jetlagged. on the flip side, i’m keeping a baker’s hours. woke up at 2am last night which was just as well. while in malaysia, i picked up a cookbook, alex goh’s (呉景發) magic bread, and had started the bread making process earlier in the day. by 2 am, i was ready to mix together the bread dough for its 2nd proofing stage (3 proofs total). i picked up two tricks from the book so far — how to make asian bread with the sponge dough method and how to shape stuffed bread into a spiral pattern.
alex goh makes his sweet bread dough using the sponge and dough method. (the preface of the book indicates that it derives from japanese bakers). essentially, the method requires one to mix together flour and boiling water at least 12 hours — this is called an overnight sponge dough. the sponge dough is then added to the main bread dough. the sponge dough component enables bread that is softer and moister and stays soft and moist for a longer period of time. the sponge dough also helps the resulting dough achieve a higher volume than without.
i was originally going to make only prosciutto and shallot rolls, but i ran out of prosciutto in the process. i wrapped fish floss (commonly found in chinese supermarkets, fish floss is typically swordfish that has been seasoned and stir fried until it becomes dried out, light and fluffy) into the dough, which worked just as well as the prosciutto. i thought the breads came out quite tasty. hubby ate 4 rolls in one day, so i guess at least there’s one customer besides myself!
Alex Goh’s Basic Sweet Bread Dough
(makes about 16 rolls)
|Overnight Sponge Dough|
|Cold Water||175g (you may need 25 to 50g more. alex is based in malaysia, a very humid climate)|
|Cold Eggs||60g (about 1 large egg)|
To make the sponge dough:
- mix together bread flour and boiling water until a dough forms. Cover with plastic and set asie to cool. When cooled, place in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
To make the main dough:
- In the bowl of your stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, mix together the flours, sugar, salt, milk powder, and yeast until well-blended.
- Add in the cold water and eggs. Knead with the dough hook until a rough dough forms.
- Then add in the sponge dough followed by the butter.
- Knead the dough on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes until the dough becomes elastic. When you pull it apart the dough will be springy and not too sticky.
- Let the dough proof until it has doubled in size and an indentation remains when pressed. About 40 to 90 minutes.
Cheddar Prosciutto Shallot or Fish Floss Stuffed Bread Rolls
|Minced Shallots||1 large shallot (for 16 rolls)|
|Prosciutto||300g (for 16 rolls)|
|Shredded Cheddar Cheese||~2-3 tbsp (for 16 rolls)|
|Fish Floss||~1-2 tbsp per a roll|
- When the dough has doubled, divide it into 60g portions and then let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
- Take each piece of dough and roll it flat until it is an oblong shape about 6 to 7 inches long and 3 inches wide.
- Place a piece of prosciutto OR fish floss on the surface of the dough.
- Roll it up, then bend the tubular roll in half.
- Using a knife, make a cut in the middle of the bent roll about 3/4 of the way down the length of the bent roll. The cut should be parallel to the longer edge of the bent roll. Do not cut through entirely. The roll should still be in one piece with an incision in the middle.
- Then open up the roll along the two cut edges. Place the opened up roll on a piece of parchment papers. You should be able to see the ham or fish floss intermingled with layers of dough.
- Allow it to proof until doubled in size. The fish floss buns are ready to be baked at this point (skip step 8).
- If using prosciutto only, you may egg wash the rolls after they have proofed (I skipped the egg wash). After egg washing the prosciutto rolls, sprinkle on the minced shallots followed by the shredded cheese.
- Bake at 360ºF for 12-15 minutes.