Hi, my name is Mark. I am working in Xi'an, China and I miss good bread deeply. It would be nice to try making my own. The Chinese types of bread are very different from what you get in Europe!
I'm sure we have members either near you or have lived near you as this is a global board.
I believe the breads are much softer and sweeter,generally, than europeanstyle but that they can be quite delicious,too. Is that true where you are? Do you know what types of flour are available? How about yeast? Is the water suitable for working with yeast or is bottled water available?
The toolbar at the top of the page has a lot of information to get started with.
We have all the sweet breads plus mooncakes, plus some muslim breads for making paomo and lots of noodles and jiaozi. This is the centre of the noodle universe, or at least there is a huge number of types
use to make noodles will also make a good loaf of bread. They make WW noodles too now o WW flour is around somewhere, The best hotel in town that serves Westerners can turn you onto where they get their flour too. You can get a SD culture going and make some fine bread while you are there too.
I'm in Perth Western Australia, as Clazar123 has asked what flour is available to you in Xi'an and what part of Cina is that? as i know there is a big difference in the weather in that vast country.
Yeast shouldnt be a problem as i think the yeast we get at my former work place is produced in China!
I would start off with something pretty basic, not knowing whether you have a machine or not you can do it by hand anyway, there are some pretty good tutorials here on TFL that will guide you, also on you tube.
A simple straight forward bread dough would be, and i will use bakers percentages because that way you can make the amount of the dough to what suits you
flour 100% Basically what ever is available to you (BREAD FLOUR BEING THE BEST)
So for instance lets say we chose 500g determine what 1% equalls which is 5g, thereafter the other ingredients are multiples of 5 !
salt 2% x 5 = 10g
yeast 2% x 5 = 10g
oil 2% x 5 = 10g
water 60% +or- x 5 = 300g with plus or minus usually hold back from the stated amount and add if the dough seems tight (dry) do this as soon as the flour is taken up!
(This will give you 840g of dough enough for a good sized loaf or 2 small loaves or half a dozen good sized rolls.)
Mix this dough either by hand or machine it will then need to bulk ferment in a bowl that will allow for its expansion covered with either cling wrap or a damp cloth, i prefer cling film and usually write on the film the time that it commenced its B F, Its also a good idea to have a note book to enter all details as you go, its easy to forget if you rely on memory, and you may well want to replicate if you create a masterpiece, A detailed log can also help your fellow TFL folk if you have problems or inspire others with your successes.
I have been baking for 48 years now, 10 in the industry from apprentice to tradesman and now as hobbyist i can honestly say you never stop learning, Sourdough has come to me only recently and i am enjoying that experience very much, its quite ironic that the old boys that were around when i was just starting my apprenticeship were very familiar with long fermentation periods and yeast cultures as compressed yeast and hi speed mixers and plant bakeries were just in their infancy. The wheel is turning with some of the old skills coming to the fore once again.
One thing i can promise is that you will have good fun, some frustration, some elation and meet some very nice people many of them through this very forum. so good luck and get started.
Kind regards Derek
You shouldn't have any problem finding flour and yeast. It helps if you know the differences in what different flours are called:
If it comes down to it, just head to Wal-mart.
Good luck and post your results/questions.
Thanks. Now all I need is an oven, or a bread maker. Woks do not work for bread LOL Most of these flour types I should be get. Xi'an has lots of markets which seem to have lots to different kinds of flour.