Friday, January 14, 2011

Milk Tea Bread Loaf

If you read my blog often, you know I am a bread "addict", whether to bake or to consume, lol! So I am always on a look out for a good bread recipe. It so happened that I came across this great bread recipe book call "Natural Breads Made Easy" (Chinese is "天然麵面包") at the library a week back. Boy am I hooked! I merely tried 2 of the recipes and I am completely sold and determined to own a copy of the book myself. FYI, I just bought the book a couple hours ago online, hahaha! To show you a little proof of my great found "treasure", I present to you my first attempt, Milk Tea Bread Loaf!
It might just appear to you this is just like any ordinary old plain white loaf. But no no no...this is red milk tea infused (红茶) tender soft bread loaf. :) I followed the recipe to the dot except for the part which he requires me to add tea leaves into the dough. I figured the 2 small person in my household would dislike the overly strong tea scent. So I avoided it but it still has a faint tea scent because of the red tea concentrate I added in. :)
The main technique adapted in this book is the "17-hour low temperature" pre-ferment dough. This method evidently yields a much more moist, chewy, yeasty and a longer shelf life bread. I guess the best way to get my point is to actually make it yourself! So here is the recipe:
Note that original recipe calls Earl Grey Milk Tea Bread. Instead of brewing a pot of Earl Grey tea, I took the shortcut and used the red tea concentrate I have in my fridge. Here is a pic of the concentrate which I got from MEIDI-YA in case any of you are interested. :)

The following recipe makes up to 2 loafs of 8"X4.5"X5" loaf tin.

Ingredients for Milk Tea Bread:

Pre-ferment Dough:
464g bread flour
265g water
7g fresh yeast (I used instant active yeast)
7g sea salt (I used table salt)
13g skim milk powder

Dissolve the yeast in water. Add bread flour, sea salt, skim milk powder and knead until soft. Cover the dough in cling wrap or a big zip log bag. Refrigerate to let it prove for 17 hours.

Note: The dough will expand in the fridge. So whatever container you put the dough in, do give some allowance for growth.

Main Dough:
199g bread flour
27g skim milk powder
7g sea salt (I used table salt)
80g sugar
80g beaten egg
80g milk tea concentrate *
7g fresh yeast (I used instant active yeast)
66g unsalted butter, room temperature
13g ground Earl Grey tea leaves

*Note:I used the above packet tea concentrate. But if you want to brew your own tea, here is the formula: 20g of Earl Grey tea leaves brewed in 133ml hot milk for 15 minutes. Strain and use.

  • Knead all ingredients of the main dough together, except the butter. Add pre-ferment dough piece by piece. Knead after each addition until soft and smooth. Add butter. Knead until stretchable consistency.
  • Put the dough into a big bowl. Cover with cling wrap and let it prove for 30minutes till double.
  • Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Flatten each portion with your hands to drive the air out. Roll it into square shape, cover and let rest for 20 minutes before shaping.
  • Flatten the dough to drive the air out. Roll each out into a rectangular sheet with a rolling pin. Fold about 2cm from both sides towards the center and roll it out again. Roll the dough up like swiss roll (the width should be the same as the tin) and out them into the mould. Repeat for the rest of the dough portions. Cover with cling wrap.
  • Let it prove for about 45 minutes or until the dough has risen to 80 to 90% of the depth of the loaf tin. You can either cover the lid or bake it open top like mine. If open top, brush with egg wash. Bake in 175C for 30 to 35minutes.
It looks kind of plain without adding in the ground tea leaves. But the softness and deliciousness compensate for the looks, hee. :D Furthermore, if I replaced the milk tea concentrate with full cream milk, it will just be a nice milk loaf too. :)

Once the loaf was out of the oven and I had taken a few shots, my hubby and I gobbled up a few slices immediately! Freshly baked bread...who can resist that? Plus this bread's texture is really good, soft with slight chewiness and a nice crusty outside. :) You guys gotta try this, trust me. :) Besides the ingredients are simple too. :)

Okay all, got to go catch my Zzzzs. :) Hope you all have a nice relaxing weekend. Cheers!


DG said...

You are not only bread addict, I can say bread expert too :) I think I ever saw this book in library too, quite lots pretty bread there and hope you sharing more with us LOL. Have a nice weekend to you too!

j3ss kitch3n said...

oh my this looks so soft! infused with red tea! simply divine!

Unknown said...

Your loaf looks epic! Gorgeous. x

lena said...

it's always nice looking at all the breads you bake, it looks really soft , thanks for another method of bread making. have a nice weekend!

WendyinKK said...

Thank you for the translation from the book, hahaha!!!
We need more people like you. Thank you.

My Lyanne loves bread too, I think once I move in my new house, you'll see a lot more bread posts from me, lots to learn from you.

Red sister said...

I appreciate what u do because I do not know Chinese. I ever see some of good recipes are in Chinese. Luckily u share with us. Many thanks and Happy New Year to u and your family.

My Little Space said...

So, frustrating! Already made the comment for a few times but still went missing. Hey Bee, the bread looks so big & fluffy white. Btw, is there any colour in the red tea paste? And what's the taste? I think should be something like earl grey too. Tsated like milk tea flavour! I think next round we should try something else.... probably... ceylon tea. haha.... Isn't it fun! We both made the same thing at the same time. Hope you're enjoying your weekend.
Cheers, Kristy

Passionate About Baking said...

Oh, you're really patient to have gone through the long process for this bread! However, the result yield is really worth the effort ya? I'll have to give this a try since you mentioned "longer shelf life"! Thanks for sharing. I'm sure the bread was finished in no time! Must be very fragrant and soft! I like milk teas!

Sanjeeta kk said...

What lovely texture! soft, fluffy and perfect honey combs in this milk bread loaf.

ReeseKitchen said...

Yes Yes...this bread does look soft!! I'll never have that soft fluffy one..;p Wish I still get to try your bread..:(

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks DG. :) You aree too nice, hahaha, I don't think I am any expert in baking bread. Some of the Chinese terms they used for the different techniques, I am still no clue which is which sometimes, hahaha!

Thanks j3ss!

Thanks How To Be Perfect. :) I have to agree this is one of the more successful loaves I made. :)

You are most welcome Lena. :) apparently there still more methods out more to discover and learn.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Wendy, you are very welcome! This is indeed a very nice recipe, so I bet your little girls will love this. Yes, I realize beside Kitchen Corner, Happy Home Baker & myself, there are not many bloggers out there that does the translation, heehee. ;)

You are most welcome Red sister. Welcome to my blog and hope you find more useful recipes here. Happy baking!

Hi Kristy, sorry to hear that you are having problems with commenting. But glad that you did, heehee. :) actually the milk tar concentrate is dark brown, but it only require 80ml, so the ratio in making the whole loaf colored is very minimal. The taste of the concentrate is very sweet and rich tea flavor. Oh yes, I saw your tea ring post. Looks very soft and yummy too!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Jane, actually I didn't do much waiting. I knead the pre-ferment dough and left in the fridge overnight, that's all. I wasn't really keeping track of the time. So I just make the bread when I am free the following day. When I mean longer shelf life also means the bread stays soft for more days too. But since the weather is so nice & cool nowadays, the bread at room temperature won't spoil so easily, heehee.

Sanjeeta KK, thanks for your constant support!

Reese, you have to try this! This method is very good yah! Hope you get to at least enjoy the recipe I recommend if u can't taste the ones I made. :)

Elin Chia said...

BeeBee..I just ordered online from book depository, The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread by Peter Reinhart and Ron Manville . Can't wait for it to arrive :) It will be bread making craze for me then :)

Your #1 Fan said...

Your bread-making skill is definitely pro-level. All of it turned out so great! This is no exception.
Thanks for sharing.

Bakericious said...

Bee Bee, you making me wanted to own this book too hehehe... The bread looks so soft, wish to have a big slice now!

ICook4Fun said...

You are so good at making this kind of bread. Soft and light as a feather. I bet it taste really good especially using milk tea.

Unknown said...

I tried this method before and I am totally in love with it, ever since then I only use this recipe to bake bread ^_^

Magic of Spice said...

What a beautiful loaf of bread...looks incredibly soft :)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

@Elin: that's great! You know I too wanted to get that book but my last trip back to US, my luggages were over weight! Hahaha! Yes yes, looking forward to seeing yummy bread post from you. Happy Baking!

@Jet: thanks! Actually I still have much to learn. ;) but you should try this, it's good!

Thanks Gert! Try it out , I bet you will love it too. :)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

@Jess: Go get it! It's a great book! Now I am so looking forward to having my copy, hahaha!

@neyeeloh: Hahaha, I think it's goingto be case for me too! The outcome is always good!

@Magic Of Spice: Yes it is really soft! Try it and you'll see what I meN. Happy baking! ;)

Jo said...

Jess, the loaf looks gorgeous, soft and fluffy. No wonder you guys gobbled it up! I'll give this a try when I have some time.

Pei-Lin said...


Bee Bee, I tried the 17-hour sponge method too when I was in MN! Love it! But never get to blog about it since it was like from before I even started blogging ... LOL! Yours looks so good! I don't own the book, but I got all the recipes from the author's blog. I learned about her via Florence back then. Here are my 17-hour bread:

Catch up with you next time!! Hope to see you again. But then, future is unpredictable ...

MaryMoh said...

Wow....that looks so soft...perfect loaf. I would love to bake bread this year. More baking keeps my house warm :D

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this recipe! Did you use the same amount of instant active yeast as the fresh yeast (7 grams), or did you have to convert it? If you converted it, can you please tell me how much instant active yeast you used for this recipe? Thank you!! Much appreciated! ^^

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Anonymous, pls leave a name so I can address you & your question properly, tks.

Tay said...

I left the following anon comment earlier:

"Thanks so much for posting this recipe! Did you use the same amount of instant active yeast as the fresh yeast (7 grams), or did you have to convert it? If you converted it, can you please tell me how much instant active yeast you used for this recipe? Thank you!! Much appreciated! ^^"


Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Tay, yes, I used exactly the same amount of instant yeast like the fresh yeast and it worked. Try it, happy baking!

Fiona said...

Hi Honey Bee Sweet

I've attempted to bake bread at home twice using the tang zhong method but both times yielded bread which was not soft. I followed the recipe so I am not sure what could be wrong.

First, I used bakers' flour not bread flour as I can't find bread flour in Australia. Is it the same?

Second, it is winter here so I do the proofing in the closed microwave with a jug of hot water inside to keep the temperature up. I also leave it to proof longer due to the cold weather. However, my final proofing before baking always can't rise well. Do I have to cover for this final proofing?

I hope you can help me in my queries. I'm very determined to attempt again until I get nice soft bread, inspired by you.

thank you, Fiona.

Geo said...

Hi HoneyBee, I have been following some of your recipes, reading them, facinating with the creativity. Pic so tempting, & makes me wanted to try out your recipe. I'm interested in the 17-hr low temp pre-fermented dough from your Milk Tea Bread Loaf. What I'm unclear-add in all the pre-fermented dough? or just partical for this recipe? Bit by bit in what form, means small balls of fermented dough to the main dough? The measurement for fermented dough are different in every recipes, can I know this is based on type of bread or ?

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Geo, welcome. Yes, you can tear up the pre-fermented dough into small chunks then add into the main dough while mixing. And yes, that pre dough is for 2 loaves. My main dough recipe is for one loaf. You are right, every recipe requires different pre dough for that recipe and not interchangeable. Happy baking this!

Geo said...

Thank you Honey Bee, I already prepared the fermented dough last night, will start on the Purple Sweet Potato Bread tonight. I realized the fermented dough is rather hard during refridge, is it suppose to be like that? Will this fermented dough similar to starter dough (TangZhong method)? realized my bread leaves a big hold in the middle of the loaf, do you know why? I already punch out the air, & in some occasion, I even used sharp toothpick to pick tiny holes IF I see the dough high rises.

Next I want to try out your Bamboo Charcoal Bread, I'm still looking for the bamboo charcoal powder in KL. Can I use this fermentation method for Bamboo Charcoal Bread? If yes, what's the recipe for the pre-dough?

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Geo, the fermented dough is the way it is suppose to be, so if you followed the recipe correctly, you have nothing to worry. No it is not the same as Tang Zhong, they are different techniques.
I'm not sure how come your bread has a big hole. It might be due to your shaping method or might the kind of yeast you use.
The recipe you saw for the bamboo charcoal is direct method. Unfortunately I do not have a recipe for pre fermentation method for this bread.

Geo said...

Thank you, i was baking banana bread last night but I dont mash the banana, just slip the slices (3mm) in & roll like swiss roll, about 3 layer of bananas before i end the rolls. i can only see the big hole in between the bread after baking, nothing major, at least the bread didn't collapse but its still fine.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

It's probably the weight of the banana that is pulling the dough down and thus causing the hole. No big deal, happens to me all the time too.

Geo said...

Thanks HoneyBee,
I baked the Purple Sweet Potato bread using the pre-fermentation method (your recipe) very nice, thank you. I guess I will use the pre-fermentation method for my loaf bread, its much better texture compared with TangZhong method. Do you know what's the recipe (pre-fermentation & main dough) if I want to make half portion of your sweet potato, the full recipe is for 2 loaves (too much) And if I can use 1/2 of the pre-fermentation for what other bread loaf?

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Geo, You can just make half the pre fermentation dough no problem (just divide everything to half amount). Or alternatively, leave the pre fermented dough in the fridge up to 48 hrs, it'll still be okay to use after that.

Geo said...

means I can put half of pre-ferment (dough for sweetpotato bread) [377g-flour, 216ml water, 8g yeast] to Main Dough(162g flour)? and use the other half for next round to Main Dough (162g flour)? OR everything in 1/2 for pre-ferment dough & Main Dough? Sorry for being unclear & asking so many question

Honey Bee Sweets said...

I mean half everything.

Geo said...

thanks HoneyBee. I assumed I can do 1/2 of everything in your recipes for other bread too?

Moo said...

Dear Honey Bee,
This looks amazing and Im going to try it cuz I love milk tea. Just 2 questions please:
1) If I just want to make 1 loaf, do I half the ingredients both for pre-ferment and main dough?
2) Do I need to thaw the pre-ferment dough before using? timing?

Thanks so much!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Moo,
1) Yes you can half the recipe, Ive done that many times. For both yes.
2) No need to thaw, use it right away is fine.