I’ve been baking with erythritol recently (read about my blog posts, Sugar-Free Chocolate Chip Muffins, Sugar-Free Brown Rice Chiffon Cake and Sugar-Free Matcha Nougat with Almonds) and this time I used it for bread making. Apart from using natural sweetener, I’ve replaced the whipping cream in my Pai Bao recipe with unsweetened almond milk, which contains zero net carbs, to ditch some carbs. I didn’t plan to switch to low carb flour though, but I did include spelt flour for 30% of the flour in the recipe for flavor and more nutritional benefits. Spelt flour does not absorb much water than regular whole wheat flour so expect to use less liquid while making the dough. To my surprise, the bread turned out very soft and tender.
Sugar-Free Pai Bao (Hong Kong Style Sweet Milk Buns)
For the Tangzhong
20 g bread flour
100 g water
For the Dough
230 g bread Flour
100 g spelt flour
110 g tangzhong
40 g oligosaccharide and erythritol blend natural sweetener (I used Swerve)
1/2 tsp salt
1-2/3 tsp active dry yeast
35 g egg, beaten
90 – 110 g unsweetened almond milk
35 g unsalted butter, softened
For the Egg Wash
2 Tbsp egg, beaten
For the Tangzhong 湯種
Mix flour and water in a saucepan until thoroughly combined. Cook over low heat while stirring frequently until the mixture thickens and the starches are gelatinized. Remove from heat and scrape mixture into a large mixing bowl. Keep covered and let cool to room temperature.
For the Main Dough 主麵糰
Add almond milk and egg into the tangzhong then mix well to combine. In order to control the dough consistency, reserve 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk to be added later. Add in the bread flour, spelt flour and sweetener and stir with a spoon to form a shaggy dough without any dry spots. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes to fully hydrate the dough.
After the autolyse process the dough will not be sticky and some gluten development will be seen. Scrape dough onto the work surface and knead until smooth. Knead in salt and softened butter until incorporated. Add in yeast and continue kneading until dough is firm, elastic and a thin translucent membrane can be seen if the dough is stretched.
Shape dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 1 to 1.5 hour or until doubled. Test by poking the dough with a floured finger. The dough is ready when the indentation remains.
Scrape dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently deflate the dough. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Shape each into a ball. Keep covered and let rest for 10 minutes.
Flatten a dough into an oval. Roll up the dough from the long side into a sausage with tapered ends then pinch the seams together. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Transfer the logs, seam side down, to a parchment paper lined 9” by 13” baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 to 45 minutes until the dough is very puffy. I proofed mine in my steam combo oven with the steam setting set at 100℉/38℃ for 45 minutes.
把麵糰擀成橢圓形，把麵糰從闊的一端捲起成兩端尖的長條後捏緊收口後，完成造型後把長條收口朝下，分別排放在已墊牛油紙的9” x 13” 長方形焗盆中， 蓋上保鮮紙室溫發酵30至45分鐘至麵糰膨脹，EC把焗盆放在備有發酵功能的蒸氣焗爐內100℉/38℃發酵45分鐘。
Brush top with egg wash. Bake in a 350℉/180℃ preheated oven for 18 – 20 minutes until golden brown, covering the pan with foil halfway if necessary. The internal temperature of the bread should register 190 to 195℉ (88 to 90℃) on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Remove bread from the pan and cool completely on a cooling rack.
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