January 19, 2010

Milk Custard Bread 奶酥麵包

I talked to my aunt on the phone last night, and she pointed out that I don't seem to have done any breads, but I actually had made a lot of breads, just haven't gotten around to post them! When it comes to bread making, I have mixed feelings. I love making breads because it's easy and the success rate is much higher than say cakes. But I also hate making breads because I lack the patience to wait for hours after hours for the dough to rise. Making bread really is a day-long job.

My grandma had already packed her camera when I made the breads, so I didn't take any photo of ones Seattle-bound, which were bigger and much less burnt looking! The breads in the photos were done months ago when I first started baking. The one on the right was custard cream bread, which will come later!

One of my grand-uncle loves Chinese-styled milk-custard bread 奶酥麵包. I don't know the proper English translation for 奶酥, and no one on the searchable internet seems to know it either. Bakeries here call it custard, but I'm assuming they don't make the regular custard bread, otherwise how do they distinguish the two? So for the time being, I'm call it milk custard paste, thus milk custard bread. Anyways, everytime he visits us in California, or when he visits Taiwan, we would buy these breads from local Chinese bakeries for him to take back to Seattle. So when my grandma went to Seattle this time, I decided to make some bread for her to take it to him.

Basic Hamburger Bread Dough
(Recipe from SkyBake)

Yields about ten breads (60-70g of dough per bread)

egg                        25 grams
sugar                     60 grams
salt                        1 teaspoon
active dry yeast     15 grams
water                    225 grams 
bread flour            415 grams
powdered milk      1 tablespoon
unsalted butter       50 grams (softened at room temperature)
  1. Dissolve yeast in 75 grams of warm water and let stand for 5 minutes. (warm water-- to the extent that doesn't burn your hand, because if the water is too hot, it'll kill the yeast)
  2. After 5 minutes, mix in the remaining water(150g), egg, sugar and salt, until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Add bread flour and powdered milk to the liquid mixture to make a dough. 
  4. Add in the butter and continue to kneed the dough until you can see a thin membrane when you stretch the dough. (For more tips on bread dough kneeding, please see here and here for Carol 的清楚解釋)
  5. Lightly spread a bowl with liquid oil and set the dough in the bowl to rise for one hour, or more in colder temperature.
This recipe is very versatile and even though it's titled hamburger bread by Skybake, it tastes to me like any basic bread that you would find in Chinese bakeries like Sogo and Sheng Kee. So with this basic dough you can make it into many different flavors. I have made flavors like custard cream, green onions, and milk custard.

Milk Custard Paste (奶酥餡)
(Recipe from Carol)

unsalted butter      114g (softened at room temperature)
powdered sugar   93g
powdered milk     114g
egg                      21.5g (lightly whip one small egg and take out 21.5g )
salt                       small pinch

  1. Beat together butter and powdered sugar (sifted) until the mixture becomes pale yellow.
  2. Add powdered sugar and salt and mix well.
  3. Add the egg and form a soft dough.
  4. Optional, you can add half a cup of raisin as well. (I always do this because raisin is healthy, and makes more fillings)
  5. Covered with plastic food wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Assembling the Milk Custard Bread
  1. Divide the bread dough into 10 equal balls (about 70g each)
  2. Divide the milk custard paste into about 7 (35g each) balls. 
  3. Roll each of the bread dough ball out to about 12 cm circles.
  4. Wrap the bread dough around a custard paste ball and tuck in the bottom so it's completely closed.
  5. Optional Pineapple Bun 菠蘿 see below.**needs to be done before the final rising.
  6. Lighly spray the surface of the doughs with water and let them rise for another hour in the oven.
  7. After the doughs have risen, lightly brush the top with egg mixture and put some sesames or coconuts flakes on top for decoration.
  8. Preheat the oven to 170C/340F.
  9. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the top is golden.

Pineapple Bun (菠蘿外皮)
(Recipe from Carol)

unsalted butter     80g (softened at room temperature)
sugar                   53g
bread flour          160g
egg                     34g

  1.  Beat together butter and sugar until pale yellow.
  2. Add the eggs in two additions and mix well.
  3. Add the sifted flour and  make it into a dough. 
  4. Wrap up in a food wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
  5. After one hour, divide dough into 10 balls
  6. Roll out each ball to about 2 mm thickeness (large enough to cover most of the bread dough)
  7. Wrap it around the dough.
  8. Use a knife and lightly indent across both ways to make 1 inch squares (See photo below)
  9. Final rise for 60 minutes and lightly brush with egg mixture.
  10. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes at 170C/340F.

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