Wholewheat Tangzhong Walnut Buns

 Slightly crusty, soft and chewy with bits of crunchy chopped walnuts! 

I haven't posted in ages. Sorry :(( Well it's been prelims and exams and CCA and holidays and also lack of decent pictures because bad lighting and no time. And also baking luck has been bad maybe I haven't baked in a while. But well a couple of days ago I made a super duper delicious passionfruit pound cake that was dense and buttery and sweet and delicious (unfortunately I didn't manage to take any pictures cos I was baking at night). 

But I can assure that these wholemeal Tangzhong walnut buns will make up for the cake (though the cake was really so damn good). I haven't baked with Tangzhong for a while, but I decided to use it again after trying a couple of different starter dough recipes. 

I used wholemeal flour in this recipe! Because the brand of wholemeal flour I used (Prima Flour) which is commonly found in NTUC is quite coarse and hard, I soak it overnight in the fridge with some water to softened the grains to ensure the texture of the bread is not gritty but soft and chewy. I learnt it the hard way, trust me. If you're using coarse wholegrain flours, soak it at least 2-3 hours at room temperature or overnight is best. If you're using white wholewheat flour or wholemeal bread flour, which is much finer in texture, then just skip this step! 

I make the Tangzhong about half an hour before I start making my bread dough to give the Tangzhong time to cool down. Then it's just the usual bread fixin's- bread flour, yeast, sugar, salt, eggs, plus all of the Tangzhong and the soaked wholegrain flour. And also milk powder, which is optional but of course recommended. :P

This yields quite a sticky dough, but as with other wholewheat breads, high moisture content = better bread. You get a more tender, softer bread with more moisture in your dough! Plus, kneading sticky dough is fun and it's easier to develop gluten this way. It's kind of almost magical to see the dough transform from super sticky to a much firmer, elastic and only just tacky dough. That's also when you know you've kneaded your bread long enough :) It took me almost an hour to get the dough ready, so don't rush it! Give the bread time to develop its gluten and I promise you will be rewarded with very delicious bread. :) 

The shaping technique here is a little different from how I usually shape my bread. It actually looks like the Artisan Bread in Five I made earlier this year hahaha but I like the rustic, homely look of this bread! So after shaping into logs and letting it rise for about 45 minutes, I sieve a thin layer of flour on top of the buns, and using a sharp kitchen shears, make shallow cuts along the surface of the buns! Then bake as usual (no egg wash here of course). 

Happy Baking! 

Wholemeal Tangzhong Walnut Buns 

25g bread flour 
125g milk

In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the flour and milk until the mixture has thickened and lines start to appear. 
Let cool completely, covered with a sheet of plastic wrap touching its surface. 
Yields 120g, which is what you need for this bread dough recipe! 

Wholegrain flour soaker 
100g wholegrain flour (coarse- PrimaFlour brand) 
125g water 

Mix the flour and water together, cover and place in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for 2-3 hours. 
If using white wholemeal flour which has a fine texture similar to regular flour, omit this step and just add the same flour and water amounts to the bread dough recipe below. 

Bread dough 
250g bread flour 
55g sugar 
5g salt 
5-6g instant yeast 
7g milk powder (optional) 
56g egg 
120g Tangzhong (all of the above) 
All the wholegrain flour soaker 
80-90g chopped walnuts 
30g softened, unsalted butter 

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the butter and mix until combined. Mix in the softened butter. The dough will be very sticky. 
Keep kneading the dough, pulling and stretching the sticky dough until it no longer sticks to your fingers. This would take a while, about 45 minutes by hand. 
Once the dough is just slightly tacky, knead in the walnuts. 
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and let rest, covered, until doubled in size (about 1 hour). 
Punch down the dough and divide into 8 portions. 
Roll each portion of dough into a log and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. 
Cover and let rest until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. 
5 minutes before the dough is ready, preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. 
Lightly dust flour over the dough (using small sieve or your hands) and using a pair of sharp kitchen shears, make 3 slits on each piece of dough. 
Bake for 25-30 minutes. 

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