Shokupan with Tangzhong

The magic of light, delicious homemade sandwich bread is the Tangzhong method; a type of roux made with either milk and flour (milk bread) or water and flour for a simple sandwich loaf called Shokupan in Japanese. If you’ve not yet tried it, read further and give it a try… don’t get discouraged by the length of the instructions… most of the time is inactive.

Tangzhong

  • 175 g water
  • 35 g flour

Whisk flour and water in a small saucepan until smooth; gently heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat, cover and set aside to cool.

Dough

  • 4-5 c flour
  • 3 T sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp Kosher salt (less if using salted butter)
  • 4 T butter, softened
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 lukewarm water
  • 2 T butter,  melted for finished loaves

Whisk together the flour,  sugar,  salt and yeast; make a small well in the middle of flour mixture and stir in 1 1/2 c water. Stir from the inside,  just until most of the flour is moistened.  Add in the cooled Tangzhong mixture and stir to create a nice, workable dough (use remaining water to get the desired consistency 1 T at a time). Knead 5 to 6 minutes then incorporate the butter by adding one tablespoon at a time. Dough should feel pillowy. Cover and let rest 45 minutes; punch down and let rest an additional 30 minutes.  Turn dough onto lightly floured surface,  dividing into 4 equal pieces; shape into ball, cover and let rest for 5 minutes. To shape: gently pat or roll dough piece into a 10 x 5 inch rectangle; fold top  2/3 down and bottom 1/3 up in an envelope fold; from the short side roll tightly and place in a well buttered loaf pan; repeat with remaining dough,  placing two pieces in each pan. Cover and let rise for 45- 60 minutes or until the tops are peeking over the tops of the pan.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30-35 minutes,  tenting with foil after 20 minutes to prevent tops from over browning.

Shokupan and fresh eggs

If you’ve lived in Okinawa,  the first bite will bring you back to those amazing Family Mart sandwiches.

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