This Tangzhong Style White Sandwich Bread utilizes a simple technique to make an extremely soft and fluffy loaf of bread!
Today’s recipe is the greatest thing since, well, sliced bread. And I can say that with absolute confidence! About 10 years ago, I baked my first loaf of bread. It was a cold winter morning, and I had just started working a few hours a week at a bakery in town. My job for Day 1 was to assist in the weekly bread baking. We mixed up a massive batch of bread dough and proceeded to make ~30 loaves of bread as well as a whole bunch of dinner rolls. I brought a loaf home that night, and I literally stood in our tiny apartment kitchen admiring the fact that I made a loaf of bread. I was hooked!
I didn’t last long at the bakery for various reasons. In fact, the place went out of business not too long after I left. But that didn’t diminish my love for baking bread! In fact, I signed up for professional baking courses at our local community college. After learning the basics, I’ve now spent the last 10 years (ish) playing around with different styles and flavors of bread. Want to mix things up? Add some shredded cheese or dried herbs to your favorite bread recipe!
Tangzhong Style White Sandwich Bread
Now I get that baking bread at home isn’t all that popular – at least until recently! I get that yeast is a scary animal – at least until you learn how to work with it! Then you’ll be baking bread at home all the time just like me. Plus, the smell alone of bread while it’s in the oven is enough to make you drop everything and run to the kitchen with your tongue hanging out. <– Not that I’ve ever done this or anything.
But today’s recipe for Tangzhong Style White Sandwich Bread is all about teaching an old dog new tricks. I was deep in the forums on The Fresh Loaf one day when I started coming across references to Tangzhong. At first I just glossed over it, but there it was again. Tangzhong. Tangzhong. Tangzhong. Ok, I had to figure out what Tangzhong actually was.
Tangzhong is an Asian method where a small portion of the flour in a bread recipe is cooked on the stovetop until it turns into a thick roux. In fact, the method is sometimes referred to as making a ‘water roux.’ As it cooks, the starches in the flour gelatinize which in turn help hold in moisture. Once the roux is baked with the bread dough, it results in a loaf with a softer, fluffier texture. And as an added bonus, the loaf will also keep longer, too. (We rarely have that problem around our house, though!)
It might seem strange to use a roux in a bread dough, but just trust me here. It only takes a little bit longer, and the result will be one of the softest loaves of white sandwich bread you’ve ever tried! If you enjoy baking bread, then put this Tangzhong Style White Sandwich Bread on the list of breads to bake. Just don’t blame me when the entire loaf disappears magically off of your kitchen counter. Happy baking, friends!
Did you make a loaf of this Tangzhong Style White Sandwich Bread at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog). I’d love to see your version!
Tangzhong Style White Sandwich Bread
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup + 3 Tbsp milk divided
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp instant dry yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter softened
- Using the bowl of a countertop mixer, add flour. Remove 3 Tbsp of flour and place into a medium saucepan. Leave remaining flour in the bowl.
- Add ½ cup of milk to the saucepan; stir until well combined.
- Heat over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened and become smooth. (Note: This will take ~2 minutes.)
- Transfer mixture into bowl with the remaining flour. Add remaining milk (½ cup + 3 Tbsp), sugar, yeast, salt and butter.
- Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed for 1-2 minutes, or until dough comes together. Increase speed to medium and mix for 10-12 minutes. (Note: The extended mixing time is necessary due to the increased liquid in this style of bread.)
- Transfer dough into a large oiled mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes, or until approximately doubled in size.
- Spray a 9”x5” loaf pan with nonstick baking spray; set pan aside.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press/roll into a 9” square. Fold the dough into thirds (like a letter). Fold dough in half lengthwise. Place dough in loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm location until dough has risen ~1” above edges of pan (about 30-45 minutes).
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake for 25-27 minutes, or until top of loaf is golden brown. (Note: If you have a digital kitchen thermometer, the temperature should register 190°F in the center of the loaf.)
- Let bread cool in pan until completely cool before slicing.
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