Saturday, April 28, 2007

Basic yellow bread - Hongkong style

I notice Hongkong people fond of very yellow-ish bread, which is usually enriched by egg and butter. My American husband considers it as a friend of foe though; he likes looking at cholesterol with a manifying glass. Our economy accelerated in the 70's, parents were finally able to afford better food; anything calling for egg, milk or butter was a music to their ears. Perhaps it explains how we got that perference from(?). This bread is already very good...and rich on its own, so my husband's quite amazed at I still spreading more butter, coconut and sugar on each layer!

Speaking of bread, the round-up of Wait There's Something in My ... Bread has already posted up by Andrew at Spittoon, please hop over and check it out!

Basic yellow bread recipe:

Sponge: 2 1/4 tsps active dry yeast, 1/4 cup lukewarm water, 1 cup of bread flour and 1/2 cup evaporate milk

  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 yolks
  • 2 Tbps butter, melted
  • a pinch of salt
  • optional: one egg for egg wash; simple syrup to brush on bread (right after out of the oven)
  • To prepare the sponge: dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup water, sit for 5 minutes. Mix well with flour and evaporate milk, cover, let it rise in 75F room temperature for 1/2 hour or the volume until double
  • 1st rising: combine the sponge with flour, sugar, yolks, butter and salt, knead until very smooth and elastic. The dough has to be slightly wet (but not sticky), don't attempt to add much extra flour. Add milk if the dough's dry. In this stage of fermentation I prefer takes it slowly, so I rest the dough in fridge overnight, in the morning take it out, and let it return back to room temperature before proceed the final proofing.
  • Final proofing and shaping: Knead the dough briefly, and shape it to your desired (see note). Cover, proof it for an hour in 75F room temperature or until the volume double. Preheat the oven 375F
  • Bake the bread for 10 minutes in 375F oven, then lower to 350F until it's done, more likely another 15 minutes, really depending how you shaped it.

My note:

  • This original recipe found at a Hongkong food forum (life of elegance), the name was "pie-pao" (cantonese sound). Since I have used it so many time and already adjusted to my own taste, now this recipe of mine doesn't bear much resemblance to the original.
  • Want the bread feels "lighter": replace 2 egg yolks with 1 whole egg, evaporate milk with whole milk, 1/2 cup bread flour with plain flour. But the final shaping is also a key of yielding a lighter structure.
  • The bread in these photos, I have added desiccated coconut, extra melted butter and sugar between layers, and baked in a 7-inch dia round pan. There is a plain version but in retangle shape (pan size: 16 x 25cm): after the 1st fermentation, divide the dough into smaller portion, about 45g each. Then flatten each ball to an oval, roll up from a long side like a swiss roll, lay each log into the tray. Then proceed to final proofing. Brush egg wash on top before baking, and simple syrup after baked.



Brilynn said...

I love the swirly shape. I'm a big fan of egg bread so I try to pretend it's good for me.

Anonymous said...

Who wouldn't live eggs, milk and butter? And who wouldn't LOVE this bread! It's beautiful, Gattina!

aminah said...

gattina i am trying this one now...if D lets me bake tonight!!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to try this!!! I haven't had HK bread in 8 yrs!

You asked for my site earlier:

FH said...

I love it.The shape and the texture.I am into baking bread too these days,baked English muffin bread and Sally Lunn.I will try this,it's so simple and delicious.Thanks G!:))

Maneka Nirmal said...

simple bread.yet so delish!

Helene said...

Love everything about this bread; the rumb, texture, color, shape. gorgeous1

Mishmash ! said...

Girl, you got magic in ur hands, that swirled bread did take my breath away! And I am sure I will like its taste !!

Anh said...

I have never tasted this before. Thanks for the recipe my pal. My family love this type of Asian bread for sure... :D

Oh, do we need Asian bread flour for this?

Chris said...

What a great bread.Everything about it! And, I like the header....its new, right?

Anonymous said...

great bread...the auroma must have been something special when it was baking...thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous bread! Bread bought in Korea is very similar - it is very difficult to buy savoury breads, as most of them are quite sweet and enriched with milk, eggs or butter (or all three!). I will need to pick up some more bread flour though, as I can imagine my dad would love for me to make this for him!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Beautiful swirl in the bread. Your pictures are always knock out! And the banner is cool!

Unknown said...

What a cool 'banner heading'! I love the mysterious black colour :p
And of course, always love your breads too.

Gattina Cheung said...

Brilynn, yup, I still remember you've said you wanted to raise chickens. Oh that swirl, that's no-brainer, I'm sure you can come up something more spectacular babe!

Ivonne, oh you are such a sweetie!

aminah, you just made 30 cinnamon rolls (can you believe I actually counted them,heehee). *now I tune to a mother-ish tone*... no baking, have a glass of wine, shape your leg, read a book, and enjoy the night! Let me bake for you sweetie!

Jaden (steamy kitchen), you! Pretty woman!!! I'll have more time next few days, will leave my comment in your blog :D

Asha, what is sally lunn? I only know sara lee... hehee. But I know everything you made must be good, can't wait to see them!

Maneka, oh thank you so much for the compliment!

Helene, thanks a lot! The rich ingredients do all the trick, it is a natural beauty isn't it? :D

Shn, oh I'm really flattered. If you can roll a papper, you sure can roll this dough :D But my friend, your sweet words really make my day!

Anh, in the State, I would rather use the imported one (from Taiwan, got it from Asian store). But sometime back in KC, when I chatted with a few member who lived in Australia and NZ, they only used local flour and I could see their texture was fantastic!
See your country has all kind of goodie!

Chris, thank you, yes, just made the header on Friday. Glad you like it :D

Dilip, you're welcome! True, no one can resist the aroma from baking bread :D

Ellie, then seems this kind of bread very popular in Japan (of course!) HK, Singapore and Korea. My mom used to buy it everyday, I bet she still does!

Tanna, thanks for your kind words!

Angie, black is my color :D If I open a wardrobe at night, I can't find anything as all cloth in black, hehee.

Callipygia said...

My friend used to bring me similar rolls/buns from Chinatown bakery that were split and slathered with the melted butter/sugar/dessicated coconut. This totally brings me back! So glad you got the card/recipe and liked it.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I'd like to look at all your food with a magnifying glass, Gattina!

Edith said...

Such a waste to eat this beautiful bread. Sexy shape.

Sher said...

I love that kind of bread too. It's so yummy and pretty. But, I must say, your swirly shape is the prettiest way I've seen it done. I'm going to try that.

Passionate Eater said...

What a rich and delectable bread! Thanks for also giving us the "lighter" alternative. Both sound delicious, and I love the artistic swirl on the top of the bread! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh I love the shaping done to this this bread, Gattina! It looks and sounds spectacular!

DEEPA said...

wow!!!!!!cute shape .. to try this out

Anonymous said...

I am loving this bread! The recipe sounds fantastic and I'm particularly taken with the way you shaped it. I've added this post to my "recipes to try" list. :)

Ari (Baking and Books)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I love the way you formed this loaf. Honestly, I never think of bread in Asian cuisines, except for the legacy of French breads in Vietnam. What fun to learn of this recipe!

Lis said...

How'd you do the swirly shape? It's amazing! I'm in love with the idea of the swirled in sugar, butter and coconut.. *swoon*


Suganya said...

WOW.........Wat a delicious bread........I realy want to try it out... I love it very much...

Patricia Scarpin said...

Gattina mia!!! This is so beautifully shaped, I want to make this bread right now!