Saturday, March 22, 2008

My Own 65 deg C Loaf

It seems that Tang Zhong (or water roux method) is the craze lately in the baking blog community. I was mesmerised by Florence's post, and decided to use this same recipe to start my adventure.

As it was Maundy Thursday and I had to rush out to church, I quickly did the starter dough and cooled it in the fridge. I used this time to meaure the ingredients for the loaf, and when the starter dough was cool enough, I dumped everything into the breadmaker - wet ingredients in first, followed by the dry ones. Last in, yeast of course.

When I got back at 10 pm, there was still 1.5 hours to go! That meant it would be almost midnight before the bread could be ready. I should have set the timer instead. That way, we would have freshly baked bread on the morning of Good Friday.

Not long after baking started, I thought something was amiss... a thin layer had formed. Instinctively, I wanted to open the cover and burst that (huge) bubble. Then I stopped myself, may be the rest would rise eventually. Of course, it didn't. When I unmoulded the bread, the thin crust broke. There was a depression at the top of the loaf. I left it in my room to cool as it was still too warm to close the container's cover.

When I cut the loaf the next morning, I was disappointed yet again. Instead of a fluffy and spongy texture, I thought it was soft (no doubt) but elastic or felt plastic-ky. I knew it would be rejected by my picky eaters, so I had it steamed. Along with it, I also steamed a few of the chocolate milk buns. Steaming helped to soften the bread, but must be consumed as soon as it is removed from the steamer. After cooling, it's back to the rubbery texture. My boy loved the white loaf very much, as he had dipped it in half-boiled egg.

This left me thinking, the entire process was done in the breadmaker. So far, the only real success I can credit myself with, is the yogurt bread. Those were absolutely perfect buns and earned praises from everyone who tasted them. I began to wonder if that success was not to be repeated. Perhaps, practice makes perfect still rings true...


KWF said...

yuri, breadmaker takes time to understand. Don't be discouraged. Maybe next time you do bread, let the breadmaker knead the dough for you. Then proof it outside and bake in oven? You'll probably need a few tests to understand the machine better. For testing, I'll suggest you repeat the same recipe.

Yuri said...

thanks wf. I am begining to do that, let the machine knead and do first proof. After that, I would take the dough out to punch out air and shape and bake. Recipe is very important too!