It’s been many years since I’ve succeeded making my own bread, the no-knead crusty bread. It is one of the most-loved bread for many Europeans, called the artisan bread. It has strong flavour rather than the commercial bread, as it takes longer time to enhance the fermentation and texture.
However, that is not the case back home. My family are used to soft bread with no crust. Well, that’s because our diet is based on rice with protein and veggies, not hot soup with all sort of breads. Therefore, my artisan bread will be unpopular here.
Recently, I’ve tried to make soft bread with different technique, which is folding using all-purpose flour. Unfortunately, it all went wrong. Dense.. Tough.. Unpleasant for mouth. I have no idea where it went wrong. I haven’t read much about folding technique (I only watch one Youtube cooking channel from South Korea, and quickly proceed), but this first project has left me speechless (alright, no more folding!).
Then I search local/ regional Youtuber on their bread making. Maybe I have to look closer and use their recipe, so I look for South East Asian Youtuber (I don’t mean to be racist, but you know, climate and temperature may factor in the bread making). Most of them are using bread mixer with the hook. I don’t have any of it. I only have one old hand mixer, but I’m afraid to bust it out because the bread dough might be to heavy to handle. My only hope is the hand kneading technique [enter horror music].
I have dreaded memories on hand kneading, as I don’t think I have that much patience and positivity on transforming that messy gallop of flour to a soft and elastic dough. But hey, we have to conquer our fear [enter superhero music].
So, it begins. I mix dry and wet ingredients and knead it for 5 minutes [argh, it’s so sticky!].
I continue kneading for another 5 minutes [oh, it’s getting there].
I continue kneading for another 5 minutes [oh yeay, it is now quite elastic].
I incorporate butter to the dough and knead for 10 minutes [errrrr, back at one]
I knead, and knead, and knead… Then doing the window test pane [not yet, 5 more minutes]
More kneading… Then another window test pane, and it does look elastic and translucent [YAYYYYY!]
In total, I’ve spent 35 minutes to knead 150gram of dough. Not sweating much, but it does stretch my patience to the next level.
My mum has been craving for coffee buns, so I decided to make one for here. It’s not similar in term of appearance, but hey it’s edible!
I would call this bread making experiment a successful one. Although, I might search for other techniques that would save me from 30 minutes of hand kneading. Happy baking! 🙂
Coffee Buns (make 4 servings)
– 130 gr bread flour – sifted
– 15 gr powdered sugar – sifted
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 2.5 gr (1 tsp) instant dry yeast
– 60 ml (1/4 cup milk) – room tempt
– 1 egg (small, 25 gr) – room tempt
– 20 gr unsalted butter – soft
Coffee topping ingredients:
– 1 tbsp instant coffee
– 1/2 tsp hot water
– 25g unsalted butter, softened
– 25g powdered sugar
– 1 small egg (25g), room temp
– 25g all purpose flour, sifted
1. Activate the dry yeast in the the lukewarm milk until it gets frothy.
2. Combine all dry ingredients with wet ingredients (exclude butter), mix and knead well until it has a smooth surface.
3. Add butter, knead it again until elastic. Using a window test pane, by pinching apart a little dough. If it’s not ripped, then it’s done!
4. Proof dough in a greased bowl for 50-90 minutes in room temperature. Covered.
5. Poke with a finger in the middle of the risen dough. If it bounces back, proof for more. If it stays, it’s ready to go.
6. Knead lightly for 2-3 minutes, and divide the dough to 4 equal pieces. Rest for 10 minutes.
7. Flatten the dough balls, insert a cube of cold butter, and seal it tightly. Round it until it looks cute 😀 Proof in room temperature until double in size (around 60 minutes).
8. Pipe the coffee topping on to the bread. Please do pipe, if you slather the topping, it will be like mine.
9. Bake in 180 degree Celcius for 15-18 minutes. Enjoy while it’s warm!
Bread recipe by Savoury Days Kitchen, coffee topping by Petite Sweet. Both on Youtube.