There are many different methods of making bread. According to Ms Yvonne Chen 陳郁芬, in her book “65°C湯種麵包” (Bread Doctor), ” tangzhong ” is described as the “ secret ingredient ” which is originated from Japan to make soft and bouncy bread. It is actually a kind of flour paste (aka water roux starter), a thick flour mixture making of bread flour to water ratio: 1:5 at 65°C.
Why does “tangzhong” (flour paste) work so amazingly that can produce fluffy bread and stay soft for many days? At 65°C, the gluten in the flour and water mixture will absorb the moisture and become leavened. When tangzhonog is added into other ingredients of the bread, the bread dough will be heightened and produces softer bread.
- Mix well the bread flour and water without any lumps. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon or whisk to prevent sticking
- The mixture becomes thicker and thicker. Once you notice some “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon. It’s done. Remove from heat.
- Transfer into a clean bowl. Let cool. Cover with a cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up. The tangzhong can be used straight away once it cools down to room temperature. Just measure out the amount you need. The leftover tangzhong can be stored in fridge up to a few days as long as it doesn’t turn grey.
- The chilled tangzhong should return to room temperature before adding into other ingredients
To change a non-tangzhong bread making recipe into a tangzhong recipe:
Just simply sum up the quantity of wet and dry ingredients and multiply by 20%. The subsequent result is the amount of tangzhong needed, and the amount should not be greater than 28% of the total ingredients. And then from that measurement of tangzhong, calculate the proportion of flour to water ratio (1:5; eg 25 g flour + 125 ml water makes 125 g tangzhong). Remember to reduce the amount of flour and water used to make the tangzhong from the original recipe.
Practices are needed to come up with personal preferred bread quality.
This post is also available in: Chinese (Traditional)