Tag Archives: Bread

Japanese Style Cheese Bread

Thanks to my recent epiphany on Tangzhong, I finally comfortable enough to play with my bread machine. The first recipe that I tried was Japanese Style Cheese Bread (some I mixed with chocolate chips).

Ingredients (in this order for bread machine):

  • 100 gm Tangzhong
  • ½ cup milk
  • 30 g butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
  • 56gm egg (equals to 1 large egg)
  • 55 g caster sugar
  • 1tsp salt
  • 350 g bread flour
  • 1tbsp+1tsp milk powder (to increase fragrance, optional)
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • Take 100 g dough. Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape.
  • Sprinkle cheese (or any filling you like) evenly as much as you like.
  • Close the flat dough by sticking the sides.
  • Arrange the rolled-up dough in a greased or non-stick loaf tin, spear a small space between rolls (each tin fits 4 rolls).
  • Leave it for about 40 minutes, or until the dough rises up to 3/4 of the height of the tin inside.
  • Bake in a pre-heated 180C (356F) oven for 18 – 20 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.

Note :

  • I used a low loaf tin, so this recipe yields 2 loaves (4 rolls each). If you have a taller tin, you may want to divide the dough into 4 and fit them into 1 loaf.
  • If you want a shinier top look, brush whisked egg on surface before baking.

Resource: Christine’s Recipes

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Tangzhong (Water Roux) – Asian Bread Starter

As you can probably read in my previous post, things are SUPER expensive in Luanda. For example, a loaf of soft crust-less “American” bread may cause you around US$ 18. This is mass-produced type of bread, packed in plastic bags, and most probably was produced months before they were on shelves. One of my biggest issues with this type of commercial bread is the preservative. A teenage daughter of a friend of mine once conducted an experiment, and this bread did not go bad, not even a spec of mold. Therefore most households here make their own bread.

I myself am a newbie when it comes to making bread, but ever since I own a bread machine, I tend to get a bit obsessed in making bread. My goal is to get the soft, fluffy and stretchy structure. Just like the kind of bread that I grew up with.

If you ever go to Asia, especially the eastern part, you’ll notice that bread in this part of region is very fluffy. Recently I learned the secret. It is Tangzhong, that is used as a starter. This is considered as a wet ingredient and will be used with other ingredients in making breads.

This 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”(water roux starter), cooked 1 part of bread flour in 5 parts of water to 65°C.

Why does Tangzhong 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.

Ingredients :

  • 50gm/ 1/3 cup bread flour
  • 250ml/ 1cup water (could be replaced by milk, or 50/50 water and milk)
  • 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.
  • 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. Some people might like to use a thermometer to check the temperature. I don’t own one and I found this simple method works every time. Remove from heat.
  • Transfer into a clean bowl. Cover with a cling wrap sticking onto the surface of Tangzhong to prevent from drying up. Let cool. Chill in fridge for several hours. Then it is ready to be used.

Note: When you are ready to use the Tangzhong, just measure out the amount you need and let it rest in room temperature for a while before adding into other ingredients. It can be stored up to a few days as long as it doesn’t turn grey. If so, you need to discard and cook some more.

Source: Christine’s Recipe

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The Mystery of Flour

There I was at 2.30 AM googling recipes, then it hit me. That was why my Roti Boy was more successful than the following two. I had used different types of flour. For my Roti Boy I used bread flour and I used cake flour for the others.

Then I thought, “How different could it be?”.

I looked to my left and my husband was a sleep, so I could not ask him.  Not that he could answer my question even if he were awake, but it’s just nicer had he been awake then I could make it more of a rhetorical question thing than talking to myself thing. So I went back to Google (it was almost 3 AM).

When I type “Types of flour with its gluten content”, I had more than 4 millions hits. Bet I am not the only person awake in wee hours wondering about flours. I had expert pages (and was clueless of what they’re saying) and I had simple ones. After reading some listed on Google’s first page (that’s what we all do, right?), I made below conclusions;

  • Flour types/standards are different in different countries
  • The range of flour is limitless
  • Most of the info is irrelevant to my current needs

So, I came up with below list, for few reasons;

  • Flours sold here are either marked with Cake Flour/Bread Flour or in T system.
  • The weight per cup thingy is a cool trick, incase I’m in doubt (which is quite often). And if you’re wondering how difference does it make between sifted and non-sifted flour? The answer is A LOT. According to this website, the sifted one can weigh less by 20% – 25%.
  • I (so far only) bake cakes, white bread, piecrust and pizza dough


Referred As

% Gluten*

French Flour**

Weight per Cup of

Sifted Flour*

Commonly Used For*

Cake Flour

Low Gluten

7.5 – 9

3.5 oz



Pastry Flour

9 – 10

T 45

> 3.5 oz


Biscuits, muffins, cookies, pie-dough

All Purpose Flour


T 55

4.5 oz


Can be used for a whole range of baking

Bread Flour

High Gluten

13 – 14

T 65

5 oz


Breads and rolls, pizza-dough

So, if you want to have a simple no hassle reference, you’re more than welcome to use this one.

Note: Individual picture of the collage above is taken from each official website.

*   http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/bakingdesserts/p/wheatflour.htm

** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flour

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