Thursday, September 30, 2010

Super Soft Custard Bread 卡士达超软土司

Suddenly, I feel like making breads again.

To prepare for that, I read up about bread-making again because I had not baked breads for so long and need to revise through the steps. I bought a pullman tin finally so that I can make a loaf bread. I bought a rolling pin, the narrower kind that is suitable for rolling paus (that's in my to-do list). I tested my bread machine. Yes, my mother has been nagging me for not using it and machines may spoil if underuse. I read through 孟老师的100道面包 and finally decided on this 卡士达超软土司.

You know what, my mother was absolutely correct! 7 minutes after I started the dough kneading function of the machine. It stopped! The blade stopped moving and it refused to turn anymore after I stopped and started it again and again! I got panic, what should I do next? I remembered my first experience in breadmaking, kneading by hands. I took a long time and ended up with a tough and chewy bread with aching arms. I wouldn't want to repeat that. I thought of dumping the dough. Luckily I did not.

Left with no choice, I brought the sticky dough out, gave it a few minutes knead, it was getting even more sticky. Ok, forget it, I continued to the next step, adding the butter. After some kneading, the dough miraculously turned into a smooth and elastic dough and no longer stick! I continue until I'm able to stretch it into a thin membrane. It took me about 30 minutes and surprisingly, my arms didn't ache. Another miracle!

I began to appreciate the meaning of kneading manually. It gives you a better understanding of the dough because you can feel and tell whether you have knead it to the right stage. I hope my experience can inspire some readers who do not have a breadmachine or heavy-duty mixer. You can definitely make breads without it. If SSB can, so can you!

Give my bread a good squeeze. See how soft it is!

Super Soft Custard Bread 卡士达超软土司

Ingredients (makes 21.7cm x 9.4cm x 7.7cm loaf)

(A) Custard paste (卡士达酱)
1 egg yolk
10g caster sugar
15g bread flour
65g fresh milk

250g bread flour
30g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
15g milk powder
100g water

25g unsalted butter


1. Put custard paste ingredients (A) into a pan and whisk it until well-mixed. Cook it at low heat, stirring continuously, until it thickens into paste form. Transfer the paste into a small bowl to cool down, then cover with cling wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 60 minutes.

2. Mix ingredients (A) and (B) together until the dough is smooth.

3. Add in butter and continue to knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic and no longer sticks.

4. Place the dough in a lightly greased mixing bowl. Cover with cling wrap and let proof for about 80mins (I took about 60 minutes due to the good warm weather).

5. Lightly knead the dough to punch out the gas. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Roll the doughs round, cover with cling wrap and rest the doughs for 15 minutes.

6. Slightly flatten each dough and roll into oval shape of about 18cm x 10cm. Roll it up swiss-roll style. Pinch and seal the ends. Place the three doughs in a greased pullman tin, 1 at each end and 1 in the centre, sealed-side down.

7. Cover with cling wrap and proof for another 60 minutes until the pan is 90% full (I can only get it to 80% full, I think it's due to the different size of tin I'm using). Brush the top with egg mixture (optional).

8. Bake at preheated oven at 180-190 deg C for 30 minutes. Cover the bread with aluminium foil after 20 minutes of baking to prevent the top of the bread from over-browning. Unmold immediately.

Recipe from: 孟老师的100道面包

Note: Written above is the original recipe from the book. Any adaptation is written in brackets ().

This post has been submitted to YeastSpotting.