Friday, February 28, 2014

Hokkaido Eggless Milk Bread with Tangzhong

I saw this bread on Aparna's My Diverse Kitchen Blog We Knead to Bake Group. I was intrigued to try this bread as the bread dough is a slight variation from usual way I have been baking breads. There is a starter called tangzhong for the dough that is made before the actual dough is prepared. The bread can also be shaped in different shapes and forms. Making the tangzhong may seems laborious. However the end result is a airy, soft and mildly sweet white bread.The bread can be made more sweet, savory, and filled with different fillings. I made the basic bread and next time will try to make different fillings.

Sending this bread for the even Love2Bake hosted by Sangeetha of Spicy Treats.

Recipe Source My Diverse Kitchen

For The Tangzhong (Flour-Water Roux)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk 

For The Dough:
 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1.5 cup whole wheat flour)
 3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp powdered milk
2 tsp instant dried yeast
1/2 cup milk (and a little more if needed)
1/8 cup cream (I used Philedelphia 1/3 less fat brand)
1/3 cup tangzhong (use HALF of the tangzhong from above)
25gm unsalted butter (2 Tablespoons)(cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
1/2 to 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips if making the chocolate chip rolls 


In summary, the method involves preparing the tangzhong, and let rest it for 2-3 hours. In the meanwhile prepare the bread dough by mixing the bread dough ingredients. Mix the tangzhong with the bread dough ingredients, and knead using hand/mixer in shape of a ball. Cover the dough and let it rise until double in volume. Deflate and shape the dough per instructions, let it rest again until double in volume. Pre heat the oven to 325 F, brush the bread top with milk, and bake for 25-30 minutes. 
Please refer to Aparna's blog for pictorial steps.

The Tangzhong  (Flour-Water Roux)

Whisk together lightly the flour, water and milk in a saucepan until smooth and there are no lumps. Place the saucepan on the stove, and over medium heat, let the roux cook till it starts thickening. Keep stirring/ whisking constantly so no lumps form and the roux is smooth. If you have a thermometer, cook the roux/ tangzhong till it reaches 65C (150F) and take it off the heat. If like me, you don’t have a thermometer, then watch the roux/ tangzhong until you start seeing “lines” forming in the roux/ tangzhong as you whisk/ stir it. Take the pan off the heat at this point. Let the roux/ tangzhong cool completely and rest for about 2 to 3 hours at least. It will have the consistency of a soft and creamy crème patisserie. If not using immediately, transfer the roux to a bowl and cover using plastic wrap. It can be stored in the fridge for about a day. Discard the tangzhong after that.  

The Bread Dough

I made the bread dough using my stand mixer. Mix the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, powdered milk. Next mix the Tangzhong (prepared above) and make a soft dough like made for any bread. The dough will start out sticky but kneading will make it smooth. If the dough feels firm and not soft to touch, add a couple of tsps of milk till it becomes soft and elastic. When the dough is done, you should be able to stretch the dough without it breaking right away.  When it does break, the break should be form a circle. I had to add 1 Tablespoon of milk. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl turning it so it is well coated. Cover with a towel, and let the dough rise for about 45 minutes or till almost double in volume.  Place the dough on your working surface. You don’t need flour to work or shape this dough. This recipe makes enough dough to make one loaf (9” by 5” tin), 2 small loaves (6” by 4” tins) or 1 small loaf (6” by 4”) and 6 small rolls (muffin tins). Depending on what you are making, divide your dough. If you are making 1 loaf, divide your dough in 3 equal pieces. If you are making two smaller loaves, divide your dough into 6 equal pieces. I made one loaf. I first divided my dough into three equal pieces to make one big loaf. 

Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape, about 1/8” thick. Take one end of the dough from the shorter side of the oval and fold it to the middle of the oval. Take the other end and fold so it slightly overlaps the other fold.  Roll this folded dough with the rolling pin so the unfolded edges are stretched out to form a rectangle. Roll the rectangle from one short edge to the other, pinching the edges to seal well. Do this with each of the three larger pieces and place them, sealed edges down, in a well-oiled loaf tin. Cover with a towel and leave the dough to rise for about 45 minutes. Carefully brush the top of the loaf with milk and bake it at 170 C (325 F) for about 20 to 30 minutes till it is done (if you tap them they’ll sound hollow) and beautifully browned on top. Let it cool in the loaf pan for about 5 minutes and transfer to a rack till slightly warm or cool. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hot Chocolate Mix

During the Christmas holiday season last year 2013, S just asked me if I can make hot chocolate. I started browsing internet for Hot Chocolate recipes, and liked the one by Nupur One Hot Stove.  Luckily I had all the ingredients at home and took 10 minutes to make the mix. My daughter, S, and I liked the flavors of hot chocolate mix prepared without any preservatives. This is still a hit in our home.  In my opinion, the quality and/or brand of the chocolate makes subtle differences in flavor.

Adapted from One Hot Stove

3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 to 7 oz. chopped semisweet chocolate: about 2 bars or approx 3/4 cup (Used Ghirardelli brand)
2 to 3 oz. chopped milk chocolate: 1 bar or approx 1/3 cup (Used Dairy Milk)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp. espresso powder
pinch of salt

I used my Preethi Indian mixer to grind the above ingredients together to a fine powder.
Bring the chocolate to room temperature if chocolate is refrigerated, that will help to chop and grind the chocolate easily. You can grind all the ingredients in food processor. These are approximate quantities for chocolate. One can try adding little more or less per taste. I had made this mix using Hershey's  chocolate, however we liked the taste better with the Chocolate brand listed in Ingredients section above. Please note these are my viewpoints, and do not represent in any way any brand naming. Store the mix in airtight container. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons (quarter cup) of mix to 1 cup warm milk, and enjoy!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Herb and Cheese Pull Apart Bread : We Knead to Bake# 14

For the month of February, Aparna from the We Knead to Bake (WKTB) group asked us to bake any bread of our choice. I have been very keen on to try all the breads this group WKTB baked last year. So I chose the 1st bread this group baked last year. It is called Herb and Cheese Pull Apart Bread. This bread has a very nice different appealing look, and tasted great as well. I adapted the recipe as mentioned below in ingredients section.

Recipe Source My Diverse Kitchen

For the Dough
1/2 cup warm milk
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
2 3/4 to 3 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour)
1 tsp salt
25gm butter, soft at room temperature (approx 2 Tablespoon)
3/4 to 1 tsp garlic paste
3/4 cup milk (+ a couple of tbsp to brush over the bread)
For the Filling:
15 to 20gm melted butter (2 Tablespoon)
2 tsp dried Provencal or mixed herbs* (Used basil, orgeano, and parsley)
1 tsp crushed cumin seeds
Crushed pepper per taste
Red chilli flakes to taste
Spring onions -1
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese


For pictorial step by step instructions on how to shape the dough, please refer to the recipe source Aparna's blog. I used my Cuisinart stand mixer but you may knead the dough by hand. Basically, first we make the dough using the ingredients, and then let it rise until it doubles in volume. Deflate the the dough, and take a rolling pin to make a flat square shaped dough.  First rub the melted butter on the top of the squared dough, and spread all the other ingredients in filling section on the flattened squared dough. Use the rolling pin again on the filling that is laid over the dough to make sure the filling sticks to the flattened dough. Make 6 strips using pizza-cutter or knife in the dough. Keep all the cut strips one over the top of another. Cut again the stacked 6 strips horizontally into squares, and place these cut squares on the bread loaf pan. Let it rise again for an hour, and then bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 F.