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.


  1. The bread looks sooo soft. I love watching videos of squishy bread. :) I wish I had a pullman tin.

  2. Wow the bread looks really soft. I'd love to try out this recipe.

  3. SSB, good job!! I definitely want to try this, thanks for sharing the recipe.

  4. Wow! real super soft! I like the part where you squeeze and the bread bounce back, haha! :) Good job!

  5. Lovely soft bread!
    Just like the good old days when breadmaker machines were not invented. It's very therapeutic making bread by hand, it helps to tone your arms too! :)

  6. Hi SSB,
    Nice to see your posting here! I miss reading your blog! The bread looks absolutely soft! Very good recipe!

  7. yes, this bread look super soft, must try one day.

  8. SSB,
    Your bread looks so soft and fluffy! Thanks for sharing with us. :)

  9. What a lovely loaf of bread...the texture is cottony soft! I am sure you must have felt the great sense of satisfaction when you remove the loaf from the oven :)

  10. SSB, so glad to see your post! You are bring a good news to me, I dun have bread machine nor heavy duty mixer. My previous experiences of kneading dough for more than an hr scare me of till today. The bread looks so soft and I love how you pressed it, next time invite me to join me :).

  11. Hi SSB,
    So glad to see you back to baking and blogging (b&b). I've never have the patience to knead by hands. You're really patient and fantastic! Your bread really looks soft and yummy too!

  12. WOW! The bread looks super soft and I wish I can make the bread as soft as yours :)

  13. Looks so pillow soft SSB! I have this book but yet to try, gonna give it a go after inspiration from your beautiful loaf.

  14. lol I had fun with your post! I never knead bread by hands, my mom does and her breads are amazing! Maybe I should give that a try.
    Awesome recipe!

    Have a great day!

  15. I love your bread, very soft and fluffy. :)

  16. Hi Esther,
    I just bought the pullman tin weeks ago, after 3 years of baking. :)

    Hi Wen, do try it!

    Hi Angel, hope to see you try it too.

    Hi MH, thanks for the compliments! I really miss you. Hope you are still baking even though you have stopped blogging. I sometimes thought of closing this blog cos I did not update that regularly. 但还是舍不得放弃。

    Hi busygran, yes, I don't think I will be getting a new one. Will just continue to make bread by hands. :)

    Hi Grace, thanks! Your words make my day!

  17. Hi Sonia, thanks! I keep a few of your bread recipes too! Must find time to make them. :)

    Hi DG, thanks for the compliments!

    Hi HHB, I was actually quite worried that they don't taste as soft as they look. Luckily, it was good!

    Hi Jess, I was scared too. But I was left with no choice but to knead them with hands. I understand that some bread recipes are harder to knead, esp the tangzhong method. Maybe you can try this recipe first, I actually had fun kneading it and not very sticky to handle.

    Hi Jane, yes, back to b&b. :) I was forced to knead by hands. In fact, if I knew my breadmachine is spoilt, I would have not bought the pullman tin. I think I would just stick to cakes and cookies.

    Hi Anncoo, thanks! Still have a lot to learn from you!

    Hi Hearty Bakes, I really like this book. Going to try more recipes from here. Will start from simpler ones first.

    Hi Priscilla, you have to give this a try. I was having fun kneading. It wasn't as scary as I thought. I will be making breads by hands in future. :)

  18. WOW, the bread looks amazingly soft! I wonder whether the custard paste cooking is the same as the 65C Tangzong?

  19. hey SSB,

    I have not heard of custard bread. Any recipe that yields soft bread is a good one. The texture of your bread certainly looks soft and fluffy, just like the ones sold outside =]. Its very well done even though you have not baked bread for such a long time.

  20. Hi Happy flour, thank you!

    Hi crustabakes, I think there is some difference between 孟老师's 汤种 and 65C 汤种. In 孟老师's 汤种, from the photos shown in the book, the 汤种 is cooked into a thicker paste, just like my photo which the paste can be scooped up without dripping. In 65C 汤种, the paste is cooked only to 65C, at this stage, the paste is more in liquid form, leaving trails when you stir it with a whisk.

    I have not tried 65C 汤种 yet. So will not be able to explain in more detail to you. Hope to do it soon when I get more experience in kneading with hands. :)

  21. Wow, it is really springy to the touch. Luckily you persisted and didnt give up kneading the dough! I am gonna bookmark this for my next bread-making :)

    Miss B

  22. Good job! The bread is super soft! I am definitely going to try out this recipe. (And I shall work hard at kneading too! >D)
    Thanks for sharing.

  23. Wow, that looks so yummy and cottony soft. I love bread and I will be making those soon. Nice pics!

  24. You're now in my league now! I'm an avid advocate of manual kneading of bread dough! HAHA! I distrust machines. =P

    Yeap, kneading dough by hands is way better and so therapeutic ... The more experience you gather, the better you get at determining whether the dough has been kneaded sufficiently. Now, the process is etched in my brain ... When I knead my bread dough, I tend to daydream ... HAHA! I usually daydream for about 50~60 minutes. LOL!

    I've been eyeing on the recipe. (I've got the book.) Just wondering, is the custard taste prominent enough? If yes, I might give it a go when the time comes. =)

  25. i think you did a great job here with the kneading. i could never master this so well.. it looks so perfect here. i can almost smell it from here..

  26. wah , knead by hand, pro liao hehe... yes your bread looks soft and delicious! ^_^

  27. Hi MissB, hope you can try it soon!.

    Hi Jet, thanks, try it too!

    Hi ping, thanks, you have a nice blog.

    Hi Pei-Lin, yes, hopefully I can get more and more experienced kneading by hands. Actually the custard taste is not so prominent, at least to my not-so-sensitive taste buds.

    Hi missy, thanks. Must thank my bread machine too. Spoilt at the "right" time. :)

    Hi wiffy, thanks. My bread machine helped me do 1/3 of the kneading before it died. Next time it shall be 100% kneading by hands. See good or not. :)

  28. your bread texture look superb soft! must bookmarked and try out soon !! thanks for sharing☺

  29. All of it looks amazing. I’ll definitely try at least one. Thanks for sharing!

  30. My Asian Kitchen & Vitalicious,
    Thank you!

  31. I've only hand kneaded a bread twice and I don't think I knead it quite long enough everytime because the bread doesn't turn out quite as soft as I'd like it =S haha.......but it's still heaps of fun =) I'll have to try hand kneading again some day! This bread looks so soft and yummy! I'll definitely try this bread too some time =)

  32. Hello Small, I'm in the US and am baking this bread today. I can't wait! I noticed you use the term Pullman Pan and you gave the measure in cm, which was easy enough to convert. Here in the USA, that size pan is about the size of a standard bread pan. Our Pullman pans are usually around 13-15 inches long and have sliding lids that contain the loaf and bake to a perfect square shape. I'm glad I measured and converted.. so I'm using a standard bread pan to bake this wonderful loaf. Will update you with my results. Thanks for posting!

  33. Hi Von, you know I'm forced to do the kneading by hands. :) Luckily this is a good recipe, quite easy to knead and not too sticky. Do try it out some day!

    Hi AZBaker, welcome to my blog!
    I guess I may need to replace the term pullman with bread pan, cos in your country it means a much larger pan. In fact, I'm using a bread tin that is around 20x10x10cm with sliding lid that can make a square loaf. I look forward to your post on this bread. :)

  34. Hi SSB, I baked this recipe yesterday, turned out nice but not as soft as yours? not sure where go wrong, I did brush egg before bake and surface a bit hard is it right? inside is soft.
    Thank you for sharing.

  35. Soh: If the inside very soft, then I think nothing much goes wrong. Maybe you overbake it abit so the crust turn hard. Or the top oven temp too high, place it on lower rack. I hope I'm correct. Hope it helps. :)

  36. SSB,I did cover with foil after baking 20min, will take note and will update once I baked again.
    Thank you for your time.

  37. hello i had cook your bread, i linked you HERE
    I hope that you like... :)
    Kisses from an italian foodblogger

  38. Hi Luna! Thanks for trying out my recipe and linking to my blog. I visited your blog, although I don't understand Italian and the google translation looks funny, the bread looks great. I hope you like it. :)

  39. Hi SBB. Great looking bread! I tried your recipe today and got pretty good results but it was not nearly as soft and fluffy as yours. Although I only hand-kneaded for about 15mins which was probably the cause. You mentioned that you could tell when the dough had been kneaded enough - can you give some hints or tips or other indicators of how to tell? I did the spring back test on the dough but did not do the window pane test. May be I will try that next time.

    Also the inside of the bread was a darker shade of yellow than yours - any idea why that might be? Even though my custard paste was quite a light yellow... Anyway thanks and keep up the good work - I will try this again!

  40. Hi boshek: Thanks for trying the recipe!

    The best way to tell whether you have kneaded enough is the window pane test. If the dough is able to stretch into a thin membrane without breaking, you pass the test and can start proofing.

    You mention about the spring back test? I'm not sure what you are referring to. If you mean pressing with a finger, it is to check whether proofing is done.

    You make an indentation with a finger,
    - if the indentation remains, proofing is done.
    - if it springs back, proofing not enough
    - if the dough collapse, overproof.

    As for the colour, I also don't know the problem. Maybe different types of flour??

    Hope it helps! Happy baking! :)

  41. Thanks for the tips. I will try the window pane test next time.

    Yes I thought that if the dough springs back when pressed then it's been kneaded enough. I'm new to bread making so I guess I confused this as a test for proofing! (I've been watching too many youtube videos I guess!)

    I will keep working on the colour. May be because I used very strong bread flour - perhaps I can use less strong or an All Purpose mix.

    Can't wait to try your mini butter bun and polo bun recipes!

  42. Hi boshek, I'm glad that my tips help. I also don't have much experience in making bread. All are self-taught and I learn from books, websites and blogs. Still have much more to learn. Hope you like these recipes. :)

  43. Hi Ssb! I tried yr custard bread recipe! Hmm mine came out pretty soft. It was soft even the next day. But mine wasn't as fluffy. I feel that it's abit compact. I was thinking of my baking tin was too small! My tin was from daiso.:/ when i put my dough into the tin to proof for the second time, it was alr 70-80 percent full. The dough rose even higher than the tin at the end of second proofing, even before I baked! Do you think my compactness was due to the tiny size of my tin?

  44. I guess the tin is really too small but I'm not sure if it is the real cause of its compactness. Maybe you can split the dough into 2 and put into 2 daiso tins. Also adjust the baking time since it is a smaller tin. Glad that you like it. :)

  45. This bread look really soft. I've tried this type of bread before but can not make it that soft. I'll try it tomorrow. ☺

  46. Hi SSB may I know where did you buy pullman bread tin ?