I am sharing with you today my recipe for a very tasty, soft and fluffy basic bread dough. It is made with a milk-based Tangzhong and proofed then baked in an oblong cake pan. Upon baking the rolls would attach to each other and become a pull-apart bread. When you tear the rolls apart you can see the obvious strands in between them. They taste just great even when served plain.
For my previous bread recipes I’ve been relying on instant yeast. This time (and until my yeasts are all used up) I switched to act dry yeast as I purchased a 2-lb vacuum-packed brick of Red Star active dry yeast from Costco. I filled up a small mason jar with 1/6 of the package and keep it in the fridge for frequent use. The rest of it was separated into multiple freezer bags and stored in the freezer to preserve freshness. I bet this would probably last me for two years! This is actually one of the best deals I’ve ever had at Costco. The price for this gigantic 2-lb yeast brick was even cheaper than the small 112 g canister of Fleischmann’s yeast I had been using all the time. For occasional bread makers, it would be a great idea to share one among friends.
Instant yeast and active dry yeast can be used interchangeably one-for-one in general. The major difference is that instant yeast has finer granules and can be added straight into the dry ingredients. Active dry yeast, on the other hand, has bigger granules and has to be activated by dissolving into liquids before use. A small amount of sugar is usually added to feed the yeast during proofing. King Arthur Flour suggests that it is no longer necessary to dissolve active dry yeast in warm water before using due to the much gentler modern manufacturing process; however, I still prefer proofing it as the activation step gives me extra assurance about how active my yeast is. What’s more, active dry yeast has a slower rise so the rising time may need to be increased if this is used instead of instant yeast.
速發酵母與活性乾酵母在一般情況下可以一比一份量交替使用。兩者主要不同之處是速發酵母顆粒較少並可直接加在乾性材料中；而活性乾酵母顆粒較大需溶解在液體中活化後才可使用，化開酵母時通常會加進少許糖為酵母供應養份。King Arthur Flour提及由於現代生產酵母技術已更溫和，因此活性乾酵母現巳不需溶解活化已可直接使用。可是先把酵母活化可協助清楚了解酵母的活躍性，因此EC仍較喜愛傳統做法。此外，活性乾酵母的發酵速度比速發酵母慢，因此發酵時間亦需相對延長。
Milk Dinner Rolls (Tangzhong Method)
For the Milk Tangzhong
25 g bread flour
125 g milk
For the Dough
360 g bread flour
1 Tbsp (7 g) whole milk powder
120 g tangzhong
50 g granulated sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
5 g salt
4.5 g active dry yeast or instant yeast
50 g warm water
50 g egg, beaten
40 – 60 g milk
30 g cold press, virgin coconut oil
15 g beaten egg
15 g cold press, virgin coconut oil, melted
牛奶 40 – 60克
For the Milk Tangzhong 牛奶湯種
Mix flour and milk in a saucepan until thoroughly combined. Cook over low heat while stirring frequently until the mixture thickens and the starches are gelatinized. Tangzhong made with milk is thicker than one made with water so be sure to stir frequently to prevent clumping. Remove from heat and scrape mixture into a bowl. Keep covered and let cool to room temperature.
For the Main Dough 主麵糰
To activate the active dry yeast, combine yeast, 1 tsp of sugar and warm water in a large bowl or measuring cup. Mix to combine and set aside for 10 minutes until mixture is frothy. Skip this step and mix yeast with other ingredients directly if instant yeast is used.
Add yeast mixture, milk, egg and tangzhong into the bread pan of the bread machine. In order to control the dough consistency, reserve 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk to be added later. Add in flour, milk powder and sugar then select the dough cycle from the bread machine. Press start to begin the kneading cycle.
When a smooth dough starts to develop, add in the salt and coconut oil. Resume kneading cycle until a thin translucent membrane can be seen if you stretch a piece of dough. Let the dough perform its first rise in the bread machine until doubled in size.
Scrape dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently deflate the dough. Divide dough into 12 equal portions then shape each into a ball. Arrange rolls with seam side down into a parchment paper lined 9” by 11” cake pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 40 to 50 minutes until rolls have doubled in size (I placed the pan in the microwave oven along with a thermos cup filled with hot water).
Remove plastic wrap and brush the rolls with egg wash. Bake in a 350℉/180℃ preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until the internal temperature of the bread registers 190 to 195℉ (88 to 90℃) on an instant-read thermometer. Remove pan from oven and brush on a layer of coconut oil. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
I made this last year by baking half of the dough in a 7” chiffon cake pan. Instead of brushing on coconut oil after baking, I drew on some faces with melted chocolate and decorated with bows made with modeling chocolate upon cooling.
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