Boston Baking: Hokkaido Milk Bread
March 7th, 2014

So after baking like a crazy person in my new apartment, stuffing baked goods down the throats of coworkers and friends alike, and dedicating an album on my facebook to all my baking endeavorsI figured I should blog about some of the ones that turned out well, or not o.o

Since this is the first baking-related post, I should give a little preface about this recently kindled hobby

First off, I didn’t bake that much prior to this past fall. I baked a bit in college, but it was usually cupcake mix, and then I like decorating the cupcakes [i.e. trees for Christmas, webs for Halloween, rainbow-dyed five-tier cakes] haha But in general I didn’t make things from scratch.

The main reason was probably that I’m kind of lazy. I had made cupcakes a couple of times from scratch in the past when I was home back in New York; however, all I could remember was that making cupcakes from scratch took nearly twice as long for something that tasted roughly the same as the boxed stuff. So I wasn’t too keen on that.

The second reason was I never had my own kitchen equipped with all my baking stuff until this fall. I had access to ovens in college, but they were small, not mine, and there was quite a bit of ghetto baking going on [i.e. I once mixed cupcake batter in a frying pan...it was a poorly equipped kitchen...and I was an even more poorly equipped at the time].

But now I have rectified the second reason with my [first] apartment, and somehow, that has motivated me to get past my laziness, and thus overcome that first reason too :]

The next thing I should note is that, I do not create any recipes. Everything I make, and I am sure that everything I will post here, is from somewhere else. I do modify things due to limitations, laziness [darn, #1 is still a problem I guess...], and attempts to make things slightly healthier, but I don’t come up with recipes out of my head.

I have brought enough things into work that my coworkers know I like to bake [a lot...] and they have asked me how I got into it, which I thought was a bit of a funny question, because I don’t have much of a reason for it. I like sweets, and I suppose I find baking relaxing. I like designing cakes and things for special occasions, but I only recently got into making things from scratch and making things other than cakes. Also, as far as where I get recipes from, since my coworkers have asked that as well, I tend to look up multiple recipes for whatever it is that I want to make, and I compare the differences between them. If they’re going to make supposedly the same [or at least similar] thing, the ingredients and process should be similar enough. However, due to certain limitations, I don’t have certain ingredients or certain tools, so I just kind of find a recipe that I have everything for, or I modify and substitute certain things if I noticed it can work in other similar recipes [i.e. applesauce or greek yogurt to replace numerous liquid ingredients - yay healthy! I rarely reduce on sugar though...so maybe not D:]

Anyway, that was my little intro of this hobby of mine. I never considered baking a hobby for me before a few months ago, but I bake at least once every two weeks [and some weeks...it's like...3 times in one week...ugh holidays...] and it’s developing into a bit of an addiction. Nevertheless, hopefully something good comes out of all of it :D

I will go back and dig out the others that I liked a lot, but since I just made it, I give you Hokkaido Milk Bread. I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for a while [like a couple of months] but I know bread takes a while with all the kneading. And I’m a bit lazy and like how you can just throw stuff together in a bowl and make cupcakes; but bread actually takes effort. Work. Physical work :[ But I figured I might as well get on it.

Since I really don't know what the purpose of this site is anymore...aside to just post things from my life...haha...I won't call this a baking blog, it'll be a blog with some baking in it :]

I’ll also note, that the recipes I repost will have the sources I used originally, but they will have my own photos and I will rewrite the directions/instructions in my own words, with my own spin of what I did.

Hokkaido Milk Bread Recipe

First off, I apologize in advanced, but this recipe does involve ingredients in grams. I fortunately have a digital scale [bless my roommate], so I was able to just measure the following ingredients as is. If you look, you can usually find a version of the recipe with the conversions, because someone in the US is bound to want to make whatever is out there on the internet

I should also note, rather than making two loaves, as the recipe below is for, I did one loaf, and than bread bunnies. I got the idea from here. Mine came out a little darker than I would have liked; the little guys bake fast.

Ingredients

Makes two loaves

  • 540 g bread flour
  • 86 g sugar
  • 8 g salt
  • 9 g milk powder [dry milk]
  • 11 g instant dry yeast
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 59 g heavy whipping cream
  • 54 g milk
  • 184 g tangzhong [ingredients below]
    • 50 g bread flour
    • 250 g water
  • 49 g unsalted butter, melted

Making Tangzhong

So this thing called tangzhong is essentially a little mix that you make prior for many types of fluffy Asian breads. The lazy-me tried to find a similar recipe that didn’t involve it;but they all do. Fortunately, it is very easy to make.

  1. Mix flour and water until there are no lumps. Cook in a pan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly and scraping sides so it doesn’t burn.
  2. Mixture will become thicker. Tangzhong is finished when thick enough to see lines in mixture. Make sure to mix evenly so mixture is homogeneously thick.
  3. Remove from heat and transfer into bowl to cool. Tangzhong can also be covered and stored in refrigerator for later use [a couple of days].

Directions

  1. Mix all dry ingredients [bread flour, sugar, salt, milk powder, yeast] in medium-large bowl. Mix all wet ingredients, except butter, [3/4 of eggs, heavy whipping cream, milk, tangzhong] in large bowl. Add dry ingredient mixture to liquids in parts; I divided it in about 5 or 6 parts because there is just so much flour. Mix first with a wooden spoon; mixture will be sticky and take a while for all the dry ingredients to be incorporated. Keep mixing. When mixture is somewhat less sticky, use hands to mix dry ingredients thoroughly into dough. After dry ingredients are incorporated, add melted butter and knead into dough.
  2. Knead dough in bowl with hands until it becomes relatively smooth and elastic. When it’s no longer sticky, knead dough on table or cutting board. Continuously flatten out dough, and then roll sides back into center dough-mound. Dough-mound should be smooth and when poked, the dough should bounce back. Cover dough and let it rest at room temperature for 40 minutes.
  3. Divide dough in half, and then into 3 portions each [6 total]. Punch and knead each portion for a minute or so, and then roll portion into a dough-mound. Cover dough and let it rest at room temperature for another 15 minutes. Begin preheating oven to 365F.
  4. Roll out each portion with a rolling pin into a somewhat long oval. Fold the sides of oval in, flip over so that folded sides are on table surface, and then roll out. You should result with a rectangular portion of dough. Roll dough, like a swiss-roll. Repeat for remaining 5 dough-balls, and place 3 portions side by side in a loaf pan. Turn seal side downwards.

  5. No rolling pin? No problem :D Starbucks 20 oz tumbler doesn’t just hold coffee ;P

  6. Brush remaining whisked egg on surface. Bake in pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes, until bread turns light-medium brown. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

Viola! Add some butter to warmed milk bread and you’re golden!

Original Recipe | PDF Print-Out

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A little bit of an intro...

This is my personal site to post some stuff – stuff that is so random I can’t really be any more specific. But if you care for photos of food, panoramas, my day, or just the thoughts that go on in my head, please stay!

I love to travel, bake, burn time on tumblr, read, cafe questing, and run around pretending to be a photographer. I also have a thing for Japanese, classical music, and food. Wherever I am and whatever I’m doing, I hope to do it with a smile, see new things, do everything, and just experience and take it all in.