This Asian technique — Tang Zhong—cooks a small percentage of the flour and liquid (water or milk) into a thick slurry, cool, and then mix with the remaining ingredients.
The flour will absorb twice as much hot water or milk then cool water. It also changes the structure of the dough into a gel-like structure that traps water throughout the kneading, baking, and cooling process.
- Easier to knead because less unabsorbed water
- Bread rises higher because more water creating more internal steam.
- Softer and moister for a longer period after baking
- 3 Tablespoon bread flour
- 3 Tablespoon water
- 3 Tablespoon milk.
Note: Recipe for 3 cups of flour
Make Tang Zhong
- In a small saucepan, add 3 Tablespoon bread flour, 3 Tablespoon water, 3 Tablespoon milk.
- Over low heat, whisk until a thick slurry is formed ( about 3-5 minutes)
- Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
- Mix with remaining bread ingredients and follow specific bread recipe of your choice
- 1/2 cup warm whole milk
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
- Warm milk at low heat
- Add sugar and stir to dissolve
- Add yeast to warm milk
- Mix lightly and let it bubble for 5 minutes. Science: Mixing increase surface area and increase the catalytic reaction.
- 3 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 whole egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons (unsalted*) butter, softened
Mixing Yeast Mixture with Dry Dough
- Add all dry dough ingredient into a mixer bowl
- Add yeast mixture
- Mix at low to medium until dough look smooth
- Cover with a damp towel and proof for 30-40 minutes. Science: The damp towel reduces the loss of water due to evaporation.
Shaping and Proofing
- Place wax paper on a baking tray and lightly grease it.
- Divide the dough into 100 grams pieces
- Shape the dough into a round ball
- Cover with another baking tray
- Let it rise at room temperature for 1 hour. Science: Catalytic reactions occurs slowly to produce carbon dioxide gases and trap inside the dough.
- Remove the top tray
- Gently brush the top with egg wash (Whisk 1 whole and 1 Tablespoon milk)
- Pre-heat oven to 375 F
- Bake on middle rack at 375 F for 15-18, or until golden brown
- Remove and brush with butter and let it cool for a few minutes
- Transfer them to wire rack. Science: Heat is transferred by convection through gases in the air. A wire rack allows air to circulate completely around whatever is on it and increase convection processes.