Friday, 17 November 2017

Herman Starter - Braided Pumpkin Bread 南瓜辫子吐司

Herman Starter, which has a not very proportionate milk : sugar : flour composition, pose a great challenge in converting normal bread recipe into Herman's version. I try to keep 10g of water aside, and slowly add it to the dough while kneading, to prevent getting a wet dough.

Braided bread tends to have a nice texture as the glutens of the dough have been nicely stretched 😀 However, over-stretching the dough would be disastrous 😲

Bread maker: Mayer MMBM12
Raw dough weight: 535g
Pan size: 25x10x6cm
Baking temperature: bake at preheated oven at 180°C for 10 minutes, then reduce to 170°C for 20 minutes. At lower rack of the oven.


30g milk
35g water
50g steamed pumpkin paste
15g beaten egg
25g fine sugar
3g fine salt
30g cold unsalted butter

200g Prima bread flour
50g Japanese bread flour

100g Herman Starter
1g instant dry yeast

Some salted butter for glazing


1. I used Herman Starter on the 7th day of cultivation, and about 5 hours after stirring. 
The Herman Starter's feeding schedule can be found at the end of this recipe.

2. Feed ingredients to the bread maker following the sequence listed. Select "C-11 Ferment Dough program" and start the program. The program includes mixing, kneading and 1st fermentation. However, I would terminate the program manually when the countdown timer reads"1:05" after the kneading process ends.
Keep the dough in a slightly-oiled plastic bag, place in a covered mixing bowl, and refrigerate for about 15 hours, till the next morning.

3. In the next morning, invert the dough and thaw in room temperature for about 60 to 80 minutes.

80 minutes after thawing.

4. Turn out the dough onto a floured work top, deflate the dough, and divide it into 3 portions.

Roll the doughs into balls, cover and let them rest for about 15 minutes.

5. Roll one of the doughs into long, flat dough.

Roll up the dough into a rope, starting from the longer end.

Pinch the end to seal. Apply some flour and roll into a 20-cm long rope. Repeat the process for the other two doughs.

Cover and let the dough rest for about 10 minutes.

6. Take a dough, dust some flour over, and roll the dough into a longer rope by extending towards the two ends.

When all the 3 rope doughs are ready. Place the 3 rope doughs next to each other.

Bind 3 rope doughs together at one end, and start braiding the dough.

Seal the other end, and tuck both sealed ends under the dough.

7. Place the dough into the prepared loaf pan. Spray some water over,

cover with a tea towel, and let it proof in room temperature, about 29°C, for about 90 minutes

or till the dough almost reaching the rim of the pan

8.  Bake in a preheated oven set at 180°C for 10 minutes, reduce to 170°C for about 20 minutes, or till the top turns golden.

End of baking

9. After leaving the oven, invert out the bread immediately.

Brush a coat of salted butter over the hot crust.

Allow the bread cool down over a wire rack till reaching room temperature.

Cut and enjoy 😋

Keeping Herman Starter

Average room temperature: 28~30°C

Day 1
Transferred Herman Starter: 30g
Plain flour: 10g
Fine sugar: 17g
Whole milk: 13g
Total: 70g

Day 2
Only stirring

Day 3
Only stirring

Day 4
1st feeding:
Plain flour: 20g
Fine sugar: 17g
Whole milk: 33g
Total: ~140g

Day 5
Only stirring

Day 6
2nd feeding
Plain flour: 20g
Fine sugar: 17g
Whole milk: 33g
Total: ~210g

Day 7
Only stirring
Took 100g to prepare the pumpkin bread dough.

Day 8
Took 30g of the remaining Herman Starter to mix with 10g of plain flour, 17g of fine sugar and 13g whole milk to start another round of cultivation. I used the remaining 50g of Herman Starter to bake a moist butter cake 😋

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