I see the dough has risen beautifully and I call out to Yuvi to show him. He waits for me to finish gushing. He politely peers in when I show him the bowl. He then says ‘Yes, yes. Nice’ and runs off to where he left off with his hot wheels race. He has been there, seen that – well risen dough gives me a high, perfectly separate perfectly cooked grains of rice makes me smile all day, flaky pastry makes me sing, well balanced curry soothes me, burnt vegetables make me swear, dinner parties leave me sleepless and anxious until they’re over, dry cake makes me yell and failed biryani breaks my soul. He gets me, my son. He plays it well.
I recently switched over to instant dry yeast and it has cut down my insanity by 50%, almost. Before instant dry yeast, I used the little pellet type dry yeast that I had to first proof and it rarely ever did. I’d stir in more sugar, peer real close, swear, peek in again, yell at anyone around, search frantically for another packet, ask Jagan to run to the Nilgiris for some “bloody working yeast” and generally act like an ass. Not anymore. Thanks instant dry yeast!
When I spotted the instant dry yeast pack on Amma Naana’s shelves for the first time, a happy peppy montage of beautiful golden crusted bread, pillowy soft bakery style buns, pizza crusts, rolls and baguettes ran through my mind like the dream sequence in movies.
I wanted to try an easy, foolproof basic bread recipe because of said insanity. So I looked to my blogging marathon friends who are baking up a storm the whole of this month. I was spoilt for choice but I finally chose this Hokkaido milk bread from Priya’s blog – “I camp in my kitchen”. I have to tell you, it really is a foolproof recipe and really simple to make. The bread turned out great with a gorgeous soft crumb and lovely golden crust. I’ll be making this bread many more times. I might add more sugar the next time as we like our milk bread a little on the sweeter side. I wouldn’t change anything else. This is a great first bread recipe to try for madcaps and for normal people too. Give it a go.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Baking Time: 1 hour
Rising time: 2 – 2 ½ hours
Makes: One 9 inch loaf
Ingredients – Tangzhong Roux
All purpose flour/Maida – 1/3 cup
Water – ½ cup
Milk – ½ cup
Wheat flour – 1 cup
All purpose flour/Maida – 1-1/2 cups
Sugar – 3 tbsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Milk Powder – 2 tbsp
Instant dried yeast – 2 tsp
Milk – 1 cup
Cream – 2 tbsp
Tangzhong roux – 1/3 cup
Unsalted Butter – 2 tbsp (softened)
1. Prepare the tangzhong roux first. Whisk together all purpose flour, milk and water to a lump free mixture in a saucepan. Turn on the heat and cook stirring continuously till the mixture thickens to a thickish pudding consistency almost like a dough. Switch off and let cool.
2. Mix dry ingredients – flour, sugar, salt, yeast and milk powder together in a bowl. Mix wet ingredients together – milk, cream and tangzhong roux.
3. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Use your dough hook or your hands to mix the wet and dry ingredients together to a dough. Knead well for about 5 minutes. Place the dough in a well oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
4. Grease a 9 inch loaf pan. Make sure your loaf tin is this size. Don’t substitute any other size of tin unless of course you know how to divide the dough accordingly. Set aside.
5. Wait for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or till the dough doubles in volume. Punch it back. Roll to a rectangular shape and fold in the shorter edges. Again roll out and fold in the shorter edges. Shape into a log shape and place the dough seam side down into a greased 9 inch loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise again for about one hour. Meanwhile preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
6. Once nicely risen, brush the top of the dough with milk and place in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 45 mins to 1 hour or till the top is golden and when tapped, the loaf sounds hollow. Remove from the oven and let stand for 15-20 minutes or totally cool. Use a thin paring knife to loosen the edges slightly. Invert on to a plate. Slice. Enjoy.