Thursday, September 16, 2021

Looks like a ball of yarn



It seems that bread baking became very popular during the past year, and quite a few techniques and shaping methods began trending on the Internet.  

There is some debate about the origins of Wool Roll Bread.  It was popularized by a Malaysian baker (Apron), but another blogger in Vietnam had demonstrated bánh mì cuộn len (which translates to wool roll bread).  It is also similar to some Middle Eastern and European breads.

Basically, it’s a soft, pillowy yeast dough stuffed with a sweet or savory filling, then sliced, rolled and stacked in a round pan, so as the dough rises and bakes, the final result resembles rolls of wool or thick yarn.  My version is not stuffed, because I couldn’t decide on a filling, but please feel free to go wild.  Most of the bakers use the milk bread/tangzhong method for the yeast dough, but there are other versions, such as sourdough or egg-free (see other links below).  I used a basic tangzhong dough from King Arthur Baking Company.

Technique is the key component.  Feel free to search the Internet for YouTube videos that show all the possibilities.  Here is my shaping technique:

Prepare pan:  You can use a bundt pan, cake pan, or a springform pan, which is what I used.  I greased the bottom and sides, and added a layer of parchment, also greased, to the bottom.

Dough shaping:  Divide the dough into 5 pieces.  Roll each piece into a thin, oblong shape, then, using a sharp object (I used a wobbly pizza cutter), start about 2/3s from the designated top and make 1/8” to ¼” cuts.  

If you’re using a filling, add it now.   


Begin rolling from the solid top, ending at the bottom, and carefully place it in the prepared pan.  

I apparently made my oblongs on the wide side, so I divided the fifth roll into two pieces and placed it in the middle.  Artistic license.

Let the dough rise, brush with milk or egg wash, then bake as directed in the recipe.  Let the bread cool if you can, then enjoy the process of eating it, strand by strand.




Japanese Milk Bread from King Arthur Baking Company





1.      To make the tangzhong: Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan, and whisk until no lumps remain.

2.      Place the saucepan over low heat and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until thick and the whisk leaves lines on the bottom of the pan, about 3 to 5 minutes.

3.      Transfer the tangzhong to a small mixing bowl or measuring cup and let it cool to lukewarm.

4.      To make the dough: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Combine the tangzhong with the remaining dough ingredients, then mix and knead — by mixer or bread machine — until a smooth, elastic dough forms; this could take almost 15 minutes in a stand mixer.

5.      Shape the dough into a ball, and let it rest in a lightly greased bowl, covered, for 60 to 90 minutes, until puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk.

6.      Gently deflate the dough and divide it into four equal pieces; if you have a scale each piece will weigh between 170g and 175g.

7.      Flatten each piece of dough into a 5" x 8" rectangle, then fold the short ends in towards one another like a letter. Flatten the folded pieces into rectangles again (this time about 3" x 6") and, starting with a short end, roll them each into a 4" log.

8.      Place the logs in a row of four — seam side down and side by side — in a lightly greased 9" x 5" loaf pan.

9.      Cover the loaf and allow it to rest/rise for 40 to 50 minutes, until puffy.

10.  Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

11.  To bake the bread: Brush the loaf with milk and bake it for 30 to 35 minutes, until it's golden brown on top and a digital thermometer inserted into the center reads at least 190°F.

12.  Remove the loaf from the oven and cool it in the pan until you can transfer it safely to a rack to cool completely.

13.  Store leftover bread, well wrapped, at cool room temperature for 5 to 7 days; freeze for longer storage.


Links of interest:

Have fun!


If you want to bake along with us and receive your Buddy Badge, please send me a photo and link by September 29th to be included in the roundup.  Kitchen of the Month:  Judy's Gross Eats. or jahunt22dotgmaildotcom.

To see what the other Babes did, please check their websites:




Monday, August 16, 2021

Hot Rocks



The Babes are certainly an adventurous group of bread bakers.  Take the August challenge, for example.  This recipe required a trip to the hardware store/garden center to purchase a container of rocks.  One more baking tool in the Babes’ arsenal.


Elizabeth, of Blog from OUR Kitchen, was the Kitchen of the Month for August, and she was excited to have everyone bake Naan Sangak, or Persian Pebble Bread. 

This is a basic naan flatbread that is baked on a bed of very hot stones in either the oven, or on a grill.   


The dough can be leavened with either yeast or sourdough starter.  I opted for the yeast version and used a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi from Master Class.  It was a great dough to work with and baked up nicely.


However, contrary to common knowledge, the bread did not release from the stones after baking.  There were a few stones that clung to the bread for dear life, having to be pried from the underside of the naan, but this baker was victorious in removing them.


This was a flavorful bread, easy to prepare, and fun to bake and eat, especially with the toasted nigella seeds on top.


If you visit Elizabeth’s blog, you can find the detailed recipe and a lovely story behind this interesting bread.  Then, head out to your local garden store for some smooth stones, and have a good time baking along with us.  Send Elizabeth your story by the 29th to be included in the roundup and get a Buddy Badge for Naan Sangak.


Check out the other Bread Baking Babes to see their pebble bread:



Friday, July 16, 2021

Lemon Cruffins


 July’s Kitchen of the Month is Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen.  Aparna chose Cruffins as our challenge recipe.  Cruffins are supposedly a hybrid of croissants and muffins, but, to me, their texture was more like a dinner roll.

First set of cruffins was a lemon-flavored, yeast-based bread.  They were very tasty, especially when rolled in lemon sugar while they were still warm.  These were the most successful.


 Second set of cruffins, which were actually baked before the first set, were sourdough chocolate cruffins.  No yeast involved here, so sadly, there was negligible movement as well, even though the starter was used right at its peak, and the dough was given ample time to rise.  Guess I’m just a yeast lover at heart.



Check out Aparna’s cruffins, and the recipe she used.  Hers are gorgeous!  Also, stop by to see how the other Babe’s fared – they made some mighty fine-looking cruffins.