Monday, 26 November 2012

bread review #2 recipe -Japanese milk bread

Twolicious are on a mission. To find or create the best gluten free bread. Not just a good enough for gluten free, but good bread. Yummy bread.
I can't stop eating this bread!
So good you'll want to check the ingredients twice to be sure it's gluten free!
Its' bread, Fred

So to give you run down on what to expect with each review (although they will all be different), I thought I'd start here.
We'll look at different categories of bread. As in their origin.

1: bakery bread/ store bought
2: make at home packet mix
3: bread made from recipes

As you know there are many ways we come across breads in our lives, some of those times we like to make bread ourselves.

We (sisters) grew up in a home where the bread maker did this on almost a daily basis. With 5 packed lunches to make for each day, and everyone had sandwiches, that's quite a bit of hand cut bread to go through.

We also grew up in a home where simplicity and basics were key (very frugal living), and where there was always more than one use for an item. So the bread maker was also used to make dough for pastries, pizzas and other baked items.

So I guess when we assess a recipe for bread here, its functionality and versatility will also be taken into account, along with it's realness to traditional bread, and its taste and longevity.

After going through a multitude of recipes (and heartbreak with failure- hence the length of time between posts) somehow as I scoured the web (I think it was foodgawker actually- but truthfully, I can't remember, because I was sure this recipe would not work I did not document that- my bad). I was completely intrigued by the swirls. So pretty.

Well it did work. With some alterations of course.

And quite possibly because it is basically a savoury yeasted batter, only with a no pour ending.

I do like this bread, and I find it versatile enough that you can use this batter to make other sweet baked items such as cinnamon scrolls and pull-a-part bread. KI think the next thing I'll try is brioche or panetone. It could possibly go as far as pizza bases and foccacia, but I haven't tried that-yet. A little more time and we'll see.

This bread has a nice crust which is not too thick or too crunchy (due to the inclusion of egg, I find all breads that include eggs in their recipe have a crumbly type of crust), so it suits what my husband is after in his sandwich and morning toast.

The crumb is soft, light, moist and sweet, very much similar to a bakery white loaf. This is a great everyday bread.
It is nice to make herb bread to go with dinner, it is a lovely toast- so much nicer than you could imagine I guess that is why its title is Hokkaido milk toast.

It holds up well to freezing and refreshes well in both the toaster and the microwave, although as it cools (after microwaving) it does not have the same fresh bread texture. This may be due to my substitution of psyllium husk instead of xanthan gum (I am trying to be more versatile in my baking).

Time to rate the bread:

9/10- Would I go back for more?
Have and will continue to. This is because it suits my family's needs/wants for a sweet soft loaf. I've probably made couple of mini loves for the past four weeks, and used it for pull a part bread, and cinnamon scrolls too. The versitility and similarity to what Dadda has become accustomed to over the years makes it a great bread to start with when converting your diet to gluten free.

8/10- Approximately (depending on where you source your ingredients) $4 per recipe which yields an extra large GF loaf or two regular (for GF!) loaves.
So really making this loaf is quite reasonable considering a comparable loaf in your grocery store is approximately $7 these days.

Longevity: 5/10 The day of baking is really the best day to consume this bread.
Day 2 was still good for sandwiches, day 3, 4, 5 and 6 needed refreshing, I have still not had mould grow on this bread and have tested as far as 8 days, even then after refreshing it was still good to eat (immediately- after cooling it went slightly rubbery).

Freezing: 8/10 This bread is awesome from freezing, not exactly back to day 1 texture but definitely good enough to use from frozen for sandwiches that day. Like any bread slice before freezing and just use what you need.

Toasting: 10/10! This is the yummiest toast you will have from a yeasted bread, hands down!

Overall rating: 8/10

The best part about this bread is that it really does not stray far from the original recipe (the gluten version found on the net). The original recipe has eggs in it (this is great for GF bread as it helps hold it together and give a nice crust).
This recipe also has another element to it. As well as having dry and wet ingredients it also has a water and flour roux. This may also be why it seems to work so well.

I later found a gluten free version of this bread on a great site 'gluten free on a shoestring'. Since finding this site I've had a great time reading her work, check it out if you have a minute- who am I kidding, you'll need much more than a minute!

I am not sure about turning it dairy free, but I think I'll have another go when I make some almond milk. The issue is you need the fat within this bread to assist leavening. I have tried it without milk, and it just doesn't get any oven spring. It was a very sad loaf indeed.

Try this bread I think you'll enjoy this slightly sweet soft white loaf.

Be sure when making the batter to whip it real good. Not just to quote Devo, well maybe. I do mean, beat it or knead it for a bit longer than you think necessary, I like to be sure to see strands forming within the dough (you know like gluten would in an actual bread dough).

Japanese Milk Bread or Hokkaido Milk Toast

As you can see, you really need that glaze!

Adapted from various recipes (found in the links on this page):
Recipe type: Bread

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 40 mins

Total time: 1 hour

Serves: 8 to 10

Super soft & tender gluten-free bread made with a Japanese water roux

350g rice flour

150g tapioca starch  (you may need a little more to create the right texture)

3 Tablespoons of Psyllium husk

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

4 tablespoons (48g) sugar

2½ teaspoons instant yeast

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 extra-large egg

1 cup warm full cream milk, about 38C or 100F

4 tablespoons cooled melted butter

140g water roux (a reduction made with 30g of tapioca starch and 125ml water)

Line a loaf pan with baking paper. I use either a pan 220mm x 130mm or my two smaller pans that are 170mm x 80 (at the base).

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place flour, Psyllium husk, cream of tartar, sugar, salt and yeast, and whisk to combine.

Combine the vinegar, eggs, milk, butter, add to flour mixture on low speed, then water roux, mixing well after each addition with the mixer on low speed. Once the dry ingredients have been incorporated into the wet ingredients, turn the mixer up to high speed and allow to mix for about 7 minutes.

By now the dough should be developing those strands I was talking about earlier. It should be moist and slightly sticky if you give it a poke.
If you find the dough is too wet, add more a little more flour by the tablespoon with the mixer on medium low until you reach that desired dough like texture.

Sprinkle some tapioca flour on the bench or board and flip it out. Dust your hands a little also and the top of the dough. I use a rolling pin to lightly form the dough into a square about 20mm in thickness.

Cut the square with a well floured knife in half down the middle. Make two more cuts to make six pieces. I was really drawn to the pretty little swirls I saw on the loaves found on foodgawker, so I like to make my pieces into little rolls and place them in the tins, but some people just pop the dough into the pan whole, others divide their dough and fold it.

Whichever way you choose, be sure not to squoosh the air out of it.

Cover the pans with a thich teatowel and pop them in a warm place to rise (I put mine on top of the oven) for about 40 minutes to an hour. When it is getting close to double its size, preheat your oven to 180C.

When you oven has come to temperature the dough should have doubled, brush the dough brush the tops with an egg wash (this is totally optional, but if you want that glossy golden tops, you gotta do it).

Bake for about 20 minutes in the smaller pans, 25-30 in the large or until lightly browned. take out of the pans now and pop on your baking stone (that has been in the oven) or a tray and pop them back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes. You'll know they are ready to come out when you tap them on the bottom and they sound hollow and the sides are firm.

Place on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving. This is the hardest part! The bread smaells sooooo good, but if you cut it too early the inside will still be a bit gummy. So please for the sake of sliced bread- let it cool!

Then eat, eat, eat, and after that share, share, share!