Monday, April 22, 2013

Japanese Style White Bread (Take 2)

In my last attempt my bread didn't really rise, which I think is a result of my use of really old yeast in a jar. My wife mentioned that the Anderson bread had a stronger "bread" flavor. This to me, means that I need to use a preferment like a poolish or a biga to really add that yeasty flavor to the dough.

100g bread flour
100ml lukewarm water
 1/2 tsp yeast
Mix ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover with plastic. Let sit overnight at room temperature.
Water-Roux Paste:
20g bread flour
100ml water
Mix flour and water in a small saucepan. Cook over low to medium heat, stirring continuously until it reaches 65ÂșC. It should have thickened to a paste at this stage, that is when you stir you can see the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat, place a cling wrap over the paste and leave until lukewarm, or room temperature, before using. (Alternatively if you don’t have a thermometer, cook as before until it just starts to thicken, then continue to cook for about 1 more minute before removing from heat.) This water roux can be kept in an airtight container after cooling in the refrigerator for 1 day if not used immediately. However DO NOT USE if it turns grey in colour, that means it has gone bad.
For the Bread Dough:
50ml lukewarm water
30g butter, cubed
Water-Roux Paste
250g bread flour
30g sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp instant dry yeast
Add all the ingredients to your bread machine in the order provided. As always, its best to make a little crater in the mound of flour and drop your yeast in there. Then set your machine to the white bread setting and start it.

This recipe makes a bit too much for my Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery 1-Pound-Loaf Programmable Mini Breadmaker. It almost overflowed the machine during the rise cycle so I ended dumping it into 2 loaf pans and baking them for 30min at 350F.

What about the bread?
Well, I could smell a bit of alcohol which might mean that I used too much yeast. It had larger bubbles and was more translucent than the Anderson bread. I also feel like the texture wasn't as springy as the Anderson version, tending to break instead of tearing apart. I think I'll try a different approach next time.

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