Yesterday, a friend invited us for dinner and with other delicacies, she had made pav bhaji too. I bake my own bread. And whole wheat bread is remarkably different from the store-bought stuff.
As I was eating store-bought pavs after a long time, Those soft and fluffy pavs inspired me to try something similar.
Hokkaido milk bread is a Japanese bread which is lightly sweet. It is made using the Tangzhong method. In the Tangzhong method, a roux starter is made using flour, water and milk. This starter is called Tangzhong. It is mixed with the dough and the bread comes out amazingly soft and fluffy.
In the Tangzhong method, the starter locks in the liquid which doesn’t evaporate during the baking process. Also, the flour in the starter doesn’t develop gluten while the dough is kneaded. This results in bread with high moisture and low gluten content which is soft and lasts longer.
Milk bread is made with refined flour. I however, try to give a healthy twist to loaves of bread I bake at home. Hence I make milk bread with 50% refined flour and 50 % whole grain flour. The result is highly satisfying and we end up with a soft and feathery loaf.
For the Tangzhong:
Whole wheat flour: 15 g
Milk: 3 tbsp
Water : 3 tbsp
For the Dough :
Whole wheat flour: 150 g
All-purpose flour: 150g
Sugar: 2 tsp
Dry active yeast: 1 tsp
Milk: 1/2 cup
Salt: 1 tsp
Oil or butter: 1/4 cup
Mix all the ingredients in a pan and cook on a low flame to make a thick custard. Keep stirring till it leaves the sides of the pan. Let it cool down.
Take lukewarm milk in a bowl and dissolve sugar in it. Add a tsp of yeast and keep it aside for 10 minutes.
Take both the flours in a big bowl. Add a tsp of salt and give it a good mix. Now add the yeast mixture, an egg and the tangzhong starter. Make a dough. Knead the dough for 10 to 12 minutes using 1/4 cup of oil.
Make a ball of the dough and allow it to rest in an oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a cling film or a kitchen towel so that the dough doesn’t dry. The dough doubles in size in an hour.
Deflate the dough after an hour and transfer on a lightly floured surface. Divide into four equal parts. Roll each part into a square of 8″ x 5″. Starting from the smaller side roll them up again. Place them adjacent to each other in a tin 9″x 4″ size, lined with parchment paper.
Cover it with an oiled cling film. Allow it to rest for 45 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven at 200’C.
Give the loaf a milk wash and bake it for 10 mins at 200’C and then decrease the temperature to 190 ‘C and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Take out from the oven and apply butter. Cool for 2 hours and cut to slices.
This is a super soft pull-apart bread. I have added an egg to make it softer. The egg can be replaced by 3-4 tbsp of milk and 1 tbsp butter.
The amount of sugar can be increased to make the bread sweeter.
The bread can be baked in a smaller tin if you want it to rise more.