Hello all! It has been a very busy holiday season but I am still here! I have been making a lot of bread recently. My husband bought me a beautiful oven stone…(its broken now..*sigh* and that had spurred me to try making more bread. Many months ago, I had tried making bread using a Japanese method called Tangzhong. The bread I made was a Japanese Milk bread and it was DELICIOUS. The method calls for cooking a pastry roux 1 (flour): 3 (water) to 65F and then adding it (cooled) to the rest of the dough. The cooking of that little bit of dough in that much water increases the hydration of the overall bread. This gives you a softer, spongier bread that lasts longer.
I recently took up making this type of bread again. Using the initial recipe, I reduced the sugar and incorporated garlic, butter and parsley for some delicious garlic knots. They came out perfect! (Wish I had pictures but alas they were eaten too quickly). This method is definitely something that I find useful and now that I know it, I wanted to experiment. This brings me to whole wheat bread.
Ok, ok, I am not a huge fan of making whole wheat bread (or I wasn’t after today). It tends to be dense, crumbly and hard as a rock (especially after a day) unless you add white flour and fats. I also didn’t like the flavor. This is the one type of bread that I will purchase from the store (again, until today). The loaf was called Honey Wheat and it was pretty good. You could still taste the preservatives though. So, I thought, why not try the Tangzhong method with whole wheat??!!
So after some research, I began to formulate my own recipe. I figured I would experiment with it. Well, the loaf of bread that came out was simply delicious with a nice crust and SOFT! The only thing I would change is letting it cook an additional 5 minutes, as I had some spots that needed more time. Well without further ado, this is my recipe for Tangzhong Style Honey Wheat Bread:
8 teaspoons (1/6 cup) of whole wheat flour
8 teaspoons (1/6 cup) of all-purpose Flour
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of milk
1 1/2 tablespoons of butter
2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast
2 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cup of whole wheat flour
1/3 cup of honey
1/2 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of melted butter (to brush)
Directions for Tangzhong:
- In a sauce pan, combine flours and water, mixing to make a smooth slurry.
- Heat, stirring continuously until mixture thickens and you can see streaks with your spoon.
- Allow mixture to cool
Directions for Dough (I used my stand mixer but you can use your hands as well):
- Heat milk with the 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter until warm (NOT HOT).
- Combine all ingredients and knead until all the ingredients are incorporated and dough is soft. (5 minutes in stand mixer on second setting) (Mine needed a few more teaspoons of water)
- Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat bread, cover and let dough rise for 1 hour, in a warm place.
- Grease your loaf pan.
- After 1 hour, punch dough down and roll it into a large rectangle.
- Roll dough (from the short side) and tuck in the ends along with the seam.
- Place loaf seam side down in loaf pan
- Cover loaf and place in a warm place for another 1 hour or until dough has doubled.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Brush the top of the dough with melted butter and cut a slash, long ways, down the loaf about 1/2 inch deep.
- Bake loaf of bread for 30 -35 minutes (I baked mine for 30 minutes)
- Take loaf out of pan and let it cool on a rack.
- Slice after the bread has cooled, to avoid crumbs EVERYWHERE!
Enjoy and let me know if you try it!!!