Tuesday, January 10, 2017

65 Degree Celcius

While trawling the net for more new (to me) bread baking technique, I came across old posts about this book by Yvonne C from Taiwan 65°C湯種麵包 (Tāngzhǒng miànbāo). Literally it means 65 degree Celsius "soup type" bread. I was intrigued.

Tangzhong or rather a 65 deg Celcius tangzhong is the secret ingredient to achieve soft, moist and fluffy bread. As I did not have the book, I had to rely on recipes provided by bloggers.

This is how tangzhong is cooked. 1 part flour to 5 parts water is mixed and stirred over low heat until the mixture reaches 65 deg Celcius. It is then cooled, covered with cling wrap and later refrigerated. The following day, you can use it as a starter to bake bread.

So the trick is to create the gelatinised dough at 65 deg C as something magical happens at that temperature. I guess something to do with capturing moisture, leavening. I don't really know the science. Anyway, the smell of 65 deg C tangzhong isn't very good especially after you take it out of the fridge and leave it on the table for a while. 

This blogger had a tangzhong recipe for wholemeal bread and I decided to try it out.

In goes the tangzhong with the rest of the main dough.

I noticed when I used my hands to feel the dough there were noticeable tiny lumps, probably caused by the tangzhong.

The bread turned out looking okay. It had all the usual desirable - soft, moist, fluffy. Quite similar to Alex Goh's bread. (remember him?) However, after eating the bread, I thought the bread tasted gummy. Thinking that perhaps I had not let the bread cool down enough, I tried the bread again the next morning. Still gummy. The gummy thing really spoiled the bread for me. I think in the end, hubs and my son ate most of the bread. They weren't bothered by the gumminess and I won't be surprised if they didn't even know it was there. To me, whether bread tastes good depends on the flavour as well as what some may call mouthfeel. The gummy taste is very subtle and I actually hate that I could detect it. I wish I have a more easy going tongue!

Anyway, I definitely won't make this bread again and thus must continue my search for better wholemeal bread.

Actually I had another thought and decided I would seek out the tangzhong book and try out the recipes in the book.


Jane McLellan said...


Christel said...

I've heard of this Tang Zhong method before, and watched a video of how to make it on Youtube (by wantanmien). Interesting how this Tang Zhong supposedly makes bread fluffy and soft. Didn't know about the gummy part though.. Thanks for sharing! :)

Projects By Jane said...

Hi Christel, I don't think tangzhong caused the gumminess. I made another bread with tangzhong using Yvonne C's recipe and it had no gummy taste.

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