The texture of the bread is slightly different and lighter using the "tangzhong" method. However with all home-made breads, I always think it's best consumed on the day they are made. I decided to make a "sweet" loaf rather than "savoury" as I had some left over store bought red bean paste (for my Singapore readers, I bought it from Phoon Huat). I used to fear making bread because I had to do it by hand. I can never tell whether I would have kneaded it enough or not. But ever since I've gotten my KA, it's such a breeze. However do ensure that you have at least half a day set aside when making any yeasted goodies.
Japanese Style Red Bean Swirl Bread (Tangzhong Method)
Recipe Adapted from here
Ingredients of tangzhong (湯種 )
(Enough for 2 loafs of bread)
50gm/ 1/3 cup bread flour
250ml/ 1 cup water
1) Mix flour in water well without any lumps. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to prevent burning and sticking while you cook along the way.
2) The mixture becomes thicker and thicker. Once you notice some “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon. It’s done. Remove from heat.
3) Transfer into a clean bowl. Cover with a cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up. Let cool. Chill in fridge for several hours before using. (The tangzhong can be stored up to a few days as long as it doesn't turn grey. If so, you need to discard and cook some more.)
Ingredients for the Bread:
350gm/ 2½ cups bread flour
55gm/3 Tbsp caster sugar
5gm/1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp milk powder (to increase fragrance, optional and can be omitted)
1/2 cup milk (I used low fat)
2 tsp instant yeast
30gm/3 Tbsp butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
Filling: Store bought red bean (azuki) paste
1) Combine all dry ingredients: flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast in a bowl. Make a well in the center.
2) Whisk and combine all wet ingredients: milk, egg and tangzhong, then add into the well of the dry ingredients. Knead until you get a dough shape and gluten has developed, then knead in the butter. The dough will be extremely sticky.
3) Keep kneading until the dough is smooth, not sticky and elastic. (I added an additional 2 Tbsp of flour just to incorporate the dough). Knead about 12 mins if using KA.
4) Knead the dough into a ball shape. Place in a greased bowl and cover with a wet towel or cling wrap. Let it proof till it's doubled in size, about 40 - 60 mins.
5) Transfer to a clean floured surface. Deflate and divide the dough into four equal portions (or more depending on your tin). Knead into ball shapes. Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 20 minutes.
6) Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape. Spread a thin layer of red bean paste, leaving a 1" border along the sides. The start to roll from the upper, shorter end down to the bottom (as you would a jelly roll). Tuck in the 2 ends and place into your tin, with the sealed end facing downwards. Repeat with the remaining dough.
7) Arrange the rolled-up dough in a greased or non-stick loaf tin. Leave to proof again for 40 mins or until dough has doubled in size.
8) Brush whisked egg on surface. Bake in a pre-heated 180C (356F) oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and tin. Transfer onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Slice to serve or place in an airtight plastic bag or container once it's thoroughly cooled.