Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hokkaido Milk Loaf

Ingredients (2 x 8" loaf tin)

Ingredients A

540 gm Bread Flour
86 gm sugar
8 gm sea salt
11 gm instant dry yeast

Ingredients B

86 gm whole egg
59 gm whipping cream
54 gm milk
184 gm Tang Zhong

Ingredients C

49 gm unsalted butter


1) Calculating and measuring the ingredients

- Weight the ingredients according to recipes (Measure accurately with a scale, do not use estimation).

2) Mixing

- Mix ingredient A to B. Put ingredient B on the mixing bowl, Sieve in bread flour. Make a well and put in the instant yeast. Put sea salt at one side and sugar on the other side of the mixing bowl (ingredients A). Do not let sea salt or sugar have direct contact with the yeast. It will inactive the yeast and effect proving of the bread.

- Use the dough hood at slow speed to mix the dough. When Ingredients A + B look well mix, change to medium speed. Mix until dough feels/look elastic, add in ingredient C and mix at slow speed. Mix until unsalted butter absorb into the dough and change to medium speed. You may add in the raisin/walnut etc at this stage if your recipe called for this to premix with the dough. Continue till dough turn smooth on the outside and stretchable into a thin sheet without breaking. Remove from bowl and pat into a smooth dough.

3) Proving (or fermentation)

- Pour/spray a few drops of olive or cooking oil into a plastic bag (to avoid the proving dough to stick on to the plastic bag). Rub the plastic bag to distribute the oil evenly (do not add too much oil).

Put in the dough with the edged placing below. Depress the air from plastic bag and tied a knot on the plastic bag. Make sure there are room for expansion (about double the size of the original dough).

Turn on the oven at Preheat mode (set as 5 mins), place a wire rack on the oven top and put the seal dough on the wire rack. Let the dough prove at this temperature till it prove to double the original dough size.

You may test the dough by dipping some bread flour on your index finger. Slowly poke the dough with your index finger. If the dough has been proved properly, the indention made with your finger should stay the same size. If the indentation collapses and flattens after you pull your finger out, it is under-proved. On the other hand, if the whole dough collapse and shrinks after you pull your finger out, the dough is over-proved (Proving time about 40 mins, temperature 28°C).

4) Driving the air out

- Flatten the dough with your fists to drive the air out. Take the dough out of the plastic bag and fold the edged towards the centre. This helps relax the gluten in the dough; redistributes the yeasts among other ingredients: and evens out the temperature throughout the dough.

5) Dividing

- Use a scraper or dough cutter to divide the dough into four portions. Each dough weight about 265gm. Weight each piece of dough with a scale to make sure they are of equal weight. You should do this step quickly. Otherwise, the pieces of dough may prove differently.

6) Rounding or hand squaring

- Round or hand square each piece of dough after dividing them. Let both your hands down on the table top with your finger resting against the table top. Round and tighten the dough inwardly. Turn 90°, round and tighten the dough inwardly one more time. Closed up the seam. Each piece should look smooth on the surface for the end-product to have the best presentation.

7) Extended proving

- After rounding or hand squaring, put the pieces of dough on a counter-top or in a baking tray. Cover with a cling wrap. Leave the dough to prove again for 15 mins. This step also helps relax the dough and make it easy to shape into desired form.

8) Styling

- If you use a mould, make sure you grease it for easy unmoulding. Then put the dough in with the seam side facing down. Yet, if you use a proving basket, you should put the seam side up.

After the extended proving of the dough, flatten and roll the round dough to let the air out. Fold top to center of the dough (1/3), press down.

Fold below to center of the dough (1/3), press down.

Turn the seam downside, roll into length size (about 30 cm). Overturn the dough and rolled into swissroll shape.

9) Final Proving

- Place roll into loaf tin with seam facing down for final proving. Leave the dough in a warm spot until it expands to desired volume (80% of the loaf tin).

10) Baking

- Decorate the dough if necessary (such as brushing on egg wash, sprinkling flour or sesames, or scoring the dough crust etc).

Brush with egg wash generally as it will sank the bread if too much force is use. Egg volume should not be too much as the furnishing colour will turn too dark, the egg liquid will flow down and affect the unmolding of bread.
Put into a preheated oven for baking at 165°C, using low rack or put rack nearer to lower deck.
11) Cooling

- If you bake the bread in a mould, you should unmould it immediately after it's done. Cool it on a wire rack to prevent the crust from picking up the condensation. The inside of freshly baked bread is filled with steam and moisture. That's why you should let it cool off completely or at least until you can barely feel the heat before you slice or eat it. Otherwise the interior texture will be tangled together and you end up with a sticky mess.

12) Storage

- The Bread starts to age since the moment it comes out of the oven. Using pre-ferment dough will extends the shelf life at room temperature to 2 to 3 days without getting dry and hard. If you freeze the bread in a freezer, it actually lasts for months. Just leave it to thaw under room temperature before serving. Or reheat it in a microwave or conventional oven. It'd taste as good as it's fresh.
Memo : Since is my first attempt, I'm very worry about the bread being burnt after seeing the top layer turned brown after 5 mins of baking. I turned off the heat after 15 mins and took it off. Realised that the inside is still very moist and put in for further 15 mins. The texture of the bread would be better if I have not done this due to lack of my confidence. In conclusion, bake according to recipes given time.

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