in case you’ve been wondering if i still bake, yes, i do…however, i’ve been doing a miserable job keeping up with the posting!
in the past few months, i’ve been spotting the emergence of “tofu bread” at japanese bakeries around the NYC area. i’ve purchased a few loaves. i can’t say that the flavour of tofu is actually detectable, but the texture is good, it seems to keep for a longer time than normal bread, and well the idea of eating tofu in my bread seems virtuous and healthy.
so, i decided to track down a recipe on a japanese website (which i’ve since lost track of — otherwise, i’d link to it). the flavour and texture is pretty good (a tight crumb) and moist…altho i didn’t quite get the rise that i had anticipated (perhaps i messed something up in translation or my yeast had sat in the freezer for too long).
anyhow…here’s how i made tofu bread…version 1.0
japanese tofu bread
(makes one 9″ loaf)
||250g + 50g (reserve)
||30g (at room temp)
|Active dry yeast
- Heat milk until just warm (but not so hot that it kills the yeast). Pour about 1/3 of the sugar into the warm milk. Then pour in the yeast. Set aside, allowing the yeast to bubble and froth (about 15 minutes).
- In the bowl of your standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together butter and sugar until well-combined. Then add in tofu. Mix for about 2-3 minutes.
- Next, pour in salt and bread flour. Mix for another 2-3 minutes.
- Finally pour in milk-yeast mixture.
- Change to dough hook. Mix at medium speed until a ball of dough forms and the all the excess has removed from the sides. The dough should not be tacky. We added about 50g of additional bread flour until we got it to the right consistency — something like a soft clay.
- Transfer to a bowl. Dust with flour, cover with plastic and allow to rise until it doubles to triples in size.
- Then, form it into a loaf to fit into a 9″ loaf pan. Again, allow the dough to rest in a warm place until it rises to the just above the lip of the pan.
- Heat oven to 385°F and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
after magically managing to escape jury duty for most of my adult life, my number was finally up. slated to report to the center street court house this monday, i started feeling a bit anxious on sunday morning. and when i’m anxious, i bake.
a while back, i attempted to make the japanese double soft bread (ダ○ルソフト), and it came out lopsided. i decided to give it ago a second time, with some last minute modifications, of course. Continue reading
igirisupan means english bread in japanese, but it’s a bread that can’t in fact be found in a traditional english bakery. i’m told that english bread is so called because the shape resembles that of a bowler hat. in terms of taste, the texture of the bread is similar to the double soft white bread i made a few months back, but a bit more rustic with a crunchier crust and less sweet. it’s a great bread for toast or making tea sandwiches.
(makes 1 loaf about 9 inches in length)
|Active Dry Yeast
|Nonfat Dry Milk Powder
||1 large one
- Microwave milk for about 1 minute until it is warm to the touch.
- Dissolve yeast into the milk and add 1 tbsp of sugar (you can take it from the 20g that you had measured out). Let stand until foam forms on top. About 15 minutes.
- Mix together remaining ingredients in a large bowl. I use the dough hook on my stand mixer set to a low to medium speed.
- When the yeast mixture (from step 2) is ready, add it in with the other ingredients and mix on medium speed until the dough forms and begins to peel away from the sides of the bowl. Depending on the humidity, you may not need all the water. I had about 50ml left over that I did not use. Around 3 to 4 minutes.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise until it has doubled. About 1-2 hours.
- De-gas the dough. Then, divide it into 3 portions. Form each portion into a ball, then cover with a towel, set aside and let rest for 20 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal parts and form each piece into a ball. It helps to use a pastry brush to dust off any excess flour. Place the 3 pieces of dough next to each other into a 5 x 5 x 9 inch loaf pan. (I didn’t have a 9 inch loaf pan and used a 12 inch pan. The resulting bread has a lot less height than the traditional igirisupan should have.)
- Cover with a towel and let rise until the dough has puffed up to cover 2/3 of the loaf pan. Took me around 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- (optional) Brush with egg wash. I left mine unadorned.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees
azuki bread vivisection
azuki double soft bread - a bit lopsided
plain double soft bread
yes, i’m at it again with the soft japanese breads. came across this japanese bread website the other day and i’ve been slowly working my way thru the recipes. intrigued by “double soft” (i mean really, how much softer can bread get?), i decided to test out this recipe. having some extra azuki paste in the fridge that i wanted to use, i doubled the recipe below to make one azuki version and one plain loaf.
the initial dough that i mixed together was really too wet. i may have accidentally measured out too much water or perhaps i slipped up on the flour as i was doubling the recipe in my head. at any rate, i’d caution anyone attempting to make this loaf, to really add the water slowly. my guess is that i probably needed about 2/3 of the amount advocated in the recipe.
despite some cosmetic errors on my part, the bread came out really tasty. it’s indeed soft, light, moist and fluffy. i suspect, however, that the “double” in the name, may actually refer to the two ridges the bread is supposed to produce. my plain loaf over-rose and the 2 domes got smushed together. you can see the double domes in the azuki version better — though it came out a wee bit lopsided. there’s always next time!
Double Soft Bread
(for 1 loaf; adapted from http://www001.upp.so-net.ne.jp/e-pan/recipe/reccipe.htm)
Bread Flour 160g
AP Flour 160g
Dry yeast 3g
Malt Syrup 32g (also known as Barley Malt Syrup; you can substitute with molasses or sugar or honey)
Egg 1 egg
Heavy Cream 32g
Unsalted Butter 16g
Warm Water 160g (***you may not need all the water***)
- Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water. Set aside and allow the yeast to foam up for about 15 minutes
- Mix together fours, malt syrup and salt.
- Add egg, cream and butter. Blend together using a dough hook and low/medium speed. I use a stand mixer.
- Add yeast, sugar, water mix slowly until the dough just comes together. Continue to knead for about 5 minutes until the dough begins to separate from bowl.
- Let proof until the dough has doubled in size. Roughly 1-2 hours.
- Separate the dough into 2 even pieces.
- Flatten the dough until it’s about 9-inch round on a floured surface, using a rolling pin.
- With your hands, roll the dough into a log and tuck the ends under. Repeat with other piece of dough.
- Place the 2 logs next to each other in a greased loaf pan (about 4.5 x 8.5 inches).
- Let proof until the dough has reached the lip of the loaf pan. About 1 hour.
- Brush the loaf with some egg wash.
- Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes; turn down to 325°F and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes.
- Take out of pan and cool on a rack.