Friday, August 13, 2010

My First Water Roux Loaf - Tangzhong

I must say I'm never a white bread fan myself, I like hmm.... rustic.  Hard crusts, dense, seeds, rye, spelt, etc etc, and I fell in love with the sourdough starter from day one.

However, the family loves white breads and sweet breads and after reading about Water Roux breads, from Happy Home Baking and Christine's recipes, I decided to give it ago.  After all, mum and dad always liked Bread top style breads.

I decided to start with something simple... and I end up using another blogger's recipe, by Sea Dragon of Corner Cafe.

I used almost exact the same recipe... Although I found it a bit hard to knead and added 10ml more water.  Ah, some old habbits die hard...  so I did activate the dry yeast with warm water first, and rub the butter into the flour... Guess I wasn't reading properly... hehe...

I must say that I can't get the right room temperature, I did it yesterday and it was like 13C max during the day in Melbourne, wet yes, but very cold.  Even colder during night time when I was making the bread.  So unfortunately I wasn't able to follow the second part of the recipe with temperature instructions.

Well, the first proofing was actually going alright. I usually don't prefer to use the bench top mixer (I do like it with cakes etc, especially macarons) but I don't like it with bread kneading, it will only do the initial job...  and I've sold my bread maker on EBay a while back because I never used it.  I have found the best result was from the one of the Master Class on Master Chef with breads, that you knead bread and rest and do it slowly....  and I found the dough started to proof already during that period...  So.. all positive?

But then I got impatient... The best breads I made, especially the croissants etc, are almost all cold proofed, takes longer than in the warm damp environment, but stronger... and probably the only way I can ever make bread in the cold Melbourne anyway (well, even with central heating, our rooms are only 19,20C, gonna save power, save the planet, right?).  So normally, if the bread is not ready before we go to bed, I just leave it in the kitchen, covered, over night, when we don't use heating at night time, the room temperature is usually 7-8C, similar to proofing breads in the fridge?

But this time, I want to see it happenning, like straight away, that's almost always the case with a new method...  so I heated up the oven and switched it off, leaving it pretty warm.  It's a very old oven we've got in the kitchen and it's on dial, so I can get the rough temperature, and I'd say, maybe around 30C? And it did proof quite quickly....  However, the gut feeling was, it wasn't holding up properly, so, after baking, it has shrunk a bit back... hmm....

So I can't say I'm totally happy, and surely will try again another time.
Mum's got the loaf anyway and she will give me the feedback I'd hope.

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