I tried to make milk bread today, which is supposed to be a delicious soft buttery bread with a thin yummy crust. However, it was ME making it, so it didn’t end up that way.
That’s not entirely fair. It’s still pretty yummy, it just smells like beer because I let it over-ferment because sometimes I think I’m too good for instructions. But it turns out there’s a reason they write that stuff down. I started the bread last night and was supposed to let it ferment for 12 hours. I woke up in a panic this morning, at hour 12 of fermenting (of course) and realized that the recipe said “let ferment in the refrigerator” and I’d left it on my dining room table. I did the thing that parents do when their kids fall down, and I grabbed the bowl of dough and started saying “you’re okay, you’re okay!” like that was somehow going to make it okay. Then I took the top off of the tub and smelled it. It had a very fragrant boozy smell, which kinda broke my heard, but hey, beer bread is a thing, right?
Let me rewind. The first step in this bread is making what the recipe calls a tangzhong, or a “water-roux” according the the google search I did five seconds ago. It’s basically a mix of flour and water that you cook on low until it’s thick. Actually, that’s EXACTLY what it is. This is then used as an ingredient in the rest of the bread. This is apparently supposed to make the bread lighter and fluffier, but it seemed to be negligible in my opinion.
Another thing I tried to do that didn’t work at all was that I tried to make it a “pull-apart” bread. I separated the dough into 12 sections and layered them so that each time I wanted a slice I could just pull off a layer. This didn’t work though, because all of the layers just stuck together. But it did make the top of the bread look really cool! I also blushed it with egg, which is why it looks so golden and delicious.
The recipe for the REAL way to make it can be found on Sprinkle With Salt, but if you want it to taste like beer then just don’t but it in the refrigerator overnight. Otherwise, it was a little dry (probably my fault) but generally really delicious and worked super well as sandwich bread. I’ll have to try again sometime and do it right (at least I’ll try) so that I can have a better feel for what all this work could get me. But that’s a project for another day.
The tangzhong, or “water-roux”, before and after cooking on low for a minute.
The ingredients for the dough, before and after mixing.
The over-fermented dough, and a chunk of it before and after kneading.
The dough after being separated into 12 pieces each and stacked in bread pans.
After letting rise for 2 hours.
After baking for ten minutes at 425 degrees.
After baking for 30 more minutes at 350 degrees.
What is looks like when I cut it like a civilized person and don’t just tear off a chunk (it’s so beautiful)!
A really delicious grilled tomato and cheese using the bread that I want you all to be jealous of.