MAY 2020 - UPDATE: My apologies there are many photos missing because I used Photobucket to host my images in the past, but they've since deleted all my photos during my absence from the blogosphere. Perhaps I will one day return to reupload all my photos one by one, if I can locate them.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Tangzhong Method Milk Bread (Thermomix & Breadmaker Recipes)

Wow, I did not think that I would come back to blogging but with increasing demand for recipes upon sharing pictures of my recent breadmaking adventures on my Instagram @thebakeanista, I thought might as well summarize everything here for your easy reference!

When the Malaysian government announced the launch of the Movement Control Order due to the Covid-19 pandemic, my fellow Malaysians went a little crazy and wiped clean the shelves at supermarkets and local grocery stores. There was a very low supply of bread for the first 2 weeks, and my parents both inhale bread so quickly, I bought myself 5kg of bread flour and started practicing my breadmaking skills.

Fast forward two months later, I've made both these recipes so many times that I actually know by heart the ingredients and steps. I may come back and update this post with better quality pictures, but as I'm rushing this recipe for now, here you go!


This is by far my favourite bread to bake, for I know how amazing this tangzhong method is! This method always, always yields loaves that are soft, tender and fluffy. I also appreciate how the bread stays soft for longer with the inclusion of extra hydration from using this tangzhong method.

I'm including below two different recipes - one using the Thermomix, and the other using breadmaker - both of which I've tried several times and have never failed me. For both the recipes, the dough is kneaded either in the Thermomix/breadmaker, then shaped by hand and baked in oven. 

If you need further convincing, you may want to watch the crumb test videos here and I hope you'd be inspired to give these recipes a go:

Both of these recipes yield only one loaf and for these recipes, I'm using my 8x4x4" Pullman 450g loaf pan.

Thermomix Recipe

Recipe adapted from Cookidoo International and modified by The Bakeanista


Ingredients
  • 20g + 270g high protein/bread flour
  • 100g + 130g fresh milk, chilled
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 30 g sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 10 g milk powder
  • 1 tsp dried yeast powder
  • 25 g butter, softened
  • some water, icy cold, for spraying or egg wash

Method
  1. To make the tangzhong, place 20g high protein flour and 100g milk in mixing bowl, cook for 3min/80°C/spd 3 and let stand for 10-15 minutes until temperature lowers down to 37°C.
  2. Add 130g milk, egg yolk, sugar, salt, milk powder, remaining 290g high protein flour and yeast then knead 4min.
  3. Add butter, knead 1min.
  4. Transfer dough to pastry mat, shape into ball and flatten with rolling pin and fold to wrap dough ball loosely into an envelope shape. Let proof in a warm place covered loosely with clingwrap/damp towel until doubled in size (approx. 45-60 minutes). 
  5. Punch down dough to deflate. Divide dough into 3 equal portions and roll into a round shape - let rest for 10-15 minutes so the dough will be easier to handle.
  6. To shape each mini loaf, flatten a ball into a long oval shape. Fold 1/3 from right edge to the middle and press. Fold 1/3 from left edge to the middle and press lightly. Roll it out slightly and roll into a cylinder. If you need some visual guidance, you can also watch how I shape my loaf on my IG stories here.
  7. Arrange dough logs, seam side down in a bread loaf tin and let proof for approx 40 minutes until dough fills up 80% of the tin. Ideally, the best temperature for 2nd round proofing is at least 30°C to 38°C. On days when it's cold, you can heat up a cup of water in the microwave for 30-40 seconds then proceed to leave your dough inside the microwave to rise. During last 15 minutes, preheat oven to 180°C.
  8. Spray dough with icy cold water / or egg wash and bake for 25-30 minutes at 180°C until golden brown. Remove milk bread from tin and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack for at least an hour before slicing and serving. 
Note: To knead dough at steps 2 & 3, use the kneading function: Dough mode

Breadmaker Recipe (Can also be used for Standmixers)

Recipe adapted from Christine's Recipe and modified by The Bakeanista.


Ingredients

(A) Tangzhong
  • 25g high protein/bread flour
  • 125g milk/water or 50/50 of milk & water

How to prepare Tangzhong

  1. Mix flour in water well without any lumps. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently to prevent burning and sticking while you cook along the way.
  2. The mixture becomes thicker and thicker. Once you notice some “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon. It’s done. You get the tangzhong.
  3. Transfer into a clean bowl. Cover with a cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up. Let cool (I always let it chill in the refrigerator).
  4. The tangzhong can be used straight away once it cools down to room temperature. If you're an avid baker, you can make double the amount and then once prepared, just measure out the amount you need. The leftover tangzhong can be stored in fridge up to a few days as long as it doesn't turn grey. If so, you need to discard.
  5. Note: The chilled tangzhong should return to room temperature first before adding into other ingredients.

(B) Milk Loaf
  • 270g high protein/bread flour
  • 43g castor sugar
  • 1tsp salt
  • 5g milk powder
  • 6g instant dried yeast (approx 2 tsp)
  • 43g whisked egg (save remaining eggs for egg wash later)
  • 30g whipping cream
  • 27g milk
  • 92g tangzhong
  • 25gm unsalted butter, melted

Method using breadmaker

  1. Add all ingredients (except butter) into a breadmaker, first the wet ingredients (egg, milk, tangzhong), then followed by the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, matcha powder, yeast).
  2. Select "dough" mode and let knead until all ingredients come together, add in the butter, continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. The time of kneading in the breadmaker is about 30 minutes.
  3. Let the dough complete the 1st round of proofing, about 40-60 minutes, best temperature for proofing is 28°C, until double in size.
  4. Punch and deflate dough, then remove dough from bowl and divide into 3 equal portions. Knead into balls and let rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
  5. To shape each mini loaf, flatten a ball into a long oval shape. Fold 1/3 from right edge to the middle and press. Fold 1/3 from left edge to the middle and press lightly. Roll it out slightly and roll into a cylinder. If you need some visual guidance, you can also watch how I shape my loaf on my IG stories here.
  6. Arrange dough logs, seam side down in a bread loaf tin and let proof for approx 40 minutes until dough fills up 80% of the tin. Ideally, the best temperature for 2nd round proofing is at least 30°C to 38°C. On days when it's cold, you can heat up a cup of water in the microwave for 30-40 seconds then proceed to leave your dough inside the microwave to rise. During last 15 minutes, preheat oven to 180°C.
  7. Brush whisked egg wash on surface. bake for 25-30 minutes at 180°C until golden brown. Remove milk bread from tin and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack for at least an hour before slicing and serving. 
Happy baking! If you wish to follow my breadmaking adventures, do follow me on Instagram @thebakeanista.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

I am back! :)

Over one and a half years of hiatus later, I am finally making a comeback to the blogosphere. It's been so long since I wrote, I'm not even sure if I can properly pen my thoughts down like I used to. But I suppose we would all have to start somewhere, hey?


So much has happened since my last post where I shared about my experience studying the Korean language in Seoul. At the end of May 2017, I completed my internship along with my classes after a total of 40 weeks. It was a very rewarding experience as when I first arrived, all I knew were the Hangul alphabets that I hastily learnt right before I arrived in Seoul but at course completion, I was able to carry proper conversations with the local Koreans and boy, does it feel really, really good!


Following my internship, I was offered a full time role at Lexis Korea so I came home to Malaysia, sorted out my business sponsored visa (which was quite a process that took a couple of months) and in August 2017, off I went back to Korea. Except this time around, I moved to where our new campus is - in Busan, a city where I've been only just once for a couple of hours and knew nobody. New city, new team, new role, new environment and no friends. When I think about it sometimes, even I feel like I'm crazy.

There's no doubt that it was rather nerve-wrecking and I was anxious at the thought of starting from scratch again but I believed just like how when I first arrived in Seoul knowing nobody and left 9 months later with a handful of good friends, I was hopeful I'll be able to make some good friends in Busan too! And I truly did. :)


I had the chance to meet students-turned-friends from all walks of life, from all around the globe and learnt so much about the many different cultures and languages out there. And you bet, they all taught me a lot of swear words in their language! :P


I had so much fun exploring not only Busan, but some other major cities with my new found friends, and along the way shared so many laughters together.


I also celebrated my very first birthday away from my family and loved ones, with this bunch of beautiful souls who surprised me at work.


When they complete their course and head home, they often thank me for my help but honestly, they were there for me just as much as I was there for them. We supported each other in many different ways, and they taught me so much about life.


It truly was an experience of a lifetime - one that is etched in my memories, and I will store them all deep down at the bottom of my memory box.


And because Busan is located along the coastline, there are many spots only a short distance away from downtown where you can head to, to take a breather. Seriously, who would say no to views like this?


Busan truly is one very beautiful city. When I first arrived, I didn’t really open up my heart nor did I allow Busan the chance to really shine. But over time I started to discover the merits of Busan and I grew fond of this place. Now, with all the memories I have made there, Busan has become a rather special spot to me.


But due to unforeseen circumstances, last month, exactly a year after arriving in Busan, I bidded my role at Lexis Busan goodbye, packed up and came back home to Malaysia. I have to say though, that this short two years tenure as an intern in Seoul then staff in Busan, has been one of the best experiences I could’ve asked for and I’m extremely thankful for this opportunity. Of course, there were times when it got stressful and tough but I believe it is through these moments that I have learnt and grown so much as a person.


It is through this role that I’ve not only had the pleasure of meeting friends from all over the globe; I’ve also had the opportunity to work with one of the best teams ever and experience 정 (an indescribable, special type of love + affection + bond + a whole lot more) through my colleagues, some of whom are some of the dearest people to me.

Whilst to some extent, I’m glad I am finally heading home to my loved ones after over a decade of living abroad, it truly hasn’t been the easiest decision to make. But I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, and that the universe has better plans for me.


I am not sure what to do yet with my life in Malaysia nor do I know where I will head to next but I will slowly find my feet again. Until then, I aim to share more about my life in Korea over the past 2 years once I've sorted out all my photos but I am not sure if this mojo would last. Who knows, the lazy queen in me might take over and it may very well take another few months before the next post. But if you want to check out all the eats I've done, you can find them on my Instagram if you search #thebakeanistainseoul and #thebakeanistainbusan :)


So that's an update of my life in a nutshell over the past year or so! Till the next post! ♥

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

My Korean Language Study Experience at Lexis Korea

Wow, it's been 10 months since I last logged on to my blog. Since arriving in Seoul, I've totally abandoned my blog, haven't I? My apologies. I know it sounds quite like an excuse but I barely had any time to update my blog.

I was having a little too much fun upping my alcohol tolerance (hehe just kidding, although partially true!) and if I had to be brutally honest, studying an entirely new language and working at the same time did take a toll on me as it was quite exhausting at times, but of course, I wouldn't have wanted the experience any other way.

Today I just wanted to share about my 7 months experience in Seoul, or more particularly my Korean language study experience at Lexis Korea to begin with. :)

I arrived in South Korea in May 2016 with little to no knowledge of the Korean language. I could only recognise the Hangul alphabets and that was about it.

Today, I can converse, listen and understand, read, and write in Korean, albeit neither perfect nor on a professional level, but enough to be able to survive in Seoul.

On my first day at Lexis, I undertook the placement test and I was placed in the absolute beginner class, better known as the Korean Foundation class. I have since completed 30 weeks of classes and I am currently at Intermediate level:
  • 1 week of Foundation classes ✓
  • 4 weeks of Beginner classes ✓
  • 8 weeks of Elementary classes ✓
  • 12 weeks of Pre-Intermediate classes ✓
  • 5 weeks of Intermediate classes ✓

Upon returning to Seoul again this coming March, I will be resuming my Korean Intensive 15 classes at Intermediate level and I am hoping to make my way up to Upper-Intermediate before I wrap up my internship in June 2017.

Going right back to the start - why Lexis Korea, you may ask. There are so many Korean language course providers in Seoul, including well-known universities, but here's why I chose Lexis Korea:
  1. The main reason being its flexibility - unlike most other providers where there is a fixed number of weeks and fixed start/end dates, Lexis Korea enables their students to commence on any given Monday, for any given weeks. This worked really well for me as I am unsure of my schedule at that point in time.
  2. The other factor being its prime location; with the campus located right in the heart of Gangnam and surrounded by lots of restaurants and shopping! Lexis Korea is only a 3 minutes walk from Gangnam Station Exit 5, which also leads you to a world of underground shopping. Talk about convenience! ;)
  3. The mix of international students! Lexis Korea welcomes students from 30+ different countries every year and I know that'll enable me to meet new friends from a very diversified group of students.
  4. The variety of school activities, excursions and cultural experiences - my plan was to live in Seoul only for a short period of time, so I wanted to be able to explore as much as I could during my short stay, and Lexis Korea offered one of the best variety of activities.
After 30 weeks of attending classes at Lexis Korea, all I can say is that I am glad I picked the right course. Apart from all of the key points I've listed above, I also love how the classes and lessons are very dynamic, interactive and fun.

Of course, it is not all fun and laughters though, homework is given at times, and there are weekly tests as well. Some might even find that the classes can be pretty intense. I do however enjoy the challenge and feel that students at Lexis Korea progress really rapidly. If you pay attention in class and put in the effort to revise the materials provided during your leisure time, trust me, you will improve really quickly.

Within a short period of time, most students are able to communicate with the teachers and other local Koreans in (our somewhat broken) Korean. Plus, what I thought was most helpful is the practicality of the classes; most of what we learn in class, we are able to apply in our daily life.


Just to give you a gist into my progression, this is how far I got in terms of my ability to write and speak in Korean after 15 weeks of classes.

A few weeks later, whilst I was still in Pre-Intermediate level, we did another presentation based on the theme of the week, which was about our memories.

I always feel like my speaking skills get pretty stagnant but looking back at both the videos, only then did I realise that my speaking skills did actually improve, albeit just slightly. :)

Below I delve deeper into what I enjoyed most about my Korean language study experience at Lexis Korea.

I really liked the fact that Lexis Korea runs a weekly syllabus and that the theme is different every week. We learn about a wide range of themes and like I mentioned earlier, it's not just lessons and tests, we also do practical exercises and sometimes the teachers help make it that little bit more interesting by adding interactive activities into the mix. These are amongst the fun stuff that we get to do in classes, just to list a few:

When we learnt about "accidents" and had to memorise like a hundred new words, our amazing teacher made it super fun for us to practise both our writing and conversational skills by playing reporter/anchor in class!

Can you believe my teacher actually hand-made this cute cardboard TV? Based on examples provided, we had to write our own script based on an accident scene then present our written work thereafter. We even ended the news presentation with "지금까지 렉시스 뉴스 민정이었습니다." which basically translates to "This is Michelle Ng from Lexis News signing off." It was super fun!

During the week where we learnt about Korean food and terms related to cooking, we got to get on our hands down on preparing Korean food during class. It was heaps of fun, a unique experience for us all, and we all thought "YAY! NO LESSON!" but our teacher made sure we made use of the new vocabulary that we learnt during the week as we were broken down into groups, and we had to present what we were making, what the ingredients were and how we were going to make our respective dishes.

Then there was one week (I forgot what the theme was) we had to call for pizza delivery. I was selected, and had to tell the guy on the line what our address was and ordered the pizzas that we've selected, all in Korean of course. So nerve-wrecking, but it was quite an experience!

And then when we learnt about "broadcasting", we get to play radio host and guests, and we were given scripts respectively where we have to fill up the blanks, add our own thoughts etc, then present the work. Here I am playing the radio host, and Lucas sitting next to me was my guest. Pretty cool hey?

On top of classes, Lexis Korea also offers a variety of daily activities for their students - this is optional but recommended for those who would like to learn and experience more of Korea and its culture.

For example, in conjunction with Korean Thanksgiving Day known as Chuseok (추석), we ran a Korean Traditional Games workshop and as an intern, I got to put on hanbok for the first time whilst participating in the games! I gotta say I really loved the experience.

Lexis Korea also have a wide range of daily activities planned out for the students after classes. There are study groups, an array of workshops focusing on Korean etiquette, as well as day trips and excursions around Seoul to allow students a glimpse into the many attractions. In this photo, we were at the War Memorial Museum!

To me, what really makes Lexis Korea stand out are not just the fun classes and activities, but the amazing teachers and staff members. Their enthusiasm is top class - it is because of the teachers; their bright and vibrant personality, paired with their passion for their job is the reason why our classes and activities are so interactive and even more fun than they already are!!

I like the fact that the teachers are not only experienced and deliver great classes, they are also really fun. Our teachers actually hang out with us outside of classes and make the effort to get to know us all on a personal level. All 5 of my teachers are super sporting, cool and very fun to hang out with! Yeap, these two lovely ladies are my teachers! Oh, they're all super pretty too hehe.

They also make the effort to go above and beyond to help us students with life outside of school. I remember I once had a fever, and my teacher checked in with me over the weekend to ensure I was doing okay. She even looked up which hospital was located nearby my accommodation and made an appointment for me. It was during the weekend, and my teacher didn't have to, but she went way beyond her call of duty, which I really appreciated.

Like I mentioned earlier, as Lexis Korea welcomes students from all over the globe (mainly Europeans) you will also get the chance to meet friends from different walks of life. I have made some really good friends and although they're now spread all around the world, I hope that one day I will be able to meet them again.

It's amazing how all of us here come from different parts of the globe for the one same common purpose - to learn the Korean language! From Switzerland, to Aussie, Indonesia, France, Sweden, Germany, America, Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore... When Lexis said you'll be making global friends, they weren't lying; that's for sure! ;)

Meeting friends from different countries, and learning about their culture is also an experience in itself. This is something I know I will not have had the chance to experience otherwise. If I had to look back at the best thing to have happened to me, it is the people I've met during my stay in Seoul.

Everyone you meet has something new to teach you; some bring out the best in you, some help you see different sides of yourself you never knew existed, some teach you to be a better person... whatever it is, all I know is that I sure have learnt SO much in the past few months of my experience at Lexis Korea.

This is not a sponsored post but seriously Lexis Korea have the best teachers for they're truly passionate about what they do... and of course, they also have a high quality and practical syllabus to boot. I loved everything about the Intensive Korean Course that I undertook and I really couldn't have asked for a better Korean language study experience. :)

If you love the Korean culture and language as much as I have (and still do!), then I would highly recommend that you give Lexis Korea's Intensive Korean courses a go.

And I think I'll wrap up my post for now. I initially thought of writing about everything in the one post but it's getting really long so I will break it down into a few posts. Another post will follow shortly where I will share about my work experience in Seoul as an intern, and then finally, my thoughts on life in general and what my experience was like living in Seoul. :)
Click on 'OLDER POSTS' for more! :)