Monday 19 May 2014

Choco-Milk Braided Loaf

Yield: one 20x9x10 cm loaf

135g bread flour 高筋面粉
15g top flour 低筋面粉
25g fine sugar 细糖
1/2 tsp instant dry yeast 速发干酵母
1/8 tsp salt 盐
15g beaten egg 蛋液
5g condensed milk 炼乳
90g fresh milk 鲜奶
20g unsalted butter 无盐奶油

1 tsp cocoa powder 无糖可可粉
1/2 tsp hot water 热水

1. Mix cocoa powder and hot water into a smooth paste. Set aside.

2. Mix all the ingredients, except the butter and milk, in a big mixing bowl.

3. Slowly pour in the milk and stir to mix at the same time. When the ingredients form into a lump, cover with a lid and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Wear a pair of CPE disposable gloves to handle this rather sticky dough. Grab one end of the dough and slam it against the wall of the mixing bowl. Fold it, turn 90 degree, and grab the other end of the dough. Continue to slam-fold-turn til the dough pulls away from the bowl and stickiness reduced. This process will take about 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Transfer the dough to a floured work top and repeat the slam-fold-turn process till you get a smooth dough.

6. Spread out the dough and apply softened butter onto it. Rub and fold the butter into the dough till no visible butter can be seen. Repeat the slam-fold-turn process till the dough becomes elastic and can pull out into a membrane. This takes about 5 to 10 minutes.

7. Divide the dough into 1/3 (100g) and 2/3 (200g). Mix the cocoa paste to the 1/3 portion. Perform the slam-fold-turn process to keep the dough elastic.
Pull down the sides of both dough and shape them into balls. Spray some water over both doughs, and keep in a covered bowl. Let the doughs proof for 1 hour or till the size doubles

8. After the first proofing, sprinkle some flour on the surface, and invert out the doughs to the floured work top separately.

Flatten the milk dough to release the trapped air. Divide the dough into two portions. Pull down the sides of the doughs to tighten the dough outer skin and shape into two balls. Dust with some flour, place back to the bowl and cover with a lid.

Repeat the same steps, except dividing into two, for the Choco dough.
Let both doughs rest for 15 minutes.

9. After the 15 minutes rest, first roll out the dough into a flat oval dough. Then roll up from the longer end into a long dough. Seal at the end by pinching. 

10. Use your hands to roll and stretch the dough slowly into a length longer than the mould by 10 cm.

11. Join the three doughs together at one end. Start plaiting the doughs accordingly, and seal at the end. When transferring the braided dough to the pre-greased mould, tuck both ends below.

12. Spray some water over the dough, and put it into a closed oven to do the second proofing for about 40 minutes, or till the dough fills up 4/5 of the mould.

13. Remove the dough from the oven, and preheat the oven to 170 degree Celsius (about 10 minutes). Brush the dough with beaten egg.

14. Bake the dough in the oven set at 170 degree Celsius for about 25 to 30 minutes. If the top of the dough brown too quickly, cover it with a aluminum foil.

15. After the baking, invert out the loaf to cool down. The bread will be very soft when it is hot, try not to touch the side of the loaf. Once "dented", the bread will be "disfigured". Only to invert back to its upright position when the bread outer crust has cooled down substantially.

16. Slice the loaf with bread knife after it has completely cool down. Enjoy :)

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