The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Minimum rest time for Tang Zhong

bchan's picture

Minimum rest time for Tang Zhong

I began experimenting w/ a variety of breads using the Tang Zhong method.  Some recipes call for a 6 hours refrigeration while others just has the Tang Zhong cool sufficient to use, and still others will indicate that if the Tang Zhong can be cooled with the other ingredients, such as water/milk, it can be used right away.

Is there a “sweet spot” to the resting time for Tang Zhong for maximum efficacy?  Or is the long rest time for flavor?

David R's picture
David R

You've already found part of the answer, that it may depend on what other things are in the recipe, and what temperature those things are at. If mixing in the tangzhong is going to end up raising the yeast's temperature too high, then you'll have to cool it more.

I suspect (but I don't know) that the 6-hour wait didn't need to be 6 hours - that maybe it was code for "Seriously, go away, let the tangzhong cool completely, don't try to continue soon".

[Joking] Maybe you can spread your hot tangzhong onto a big sheet of silicone and put it into the freezer for a few minutes. 😁 [/Joking]

OldLoaf's picture

I usually just let mine cool to room temperature, then add it with the other ingredients.  I personally have never come across a recipe calling for a 6 hour refrigeration specifically for the Tang Zhong.  Could the 6 hours have been for a retarded fermentation?  Or maybe a refrigerated autolyse?

Refrigerating the Tang Zhong will also lower your dough temp when everything is mixed.  It will increase your fermentation/proof times, unless the recipe calls for hot liquids to be added.

bchan's picture

Great!  I was getting impatient to wait the full 6 hours of refrigeration.