Hokkaido or Asian Style Pain de Mie?
When Floyd posted his Hokkaido Milk Bread  I just had to try it. Finally I got to it, and tasted it and then thought, I've made this before, even though I knew I'd never made a bread called Hokkaido bread. I went back to the databanks and found that a year and a half ago, I made  Syd's Asian Style Pain de Mie , which is what I had been thinking of. I must have had some sort of trauma interference with my memory as at the time my Kitchen Aid was not up to the task of intensive kneading, so I did it by hand which was a bigger workout than I had bargained for. Fortunately, now I have upgraded to a tiny little Bosch which is much more suited to the task. That freed me up to bake both of these breads.
So being somewhat anal...ytical, I decided to bake them side by side and see how similar they really are. First the formulas:
Syd's scaled to
Floyd's scaled to
Quite similar. What the Pain de Mie lacks in hydration it makes up for in butter, and so forth.
These formulas reflect two changes I made in the Hokkaido bread - for all the milk products listed in Floyd's formula, I used milk, as well as all the liquid in the Tangzhong. Also I upped the salt to 2% which I meant to undo today, but which I forgot to undo.
While the ingredients are the same, and percents at least similar, the methods are quite different. Syd's is made over a four day period - first the tangzhong, then a biga like thing, then final dough. Floyd's on the other hand is made all in one shot. Also the tangzhong ingredients and procedures are different. I followed each of the methods as written.
The doughs handled fairly differently. The Pain de Mie after around 10 minutes of pounding at high speed, came together in a tight ball. The Hokkaido bread took a longer beating and while it window paned beautifully, it still remained somewhat slack and sticky. At shaping, they also handled somewhat differently, with the Hokkaido being more airy and light, and the Pain de Mie more easy to manage.
Now the crumb (or should I say the mie.)
Now the Pain de Mie:
And now the question - are they shreddably soft?
Yes - I think so.
Now Pain de Mie:
And finally - the taste:
They are very similar. However there are subtle differences: The best distinction I can come up with is the Pain de Mie is smooth and creamy, while the Hokkaido is a bit sharper. Both are really delicious.
So going forward, which version would I make? If I remember my four day window, I'd go with the Pain de Mie simply to get that extra smooth and cream texture. If I forgot the window, I'd make the Hokkaido.
And that's that.