There was a period of time where I tried my hand in baking breads and tried a lot of different recipes. However, they were not very successful as 1) the recipe was quite vague and it was hard to imagine without seeing pictures, 2) my mixer is not powerful enough hence the kneading was not done well. I also found out that baking bread is vastly different from baking a cake, which is in contrast much easier as bread making requires more time and effort, as well as more technical knowledge. I came to appreciate that bread making is really an art in itself. After the many not-so-successful attempts, I completely stopped and concentrated on cakes. I came to slight success when I came across the tangzhong method of making bread, which yield loaves that remain soft the second day. Heartened by my success, I decided to try out this new recipe which doesn’t require tangzhong and am happy to say that it works too! I look forward to trying out more bread recipes in future ^__^.
280g bread flour, plus a few tbsps when kneading into shape
½ tsp instant yeast
½ tsp salt
30g unsalted butter, softened
180ml cold water (I used cold milk instead)
1. Reserve 30ml of milk and pour all the ingredients except butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix at medium speed until the dough comes together, then slowly pour in the remaining 30ml.
2. Gently fold in the softened butter. Continue to mix at high speed until the dough is smooth.(It should be able to past the ‘windowpane’ test. See here.)
3. Roll the ready dough into a ball and lightly coat the surface with flavourless oil. Let it proof in a covered bowl for about 60 minutes, or until the dough is thrice as big.
4. Sprinkle some flour on the table and place the dough on the surface. Sprinkle some flour on the dough as well. Gently press the dough to release the air and cut the dough into two equal portions. Roll the dough into 2 balls and let it rest for 15 minutes.
5. Next, working with 1 ball of dough at a time, roll it into an oblong shape, fold in the sides and roll it up tightly. Repeat for the other ball of dough.
6. Place the two rolled dough into a butter and floured tin. Cover and let it go through a second proofing, about 60 – 70 minutes. The dough should rise to twice its size.
7. Pre heat oven to 170C. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes, until the bread is golden brown and the temperature inside the loaf should be 100C. Release the loaf from the tin and let it cool completely before slicing.