Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Whole Wheat Tong Zhong Bread 全麥湯種麵包

Tong Zhong Bread 全麥湯種麵包

What is Tong Zhong ? There are many ways to make bread: straight dough method, sponge method, pate ferment, biga, poolish, etc., but Tong Zhong is almost never heard of in the world of bread making (especially artisan bread making). This type of bread making originates from Japan. It means a warm or dilute batter. This soft texture suits Asians' palette. Besides its soft pillowy texture, it has a very long shelf life as well. Yvonne Chan wrote a book called "65C Tong Zhong Bread" (in Chinese only).

Essentially you mix a bit of flour with water and heat it up to 65C until it becomes a paste, then cool it down to room temperature before mixing in with the rest of the ingredients. This step allows the flour to absorbs more water and swells in the oven. Bread that is made using this method will stay fresh and soft for up to a week, without other chemicals or preservatives.

Follow my recipe if you cannot get a hold of the book or do not read Chinese.

Whole Wheat Tong Zhong Bread with Ground Flaxseed

Makes one 9x4.5x2.5 inch loaf

Make Tong Zhong first by mixing 75g/⅓ cup water with 15g/2½ tbsp bread flour. Stir well and use low to medium heat until it turns into a paste. It takes less than a minute. Cool to room temperature.

weigh out the flour and water in a small pot

mix well

heat until a paste forms

Main Dough Ingredients:

201g/1¼ cups bread flour
144g/1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
46g/2 tbsp honey or 3 tbsp sugar
7g/1 tsp instant yeast
1 large egg
135g/½ cup water
5g/1 tsp salt
36g/2 tb unsalted butter, softened

1)  Mixing and Kneading: put all the ingredients, except salt and butter, in a large bowl. Add the room temperature Tong Zhong. If you use hand to knead, mix until it forms a ball, then add salt and continue to knead for 10-15 minutes until it doesn't stick to your hand or the counter. If you have a stand mixer, it takes only about 7 minutes.
Add the softened butter and knead for 1-2 minutes longer until it all blends in.

2)  Basic Fermentation: put the dough in an oiled bowl and cover it with a wrap or lid. Let it ferment at room temperature (75F) until it doubles in size, about 1-1 1/2 hours. If the room is cold, put a pot of hot water in the bottom of a oven, and put the bowl in and close the oven door. It will keep the dough nice and warm.


3)  Preshaping/rounding: take out the dough from the bowl. Do not punch it. It will degas as you take it out. Round it up and rest for 10 minutes.

4)  Shaping: use a rolling pin to gently roll out in a rectangular shape with the width aligns with the length of the baking pan. Gently roll it up and pinch to seal the end.

5)  Final Fermentation: put the rolled up dough into an oiled pan, sealed side down. Cover and let it ferment in a warm place until it rises up about an inch from the rim.

let it rise about half an inch from the rim

 6)  Baking: brush the top with egg wash and bake in a preheated oven at 350F for 35-40 minutes. Unmold and cool on a rack completely before slicing.

1)  Avoid direct contact between salt/sugar and yeast because they can kill the yeast.
2)  Whole wheat flour absorbs more water than regular flour. If the dough feels hard and dry, add a bit more water.
3)  For a more fluffy and higher loaf, add 2 tbsp of vital wheat gluten to the main dough.
4)  Egg wash helps to provide a shinny and soft crust. If you want a crunchy top, spray water on top instead of brushing egg wash.
5)  Honey adds color to the bread and is more healthy. If you prefer granulated sugar, use 36g.
6)  Click here and here for the health benefits of flaxseed.
7)  This dough can be used for Bo Lo Bao or other kind of bun.
8)  The completely cool bread can be kept at room temperature in a sealed plastic bag for up to 5 days. Do not put in the refrigerator. Wrap it nicely and it can be kept frozen for longer storage.


何謂湯種呢? 做麵包的方法有多種: 中種, 老種及直接法等, 但什麼是湯種呢? 我以前只知道湯種法做的麵包超柔軟, 又可以放室温下多日也能保持柔軟度, 但對於它的名稱由來就毫無頭緒。直至讀了陳郁芬寫的『65°c 湯種麵包』才明白,湯種是日本語,代表温熱或稀的麵種。這種方法是用少許麵粉, 加水燙至大約65°c 糊狀, 讓麵粉充分吸收水份, 然後才加入主麵糰。用這方法做的麵包,不用加其他防腐劑或化學品,也可保時新鮮柔軟至一星期之久。



湯種做法: 75g/⅓杯水15g/2½湯匙麵粉, 用中小火煑至糊狀, 息火, 待涼至室温。


201g/1¼杯 高筋麵粉
144g/1杯 全麥麵粉
2 湯匙 亞麻籽,磨碎
46g/2湯匙 蜜糖 或 3湯匙糖
7g/1茶匙 酵母
1 隻大蛋
135g/½杯 水
5g/1茶匙 鹽
36g/2湯匙 無鹽牛油,室温

1)  揉麵糰: 將所有材料 (鹽及牛油後下) 混合, 加入室温的湯種, 如用手揉的話, 成糰後再加鹽, 再揉十至十五分鐘左右至三光:手光, 桌光 , 及麵糰光。如用機器揉的話, 方便得多, 大約七分鐘便成。再加入室温之牛油, 再揉一, 二分鐘便成。
2) 基本發酵: 將麵糰放入己塗油之大器皿內, 加蓋或用保鮮紙蓋上, 防止風乾, 放室温下(75°F)發大一至兩倍, 大約一個半至兩小時。冬天可以將一煲熱水與麵糰一起放入焗爐內. 以加快這發酵過程。
3) 滾圓: 將己發酵之麵糰取出, 不用刻意將空氣打出, 滾圓, 蓋着靜待十分鐘。
4) 造型: 用杆麵棍將麵糰輕輕杆成長方形, 闊度與焗盤的長度一樣, 然後卷起, 摺口處向下。
5) 最後發酵: 放入塗油之焗盤內, 作最後發酵, 四十五至六十分鐘, 至麵糰發起高過盤邊一吋。
6) 入爐: 塗上蛋液, 放入己預熱至350°F焗爐, 焗三十五至四十分鐘。取出脫盤, 放架上待完全涼後方可切片食用。


1)  避免將酵母與糖或鹽直接觸,否則酵母的活動能力會減弱。
2)  全麥麵粉需要多一點水,搓的時候要注意麵糰濕度。
3)  可以在主麵糰加2湯匙vital wheat gluten,麵包會更柔軟。
4)  掃蛋液可以令表皮上色及比較柔軟,如想耍脆皮面,可在入爐前噴水。
5)  用蜜糖比較健康及可令麵包更上色。如用白糖,可用36g。
6)  此麵糰也可以用來做菠蘿包 或紅豆包 等等。
7)  完全冷卻後可以用膠袋包好,可在室温下保存達約五日,如想保存更久,可包好放冰箱freezer,避免放雪柜refrigerator。


  1. I try this with bread machine, it come out really good!

  2. Good to know that it works in a bread machine !

  3. phoebe,

    will it make it more fluffy and soft by adding vital gluten? How much should i put in ?


  4. Oh yes, Sarah. Put about 2 tbsp with the rest of the ingredients in making whole wheat bread and you can definitely see a difference. But you don't need it for white bread because it has enough gluten to make it rise.

  5. How can I measure water in gram on Tong Zhong?

  6. I will update the measurement to include volume but I strongly recommend you to use a scale in baking. Especially for measuring flour.If you measure flour in volume instead of weighing it, the difference would be significant.

  7. I get it, thank you very much! I try it later.

  8. This is the best tong zhong bread I have found so far. The wheat bread is super soft. But I'm wondering the dry yeast and instant yeast are the same thing? Thanks for the recipe.

  9. These two kinds of yeast are almost the same. But there are more dead cells in active dry yeast due to the way it is made. It is recommended to us 25% more than instant yeast.

  10. Got it, so I should use 1 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast for this recipe. The reason I was asking because I got a big bag of active dry yeast from Costco.

  11. my dough rised high and at lease double in size and I added 2 tbsp wheat gluten but the result is avery densed loaf and is not fluffy ans soft at all. What went wrong?

  12. There may be a number of reasons. Check the temperature of the oven using an oven thermometer and preheat it at least for 20 minutes before putting the loaf in. Make sure it almost double in size for the second rise before baking. It should rise at least an inch from the rim of a 9x5x4 inch loaf pan. Sara, are you from Los Angeles ? I strongly encourage you to join my bread baking class for a more in-depth instruction. I'll have more classes starting next year.

  13. Just had another success.
    This is by far the best whole wheat recipe I came across. Everthing came out perfect, well balance texture of soft and doughiness. Can't believe yummy bread is so healthy too!
    Ps: I found 1 pound bag of instant yeast and king auther unbleached flour at smart and final. Much easier to use so I replaced it with Costco red star dried yeast that I used to used.

  14. You really work hard Michelle! And your hard work is greatly rewarded. Wish you the same success with bo law bao.
    That's where I got my instant yeast as well. I usually divide it into two bags/jars. Then keep one in the freezer and one working batch in the refrigerator.

  15. Hi, i've just failed at my 2nd attempt at making tong zhong bread. Both times the dough is super sticky and wet and it doesn't thicken or form a ball no matter how long i knead it for.
    Do you have any tips please?

    1. It sounds like you have too much liquid in the dough. Did you weigh out your ingredients with a kitchen scale ? Do not add all the liquid at one time and just add a little at a time until all the dry flour comes together. Try again to see if it helps.

  16. tried this recipe handknead, with red bean paste and sausage filling. Didnt use up all the liquid coz I omitted flaxseed. At first the dough is abit sticky, after sometime of "slapping" it bcame manageable. Turned out good and fluffy. thx for the recipe.

  17. Hi Im from Thailand.I would like to say thank you so much for your this recipe.I made it for myself and gave some for friends,they said it was lovely bread then I make it for sale now.I just got order from my friend again.I just got small business made at pies sausage pasty burger patty now whole wheat bread too.
    have a lovely day for you everyday.

  18. Hi Im from Thailand.I would like to say thank you so much for your this recipe.I made it for myself and gave some for friends,they said it was lovely bread then I make it for sale now.I just got order from my friend again.I just got small business made at pies sausage pasty burger patty now whole wheat bread too.
    have a lovely day for you everyday.

    1. That's good to know. Maybe you can share with me your Thai food recipes some day.

  19. Excuse me , I would like to ask about heat.Did you use both upper&bottom heat ? only Bottom heat ? Very thank you.

  20. Both upper and bottom. Most American oven cannot choose top or bottom.


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