HOKKAIDO (Japanese Sandwich Bread)
*Makes 1 loaf of bread--I actually tripled this recipe to make three loaves of bread.
3 T whole milk
3 T water
2 T King Arthur all-purpose flour
In a small sauce pan, over low heat, measure the wet ingredients and add to the pan. Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk and cook over low heat until it thickens, about 3-5 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
3 1/2 cups King Arthur Bread Flour (*it's important to use bread flour and not all-purpose because of the higher content of protein)
1 1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 cup warm milk
1 large egg
4 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 T Sugar
1 1/2 tsp. yeast
1/4 cup warm water (no more than 110F-degrees)
In a stand mixer, using a dough hook, measure the flour and salt and mix to combine. Add the proofed yeast mixture, Tangzhong, egg and milk and start on low speed until the flour is incorporated. If the dough seems too touch, add a bit more water, one tablespoon at a time. Finally, while the mixer is running, add the softened butter, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured bread board and knead until smooth. Place in a buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap for Rise #1.
Place covered bowl in a warm area--I have a warming drawer, but when I've made bread in someone else's kitchen, we placed it by the heater! The first rise will take 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Punch down the dough and turn it over. Wrap with plastic wrap and about to rise once again, about 30-40 minutes--Rise #2.
When the dough has doubled once more, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 9" x 9" square. Start rolling the dough from the side closer to you, sealing the roll by pressing your fingertips on it to the dough. This helps with eliminating air pockets. When you rolled it completely, pinch the seam closed and tuck under the ends to fit a 9" x 5" loaf pan.
Preheat oven to 425F-degrees. Place loaf (loaves) into the oven, spray the surface of the bread and the oven with water. Set the timer for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 375F-degrees and bake another 25 minutes.