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Aard Bakes w/ Tangzhong! (AKA: DELICIOUS BREAD)


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So of late I've been on a bit of a culinary kick wrt bread - I've been doing a lot of sriracha cheesebreads and the like to help handle something of an outbreak of avacados in the area, and we've valiantly beaten them back. So now, I've stepped on something new, that those of you who do a lot of technical baking may or may not have heard of: a japanese baking method called Tangzhong.


Anybody who's made choux pastry (profiteroles, eclairs, and the like) has at least a passing acquaintance with the method. Rather than simply using dry and wet ingredients mixed together, a third step is taken - to heat a part of the liquid and a part of the flour together into a heavy, choux-like paste before incorporating them with the rest of the recipe.






20170126_171606_by_aard_rinn-dawtk0h.jpg(forgive the poop photos btw my phone is awful)


This is the recipe I used. I will be honest, I am a naughty baker, and didn't measure a gorram thing. Not one. Well, the eggs. I used two eggs. So I measured those. Heck, I barely even read how much I was supposed to use.


It fine, friendos. Life is chaos. Bread is chaos.


OH MY GOODNESS IT SQUOOSHY. This is easily the tenderest, lightest-crumbed bread I've ever made. One person I encountered while reading up on the technique described it as croissant-like, and that's pretty accurate - it definitely has the directional grain that a croissant does, although obviously without the super-thin layers. More of a tender, dense layering, where the whole thing is easy to pull apart. The bread I made was a pretty typical milk bread - the white soft sandwich loaves you get in Chinese grocers - that I obviously did up as pull-buns, but it would work fine as a loaf as long as you're willing to put the effort into shaping it.


And that's the key with this recipe, I think: shaping. You've gotta sort of... roll the dough into a flat rectangle, after it rises the first time, then roll it up into a tube? or else it didn't get flakey. I divided the loaf and then did that to each section, but I imagine there are several techniques.


Other than that... When you make it the dough will be WAY TIGHTER than you think it should (but not hard, just tight? if that makes any sense) - it's fine. Slap it and you won't dent it tight. It didn't get much softer after rising, either, the first time. I used an egg wash, you might not - up to you! It will be ROCK HARD crusted when it comes out - THIS IS A LIE. Give it 10 minutes to rest, it'll soften, but DON'T OVERCOOK IT or it won't.


Look at this bread:


20170126_170707_by_aard_rinn-dawtjxs.jpg(on it's side to vent steam)


mmm thassa sexy brad.


pat of cold butter:




MMM-MMM i am plating these like gordon ramsay is standing on my shoulder.


As another note, this dough can also be used to make tasty Bao, which are really not that easy to make unless you get the dough just right.


Hunk of dough:




Bao wrapper:




Bao filling (in this case, pork & mustard w/ some additional water chestnuts for crunch)




The next logical step:












(And then the awkward last bit when you forget to take any pictures of the finished product...)


So yes, that was my week in breadmaking! It was tasty.

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This sounds marvelous.  The bread sounds great and your enthusiasm for baking it comes right through.  I can almost smell the bread!




MMM-MMM i am plating these like gordon ramsay is standing on my shoulder.




And you made bao!  My family loves bao!  Bao's the best!


Thanks for sharing. 

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