Baking Diary – Log 16 – 09.11.2012
This Tangzhong series intentionally includes two parts: The Universal Tangzhong Recipe Converting Formula and Examples. This is part 2/2.
Link to part 1, here.
Hi guys, again,
As promised in the previous post, today’s post will be examples of how to use My Universal Tangzhong Recipe Converting Formula. Please read part 1 first before reading further below for better understanding of what I have to offer down here. In summary, Part 1 contains introduction to the Tangzhong method (definitions and how it works), how to make tangzhong, and finally the theory of my universal tangzhong converting formula.
Now in the next parts below, the two examples I will give you are my two personal favorite bread recipes in my home kitchen, one white bread and one whole-wheat. They are both excellent recipes with great results every time. Moreover, they are super-duper versatile, yet very simple and convenient to make. They make great sandwiches and toasts with ham, salad, cheese slices, and jams, etc. or just simply butter. They also make yummy buns or rolls that suitable for breakfasts, lunches, or dinners! O.M.G! I could talk about them for hours, but let’s move on to the best part of this post.
Example 1 – My Daily White Soft Bread
This is super duper easy bread recipe that is suitable for beginners of bread baking. It was the first bread recipe I tried to bake a long time ago and still ranks very high in my recipe collection. I have written a post about it and how to make it in detail here, for your reference.
Now, with a little magic dust of tangzhong it gets even better, so soft and moist, and fluffy. YAY! >D< It never survived in my kitchen for more than 2 days, but during that time, it stayed fresh and I bet it will be for longer time too.
- 390g bread flour
- 235g warm water/ milk
- 12g fresh yeast (Note: I always prefer using fresh yeast in my baking, if you don’t have it in hand, use 6g dry yeast or 4g instant yeast)
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- 50g sugar
- 28g soft butter, room temperature (or canola oil)
- 5% of the total flour: 390 x 5% = 19.5g
- Final flour weight: 390 – 19.5 = 370.5g
- Tangzhong water weight: 19.5 x 5 = 97.5g
- Final water/liquid weight: 235 – 97.5 = 137.5g
- Total tangzhong weight: 19.5 + 97.5 = 117g
See how easy to use this formula is. After this, we have the new tangzhong recipe as below.
Final Tangzhong White Bread Recipe
- 370.5g bread flour
- 137.5g warm water/milk
- 137.5g tangzhong (room temperature)
- 12g fresh yeast
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- 50g sugar
- 28g soft butter, room temperature (or canola oil)
How to add tangzhong to your bread dough
Using tangzhong is very simple. First you cook it, and then cool it to room temperature before using it. When you incorporate tangzhong into the dough, simply add it in the earliest stage together with water/liquid and other ingredients stated in the recipe into dry flour.
Example 2 – My Simple Whole-wheat Soft Bread
The following example is my favorite whole-wheat soft bread recipe, adapted with slight changes from here. It was SO good! I couldn’t believe it is whole-wheat. The texture was soft, and moist, plus the deep flavor and the health benefit of whole wheat. It is best of both worlds, already. HOWEVER, I felt that normal whole wheat bread seems a little dense and hardened the next day, therefore, I apply my universal converting formula onto this recipe, in other to keep all these awesome qualities for five days!
Best part yet, in this example, I will also bake my bread in a clay pot, the magical carriage of our Cinderella. Of course if you don’t have the clay pot like me, you can use normal bread pan for this recipe. I included the baking in clay pot method at the end of this post as bonuses for you, my dear readers and friends, so check it out.
- 235ml warm water
- 10g fresh yeast (or 5g active dry, 3.5g instant yeast)
- 220g bread flour
- 150g whole wheat flour
- 50ml honey
- 6g salt
- 15g melted butter
- 5% of the total flour: 370 x 5% = 18.5g (but let just take out the bread flour, not the whole wheat flour)
- Final bread flour weight: 220 – 18.5 = 201.5g
- Tangzhong water weight: 18.5 x 5 = 92.5g
- Final water/liquid weight: 235 – 92.5 = 142.5g
- Total tangzhong weight: 18.5 + 92.5 = 111g
Final Tangzhong Whole-wheat Bread Recipe
- 142.5ml warm water
- 10g fresh yeast (or 5g active dry, 3.5g instant yeast)
- 201.5g bread flour
- 150g whole wheat flour
- 111g tangzhong
- 50ml honey
- 6g salt
- 15g melted butter
Because this is a pull-apart kind of recipe, I will include my savory filling recipe and demonstration here, for your references.
- 100g mushroom (I used button kind), sliced + about 10g of butter for sautéing
- 200g minced meat + 5g canola oil, more or less for stir-frying
- 100g sweet corn (Both canned and fresh are OK), strained
- 100g sun-dried tomatoes, sliced to thin strips
- Spices (grounded black pepper, basil, etc. of your choice)
- Salt, sugar to taste
- 100g cheese of your choice (optional, Mr. Bear does not like cheese so much so I omit this ingredient)
Simple egg wash
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp. water or milk
- about 5 drops of oil or melted butter
Step 1: Make the tangzhong base on the instruction here in part 1 of this tangzhong series, let cool to room temperature before use.
Step 2: Dumb everything included in the Final Tangzhong Whole-wheat Bread Recipe above into a big mixing bowl. As said before, when you incorporate tangzhong into the dough, simply add it in the earliest stage together with water/liquid and other ingredients stated in the recipe into dry flour. In this case, it basically means together with everything else.
I can do this because I use fresh yeast; I can just crumble it all over and start mixing. Long live, fresh yeast! If you use other type of yeast, kindly activate it correctly according the manufacturer first before process with other ingredients.
Some bakers that are more careful and precise can leave cooperating the melted butter till the end when the dough of other ingredients has been fully mixed. I admit, I am a tad too lazy and the amount of butter is small; therefore, I deliberately dumb everything at once. Excuse my laziness.
Step 3: Start mixing on low speed for about 2 minutes until you achieve a cohesive, moist mass, like this.
Step 4: Increase the speed to medium. Mix for 7 minutes or more until the dough comes together, and starts slapping on the bowl’s wall.
The gluten development should be very high at this stage, meaning the dough can be stretched out to very thin sheet without being torn. Like this. See how wonderful the gluten has developed, now with the help of tangzhong?
Step 5: Form your dough into a ball, put it in a lightly oiled bowl. Now let it bulk ferments for approximately 1 hour, or until double in size.
Now that the dough is bulk fermenting, let’s prepare the clay pot and the savory filling.
Step 6: Here is my old, precious clay pot (that I could not bring back to Vietnam, and had to break up it in Finland ). You can see the shiny patina developed in the inside of the pot, indicated how often I used it, and how faithful it is to me…
In order to bake with clay pot, you have to soak it in cool water for 15-20 minutes before actual baking. Reasons are explained below in the bonus parts.
Step 7: After 15-20 minutes soaking, get the clay pot out, pat the inside and outside with a clean kitchen tower to absorb any visible excess water.
Line the pot with parchment paper, leave some extra for easier removing later, like below. This is to prevent the bread from sticking to the side, and linger it strong smell to the pot.
While waiting for the clay pot to get soaked, do not rest; continue with the filling making. Your hard work will be well rewarded.
Step 8: First sauté the mushroom in a pan with a cube of butter. To sauté, simply melted the butter in a preheated pan under medium heat. Add the mushroom, like below.
Be careful not to crowd the mushrooms, or else they will not brown evenly (one interesting lesson learned from Julie & Julia movie ). Flip them halfway when one side is brown. Continue to sauté until both sides are like this picture.
Put the sautéed mushrooms on a clean plate.
Step 9: In the same pan as before, add a little canola oil to stir fry the minced meat with the seasoning and spices of your choice, until almost done (80%).
Step 10: Add the drained sweet corn, sliced sun-dried tomatoes, sautéed mushroom. Stir well until combine. Taste and add more salt if needed.
Now that your filling is done, let it cool down a bit before proceeding with the next step. You should plan your schedule quite precisely, dough bulk fermentation will take about 1 hour, clay pot soaking 15 minutes, filling making and cooling about 45 minutes, so every moment counts.
Step 11: At this step, what you should have is well-proofed dough, cooled filling, and a well-soaked, lined clay pot (if using any). Now, divide the dough in to 10 equal balls. Use a rolling pin to roll the ball into thin circle like below, top it with the 1/10 of the prepared filling. If you like cheese, it is time to sprinkle some on top your filling, also. Remember to keep the unprocessed balls under a plastic wrap to prevent skin drying.
Fold the circle in half; use a fork (or your fingers) to tightly pinch the two edges together to form a pocket, like shown below.
Step 12: put your first pocket into the lined pot, with one side lying comfortably on the side of the pot. Continue with other balls; stack those pockets side by side.
Here is what you are aiming for at the end of this step, a beautifully packed pot of whole-wheat heaven.
Step 13: Let the dough rise in the pot (with plastic covered or lid closed) for about 15 minutes more to almost double in size.
If you are using normal pan, let it rest for about 25-30 minutes, and preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius. ONLY preheating when using a normal bread pan.
Step 14: Mix all the ingredient of the egg was thoroughly together; brush the top of the ready-to-bake dough evenly with this mix.
Step 15: If you bake with clay pot like me, cover the loaf with the lid, put the loaf into in the COLD, UNPREHEAT oven, and then turn on the oven to 220 degree Celsius.
If you bake with a normal bread pan, put the loaf, uncovered, into the preheated oven, and bake the loaf for approximately 30-35 minutes until the top is evenly and beautifully browned. If it browns too quickly, cover the top loosely with aluminum foil and continue baking until it’s done.
Arrange the rack to make sure that your loaf distances to the top and the bottom of the oven is equal, mine is on the lowest rack.
Step 16: (additional for clay pot bread baking) Because you bake your loaf in a clay pot, it will require more time to bake, about 10-15 minutes longer, or in recipe, for total baking time of 40-45 minutes. Bake the bread with the lit on for 30 minutes. After that, uncover the lit; reduce the temperature to 180 degree Celsius and bake for 10-15 minutes more until the top is evenly browned.
When the loaf is fully baked, get the pot out of the oven and place it on a wood or heat resistant trivet or potholder (fatally important, explained below). Remove the loaf immediately onto a cooling rack to prevent further cooking from the remaining heat of the clay pot.
Let it cool down for about 15 minutes before digging in. I know; waiting is a pain in the butt. >.< But it’s worth it.
15 minutes is up, and there you have it, one fabulously beautifully and super yummy whole-wheat savory pull-apart bread loaf.
Now tear those pockets away from each other… See how fluffy this whole-wheat bread is? Thanks to the tangzhong method, plus a little help of the clay pot.
Not only the bread was very soft and moist, but also the filling was well seasoned, and they went great as a whole. Mr. Bear consumed half of this loaf within 30 minutes after baking.
The other half did not survive long after, as it was devoured the next morning… And you know what, the next day, it was still soft, and moist, as it was the day before! (Not as warm, of course )
Bonuses of today’s post
As bonuses, I will explain how to bake bread using a clay pot. Baking Clay pot helps your bread raise better since clay is a great heat reserving material and it has lid that capture the precious steam but still, porous enough to absorb some moisture and not return it to the surface of the loaf; making soft bread even softer and moister, or creating the most beautiful, artisan-looking hard-crust bread. I do not invent these knowledge but rather referring it from other trustworthy sources.
Step 1: Soak the clay pot in cold water for 15 minutes. This helps to seal the pores of the clay and allows the pot to steam during the baking process. Although it is not necessary to soak every kind of covered clay pot before baking, Römertopf (one of the most popular choice in clay pot) recommends this step for theirs, so please check with your clay pot producers.
Step 2: Prepare your bread recipe according to directions. When the dough is ready for the second rise, shape it into loaves or balls that fit the clay pots. Get the pot out of water and drain the top and bottom and pat the insides dry.
Step 3: Cut pieces of parchment paper to fit the bottom and sides of the pot. The sides should be tall enough to grip and easily lift out the baked loaf. Then arrange the dough into the clay pot. Do not fill the pot more than half full, to allow for additional rising, known as the oven spring. (Quite much, so beware!)
Step 4: Cover the pot with its lit. Place the clay pots into a COLD oven once the dough has almost doubled in the pot. Never ever put a clay pot in a pre-heated oven because it will crack from the shock of the heat.
NOTE: Remember to reduce about 10 minutes of the second rise, e.g. if the if the normal procedure calls for 45 minutes; decrease it to about 35 when baking with clay pot since we will bake in cold oven, there will be more time for the dough to complete its second rise.
Step 5: Set the oven temperature to 40 degree Celsius higher than the bread recipe calls for, for instance, if the normal procedure calls for 180; increase it to about 220 when baking with clay pot.
Step 6: Bake the bread for 10 to 15 minutes longer than called for in the recipe. Because you are starting with a cold oven, bread baked in a clay pot takes a few minutes longer than if baked in metal or glass.
Step 7: In the last 10-15 minutes of baking, remove the lid, reduce the temperature to the level stated in the normal recipe, and bake uncovered for another 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is brown.
Step 8: Remove the baked bread immediately from the clay pots after baking, as the pot will continue to cook the bread with its absorbed heat even after it is removed from the oven.
NOTE: Do not place a hot clay pot on a cold or cool surface, as it will crack, creating a disaster in your kitchen. So when taking a hot pot out of the oven, always place on a wood or heat resistant trivet or potholder. Use the edges of the parchment lining to lift the loaf out of the pot and set aside to cool. Then enjoy!
There are various other types of dishes are particularly well suited to clay pot cooking. Below are just some examples:
- Vegetable ragouts and ratatouille
- Baked potatoes
- Whole chickens, Cornish hens, and ducks, along with vegetables
- Baked ziti or lasagna
- Stews and casseroles
- Baked cheese, such as feta, with olives and fresh oregano
- Bread puddings, Fruit cobblers
NOTE 1: Clay pots should not be used on top of the stove, unless stated otherwise by the manufacturers.
NOTE 2: Clay pot cooking does not require added fats. The use of added fats (usually butter) only as a seasoning to boost the flavor, so if you’re looking to reduce fat or calories, you can easily leave it out.
NOTE 3: Add liquids sparingly, as any food you’re cooking will throw off liquids of their own (especially fruit, vegetable, and meat) and you don’t want the pot or the dish to overflow with excess liquid.
NOTE 4: If you cook fish or any other strong-flavored ingredients like garlic or onion, either line the pot with parchment paper or give your pot extra soaking time afterwards or else the flavors will be absorbed into the porous clay, then it will be very hard to remove and may linger to other dish cooked in that pot in the future.
Bonus 3 – How to Clean the Pot and Take Good Care of It (References: here)
DO NOT wash a clay pot with soap or detergent because the porous clay will absorb the soap. Instead wash with warm water, using a brush and baking soda to help remove any baked-on food. While some say it’s okay to put in a dishwasher, most machines’ high temperatures and harsh detergents may damage a clay pot.
If you don’t use your clay pot often like me and there is any mold formed during long storage periods, just rinse with warm water and use a brush with baking soda to remove the mold. Again, no soap, please!
NOTE 5: Over time and with frequent use, your clay pot will darken, retaining scorch marks and stains but developing an appealing patina. Patina is good thing, not some kind of mold or charcoal; so don’t try to scrub it out!
NOTE 6: For most home kitchens, a 1.5-liter covered clay pot is quite useful, it will easily hold a 3 to 5 pound chicken, plus vegetables or a daily loaf of bread, and costs about $35. If you want to use your pots for both savory and sweet dishes and you have the storage space, you may want to invest in two pots so that any absorbed flavors won’t affect the taste of your recipe.
Side story 2 (written on 09/11)
After a long time expecting, I started my baking course this week Monday 05/11. It went great, and so worth the wait. In the first two weeks, we will study mostly theoretical framework of patisserie, and I did my time researching about these in the past, so nothing very important or super interesting to report to you guys yet.
Ms. Hong, our teacher for the last 3 days (and 4 days more), is very knowledgeable and professional. She has worked in the field for at least 25 years. As a person, my first impression on Ms. Hong is that she is very charming, has a good sense of humor, and a kind mind. She never minds answering our, sometimes, silly questions and tells us great stories of her career. Though she is now retired, her encouraging attitude and passion about the industry touches us all.
Surrounding myself with such positive attitude gives me so much faith on this path of life I want to try out. I felt unmotivated and exhausted sometimes moving back to Vietnam and facing the vague doubt of my family about my choice. It’s like I was turned into a lost, little girl, once again. This sad feeling is hard to fathom as it starts to spread out from them to my every cells like a disease. Yes, doubt might be the most dangerous, infectious disease mankind ever knows.
It was hard to breathe sometimes.
I know very clearly in my heart, at least from the last 2 years till now, that I am very passionate with patisserie, and want to work in this industry. I am aware that I am not having any professional skill now to prove to my family that I can live a decent life with this career. I also know that my family only want what, they think, is best for me, offering their best to make my life easier, more comfortable.
I know that I am choosing the hard way.
But… I am happy. I might not lead a career as successful and powerful, or live as financially comfortable as I would be if I just closed my eyes and followed what have been laid for me; but do they know that everyday riding my old bike to class, studying what I love, and nourishing my dream, I feel so much more alive and in good control of my own life than I ever do in the last 20 years?
“I don’t want to earn my living; I want to live.” – Oscar Wilde
I wish they had more faith in me.
Side story 3 (written on 09/11)
Ok, enough with my endless sorrow, today I also share one great news. Mr. Bear’s family is welcoming a new baby. YAY!
Oh, no, no, no, it is not mine, LOL. It’s Mr. Bear’s older sister’s baby. It is a boy! Born in the year of Dragon, his name is Long, in Vietnamese also means Dragon, but his nickname at home is Pun. Therefore, from now on, I will address him in any future post as Baby Pun. When he is 3, I will drop the word “baby”, and when he is 15, I will properly address him proudly as Dragon. So, both Baby Pun and my guys and gals, please keep up with me for another 15 years, sure?
Baby Pun was born in 16:30, 02/11/2012, weighed 3.4kg. This picture below was taken when he was 3 days old.
Welcome to the world, precious Baby Pun.
If you have any comments or questions concerning my tangzhong converting formula, please don’t hesitate to leave a word; I will try to be as helpful as possible.
OK, it is almost it for today. It is officially now 3am in Vietnam, and my class starts at 8am. So good morning from Vietnam, guys. And see you soon in another posts.
P/s: I submitted this to YeastSpotting.