Love learning about techniques from all over the world

Discussion in 'Baker Banter' started by Apocalypso, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. Apocalypso

    Apocalypso Well-Known Member

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    Hi, all,

    Recently I tried making an "Asian style" cake roll, which is a light sponge leavened by the whipped egg whites, very simple recipe, and soft and springy. Then, as I mentioned under the pastry heading, I was watching Milk Street Kitchen and they introduced this idea of using a cooked cornstarch-and-water gel to make pie crusts, based on a Japanese milk bread.

    So instead of baking pies, I got hooked into watching info on the Japanese Hokkaido bread, and the tangzhong, which is a heated flour-water or flour-milk mixture, which releases the starch in the flour. As a portion of the overall dry and wet ingredients (I've seen as low as 5% and as high as 20%) it creates an amazingly soft, light homemade bread that stays fresh and soft for a couple of days.

    This led me to wonder whether cakes were made the same way, and I've found some info on the tang mian method of making sponge cakes. This seems to also be Asian in origin. It involves cooking the flour in melted hot butter at the start of the recipe. I haven't tried it yet, and wonder whether anyone here has.

    I have no Asian heritage, but absolutely fell in love with the light baked goods (both sweet and savory) from an Asian bakery that used to be near my old place, and was disappointed when I discovered it was gone when I moved back to Orlando. However, there are at least two others that I found in different parts of town, and while visiting Atlanta I had the good fortune to be taken to the Cafe Mozart Bakery (which has locations in greater Atlanta and in Dallas), an interesting fusion of Asian and European baking styles. While the recipe for the cake roll I've now made four or five times (including making into a layer cake instead of a roll) is just a foam cake in essence, made with a small amount of oil, the tang mien seems a pretty radical departure from what I'm used to seeing in a cake.

    I made more Hokkaido white bread this week after making whole wheat last week - at least it was over 50% whole wheat, and was still amazingly light and fluffy and had good rise - and now I can't wait to try this new tang mian, though it may have to wait as I am still planning for two Halloween parties, one before and one after Halloween.

    Another thing stumbled upon: ermine buttercream, which also has the cooked-flour-and-milk aspect to it (also called boiled-milk buttercream, flour buttercream, etc.) - which might be the type of buttercream to hold up a little better in the Florida heat than others, and also cut the richness a little.
     
    Apocalypso, Oct 24, 2017
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  2. Apocalypso

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    So happy to hear others are experimenting with tangzhong. I’ve used it in bread, dinner rolls, and cinnamon rolls. Since wheat isn’t indigenous to Japan I think they adapted it from the Scandinavian’s scaled flour technique. I think aside from the hydration, it acts as a form of autolyse for gluten development since the Japanese flours tend to be lower in protein.

    What percentage of tangzhong are you using in your milk bread? I use 5%. But I’m thinking about increasing it to 10% for the milk bread.

    I’m Japanese on my mother’s side. Asians love their bread and cakes very tall, fluffy and soft. The taller, the better. I’m wondering if more tangzhong produces a taller loaf. I bake in a 9” x 5” pullman without the lid. I use 450g flour total; 22g of which I use for the tangzhong. Pullman’s are deeper than standard loaf pans. But I want a taller milk bread. My bread rises just beyond the top of the pan.

    I’ve not heard of the tang mian method. I’m definitely going to look that one up.

    I’ve been searching high and low for Hong Kong flour to make a Japanese style sponge cake. It’s extra bleached wheat flour, so it gives cake an extra soft crumb. It’s used for Chinese steamed pork buns; you’d think it would be available in this area because Oakland and San Francisco have large Chinatowns. But I can’t find it, not even online. I may end up having to use Japanese cake flour instead.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Oct 25, 2017
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  3. Apocalypso

    Apocalypso Well-Known Member

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    Yes, leave it to the Japanese to re-imagine something and come up with a really light texture. I stumbled upon something called a "Tokyo Banana" on YouTube, basically, a little rectangle of light yellow spongecake with some banana custard in the middle, rolled in plastic wrap in a tight shape that looks like a banana, chilled until set. I have to try that sometime!

    I first found a recipe that was even less than 5% of the dry ingredients [edit, obviously, it's more than 5%, I meant to say less than 10%], so I doubled the flour-water tangzhong and took the difference from the rest of the flour and the milk added later. (I used half-milk, half-water in the tangzhong so I wasn't changing the total quantity of milk in the dough.) I used this recipe with those modifications: https://dessertfirstgirl.com/2015/02/hokkaido-milk-bread-tangzhong.html

    On Sunday, I made a double batch of dough and put it in the fridge. I think I may have needed a tad more flour in the dough, as even after the first proof it was a bit too sticky to roll out well. I was trying to keep it as light as possible, but in the end I wasn't able to roll the segments out as neatly as the first time, so next time I'll make sure the initial dough is just right. I baked it into one loaf plus a dozen big rolls (the latter of which I froze), and I'm still slicing fresh soft bread off that loaf today. Now I want to try the tangzhong with a slightly leaner dough.

    The whole wheat was really nice. I used this recipe, except that I used 250g of whole wheat and just 100g of regular bread flour (switching 50g of the white for wheat). Another recipe I saw used whole wheat in the tangzhong, and made it the day before, but the rest of the flour was white. I may try it again with even more wheat flour to white, though looking at my stash in the freezer, I have to buy more KA whole wheat before I make it again. http://www.allroadsleadtothe.kitchen/2015/10/tangzhong-whole-wheat-bread.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
    Apocalypso, Oct 26, 2017
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  4. Apocalypso

    Apocalypso Well-Known Member

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    Apocalypso, Oct 26, 2017
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  5. Apocalypso

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Oh this link is very good. Thank you. I like the Deserts First Girl blog too. I saw her site ages ago, then forgot about it. She’s added quite a bit of new stuff since I last looked at it. She also i’ve graded the site so it is far easier to navigate now. There’s a couple of her recipes I’d like to try.

    Do you think the dough gets stickier with a higher percentage of tangzhong? I dread sticky dough. Even though I’ve been taight a couple of techniques to handle high hydration dough I still dread working with it.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Oct 26, 2017
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  6. Apocalypso

    Apocalypso Well-Known Member

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    I feel like I face the dilemma every time I bake bread, how do I form a smooth elastic dough that I can handle without working in too much extra flour? Also, to be kind on my very basic KA mixer, I try keeping that dough as wet as possible for the long kneading with the dough hook. The first time I made the recipe (single batch), I ended up adding a few tablespoons of flour right before working in the butter. Between that and the butter, it came out very nice, and after the rise it was beautifully workable.

    For the double batch, I also wanted to see what would happen if I didn't add the flour to get it manageable by hand. I had hoped that during the long overnight rise in in the fridge, the flour fully hydrated, it would be less sticky when I had to shape it. I miscalculated and should have added just a bit more flour. With the whole wheat, no worries at all, I guessed from pasta making that the wheat flour would more slowly absorb the moisture, and that proofed (I'm tempted to write proven, after so much Great British Baking Show watching) dough was very easy to work with.

    I also think my personal taste is to work in a bit more salt than called for, as it's such a mild dough flavor-wise.

    I can't seem to re-find the page where it suggested up to 1/3 tangzhong... maybe I hallucinated that.

    There's less info on the tang mian, at least in English, and not a lot of YouTube videos.
     
    Apocalypso, Oct 26, 2017
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  7. Apocalypso

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I totally understand the concern of mixing bread dough in the KitchenAid. That’s one of the reasons that I bake bread infrequently. I don’t want to strip out my machine’s gears.

    I tend to work most bread dough by hand. I’ve used the slap and fold in the past. But I find it extremely annoying. Bread making should not be a loud and obnoxious task.

    I recently learned a technique used by a master baker Gerald Rubaud. There was a film made on Rubaud, but it just showed him using the technique without and explanation. The only baker I know that has posted a video tutorial on this technique is Trevor Wilson. I’ve only used the Rubaud technique 4 times, so I’m only so-so at it.

    http://www.breadwerx.com/how-to-mix-wet-dough/

    I’m going to make breads next week, so I think I’ll try a 10% tangzhong just to see how it comes out. It sounds like your adding a bit of extra flour in rolling it out was fine. I’m thinking if it’s too sticky I will use Rubaud’s method to knead and spare my old mixer. Then dust with flour to roll out.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Oct 26, 2017
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  8. Apocalypso

    Teeth Brusher Well-Known Member

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    This is so true lol. When I lived in China, I was always impressed by the height of the breads. They were so tasty and chewy.

    Have you found your Hong Kong flour? I’ve never heard of this type before. I saw the following information posted on Chowhound if you’re interested:

    You can find Hong Kong Flour at China Noodle Factory in Stockton, CA
    Price: 0.90/lb (Min. 5 lb)

    Address: 308 E Hazelton Ave., Stockton, CA 95203
    Phone: (209) 465-1435

    https://www.chowhound.com/post/hong-kong-flour-693081
     
    Teeth Brusher, Mar 10, 2018
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