During my childhood in the 70s, every evening there would be a middle age lady carried two big bamboo baskets loaded with soft aromatic loaves of bread came to our block of flats. She would walk down every floor, stop at every door, to sell her loaves. Though the choice was limited, the sweet soft loaf was my favourite - we called it " big bun".
The softness and sweetness of the loaf was good enough to eat it plain.
Yield: two 10x10x10cm loaves
135g bread flour 高筋面粉
15g top flour 低筋面粉
30g fine sugar 细糖
10g condensed milk 炼乳
15g beaten egg 蛋液
1/2 tsp instant dry yeast 即发酵母粉
1/8 tsp salt 盐
90g fresh milk 鲜奶
20g unsalted butter 无盐奶油
Some beaten egg for glazing 蛋液
1. Mix all ingredients, except milk and butter, in a mixing bowl.
2. Slowly add in the fresh milk, combine into a lump. Let it rest for 20 minutes to allow the flour to fully absorb the liquid.
3. As the dough is quite sticky, wearing a CPE disposable gloves would make kneading easier. Knead the dough by slamming, pulling, and folding the dough, until the dough becomes smooth. This process takes about 10 minutes.
4. Spread out the dough and apply softened butter onto it. Knead to incorporate butter into the dough.
5. Continue to knead till you can stretch out the dough. This takes about 5 to 10 minutes.
6. Shape the dough into a ball by pulling down the sides several times, till the dough surface is stretched and smooth, and seal at the bottom.
7. Spray some water over the dough, cover with a lid and let it proof for about 60 minutes.
8. At the end of proofing, turn out the dough onto a floured surface and flatten the dough with your palm.
9. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions, about 150g each.
10. Roll up the dough.
Fold into half, to allow the two ends meet.
Shape the dough into a ball by pulling down the sides of the dough several times till the surface is tight and smooth, and seal at the bottom. Roll the dough within your palm to shape into a ball.
11. Place the doughs into a 20x10x6cm lightly greased loaf pan . Spray some water over them.
12. Proof the doughs for 50 minutes , or till the dough is about 1cm above the rim of the pan, with the oven door close.
13. At the end of 50 minutes, remove the dough from the oven. And preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.
14. Apply egg wash over the surface of the dough.
15. Bake the loaf at 180 degree Celsius for about 18 to 20 minutes, or till the top turns golden brown.
6. Remove the loaf and pan from the oven, and invert out the loaf immediately.
16. Let the loaf cools own on a wire rack before slicing. Serve fresh :)
By replacing 20g of fine sugar by dark brown sugar, you'll get a very aromatic brown sugar loaf 😄