The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Japanese Bread

jrudnik's picture
jrudnik

Japanese Bread

Does anybody know of a good cookbook in english containing japanese and/or other asian recipes for bread. I have become enthralled with the japanese bread styles!

copyu's picture
copyu

I live in Japan and my wife is Japanese


To me, 'Japanese' bread means the soft, white, square, supermarket half-loaves that they sell everywhere in 4/6/8 slices wrapped in plastic...You can even buy this stuff in Guam, Hawaii and Saipan, apparently...


To my wife, everything she buys from a bakery is called 'bread', even if I'd call it a bun, a tart, a brioche or a cake...


Can you specify, a bit more, what you'd call 'Asian' breads? If you're thinking 'melon-pan' you'd be better off searching for that on TFL with the search bar (at the top left side of this page...just scroll up a bit and type your search words...)


Best wishes,


copyu 

jrudnik's picture
jrudnik

I am rather blunt, unspecific, and unknowledgable in the subject: I'd really like to learn more about any asian baked goods: more the history and the stories behind them.

copyu's picture
copyu

we have "Andersen", a Danish bakery...


we also have "Boulangier Paul" my favorite French baker...


today I ate 2 small "corn focaccia" breads, one topped with sun-dried tomato and the other with boiled cubed potatoes...there were corn kernels in the bread dough...


we used to have a German bakery, "Baekerei Linde" that was started by a Catholic Mission group to give useful employment for mentally or physically disabled Japanese people...Austrian and Hungarian cakes were very good to excellent and they sold "real" German pretzels...


"Le Bihan" makes some good, but slightly over-priced French breads...


I lived in Australia for a long time and the Vietnamese ran excellent "Hot Bread" shops in most major cities...they were probably Australia's best "French" bakers...


Ummm...I still don't know what "Asian bread" means. In Japan, in thousands of cheap steak restaurants, you have to specify whether you want rice or bread with your meal. (You can't have both, for some reason!) The bread is usually a stale piece of baguette and a bread roll...


Rice IS Japan, in a metaphorical way...You can actually buy bread machines ("Home Bakeries" in Japanese) that are designed for gluten-free and rice-based breads...Some don't even require you to buy rice flour, they are so high-tech—just throw the whole rice into the machine, add water and salt and yeast and the machine takes care of the rest!


I'm trying to be helpful...how am I doing? [You don't have to answer, if you don't feel like it!]


Best,


copyu


PS: Some of the most outstanding bakers on TFL are of Asian descent and they also have blogs here, and elsewhere, in English (and sometimes in Chinese or other Asian languages) If you find out what it is that you want, you'll get it here, for sure! c


 

jrudnik's picture
jrudnik

All I have here is Publix, a statewide grocery chain, my cat can make better bread than that!


I guess I was looking for more ethnic Japanese breads, like the milk loaves, and such. You're doing great! Thanks, I'll look around the blogs!

copyu's picture
copyu

I can't really think of many other truly 'ethnic' breads, but An-pan, a bread filled with sweet bean paste and Kare-pan, a sweet dough filled with Japanese curry, would have to go very close. The Japanese DO have some "interesting" (to put it politely) toppings and insertions to regular breads and pizzas that might be hard to find elsewhere, although I doubt I would miss them much if I had to leave


The word for 'bread' in Japanese is 'pan' and came from the Portuguese language, centuries ago. Japanese have been familiar with the concept of bread since contact with the Portuguese and Dutch, but it's doubtful whether it was eaten by anyone in Japan until about 150 years ago


http://www.zojirushi.com/funfunfun/taste/taste_bread.html


Cheers,


copyu

Yippee's picture
Yippee

as the one I have with many many typical Asian style breads is not in English.  However, if you have a copy of this book and need assistance with translation, I'll be happy to help.


 '65C Bread Doctor (65C 湯種麵包)',ISBN 962-14-2858-0, by Yvonne Chen


 


 


 



...more ethnic Japanese breads, like the milk loaves, and such...


 



 


With regards to the above, maybe the following Japanese milk loaf formula I tried before and the variation of it would be helpful to get you started:


 


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/11722/my-favorite-japanese-style-white-sandwich-bread-water-roux-starter-and-sponge-method


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/11912/050309-assorted-yummy-buns


 


Yippee


 

divadmas's picture
divadmas

pizza in malaysia and singapore often have corn topping, too. not my favorite. portugese sweet bread is favorite japanese bread, or at least hawaiian. has to be very fresh to eat in hand. what I am interested in is panko. not available locally and my stash sometimes runs out. how long will packaged panko keep? can you make it?


I think indians also have a curry stuffed loaf, for take out lunch.

copyu's picture
copyu

a few decades ago. "Curry Puffs" were very popular back then. It was more like a  Cornish pasty with a dryish curry filling instead of the beef and white veges. They were cheap and very tasty


I realize that the concept is probably not original, but the Japanese like to claim that Kare-pan was "invented" in Tokyo 100 years ago. I've seen many so-called curry 'breads' here that were deep-fried, rather than baked. This makes the story more sensible, since ovens are not all that common in Japan, even today


I'm not sure how long panko is supposed to last, but I've never noticed that it had gone 'off'. I'd guess that you should keep it in an air-tight container to prevent moisture from the air getting to it. I've often made my own breadcrumbs from mixed dry breads and a mincer, but they're not as big and fluffy as Japanese panko


Cheers,


copyu

halfrice's picture
halfrice


Copyu's post is pretty accurate. This picture says it all about how orientals think about bread. This is taken from a large dept. store in Hong Kong which is famous for selling everything western.  I was indeed surprised as they have a wider choice of bread flour than I have in London. They have flour supplied by Wessex Mills and US and Canadian brands. Don't get me wrong, there are artisan bakers in Asia, but your general public is going to prefer something soft, white/yellow and sweet.

copyu's picture
copyu

I just posted on another thread that Japanese millers produce at least 30 flour blends made from three main types of US wheat. Most of the white flour grains are sourced from USA/Canada for quality reasons. Japan is the USA's top customer for wheat


Buckwheat is also popular here for 'soba' noodles and most of that is also grown in Nth America


The reason I got into baking and sourdough is because good rye and whole-wheat breads are so hard to come by in Japan. The Japanese seem to prefer most of their foods (but particularly breads) to require 'minimal chewing'—if it's sweet, as well, that's just a bonus. You can imagine what the 'market pressure' on the bakers is like!


The exception is French bread, which is always nice and crusty and the best ones, in my opinion only, are also very chewy. The Japanese think anything French is "cool", so I'm lucky there. The French bread is mostly very authentic 


Cheers,


copyu

rts306's picture
rts306

For Asian and Japanese type soft breads and baked goods...try these blogs and sites:


Blogs: cafe of the east or corner cafe (both by seadragon), angie's recipes, Happy Home baking, lilyng and auntie yochana.  From these blogs, open up links to their favorite blogs....tons of recipes and pictures of not only Asian baked goods but dishes and histories.


Kitchencapers - forum


Ask more specific questions if you have problems with these links.


Good Luck!


 


 

rts306's picture
rts306



Basic Sweet Bread dough
Recipe from Alex Goh "Magic Bread"

A
100g bread flour
70g boiling water

B
300g bread flour
100 plain flour
80g sugar
6g salt
20g milk powder
9g instant yeast (I used 23g fresh yeast)

C
175g cold water
60g cold egg (I replaced with cold water)

D
60g butter


1) Add boiling water from A into flour, mix until well blended to form a dough. Cover and set aside to cool. Keep it into fridge for at least 12 hrs. (I only left it in fridge for 1 hour)

2) Mix B until well blended. Add in C and knead to form rough dough. Add in A and knead till well-blended.

3) Add in D and knead to form elastic dough

4) Let it proof for 40mins. (mine took over 90min, thanks to the year end rains and cold nights. Just make sure the dough double in size, no matter how long it takes.)

5) Divide the dough into required weight and mould it round. Rest it for 10mins and ready to use.   ** Prob means == after resting, shape into buns/loaves, let rise until doubled and then bake at 350F.  Pls see other recipes at forum for specifics as this was posted as a comparison to the tang zhong method.

-----------------
Edited by coolcookie



    Sesame Seed Bun - add 45g of ground sesame seed to (B). After 2nd proof, sprinkle some whole sesame seed on top before baking.



    Frangrant pandan bun - add 40g sugar (optional) to (B) + pandan juice to (C). When baked (still hot from the oven), brush the bun top with some butter, and coat with granulated sugar.



    Raisin Bun - add 40g sugar (optional) + 50g plumped raisin to (B).



    Wholemeal Bread - replace 100g of bread flour with wholemeal flour. More wholemeal flour will make the bread heavier. Trial and error to get the texture you prefer.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Another blog with a great whole wheat and maybe many other regional bread styles.


http://dodol-mochi.blogspot.com/2009/10/tangzhong-or-water-roux-method.html

jrudnik's picture
jrudnik

Wow! Everybody here on TFL has been so helpful, I can't wait to get baking this weekend! Thanks again!

copyu's picture
copyu

The search words "asian baking book" yielded mostly general cookbooks or books on baking cakes. One exception:


"A Collection of Fine Baking: The Recipes of Young Mo Kim". It received eight customer reviews and 5-star ratings from most of them. Looking through the contents, though, the it's only the 2nd chapter that covers "bread" and most of the recipe names are are the familiar European names (Bagel, Croissant, Focaccia, etc)


However, one reviewer on a different site states it's a "fusion" cookbook, using Asian ingredients to make Euro classic breads. Hope this helps  


Good luck


copyu

hungry_i's picture
hungry_i

Hey Everyone.


On the topic of Japanese breads, I couldn't help thinking of an anime show my friend turned me onto.


In short, it's about a boy who dreams of baking "Japan" - a bread that is indigenous to Japan and Japanese culture, the way French or German bread may be to those countries. 


Apparently, it's kind of a pun, because Jap = Japanese, and "Pan" apparently means bread in Japanese. Witty!


The cartoon chronicles the adventures of this enthusiastic baker, beginning with a competition for one position at the best bakery in Japan ("pantasia"), and goes from there. The kid is special because he has "solar hands" - very warm hands that allow fermentation to occur super quickly, and thus everything is fantastic.


 


It's totally geeky, but if you live anime and baking (which I'm sure most of us here do), you can appreciate it. The Japan references are pretty cool, too


 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImIPiOZgG1c


 


Enjoy!


:: ira

jrudnik's picture
jrudnik

Sounds like me, as I am thinking of the same thing and am a young, aspiring baker myself!

lumos's picture
lumos

I'm Japanese (from Tokyo), though I've been living in UK for nearly half of my life (which is very long...) now.  I still go back there every year to see my family and whenever I go I spent a long time at cookery book section in book shops browsing books after books as I do here in UK, too, because food is my passion.


As far as I'm aware, I haven't seen any book that is specialized in Japanes style bread, though there might've been one or two which contained one recipe for that type of bread......but I can't remember its title and probably that's not what you're looking for.


But there's one bread blog by one Japanese guy who started writing Japanese translation of his original Japanese bread blog. I'd been following his Japanese one for a while, and he was quite good. Quite reliable recipe and he always seems to enjoy experimenting with new ideas. He seems to like what you described as 'Japanese bread' and that's mainly he write about on the blog.(That's why I stopped following it, because I'm not interested in Japanese bread.:p)


I've only had a quick look at his English side a few times to see what's it's like. It's not too bad, though it may not be perfect, and there seems to be many non-Japanese speaking people following his blog and the guy is always very kind and welcoming whenever someone asks a question about recipe (there's a link if you want to contact him by mail)


Sorry, I tried copy&pasting  URL but something seems to be wrong with either my PC or this/his site and can't do it. But if you google with 'hide-hide's home cooking recipe' I'm sure you'll get there.


Or maybe you can try his main Japanese site (http://home-baking.net) and follow the link (which looks like this: 英語サイト) to the English part.


Yes, as copyu said, European style bread, especially French and German, are great in Japan. Quite authentic, I think. Chain bakeries like Andersen, St.German and Little Mermaid have been there since late 60's/early 70's all over Japan and they did good job in giving average Japanese consumers to European style bread over years but in last 15-20 yrs or so, there've been lots of smaller scale, more-properly-artisan bakers popping up in many larger cities and the quality of many of them are just stunning.


When I first came to England to live millions of years ago, one of things I missed most about Japan was their baguettes. I still do and I make sure I eat some whenever I go there.


And baking artisan bread, especially French style bread, at home is really popular there, too. It's so popular some manufacturers even started making small ovens for home bakers with 'French bread' programme which create steams automatically during first part of baking.

copyu's picture
copyu

You're so right about the baguettes!


"Boulangerie Paul" does an amazing 'flute ancienne' that I could never really hope to duplicate at home (but it doesn't stop me experimenting and trying)


"Edy's Bread" in Akabane used to offer a 'retro' baguette that was superb, but unfortunately seems to have been discontinued...but it might only be one of those 'seasonal' things, based on ancient Japanese wisdom (and which often frustrates Gai-koku-jin ['foreigners'] here in Japan.) Favorite drinks, favorite o-bento, favorite breads, etc, disappear when the season changes, not to re-appear until the next year...


Basically, 95% of all bakeries in Tokyo-Saitama do at least one very authentic and respectable French bread. Learning to use our old electric oven, which has a very primitive steaming capability, may become my next baking project


Thank you, lumos, for the information and the links


copyu

lumos's picture
lumos

Hi, copyu


Hope you're enjoying your life in Japan. My husband (English) used to live there, too (that's how we met), for nearly 8 years until he decided he couldn't live without cricket and we came back to England.


French and German style breads were quite good then, but I've noticed they're even better these days; a lot more choices by a lot more artisan bakeries in many more parts of Japan.  I used to live in a quite central part of Tokyo so do my family still, so I was/am lucky enough to be able to get hold of rather good French bread from various bakeries quite easily.


There're many bakeries who still do 'ancienne' and 'retro' all the time, too. Worth looking for them, I think.


I don't know where exactly you live/work, but if you want to look for other alternative of bakeries within your easy reach, these books could be a good guide for you.


おいしいパン屋さん


バゲットの技術 (this is basically a collection of baguette recipes from popular bakeries, but it has a list of all the bakeries in the book with the details of their shop)


I'm not a huge fan of uniquely 'Japanese' style breads myself,  like all sorts of filling and shapes, which is also very popular, some of them I find just plain weird. :p

copyu's picture
copyu

Yes, Japan is my home, now, and life is good (despite the occasional frustrations!) I'm living just outside of Tokyo, but I work in the heart of 'the big smoke'. My wife and her family have "hearts of gold" and, although we don't all see one another every day, we have great relationships...there are 15 of us, covering 4 generations and we try to stay close (using fine Japanese technology) and meet as often as possible


Your links are very interesting and useful and I very much appreciate your posting them. I have book-marked them for future reference. Thanks a lot!


Best regards,


copyu


PS: I can relate to the 'weird' comment... ;-) Still, "When in Rome..." copyu


 

lumos's picture
lumos


I'm living just outside of Tokyo, but I work in the heart of 'the big smoke'.



I thought you might be when you mentioned Akabane-Saitama. Not sure how you commute to your part of Big Smoke, but if your regular route is through Ikebukuro the food departments of both Tobu and Seibu are good place to pick up your daily bread. I wouldn't say they sell the best bread in Tokyo, but they're handy. As far as I remember each of them has at least 3-4 artisan bakeries with European style breads of quite reasonable quality (plus some of weird 'Japanese' breads). Paul Bocuse used to have a small deli in Seibu that sold really good baguettes, too, but they don't seem to have it any more and I've read a review about their baguette the other day which said their breads were really mediocre these days.


Or if you travel via Tokyo station, Boulangerie Viron(very famous one) and Maison Kayser(also highly regarded) are both quite nearby. There seems to be Paul's, too, but I'm not a big fan of Paul's myself  either in Paris or here in London. and not sure if Paul's in Tokyo is any better.....

copyu's picture
copyu

I've never heard of 'Viron' or 'Kayser' before. Tokyo changes so quickly, I wonder if I'd be able to find them! Still, it's great to have the names to 'google' with. Thank you for the heads-up


Best,


copyu

lumos's picture
lumos

Both Vinon and Maison Kayser are very well established bakeries, just like Signifiant Signifie (Sangenjaya, Setagaya), Esprit de Bigot(Ginza, Jiyuugaoka, etc), Le Petit Mec (Shinjuku and Kyoto) Comme Chinois (Kobe), Fournier (Osaka), etc. etc; they're almost like a holy shrine to many French-bread geeks in Japan, not a sort of small establishment comes and goes quickly. So I'm pretty sure they'll still be there when you have a chance to visit them next time. They (all) have their own website with a map for direction, so it won't be too difficult to find them, I hope.


Just in case you haven't heard some of those 'sacred places' :p, Amazon Japan could be a good and easy source of information because some of them have published books on breadmaking (for both professional and home bakers), based on their own recipes. You just pick up any name you find there and google it, almost of of them have their own website.


Or here's  another guide book on bakeries in Japan, if you're interested.


 

Candygirl's picture
Candygirl

Reminds me of the Anime, Yakitate, about a Japanese boy with 'special' hands that were great for kneading/making bread.  He wanted to make a bread that was solely Japanese for the Japanese.  You guys should watch it.  It's in japanese but had english subtitiles.  I had fun watching it!


http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=4454