The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Asian-Style Pain de Mie

Syd's picture
Syd

Asian-Style Pain de Mie

This is a super soft, highly enriched, labour intensive, Asian-Style Pain de Mie. It involves the 湯種 (tang zhong or water roux) method and took 3 days from beginning to completion.  The original recipe and instructions can be found here.  The recipe makes 2kg of dough.  It filled one, 1kg pullman pan and two 500g pans.  I baked without the lids on because I prefer the rounded tops and I also like a bit of colour on my loaves.  They always look slightly anemic when they come out of those pullman pans. 

Day 1

Water Roux

milk 70g

butter 30g

sugar 3g

salt 1/8 tsp

bread flour 70g

Heat milk, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan.  Bring to the boil.  Remove from heat.  Dump in flour and stir to a smooth paste.  (A bit like making choux pastry). Cover tightly, allow to cool to room temp and refrigerate for 16 hours.

16 hours later

Tear into small pieces and add:

bread flour 700g

instant yeast 2g

milk 430g

sugar 20g

Knead until it comes together, cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 36 hours but not more than 72 hours.  (I retarded for 48 hours).

 

Baking Day

Tear it into pieces again and add:

 

bread flour 300g

Salt 12g

sugar 120g

nstant yeast 5g

milk 100g

whole egg 140g

It will turn into a sloppy mess and if you have a stand mixer it will be better.  I don't, so I just have to make do with slap and fold (a la Bertinet).  It actually comes together pretty quickly. When it has come together add:

butter 100g

Now knead it until your arms cramp up or until you get a windowpane as clear as a gossamer wing (whichever comes first).  Again, a stand mixer would be of great benefit here.  Bench rest 15 - 20 mins.  Shape and place into pans. 

Allow to rise until about 8/10ths full then cover (if you want) and bake.  I baked at 180 C (convection) for 40 mins.  The original author gives temps for an oven that can control both top and bottom thermostats.  My oven isn't that fancy so I just went somewhere in the middle and it worked.  Next time I will bake for 35 mins.  I think my crust was a little on the thick side this time.

 

Heavenly with marmalade and a cup of Earl Grey.  It tastes good on its own, too.

Syd

 

Comments

MichaelH's picture
MichaelH

I love breads that take time and care to make. This one looks rich and delicious. Thanks for sharing, this one will go on my short list of breads to bake.

Michael

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

has certainly paid off.  Sounds wonderful with the tea and marmalade!  Very nicely done, Syd!

 

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks Michael and Sylvia.  It is worth the effort, but make sure you have people to share it with:  it makes a lot of bread!

 

Just updated to include the sugar in the final dough.  Whoops!  Quite a serious omission: 120g.  :)

MichaelH's picture
MichaelH

It already looked rich, now more so. I think I might half the formula. Thanks.

Michael

CraigFromNewcastle's picture
CraigFromNewcastle (not verified)

It looks stunning. 

 

I don't much like marmalade or Earl Grey - but I can imagine the 3 together really going well, and I'd like it.

 

Well done, very very nice looking bread.

 

:)

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks, Craig. :)  You could eat it with any jam, but a slightly bitter marmalade compliments the sweetness of the loaf.  A seville orange marmalade is just perfect! 

regards,

Syd

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Very lofty crumb there, Syd, nice work. All that sugar and Butter... its almost a croissant dough!

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks, Khalid.  Yes, it is more like a brioche dough, I suppose.  Very rich.  Has a lovely buttery flavour. 

best,

Syd

emmsf's picture
emmsf

These breads look lovely, and your timing is perfect since I just posted a question a few days ago looking for pain de mie formulas.  I did have two quick questions:  First, do you happen to know the dimensions of the 1k and 500g pans you refer to?  I have 9.5" and 16" pullman pans, but frankly I don't know the weight designations.  Second, I find the "water roux" technique fascinating, and I look forward to trying it.  Do you have a sense of how the bread is different when made using this technique (as opposed to, let's say, a basic enriched Pullman white)?  In any case, beautiful loaves, and I look forward to trying the formula.

Syd's picture
Syd

The 1kg tin is a 13" x 4.5" x 4.5" pullman and the 500g tin is 7 7/8" x 4.5" x 4.5".  I am not sure of the other dimensions of your pans but perhaps your 16" pan corresponds to my 13" one and the 9.5" to my 7.5".  A quick search the net reveals variety of different sizes all claiming to be 1 1/2 pound tins or 2lbs tins.  At any rate I don't think it will matter too much, particularly if you aren't going to cover them.  For the 1kg tin I divided the dough into 5 x 200g pieces, rolled them into ovals and rolled them up tightly.  For the 500g tins, I divided the dough into 2 x 250g and shaped the same as above.  Do a search on the net for your size tins and see if you can come up with a dough weight reccommendation for them.

Essentially, the main benefit of the tang zhong method is extended shelf life.  There is also a slight improvement in bread volume due to the increase in fermentable sugars made available by the scalding process. If you want to read up on the science behind it, check out this article.  Beware!  Confusing science!

Happy baking,

Syd

emmsf's picture
emmsf

Thanks Sid - that 's very helpful  I too have found very little consistency in the weight designations of these pans, but as you say, it only becomes critical when you use the tops.  I'll play around and see what works.  Looking forward to my first water roux experience.

MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

Very nice, Syd. Thanks for posting the water roux method as well. It is something I am curious about and want to try.

Sue

http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks, Sue.  I did some research on it a while back and experimented with breads at home.  I found it did have a significant impact on keeping quality.  I haven't used it for a while now. 

What I can remember: 6% of total flour is the magic amount to use when scalding flour.  Much more than that and bread volume will decrease because of too much degraded gluten.  Much less and there won't be much impact on shelf life.   the scalding liquid should be heated to 70 - 75 C so that the roux temp is about 60 C ( a temp which favours alpha-amylase activity).  Of course your flour temp will affect the final temp, too.  It should be covered immediately and tightly and allowed to cool to room temp as slowly as possible. 

You won't notice much of an impact in a sour dough as they already have such a good keeping quality, but you will notice a difference in your ordinary yeasted doughs.  I need to do some more experimenting.  It has been a while.

Syd

Syd's picture
Syd

You're welcome!  :) 

The topside browning was a tad on the dark side, also the corner edges.  I believe the next time I will let it go for 30 minutes and will be checking to see if it's at 190F.

Yes, you could try that or when it has reached its desired 'browness' loosely drape it with tin foil (shiny side up) to prevent further browning. 

For the final rise, I rose it in the pan, covered, for 5.5 hours in the fridge at 34F.  Then a 4 hr rise at room temperature.  I just ran out of time to bake, so I had to retard.  I don't know if this makes any noticeable difference.

Although I haven't done this, I can't see it making too much of a difference.  I don't think retarding it any further will do much for flavour.  My personal preference would be to get it into the oven as soon as possible with all that butter in it, but seeing as you ran out of time, I think you made a good call. 

Ideally, I would like to finalize the dough, and half or quarter to freeze immediately, and then the final rise would be from freezer to room temperature into the pan.  Have you tried this, and what was the results?  If you haven't tried it, do you think this is adviseable?

I haven't tried this with such a delicate dough and have no idea if it would work or not.  The only dough I ever freeze is pizza dough.  I would reccommend you ask this question on the general forum.  I am sure there is someone out there who has experience with doing this.  I know dough can be parbaked, frozen, thawed and then finished in the oven.  Don't know how this dough would fare with this treatment, either.  You might be best off to fully bake, freeze, thaw in the bag at room temp, lightly refresh in a pre-heated oven for 5 mins and then eat as soon as possible.

It makes a delicious loaf, perfectly sweet (not too sweet), perfectly tender, with a great body and chew.  I didn't need any jam, although I could see using this for something like anpan, or a brioche-dough tart filled with sabayon and fruits.

Agreed!  I have made it twice now and both times it has come out perfectly.  It looks like hell when you add that butter and you think you must have made some mistake but then, suddenly it all comes together.  It does make a lot of dough but I have overcome the surplus issue by giving a loaf or two away.

Best,

Syd

LapLap's picture
LapLap

It's taken a while as I've only just begun to post on TFL but this is the recipe and thread which introduced me to this website and the bread that got me to start baking a bit more seriously (I'm more of a whole grain person and a bread like this is more of a dessert treat item than an every day staple.)

It remains one of my favourite recipes and is hugely popular with my Japanese acquaintances.  Thanks so much for posting this and for the introduction to the original Chinese language blog.

Syd's picture
Syd

It's my pleasure! I am glad that you enjoyed it. 

Best,

Syd