I woke up and we were all ready to head out furniture shopping at Ikea for the new house. After an awesome lunch of Ikea meatballs, fried chicken and Diam cake, we continued walking around a bit before heading to the Furniture Mall. Then after a whole day of walking, we went for an early dinner at Da Paolo at Rochester (and ordered the super yums mushroom truffles pizza again...).
And my day didn't end there. I had plans for the night too. It was Beerfest 2011 - it was effin' hot and super packed but I had a mad rockin' time there, and then got persuaded by my girlfriend to head out clubbing afterwards. But in the meantime, I had to head home for a quick shower cos I was so sticky from the Beerfest. The final cab I took home from the club got me home at around 4 in the morning. Mad tired.
Thus, do pardon me for my half-completed post prior to this. :)
Matcha chocolate loaf
I've been eyeing the tangzhong method of baking bread for quite a while. Bakers in the online communities have numerous positive reviews on this particular method of baking bread the yields a "soft bread that stays soft even after a few days". So before my big move, I decided that I should use some of my baking ingredients to bake some bread since it was quite a long while since I last baked bread from scratch.
Even though I upped the sugar levels as suggested, the bread still wasn't very sweet like a sweet bread. And I upped the matcha and chocolate level but I think the more prominent flavour was chocolate. I reckon that the sugar levels can still be upped further and perhaps slightly more for the matcha one as it would probably complement and tone out the bitter matcha tones better.
Surprisingly, I didn't thought that this loaf was super soft or anything compared to other breads. I think the oven temperature I chose in the end was slightly higher than required so the loaf developed a crust very quickly and was a little dry (a little microwaving helped to soften it so no worries). I had to cover the loaf with foil to prevent the crust from burning. I think I'll experiment again in future with this tangzhong method with a lower temperature to see if the loaf turns out softer.
The Sis, in addition to buying back macarons from Paris, also brought back a couple of other treats. This peach jam being one of them. A pity she only bought one jar. The jam was absolutely scrumptious! As the matcha chocolate bread wasn't overly sweet, I found that it tasted just right with a touch of fruity peach jam.
Matcha chocolate loaf (adapted from Michelle at une-deux senses)
1/3 cup bread flour
1 cup water
To make the tangzhong, mix the flour and water together in a small saucepan and whisk until it is completely dissolved and there are no lumps. Place over stove and heat over medium heat and stir constantly as the mixture heats up - it will begin to thicken. When the temperature of the mixture reaches 65C, turn off the stove and remove it from the stove to let it cool completely.
325g bread flour, divided into two portions
5 tbsp sugar, divided into two portions
1/2 tsp salt, divided into two portions
2 tsp instant yeast, divided into two portions
1 1/2 tbsp matcha powder
25g unsweetened cocoa powder
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
120g tangzhong (about 1/2 of the mixture below)
42g butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature, divided into two portionsDivide the flour, sugar, salt and yeast evenly among two bowls. To one bowl add the matcha powder and to the other add the unsweetened cocoa powder and mix well. In a large liquid measuring cup, combine the milk, egg and tangzhong and mix very well. Add one of the bowl of dry ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer and make a well in the center.
Look at your wet ingredient mixture and look at the volume as indicated by the measuring cup, then pour exactly half of the mixture into the center of the well. Fit the mixer with the hook attachment and begin mixing on medium speed until the dough comes together, then add the butter in and continue kneading. Knead until the dough is smooth, not too sticky on the surface and elastic, about 18 - 20 minutes (but each mixer varies). When ready, you should be able to take a chunk of the dough and stretch it to a very thin membrane before if breaks. When it does break it should form a circle.
Remove the dough from the mixer and knead into a ball. Take a large bowl, grease it with oil, then place the dough into the ball and cover with a wet towel. Let it proof in a warm place until it's doubled in size, about 40 minutes. With a clean mixer, repeat the process with the other dry and remaining wet ingredients. Place the dough into a greased bowl and let it proof in a warm place until it's doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
Once the doughs have doubled in size, transfer the doughs to a clean surface. For each ball of dough, roll out each portion with a rolling pin into an oval shape. Take one end of the dough and fold it to meet the middle of the oval, then take the other end and fold it to meet the middle. Flip the doughs over with the folds facing down and flatten with a rolling pin. Roll out the doughs until they form thin rectangles - make sure they are about the same size. Place one rectangle on top of the other and begin rolling up the dough along the wide/ long side of the rectangle so you end up with a long skinny roll rather than a short and fat one. Place the swirled roll into a 9x5" bread pan. Cover in damp cloth again and let rise until doubled in size, about another 40 minutes.
Beat an egg and brush the mixture on top before baking. Bake at 175C for 20 minutes or until golden brown.