make all that bread! Today’s recipe is for a woven loaf with matcha, but you can do matcha and chocolate or chocolate and milk combinations with this recipe as well.
As always with all tangzhong breads, this one has a fabulous pillowy soft texture. But I found the matcha flavour to be a bit too light, so I think maybe rounding up the matcha to 2 tablespoons would be a good move.
Oddly enough, the matcha flavour comes out more when I eat this with a chocolate spread. It does smell so nice though. And as I mentioned, if you don’t have matcha powder, you can just use cocoa powder.
Makes one 9-inch loaf
- 1/3 cup bread flour
- 1 cup water
- 2½ cups bread flour
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup milk
- 1 large egg
- 120 grams tangzhong (just a little over half of above recipe)
- 3 Tablespoons butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
- 1½ to 2 Tablespoons matcha green tea powder
- Egg wash (1 egg with a bit of milk or water)
- 1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk flour into the water until completely dissolved and no lumps remain.
- 2. Set the pan on the stove at medium heat and begin to stir as the mixture heats up. To avoid burning, stir constantly until the mixture begins to thicken. Keep stirring until the mixture forms lines right on the path where you stir your spoon. (If using a thermometer, stir until the temperature of the mixture reaches 65°C.)
- 3. Turn off the heat and take the mixture off the stove. Transfer immediately to a bowl to stop the cooking process and let cool. Press clingfilm right on the surface to prevent the tangzhong from forming skin. Let cool to room temperature before using, or place in the fridge up to 2 days if not using right away. (Make sure to use within a few days as this does not keep well.)
- 4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast. Make a well in the center, then add in milk, egg, and tangzhong.
- 5. Using a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients together briefly until shaggy dough is formed. Add in butter pieces, then attach the bowl to the stand mixer.
- 6. Using the dough hook, knead the dough on medium speed for about 10 minutes or so, until the dough is smooth, not too sticky on the surface, and elastic. To check if the dough is ready, you should be able to take a chunk of dough and gently stretch it to a very thin translucent membrane before it breaks. When it does break, a circular hole-like shape on the stretched dough should form. (This is the windowpane test.)
- 7. Take out the dough from the bowl and gently knead into a round by hand. Split the ball of dough into half and return one half into the mixer bowl, reattaching it to the stand mixer. The other half goes into a lightly greased large bowl to proof.
- 8. To the dough in the mixer bowl, add matcha powder and continue kneading with the dough hook for about 2 minutes on medium speed or until matcha powder is thoroughly incorporated. Transfer this dough into another lightly greased bowl, cover with cling wrap or a towel, and let proof alongside the plain dough until doubled in size, about 60 minutes.
- 9. Once both dough have completed their first rise, punch down and transfer to a clean surface. Working on the dough one at a time, knead briefly before dividing each dough into four equal portions. You should end up with 4 green and 4 white pieces of dough, or 8 pieces in total. Knead each portion into balls, cover with cling wrap once again, and let rest for 15 minutes to relax the gluten.
- 10. Using a rolling pin, roll out each round of dough into an oval shape roughly 6 x 4-inches. Take one piece of rolled-out matcha dough and put on top of a rolled-out white dough. Run the rolling pin a few times on top of the stacked dough so that the two begin to stick together.
- 11. Take one short end of the dough and fold just to the center of the oval, then take the other end and fold to meet the top. It will look like a folded letter.
- 12. Flip dough over with the folds facing down and flatten with the rolling pin. Flip dough over again so the folds face upwards then roll the dough up like you would a Swiss roll. Place the rolled-up dough into the bread pan. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
- 13. Once all the rolled-up pieces of dough are in the loaf pan, place plastic wrap or a towel over the rolls. Let rise a second time until doubled in size, another 40 to 60 minutes.
- 14. In a small bowl, beat an egg and add a scant teaspoon of water or milk for egg wash. Once dough has risen sufficiently, brush egg wash on top and sprinkle with some sesame seeds. Bake at 325°F (170°C) for 30 minutes, checking halfway if the bread is browning too fast on top. If this happens, tent your bread with aluminum foil.
- 15. Let bread cool in pan briefly, then carefully turn out on a wire rack. The bread will be soft so be gentle! Slice through the bread with a sharp knife, making sure not to squash it while doing so. This bread is best eaten warm.