Braided milk bread


Milk Bread

Milk Bread

Milk Bread

(updated September 2021 with new photos)

This recipe calls for “tangzhong” (湯種), a seed roux to make incredibly soft tender, fluffy bread, a classic bread style from places like Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan.

I have fond memories of eating bao that is pillow soft, with layers that I could see as I peel it from the buns. That was a sign of a good cloud-like snack.

It’s a sweet bread dough, great with sweet spreads, brilliant as French toasts and I also like to fill it with cha siu (Hong Kong BBQ Pork) or cooked curry mince. These are great for lunches and picnics.

For the loaf, I like to make a braid/plait to give the tops some interesting features. There are also some rolled into cute rounds for burgers later on. I’m working on a separate post to make these into cardamon buns so watch this space.

This recipe produces 2 loaves – I usually use half for a braided loaf, and the rest made into something else:

  • shaped into balls for burger buns;
  • shaped into balls and filled with a savoury filling;
  • shaped into tiny balls and baked together as a sheet, covering with garlic & parsley butter and grated mozzarella cheese; or
  • dough flattened and filled with spreads, log rolled and cut.

Milk Bread

Milk Bread

Ingredients

  • 320ml Lewis Road Creamery A2 homogenised milk (120ml and 200ml portions)
  • 585g baker’s flour (60g and 525g portions)
  • 6g (1 1/2 tsp) salt
  • 65g caster sugar
  • 30g full cream milk powder
  • 10g (3 tsp) instant yeast
  • 120g eggs (2 eggs, size 7)
  • 100g Lewis Road Creamery unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 egg + 1 tbsp milk (for egg wash)

Instructions

  1. Place 120ml of milk and 60g flour in a small saucepan, and heat at a medium heat. Keep stiring, cooking for a few minutes till thick. Take off the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Add this seed roux to a mixer bowl.
  3. Add remaining ingredients (except egg wash) to the bowl. Mix until dough forms. Change to a dough hook, and knead dough for 10 minutes. Dough should look shiny, elastic and not too sticky.
  4. Transfer dough to a work surface or baking paper dusted with flour. Gather and roll dough into a taunt ball and cover with a tea towel. Leave it in a warm place to prove for an hour (if your oven has a proving function, use that, otherwise, set your oven to 40C without the fan).
  5. Grease 2 loaf pans with baking spray (if you are making loaves only).
  6. Cut the dough in half. Cut each half into 3 balls.
  7. Roll each ball into a rectangle. Take each rectangle, roll from the long edge into logs, make 6 logs of dough altogether.
  8. Take 3 logs and form a braid, and gently tuck the ends under. Place braids into the two loaf pans and leave to prove for 45-60 minutes.
  9. Mix egg and milk in a small bowl for the egg wash.
  10. Preheat oven to 190C, fan bake.
  11. Brush top surface of loaves with egg wash and bake for 6 minutes at 190C. Turn down the temperature to 170C and bake for a further 20-25 minutes. Watch it towards the end to make sure the tops aren’t browning too much.
  12. Remove from the oven when loaves are golden.
  13. Remove loaves from pans and let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Milk Bread

Milk Bread

Milk Bread

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