The Joy of Bread Baking with Tang Zhong Method (汤种法)
I have always love bread baking but my only gripe was that home baked bread weren’t as soft and fluffy as those bought from the stores and the texture of home baked bread often than not seemed to be denser and would have turned hard and not as tasty the day after.
Not too long ago, someone shared with me a method of adding a pasty roux as part of the ingredient to achieve bread with a softer texture. At that time, I find the idea new and rather troublesome as there’s an extra step of making the paste so due to ignorance I dropped the idea of even trying as I did not know how it should be done.
Lately, as more and more talks surrounded the idea of adding Tang Zhong surfaced, I got curious and was more eager to try after obtaining some very nifty tips from a seasoned baker. To my surprise, it wasn’t that difficult to make the Tang Zhong at all!
You might wonder what is Tang Zhong and how this starchy paste could work wonders in home made bread. In the book 65°C 汤种面包 by Yvonne C., it was described as the “secret ingredient” which is originated from Japan, to make soft and fluffy bread. It’s a kind of “starchy paste”(aka water roux starter), heated with 1 part of bread flour in 5 parts of water to 65°C.
It is said that at 65°C, the gluten in the flour absorbs the moisture and become leavened. This moisture absorbed at 65°C is then mixed to the main ingredients of the bread and hence the moisture in the bread dough will be heightened. The end result will be a softer and bouncier bread.
Here’s how you can also make this “secret ingredient” – simple and easy steps. (Many recipes require about 120gms of Tang Zhong, so the recipe shared here is measured according to an approximate of 120gms Tang Zhong).
Tang Zhong Recipe & Method of preparation
Here’s a basic bread dough that is versatile and can be used to shape into many different buns or rolls or even loaf.
These were the buns, rolls and loaves I’ve baked using the basic Tang Zhong bread recipe
Simple isn’t it? With this basic Tang Zhong bread dough, you can whip up a variety of different breads daily for your breakfast and snack! I simply love the aroma of freshly baked bread lingering in the air of my kitchen it is just heavenly! Now you go bake some Tang Zhong bread today!
*Tang zhong recipe source : Molly Tay & Alice Rachel Neo