The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Floydm's picture

I make another batch of the Hokkaido Milk Bread with Tangzhong this weekend, this time adding 2 cups of soaked sultana raisins.  

That was two cups of raisins before soaking. After soaking it was more like 3 or 3 1/2 cups, which was a lot of raisins. I was afraid it was going to be too much and really weigh the loaves down, but they still rose quite nicely.

As you can see, I split the dough into smaller pieces this time and divided it among three pans.

It wasn't as fluffy and cloud-like as the first batch, which isn't surprising given the additional weight I added, but it was still an extremely soft, pillowy dough.  We've all be munching it straight and it made wonderful toast when sliced this morning.

freerk's picture

what makes my multi grain tangzhong crack?

June 26, 2011 - 12:15pm -- freerk

I am currently in the process of  putting together a multi grain unenriched loaf, relying on the tangzhong method to keep it nice and fluffy. Here is the latest result from its prettiest side:


But this is what I would like to talk about: on the dark side of the moon this is what is going on

gingersnapped's picture

my starter (affectionately named "dr. hip hop", which has definitely stuck) is definitely getting stronger with the twice daily feedings (have kept to co-op flour and will be moving back to bread flour today since i've run out until the weekend), although isn't really back to one hundred percent and still takes closer to 3.5 hours to double.  i have not been throwing away the extra that you scoop out of the dish -- i've been reserving and then cooking new loaves with it and running up a list of baked goods that also include starter.  it's not super strong, but i've been augmenting with some instant yeast and got great results.  i was a litlte irritated to have to do that at first, but the bread came out so great i was really excited to have made something good again.  i was just working with white flour, none of the healthy junk like i usually do, and everyone agreed that was the best :)  even me, miss weight watchers weird ingredients ancient grains only scarfed down a few white scraps when the opportunity presented itself.

questing right now to find the best white loaves.  if you google amish white bread there's a great recipe that comes up on allrecipe; that's where i subbed in the starter+yeast and it rose faster than anything i'd ever worked with before.  also used a tangzhong because i love the way the cooked gluten gets the bread so cottony.  but the perfecentages weren't quite right...trying again with another set of loaves with the same recipe but carefully noting my changes.  i reduced the oil (and subbed out half for coconut oil), upped the salt, made a smaller tangzhong so the recipe wouldn't be as wet and also mixed in 2 TB of chia seed gel (gives it a nice speckled look, plus the chia seed gel should hold in the moisture of the loaves similar to the tangzhong and give it a nice earthier flavor).  possibly it may taste to healthy.  if the dough still smells "healthy" when i go to bake it i'll coat it in melted butter, hopefully no one will notice.

i'm trying to really walk the line between good gluten development and dough that's too sticky.  too sticky/wet dough can have enough gluten development, but it's moot if you can't work with it.  the white loaves earlier couldn't really be handled, but with the reduced oil and my careful measuring and noting of the water, lessening of the tangzhong and fully incorporating the oil this time around the development was really really nice.  sticky but stretched with the consistency of a weak rubber band.

i baked up another set of loaves with a whole wheat, spelt and rye mixture.  haven't tasted it all yet -- had a really nice crusting (but not ideal, i wonder if it's possible to get such a typical artisan crust with whole wheat flour?  maybe that's another thing special to white).  this was 100% starter, and i left it out for a little less than 24 hours to proof (i haven't been able to revive a starter loaf that's gone into the fridge, and when i leave it out that long the sourdough gets SO SOUR.  it tastes like there's vinegar in the bread, but even better is that when you add a little bit of butter it tastes like cheesebread.  also my 12 hours plus work day prevents me from having too much control on rise times). 

i was happier with the crusting than the first time i almost burned the house down trying to work out the steam situation (and shocked i didn't burn myself), but the loaves were definitely too wet.  looking forward into cutting into one of them last night.  i did a tangzhong with a third of the spelt flour to see what would happen.  spelt has low gluten development so i thought super-hydrating it might be an interesting experiment.  i'm really fascinated by that particular method, especially since there's so little information available on it in english on the web.  i think it will end up with a wetter loaf/denser crumb, which with the vinegar taste is fine by me.

gingersnapped's picture

I've been trying to do too much at once.  It occurs to me today that although my sourdough has been going for over a month now, I've yet to really bake anything successful with it (except for the buttermilk cluster, which was an exercise in accidental genius and a lot of time, I think).  The problem is, I'm usually going after recipes that are so wacko or are so much my own creation (throw some spelt in here, whole wheat here, lower hydration, etc) that there are too many variables to tell what the issue is.

Tonight for a fried I was working on making a sweet Amish friendship white bread recipe, with a tangzhong (which, as it turns out, there are no good internet resources for figuring out how to do a conversion for), and also a sourdough starter.  This...was not a good idea.  Too much going on!  So I bit the bullet, continued winging it, and added the imprecise tangzhong and sourdough anyway as well as some regular proofed yeast.

I'm hoping this will come together.  The tangzhong loaf a few weeks ago was the most brilliant brilliant bread I've baked in a long time and disappeared at a party.  But I'm eminently frustrated by the sourdough ciabatta rolls which are struggling to come together in their proof box.  The yeast just never seem to come back from the deep sleep.

I'm going to spend the next few weeks focusing on strengthening my sourdough (I noticed that after feeding it bubbled, but stopped bubbling UP.  This is no good.  I need to go back to basics), baking with instant yeast, and working on a spelt tangzhong (is it possible?) and my stretch and fold and technique with super hydrated doughs. 

I'm super frustrated that I don't have enough time during the day to do things like feed my yeast x3, pull dough out of the fridge to warm up, etc.  Toting dough to work isn't the brilliant or convenient idea I'd hoped for now that the boss is back...

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