What Baking Bread Teaches a Pitmaster about Smoking Meat

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Awesome thread! I’ve been trying to come up with a worthy comment, one not to corny, but I cannot. I appreciate the wisdom in your post. When I joined SMF I only cared about meat, but you and others here have helped provide a broader education in food. Through these kind of posts I have a better appreciation and understanding of how and what I cook, no matter what it is, or the method. I can’t wait to get into bread…..or the next time I need to remind myself to be patient!

sorry that your wife took the reserved bread🤣
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Wow 86%. Seems like that would be a sticky mess. Looks wonderful. If you get a chance I would love your recipe Ray.
Hey, Brian. No problem. It will read like an advanced recipe, but it is pretty easy. I've adjusted the recipe a slight amount so the hydration is 85%. It is still moist two days later.

Ray's Tangzhong Bread

Makes a single 85% hydration 2 lb loaf
Dry: 580g
Wet: 490g
Salt: 10-11g
Yeast: 10-11g

Bulk Fermentation
Dry Ingredients
150g KA whole wheat flour
150g KA bread flour
100g KA AP Flour
100g Steel-cut oats, fine coffee grind or blender
30g flax seeds
20g Vital Wheat Gluten (Add 20g of bread flour if skipping the VWG)
10g fine sea salt
10g nonfat dry milk powder
1g instant yeast (¼ tsp)

Wet Ingredients
350g room temp water
10g lemon juice (fresh or bottled)

Final Ingredients after Bulk Ferment
100g water
20g AP flour

Yeast mixture
30g room temp water
9-10g (2 ½ tsp) Active Dry or Instant/Quick-Rise, dissolved

Weigh water and lemon juice. Stir together. Set aside.

Also measure dry ingredients into a mixing bowl that is large enough for the dough to double.

Day to evening before baking. Pour water/lemon juice into the dry ingredients and stir mixture with a large tablespoon. Stir until a shaggy ball forms and no dry ingredients remain. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise and ferment for 12-24 hours on the counter at room temperature. THIS COUNTS AS THE FIRST RISE!

Heat 20g AP flour and 100g water in a small bowl in the microwave for 1 min. Add additional time in 30 sec increments, stirring until a paste forms. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Baking day:
Wet hands and dough scraper. Scrape the fermented dough into a KitchenAid mixer's bowl. Poke with wet fingers to deflate and make holes. Add the tangzhong and dissolved yeast.

Add the dough hook to the mixer. Turn it to low for a minute. Then turn it to #4, or medium low, and knead until it cleans the sides and bottom of the bowl and forms a ball around the dough hook and pulls away from the bottom of the bowl, 8-10 minutes. It will look pasty and gluey in the beginning, but will develop as the gluten forms.

Scrape the dough hook clean, cover bowl, and rest 10 minutes.

Spray a loaf 9x5 loaf pan with oil.

Liberally dust a working surface with AP flour. Scrape the kneaded dough onto the surface. Lightly dust the top of the dough. Wet fingers. Press dough flat. Tri fold, then roll and pull into loaf shape to build surface tension. Sprinkle with flour if too sticky.

Place dough into the greased loaf pan. Lightly dust with AP flour. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise about an inch above the rim of the pan, about 45-120 minutes, depending on room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (385°F my oven) when dough first touches the plastic wrap. If the plastic wrap sticks to the dough as the dough rises, lightly dust the top of the dough with AP flour and cover again with the wrap.

Once risen about an inch above the rim of the pan, place the dough in the oven front to back, not side to side.

Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes. Check internal temp of the bread is 200°F-205°F.

Remove from oven and loaf pan, then allow bread to cool on a cooling rack. Once completely cooled, bread stores well in an open paper bag on the counter. A plastic bag works but the crust will soften. Store wrapped in the refrigerator for up to ten days.
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Next recipe on the Tangzhong experiment list, cinnamon rolls. My wife makes great cinnamon rolls, but they get dry in a day or two. We suffered through bakery cinnamon rolls this past Christmas and that's what sent me searching for a way for cinnamon rolls to stay moist longer. That's when I found the Cook's Illustrated YouTube video.

Now that I've proven it works for my bread recipe, cinnamon rolls are next!
Next recipe on the Tangzhong experiment list, cinnamon rolls. My wife makes great cinnamon rolls, but they get dry in a day or two. We suffered through bakery cinnamon rolls this past Christmas and that's what sent me searching for a way for cinnamon rolls to stay moist longer. That's when I found the Cook's Illustrated YouTube video.

Now that I've proven it works for my bread recipe, cinnamon rolls are next!
Please correct this massive injustice in the world!!!

Cinnamon rolls ALWAYS look and smell better than they taste because they are always dry. Most people have managed to have a perfect cinnamon roll once in their life and then never be able to find anything like it again hahaha.

Getting back to that non-dry, super flavorful, super enjoyable cinnamon roll would be magic! I hope you sort it all out :)
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I constantly experiment with recipes and cooking/baking/grilling/smoking/braising techniques. This morning I'm baking my favorite multigrain, seeded loaf, something I do once a week. I have perfected the recipe for my tastes, and then I watched a YouTube video by Cooks Illustrated about incorporating a Tangzhong into the recipe. What is a Tangzhong? It is a small addition of flour and water cooked into a starch and added to the ingredients to soften the loaf, tighten the crumb, retain moisture/freshness longer, and extend shelf-life. You even increase the hydration amount. I thought, "This I gotta try."

I've been making my sandwich bread using the Tangzhong method almost exclusively since I learned about it a couple of years ago.

Now, let me send you down a rabbit hole...Tangzhong vs Yudane

You're welcome! :emoji_wink:
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I had a kidney stone today and I am on oxycodone for the pain and I though the title of this thread said:

What Breaking Bad Teaches a Pitmaster about Smoking Meat...​

I was like I HAVE to read this one! :emoji_laughing:
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Now, let me send you down a rabbit hole...Tangzhong vs Yudane
Thanks, SherryT. Yep, another rabbit hole for sure I'm going to play with.

Tangzhong uses 5-10% of total flour weight, and 5x the weight of water of the Tangzhong flour used. Yudane uses 20% of the total flour weight, and the same weight of water as the Yudane flour.

The recipe I posted above uses an overnight bulk ferment of all the ingredients except the Tangzhong, then a little more water and yeast before kneading in the mixer. We've mowed through my latest loaf it was so good. I think for the loaf I start tomorrow I'll make the Tangzhong at the same time as the bulk ferment. The bread will ferment overnight on the counter and the Tangzhong will spend the night in the fridge. THEN I'll try the cinnamon rolls with the Tangzhong. I've modified my wife's cinnamon roll recipe to be more like a brioche bread or butter challah, which in itself will make a softer crumb. The Tangzhong and/or Yudane will hopefully keep them soft and moist for days.

Once I've got all those results, I'll move onto the Yudane and repeat my processes.

I have a recipe I created for Hawaiian bread/rolls that is BEGGING me for a Tangzhong, and now, a Yudane. So many things to try.

Yep, rabbit hole confirmed.

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Thanks. I will need to get a couple things. I have not bought any wheat flour in a while as its been to expensive but guess I will get some.
Hey Brian,

My recipe has no sugar or honey in it, but I've tried them both. The bread has a very slight sweetness from the grains. That said, honey goes really well with it if you like a sweeter bread. I prefer to add anything sweet after it is baked. Sugar or honey causes the crust to brown more deeply.

You can add as little as a tsp (7g) to as much as 3 Tbs (63g) of honey, but it counts as liquid, so you have to adjust the initial water. Sugar is a non wet or dry ingredient that weighs 4g per tsp. Both get added for the bulk ferment if you do so.

Happy baking!

Update on process: I made the tangzhong at the same time I started the bulk ferment last night. The tangzhong went in the fridge.

This morning, when I put everything together in the mixer, I got to the smooth ball stage in just under 9 minutes. Making everything at the same time is simpler than making and cooling the tangzhong the next morning. Well, saves a little time, anyway.
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"Tangzhong". I had to write it down so I can research it a little. Gotta try it.
For what it's worth, my oven with the light on runs around 78 degrees.
It helps getting a sourdough starter going.....
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As mentioned above, the second loaf tangzhong was rested overnight in the fridge. The end result was a slightly, but noticeable, tighter crumb. Below are pics of the second loaf and the first loaf in that order.



Now, on to cinnamon rolls!
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