Remove 100g of dough from any bread recipe and put it in a glass container. Cover it tightly and store in your fridge. Allow it to rest at least overnight (and up to 1 week) before using. Can be added cold to recipes or allowed to come to room temp.
When you open your container, smell the dough. It should smell like sex.
Tangzhong (makes enough for two loaves)
45g Whole Wheat Bread flour
Mix together the flour and half of the liquid until smooth. Add the rest of the liquid and heat in a heavy pan over medium, whisking constantly and scraping the corners for about 5 minutes or until the mixture has thickened. If you don’t whisk constantly, you will get lumps and if you get lumps you have to start over. Don’t blame me if you get lumps!
Scoop the tangzhong into a container. Cover with cling film and allow it to cool to less than 90F (~30C). This will last a week (covered) in the fridge.
100% Whole Wheat Shokupan (with Tangzhong and Pâte Fermentée)
325g whole wheat bread flour*
120g milk (2%, warmed slightly to 90F or 30C)
120g tangzhong (about half of the recipe above)
100g pâte fermentée (you can omit this if this is your first time making this loaf, it will just be a bit smaller)
80g dark brown sugar
70g butter (melted)
5g instant yeast
You will need a stand mixer for this loaf.
You could knead it by hand but there is a special technique for that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=796ZupzMvoI&ab_channel=JacobBurton
I will try that myself later and get back to you on it.
For this recipe, mix all ingredients in a stand mixer for about 15 minutes on medium. You will need to scrape the bowl down several times during this process. You can stop mixing when the dough forms a solid ball.
Place the dough ball in an oiled bowl and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This will take extra time because of all of the fat and milk and the whole wheat flour in this recipe.
Take 100g of the dough out and save it for your next batch of pâte fermentée.
Shape into a loaf by pressing the dough into a long oval, then folding the short end over and rolling the dough up into a loaf. Pinch the ends and the seal the bottom, if you really want. Place into a high-sided loaf pan. I use a 1lb pullman loaf pan.
Proof again until the dough is at least level with the top of the pan. This step may take a lot longer than you expect but you must be patient. If you underproof, you will make a doorstop or get a gummy ring at the bottom of the loaf.
When you get to the last 20 minutes of proofing preheat the oven to 350F/175C. When the bread is ready place it in the oven. You don’t need to brush anything on top as it will darken just fine on its own.
Bake for 20 minutes, then put a tinfoil hat on your bread – you don’t want any alien messages getting into your bread (or burnt crusts). Bake for 10-20 minutes longer, checking the inside with a instant read thermometer every 5 minutes until the loaf is baked to 190F/88C.
Turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely before cutting.
Sandwiches to make with this bread: pretty much anything that’s supposed to be healthy, like my Turkey sando (which has potato chips on it!).
*This is kind of a specialty flour. It’s whole wheat flour (unsifted, contains all the bran and whatnot) which has a very high protein content and has been milled extra fine. You can purchase this flour from https://fairhavenmill.com/ – a 25lb bag costs about $50 after shipping.