HOKKAIDO MILK BREAD

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Do you know that irresistible soft milk bread? It is Hokkaido bread of Asian origins. Its processing technique (tangzhong method) allows you to obtain a very soft and light bread starting from a mix of water (or milk) and flour which gives the dough elasticity, softness and hydration. It’s not sweet or savory, but it’s a perfect bread for breakfast, and, even when the days have passed, it will be perfect for French Toast or other wonderful recovery recipes. My friend Igiea renamed it the “Hokuto bread” in homage to Ken the Warrior and therefore we can’t help but call it that…
The recipe I am reporting is a “quick” version, without pre-dough according to the tanzhong method, but so good!

The process with a planetary mixer is recommended, but you can also knead by hand.

Ingredients

  • 500 g Manitoba flour
  • 100g fresh whipping cream
  • 210 g of milk
  • 12 g of fresh brewer’s yeast or 4 g of dehydrated brewer’s yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 25g milk powder (optional)
  • 60-80 g sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
  • 7 g of salt
  • 1 egg

For brushing before and after cooking

  • 1 egg yolk
  • milk
  • butter (after cooking)

Place the milk, cream, crumbled yeast and a spoonful of sugar in the bowl of the mixer and start it with the paddle attachment, mixing gently until it forms a foam. Add the sifted flour one spoonful at a time and continue mixing at low speed so that it mixes well, then also add the sugar and powdered milk (the latter is optional). Then add the lightly beaten egg in two batches until completely absorbed and finally the salt. Once mixed well, change the dough hook and use the dough hook and knead for 5 minutes and then let it rest for 10 minutes. Continue kneading until it becomes stringy, that is, until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and wraps around the hook (if you take it in your hands a veil will form).

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Place the dough on the pastry board and let it rest in the air for 25-30 minutes. At this point, roll it out slightly with your hands or a rolling pin and make the folds, as in the figure.

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I recommend doing 2-3 rounds of folds. At the end, round the dough by folding the edges downwards so as to obtain a nice taut sphere (image 6) and place it in a large bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm oven at around 26-28°C ( but off) until doubled. It will take at least 1-2 hours.

You can decide, before putting the dough to rise, to put the dough in the fridge to mature* overnight, after leaving it at room temperature for an hour. Maturation allows proteins, starches and fats to progressively break down into simpler elements which will be fuel for the yeasts. These processes weaken the structure of the dough making it less tenacious, more extensible and more easily digestible. When you remove it from the fridge you will need 1-2 hours at room temperature before it starts to rise.

Once it has risen (doubled), divide the dough into 4 balls and let it rest covered for 5 minutes.

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Roll out the balls forming an elongated strip and roll each strip from the shorter side.

Roll out each roll obtained along the long side, again forming a strip about half a centimeter thick and roll again from the shorter side.

Place rolls with the closure facing downwards in a 29 cm plumcake mold lined with buttered baking paper and cover the mold with cling film and leave to double in size, at a temperature of approximately 26-28° (approximately 1 hour).

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Brush with the egg yolk beaten in the milk.

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Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C in static mode for about 30 minutes. If it browns too much on the surface, cover with aluminum foil. Remove from the oven and brush with plenty of melted butter while still hot.

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After a maximum of 10 minutes, remove from the mold and leave to cool. Here is your wonderful and very soft bread from… HOKUTO 🙂

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p.s. it keeps for a very long time if stored in a tightly closed paper bag or wrapped in a kitchen cloth. It is perfect to use for French Toast!

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