40g Bread FlourCan also use plain flour
200g WaterCan also use Milk
So what is this tangzhong method? I have been on a quest to bake breads that stay soft, bouncy and fluffy like those from local bakeries. I tried countless recipes and yes the results are soft and delicious but still a little different. After 2 days, they usually become stale too and even if soft, they are not as fluffy and the air pockets not as big as what we get outside.
Then one day, I came across the tangzhong method （汤种法）This is a Japanese method kept secret till someone revealed it in a Chinese cookbook some years back. It is essentially preparing a flour roux mixture that is 1 part flour, 5 parts water and cooking it to 65C.
The roux is has already absorbed moisture and holds the moisture well. Thus making for a moist bread. It then does not compete with the flours for water. This is my go-to bread method if I am not making sourdough breads.
The result is a Japanese style soft bread that is soft, fluffy and bouncy and stays like that for days.
The amount of tangzhong to add is usually about 35% of the total flour weight in a recipe. This will bring hydration level to about 68%, but you will still be working with a fairly firm dough and easier to manage.
Click here to see our Soft Wholemeal Bread with Cheese recipe.
Add water to flour in a sauce pan and cook over small fire stirring constantly.