The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

100% Whole Wheat loaves with Tangzhong method

Wheat Rules's picture
Wheat Rules

100% Whole Wheat loaves with Tangzhong method

Crumb shot


Long time lurker...first time poster here.  After reading about the Tanzghong method here on Fresh Loaf I decided to try it with the whole wheat bread that I have been making for 18 years. I mill Prairie Gold and use a Bosch Universal to knead the bread, and the results were incredible! The tangzhong produces the softest crumb  ever, and the bread remains moist for at least 3 days. Great oven spring as well. 


Darwin's picture

Looks good, much nicer than the one I did this weekend.  Which yeast did you use?

Wheat Rules's picture
Wheat Rules

I use SAF instant yeast, but the dramatic rise is because of the tangzhong.

Floydm's picture

Wow, that is incredible!

I still haven't tried Tangzhong with whole wheat. I need to.

dabrownman's picture

seems to th all the rage with Tinned WW sandwich bread this past week.  All of them well done like yours and at least 2 of them used Tang Zhong / Water Roux!

What a great bread - Happy baking in 2014 

mrfrost's picture


What is the formula/recipe?

How much dough(weight), into what size pan for pictured loaf?


Janetcook's picture

Reading that it has taken you 18 years of baking to get these kinds of results made me feel like my 3 years wasn't so bad after all *- }  Good loaves take time…..

A couple of days ago I posted my whole wheat loaf using a roux as well and our loaves look very similar but your oven spring outdid mine by triple!!!!  

Thanks for sharing your remarkable results.

Take Care,


Wheat Rules's picture
Wheat Rules

My loaves are 1 1/2 lbs each. I always use the same amount so that I can compare the spring. Janetcook...your loaf is beautiful! My pans may be smaller than yours. Well done for only three years of baking! I think that the extra hydration of the TangZhong is magic for whole wheat.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

T-shirt time!   "TANGZHONG!"    That loaf & crumb LOOKS fluffy!

Never be afraid to use a little left over porridge, congee or other cooked hot cereal in your loaf.  It used to crack me up when the German recipes were translated into English calling something similar: "wall paper paste."   That could be cornstarch and water or potato starch or rye flour diluted into water and heated up to thicken.  Try it with gluten free flours.

Lots of possibilities here.  

Oh! ... I've found the starter loves the stuff to grow on too!   Can you imagine me sharing my breakfast oatmeal with my starter?  or inoculating my hotel congee in China?  

kensbread01's picture

Would love to see the recipe or reference to where I can read it.

Wheat Rules's picture
Wheat Rules

I had the recipe ready to submit but I somehow lost it. Bear with me...I'll get it together.


Wheat Rules's picture
Wheat Rules

Mill 12 cups (2315 g) of Prairie Gold into flour. Use 5% of the flour in the tangzhong. I use a Bosch Universal Plus. if your mixer does not have a large capacity, you may need to scale the recipe.



115 g (scant cup)flour

575 g (2 1/2 c) water

Whisk together and cook, stirring with whisk and rubber spatula until thickened to a porridge like consistency. Let cool to room temperature.



All of the tangzhong

1070 g (4 1/2 c) water

175 g  (1/2 c) honey

100 g (1/2 c) oil

most of the remaining flour (reserve 3 cups)

2 Tbsp yeast

3 Tbsp salt

in the bowl of the Bosch Universal Plus mixer, combine all ingredients and mix until a very soft but not sticky dough is formed, adding as much of the reserved flour as needed. Let rest 4 minutes. Then continue kneading for 6-7 minutes. Allow the dough to rest in the bowl for 10-15 minutes.


Divide dough ( I get 6 one and a half pound loaves). Pat each dough into a rectangle and roll up to form a loaf. Allow the loaves to rest on the counter for about 20 minutes. Shape the loaves a second time and place in greased bread pans

Let rise until ready. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 mins, until done




Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

for my understanding of Tangzhong.   

Wheat Rules's picture
Wheat Rules

The total whole wheat flour is 2315 grams.The correct amount is now listed. Thanks for catching the error.

dsmithnc's picture

Do you set aside 3 cups as a reserve?  Is the wheat amount (2315g) equal to 2315g of flour? Sorry if I'm sounding a bit dense about this.



Wheat Rules's picture
Wheat Rules

Yes, set aside 3 cups out of the total 2315 g of flour. The extra hydration of the tangzhong means that you may need less flour. Add as much as you need to make the soft dough. Don't be afraid to add extra water if you feel the dough is too dry.

The weight of the grain and the milled flour is equal...the volume is different.

dsmithnc's picture

Thanks very much.  Going to give it a try.



wspahr's picture

Made this today.   Great recipe and easy to make. Didn't get the oven spring in your picture, but it made a nice loaf of bread.  Other than the rest periods is there a fermentation time?

Antilope's picture

but haven't called it that. Heating the flour to around 150-F in water gelatinizes the starch, creating a translucent, unflavored pudding. A cornstarch pudding is similar, it is heated in milk until the starch gelatinizes.

What have we added pudding to for years, to make it more moist? Cakes! Pudding cakes!

Adding a Tangzhong water roux to a bread recipe is similar to adding pudding to a cake recipe, and the result seems to be the same. A more moist, light and fluffy product.

sandydog's picture

Wheat Rules - You have made some great looking bread there.

Whilst I have not tried the Tangzhong method outlined in the above postings, I am familiar with something similar from the book "Whole Grain Breads" by Peter Reinhart.

Reinhart talks a little about what he calls the Chinese "Soup seed technique" and offers alternative proportions for making the initial mix, varying from very thin (Tangzhong) to gravy like and some a lot thicker. Bakers in Britain are likely to be familiar with the term "Mash" and "Scald" which are essentially very similar with the differences appearing to be the level of control exerted on the proportion of flour as well as the temperature of the mix which has an effect on the enzymatic activity in the flour. Antilope partly touches on the subject above. I don't know what bakers in USA call these techniques but I feel sure they will know about them.

Enough theory already - For those who have Reinhart's book, it is well worth trying his recipe on page 195 (My favourite) and comparing it with the "Tangzhong" version. For those who do not have the book - It is extremely easy to read with very clear descriptions/explanations and well worth putting in your bread baking library. 

Thanks again, Wheat Rules, for a reminder of a great technique for making the tastiest Whole wheat bread ever.

Happy baking,



ithilas's picture

hello! Could wheat rules' recipe possibly be halved because I do not know what to do with 6 loaves of bread everytime I make it.

i tried the conversion of tangzhong in King arthur's whole wheat sandwich bread this past weekend and it failed ultimately. The taste was not too good and it was quite short. Although it did expand the two times it was to rise. I also put it in a Pullman loaf. What do you do when the recipe calls for 3 different liquid sources like orange juice, milk and water? I did a conversion by adding the water and milk together but not the orange juice. I dont know why my tangzhong in grams did not equal the conversion i did.  Can anyone possibly show me how to use tangzhong for this recipe correctly or is it just not possible because of how many ingredients there are? If anyone can help me concet this recipe, I would be grateful!!!! Thanks!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

More details on how the recipe "failed" would be helpful.  Too dry?  Two wet?  Gummy or came out flat... How big is the pullman pan?  I get recipe dough weight of 967g.

Have you tried the linked recipe without Tangzhong?  Could be a problem of too many dough enhancers:  potato flakes, powder milk and soured milk (when combined with OJ)  and then Tangzhong too.

How much flour did you pre-gel?  Tangzhong would be 22g of the recipe flour into the 113g recipe water (weigh bowl & mixture)  wait 15 to 20 minutes for it to fully hydrate)  then cook in a microwave dish until gelled.  Can be that after cooking the Tangzhong, it weights slightly less so add water until it has the pre-cooked weight (135g + bowl.)  

Use all the water in the recipe for the tangzhong  leaving the OJ to curdle with the milk.  Don't forget to subtract the 22g flour from the recipe flour.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

just take half of all ingredients (multiply by 0.5)

or if you prefer a 2 loaf recipe, divide all ingredients by 3   (or multiply by 0.333)

Hippytea's picture

I just wanted to comment on this recipe and say it worked very well for me. I realise it is a couple of years old but perhaps my comments will be useful.

I tweaked it a bit, because that's what you do when you find a recipe online, isn't it? "This recipe is great. I cooked it exactly like you said, although I subbed cheese for the chicken and nuts for the onions and honey for the sugar and I used potato flour instead of strong bread flour to make it gluten free, and I steamed it instead of baking it and ate it frozen on a stick. Best recipe ever, five stars."

Anyway, I was looking to enrich it a bit more, so I subbed milk for water, and I used dark brown sugar instead of honey (out of honey) and butter instead of oil (more butter more better). I was also using commercial whole wheat chapati flour rather than home-ground flour, so my flour would be a bit finer than yours. None of this is major.

I did adjust the timings. I let the dough sit for an hour before kneading, as in my experience whole wheat likes to have time to relax, and I let it rise for a couple of hours after kneading (I had to go out, otherwise I would only have given it an hour), then shaped it and let it rise until it was ready to go in the oven, about 45min.

It turned out very well, and is going to become my standard framework recipe for whole wheat. I didn't get your heroic rise (how did you DO that?), but I got a good rise and a lovely moist fluffy loaf which kept well for the guts of a week, which is great - I usually find whole wheat is worse than your average loaf for turning into a brick after a couple of days, but this one never did.

A couple of comments - I found the dough a little dry. If my maths is correct, it comes to 70% hydration. I added extra water to bring it to about 75%. Could this be because I was using commercial flour? Perhaps it is dryer than the home ground stuff.

I also found it a little salty. I don't really know why, as the salt comes to 2% which doesn't seem excessive. So this could just be a fault with my measuring.


But generally, great recipe, and this one is going to be written out in my book of Special Recipes and used again and again.

ithilas's picture

Hi! I have a 13x4 Pullman loaf pan and a 9x4 Pullman loaf pan, because my family still likes sandwich bread to look like the sandwich bread they buy in the stores. If I made the recipe given above, how many pounds of dough should I probably distribute for each of the loaf pan? I would hate to fill them up and end up with a dense bread.

 If I put the lids on, would it probably still be fluffy at least? And if anyone can recommend which Pullman pan would perform better for this recipe, I would appreciate it.

Thanks so much!