Tangzhong or water roux is a cooked mix of flour and liquid either water or milk used in breadmaking. It makes the bread softer and increase its shelf life.
Who doesn’t love pillowy soft bread just like the bakery breads? This tangzhong aka water roux, a custard or pudding like thing is a trick that the Asian used for making the breads soft as feather while keeping it preservative and chemical free!
WHAT IS TANGZHONG?
Tangzhong is a roux made with 1 part flour to 5 parts water, by weight. It is mixed together and cooked until the starches in the flour gelatinize and the mixture thickens. So in short tangzhong is cooked gelatinous mixture of flour and liquid. It’s also called a water roux since it’s traditionally made with water.
It is used to replace a portion of the flour in the regular bread recipes.
Traditionally to make tangzhong water is used in the case of liquid but we can use milk also or 50:50 ratio of water and milk.
Tangzhong is a popular Japanese technique of cooking a small percentage of flour and liquid from the bread recipe into a soft pudding like consistency which is used in making breads. This tangzhong after cooling down is simply added to the flour mix when kneading your bread dough.
This magic ingredient makes the bread super soft and stay fresh for longer period. This magically happens at 149°F, or 65°C.
By cooking the flour and liquid together, all the moisture is absorbed into the flour. Generally flour absorb more liquid when hot. This means that the dough made with tangzhong has higher percentage of water compared to other regular dough. It helps the dough absorb more liquid and retain moisture. Since there is more steam created inside the dough while baking, it will result in a higher rise and creates a wonderful oven spring as the dough bakes due to the moisture already contained within the dough, resulting in an awesome and super soft and spongy bread.
WHY USE TANGZHONG IN BREAD?
● The dough is easier to work with unlike high hydration dough.
● The dough will be less sticky.
● It helps the dough absorb more liquid and retain moisture.
● Creates wonderful oven spring as the dough bakes due to the moisture already contained within the dough by adding the tangzhong to the dough.
● Leads to a softer, fluffier, and airier bread.
● The bread baked using tangzhong has longer shelf life.
HOW TO MAKE TANGZHONG?
Making Tangzhong is an easy process. It is made with only 2 ingredients – flour and water or milk. Here is how to make it.
The ratio of flour and water is 1:5. That is 1 part flour and 5 parts of water or liquid to be used. (Milk can be used or 50:50 ratio of water and milk). You can use all water, all milk or half milk and half water too. I prefer to have a mixture of the two.
Mix flour and water well until no lumps remain. Turn on the heat and cook the mixture at low-medium heat or if using thermometer its 149°F or 65°C. Stir continuously so it doesn’t form lumps or burn it.
Let it cool before adding to the bread dough.
I made a simple video of Tangzhong for my readers which I have shared below. Do watch and please SUBSCRIBE to my channel. It will means a lot to me and motivate me to come up with more videos for my readers. As always looking forward to your feedbacks!
Tangzhong Video Tutorial
HOW TO ADD TANGZHONG TO YOUR BREAD DOUGH
Using tangzhong is very simple. Once the tangzhong is cooked, it is allowed to cool down completely before adding to the recipe. When you incorporate tangzhong into the dough, simply add it in the earliest stage. That is, add the tangzhong to the flour and incorporate them first followed by rest of wet ingredients. The water roux will partially take the place of the water or milk component of the recipe.
The outcome of the bread made using tangzhong is pillowy soft, fluffy and has a longer shelf life even without using dough conditioners, preservatives, bleached flour and what not.
This tangzhong or water roux is bread’s secret ingredient for making the loaf soft and fluffy. The texture of the bread baked using tangzhong method is very close to store bought breads. The bread also has a longer shelf life, stays fresh and soft for longer days.
Tangzhong can be refrigerated for 2-3 days or use right away after cooling to room temperature.
The formula or conversion for making tangzhong from regular bread recipe is simple. You can convert from any regilar bread. The ratio of flour and water is 1:5. You can use about 5%-10% of the flour from the recipe to make tangzhong. The water to be used is 5 times of the flour to be used for making tangzhong.
I made this tangzhong for my chocolate stuffed hedgehog bread rolls, which I’ll be sharing here soon.
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If you haven’t tried using this tangzhong please do try and also share your thoughts about this blog with me here in the comments.
So let’s get started and see how to make tangzhong.
Preparation time: 2
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Ingredients to make tangzhong (water roux):
30 gms all purpose flour or bread flour (¼ cup/4 tbsps)
150 gms water (150 ml)
Step by step pictorial instructions to make tangzhong (water roux):
In a sauce pan mix the water and flour. Stir well and combine them. Make sure that there are no lumps.
Turn on the heat and allow the mixture to cook on medium heat stirring continuously until the roux thickens and you see traces in the mixture as you stir. Turn the heat off at this point. It will take only 2-3 minutes approximately.
The mixture should be cooked at medium heat. If using thermometer the temperature should be 149°F or 65°C.
Transfer to a dry bowl and cover it with cling wrap, making sure the cling wrap sticks onto the surface of the mixture. This is to prevent a film from forming on the surface.
Allow to cool down completely before adding the the dough mixture.
If not using the tangzhong immediately, cover it and refrigerate. This can be used within 2-3 days.
● You can use about 5%-10% of the flour from the recipe to make tangzhong. The water to be used is 5 times of the flour to be used for making tangzhong.
● For eg: if the the recipe calls for 300 gms flour, you can use 5% of the flour which is 15 gms. So the remaining flour 285 gms will be used for making the dough.
● Do not cook the mixture on high heat and do not over cook. The mixture loses its elasticity and does not retain moisture when overcooked.
● 1:5 ratio of flour to liquid is used to make tangzhong.
● Keep the tangzhong covered to prevent it from getting dried. Cover with cling wrap and press it down into intimate contact with the roux, pressing out the air, so as to keep from forming a skin.
● Tangzhong can be refrigerated for upto 2-3 days if not using the same day.
● You can make whole wheat bread using tangzhong methodoo. But I recommend to make the tangzhong using all purpose flour. It will not alter the nutritional value by much, but will increase the shelf life and create softer crumb.
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