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Tangzhong

Also known as a water roux, is a technique used in bread baking to create soft, fluffy, and moist bread. Tangzhong is the secret that will up your bread making skills. The term “Tangzhong” is of Chinese origin, where “tang” means “soup” or “liquid,” and “zhong” means “thick” or “starch.” This method involves creating a paste or roux by cooking flour and water. (Or sometimes milk)
Mixed together until it thickens into a gel-like consistency. This paste is then incorporated into the bread dough, resulting in a softer and more tender crumb in the finished bread. Tangzhong is the secret that will up your bread making skills.

Total Time
5 min
Difficulty
Easy
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Simple & Professional Tasty Recipes

Ingredients for 1 Servings

  • 1 part bread flour
    5 parts water (or milk)

Total Time

  • Preparation Time
    1 min
  • Cooking Time
    5 min

Goes Great with

Method
    • Mix the flour and water (or milk) in a saucepan until there are no lumps.
    • Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk or spoon.
    • Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture thickens into a gel-like paste. It should have a consistency similar to that of pudding.
    • Remove the pan from heat and let the Tangzhong cool to room temperature. It’s now ready to be incorporated into the bread recipe.

    Incorporating Tangzhong into Bread Dough: Once the Tangzhong has cooled, add it to the other ingredients of your bread recipe during the mixing or kneading stage. Incorporate it thoroughly into the dough until no streaks remain. Then proceed with the regular bread-making process, including proofing, shaping, and baking.

    Tangzhong is a popular technique in Asian-style bread recipes, and it’s known for producing incredibly soft and fluffy bread with a delightful texture. Bakers often experiment with different ratios and types of flour to achieve specific results, but the fundamental principle of using a gelatinized starch paste to enhance the bread’s texture remains the same.

Notes

Here’s how Tangzhong works and why it’s effective:

1. Gelatinization of Starch: When flour is mixed with water and heated, the starch granules in the flour absorb the water and swell. As the mixture reaches a certain temperature
(around 65–70°C or 149–158°F), the starches undergo a process called gelatinization. During this process, the starch molecules absorb water, swell, and create a thick gel. This gelatinized starch traps moisture within the bread, keeping it soft and tender.

2. Improved Water Absorption: The gelatinized starch in the Tangzhong acts as a water binder, allowing the dough to absorb and retain more water. This increased hydration results in a softer and moister crumb texture in the baked bread.

3. Extended Shelf Life: Bread made with Tangzhong tends to stay fresh and soft longer due to the moisture-retaining properties of the gelatinized starch. The bread remains enjoyable for several days after baking, making it a popular method for commercial bakeries as well.

Goes Great with