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
- 3 tablespoons (43g) water
- 3 tablespoons (43g) whole milk
- 2 tablespoons (14g) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
- 2 1/2 cups (298g) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
- 2 tablespoons (14g) Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
- 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon (6g) salt
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 1/2 cup (113g) whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter, melted
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:
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:
- Blog from OUR Kitchen – Elizabeth
- Karen’s Kitchen Stories – Karen
- A Messy Kitchen – Kelly
- My Diverse Kitchen – Aparna
- Bread Experience – Cathy
- Thyme for Cooking - Katie
- My Kitchen in Half Cups – Tanna
- Feeding My Enthusiasms – Elle