After several bread-making sessions, I realised that loaves made with a bread machine will not yield very soft texture. The bread machine doesn't seems to be able to knead the dough till it pass the stretch test...which is the basic requirement to produce a soft and light texture. However, I still find that using the bread machine is such a time-saving way to make a daily loaf. Hence, I have been trying out various bread recipes, with the aim of finding one that will produce a loaf of 绵绵土司 (绵绵 = soft as cotton, 土司 = toast or a loaf bread)...one that will yield light, tender texture and yet uses the very basic ingredients and can be made easily with a bread machine. It's quite a tall order actually!
I chanced upon this recipe while blog-hopping. I like the fact that the ingredients are relatively basic...no eggs, whipping cream are required, and milk powder is used instead of fresh milk...with two growing kids, milk powder is something that will never run out in my kitchen.
After reading reviews and comments from various blogs, I learnt that in order to get the cottony texture of this loaf, I'll have to shape it by hand (using the correct shaping technique) and bake it in a normal oven. Nevertheless, I still went ahead to experiment it with my bread machine. To over come the problem of not enough kneading...I stopped the machine right after the first kneading cycle (10 mins of kneading). Then, I re-started the Basic programme again. This way, the dough was subject to 30mins of kneading instead of 20mins. I added in a pack of left over raisins immediately when the bread machine beeps...only to find out that the raisins were all mashed up by the paddle during mixing :( Next time, I'll know better to add in dried fruits only towards the end of the second kneading cycle.
Here's the verdict:
As the heating element of my bread machine is located a the bottom, a thick crust was formed at the bottom of the loaf. The overall loaf was dark brown...something which I don't really like. The crust on the top was alright though. I find the texture of the bread soft and light especially when freshly baked...although it is still a far-cry from this. It's quite a tasty loaf actually...just a light hint of sweetness from the extra raisins. The best part is, the bread remained soft the next day! I didn't even have to toast it and I could eat it plain, without any butter or jam.
When I find some time next week, I'm gonna do this same recipe by hand...
Original recipe from here.
300g bread flour
18g milk powder
5g instant yeast
some raisins (optional)
- Pour water into the pan of the bread machine, followed by butter, sugar and salt. Cover with flour, milk powder and make a small indent with your finger on the flour. Place yeast inside the small indent. (Or place all ingredients according to the sequence stated in the instruction manual of your bread machine.)
- Fit the pan into the bread machine and set to BASIC white programme. Select 1 lb or 1.5lb loaf size and set to light or medium crust setting (depend on your preference).
- Add the raisins towards the end of the second kneading cycle.
- Once baked, remove the loaf from the pan and let cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing.