Thursday, May 24, 2018

Kopitiam Bread

I haven't baked much this year mostly because I gained a lot of weight last year and I believe eating all my bakes contributed a fair bit. So I was quite scared of baking. Recently my love for baking bread was rekindled. Just like getting back with an old boyfriend, the first bake (date) was a bit nerve wracking. You never know how it'll turn out.

For my first bake, I chose to make a Kopitiam Bread (coffeeshop bread). I'm in this fb group (Bake the Talk - it's a closed group) and I noticed many people baking it. It was started by a guy named Barry Apek and according to him, it was a Hylam (Hainanese) bread recipe. That sparked my interest because hubs is a Hylam nang (Hainanese person) and I'll bet he has never eaten a Hylam bread before.

So I can't post a link to the bread recipe because it's a closed group. But it's quite similar to this recipe except for the recipe I used, it called for 325g of bread flour. Which is a very odd number to use if you think about it...

I used Japanese bread flour only because it was expiring. I believe any bread flour will work. I also substituted butter for shortening. I used my Kenwood machine to knead the dough for exactly 10min. The dough came together very cleanly - nothing left on the mixer bowl.

Here's the dough right after kneading and ready for bulk fermentation. It looked so well!

Here's the dough after 1 hour bulk fermentation. I think the photo does not show the size well. The dough got bigger. I felt it was ready.

For curiosity, I weighed the dough - 576g.

I used my 8" X 4.5" X 4" pullman tin. Here's where I made a mistake. I covered the tin with the lid even though I intended to bake the dough without the lid. Thing is, I was also making dinner for my son at the same time and I lost track of time. By the time I remembered to remove the lid from the pullman tin, it was too late. The dough had reached the top of the lid and no matter how much I pulled, it wouldn't come loose. So I decided to bake with the lid on after all but guess what? Now I can't close the lid properly because some dough had escaped. So I baked with the lid 99% closed at 190 deg C for 50min. The last 10 min, I forced the lid open and baked the loaf without the tin because I like my bread brown. When I took the bread out of the oven, I knew it was a winner because of two things - one, the smell was so lovely, two, the bread was light.

I left the bread to cool and did not cut it until the following day. Usually for sandwich bread, the recipe would ask you to punch out the bubbles but I don't do that. At most I would pat it down like searching for weapons. As a result you can see some air pockets here and there. I do pinch out the big bubbles because those are nasty. I managed to get 12 slices out of the loaf. The bread isn't as yellow as in the images - more like very pale yellow.

Despite my tug of war with the dough, the loaf came out quite nice.

Here you can see some damage. But dough is so forgiving!

Yesterday we had the entire loaf for lunch.
This is my son's luncheon meat sandwiches.

This is my daughter's bacon sandwich.

This is my sandwich. I've stayed away from luncheon meat for quite a while.

This one's hub's. Don't worry. He was wearing shorts.

I'm very pleased with this bread. I'll probably use this recipe again when I need a loaf of bread for the family. I was still curious about the Hainanese role in this recipe. So I did some research but came up with nothing. Then I converted the recipe to percentage and that's when it hit me. Based on the percentages, this Kopitiam Bread recipe is a classic textbook sandwich bread recipe. Like if you were to go to a baking school in Singapore to learn to bake bread, the basic sandwich bread you learn would be this Kopitiam bread. Mystery solved!


Kate said...

Looks delicious. I used to make bread, but people kept eating it. My son's make their own bread, now.

Bethany said...

I love how perfectly square it is. I love the lines on it. And it looks like it tastes like the perfect sandwich bread.

Jane McLellan said...

Looks good, well done!

Projects By Jane said...

Hi Jane, I haven't baked bread for so long it felt good to get an easy success. I still shudder when I think of all my sourdough failures.

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