It took another week of procrastination, before I opened the instruction manual. Alright..sounds easy enough, I chose the basic recipe, french bake option and followed the step by step instruction. Screen came alive and told me that I'll have a fresh loaf in 3 hours 15 minutes. 2 hours later.. we were wondering where's the usual yeasty fragant smell as the machine rumbles on. hah! turned out I didn't lock the pan down tightly and the kneader could not catch on. It was still a pan of water, flour, salt and yeast, in separate forms. Anyway another 3 hours later, we had our first loaf. Emm.. nothing fantastic, a little too yeasty for my liking and though quite soft in texture, it turned hard the next day.
1 week later.
I decide to try again! This time, I wanted to use the Tang Zhong or otherwise also known as 65C or Water Roux method to make a softer slightly sweet/milky loaf. Not too sure if it will work as my google search showed that most people only use the breadmaker to knead the do the first proof. But I thought completing the whole bake process with the machine would save me so much trouble. It's so easy to just scoop, dump, press and wait! So.. I decided to try it.
TADA! a freshly-baked loaf of TZ bread with herbs.
Recipe from here (below portion will make one loaf)
25g bread flour
60ml water & 65ml milk (or all water or all milk) (I like to use soy milk)
Mix all ingredients in a metal pot and stir until there are no lumps. Cook over med heat until mixture becomes very thick, and lines start to appear when mixture is stirred. (Alternatively, test the temperature, you will get Tangzhong at 65C). Remove from heat and cool to room temperature before using.
1 large egg
125ml milk (I like to use soy milk)
All of above Tangzhong (should have 120g)
350g bread flour (I sub 1/2 with whole wheat flour before, loaf is more packed and dense but still softer than usual wholemeal bread)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon instant yeast
30g unsalted butter, softened
Herbs (amount is up to individual preference)
Method of making bread (in a breadmaker):
1. Combine all wet ingredients in breadmaker's loaf pan
2. Place flour, sugar and salt into the wet mixture and stir the dry ingredients lightly. Add the yeast, ensure that it does not come into contact with the salt.
3. Choose baking program (basic bake, 3hours 30 minutes)
4. Machine will start to knead the mixture. When gluten starts to form, around 5 minutes onwards, add the butter and herbs
Alternatively, use the dough program to do first round of proofing. After dough cycle completes, bring it out and roll into a ball. Divide into 3 and roll into a standalone loaf pan. Let it proof for another 45 minutes.
5. If you are using breadmaker, just wait impatiently for the 3.5 hours to pass and you'll have the fresh smell of bread baking. If using your oven, place loaf pan into oven at 180 to 190C, for 35 to 40minutes.
(Remember to apply a thin layer of egg wash)
Once bread is baked, remove from bread machine/oven and leave to cool completely before slicing.