Tong Zhong is a widely used method to make soft fluffy bread that has long shelf life. But it is not the only way. Today I share with you how to make healthy, fluffy 100% whole wheat bread that remains soft for more than 4 days.
Many people would like to incorporate more whole grain in their diet as recommended by nutritionists and health experts. But they do not like to have whole wheat bread mainly because of its texture. I admit that it is like chewing a piece of cardboard. Is there a way to make it more palatable?
This recipe uses buttermilk to hydrate the flour overnight. Since buttermilk is cultured by adding lactic acid bacteria (common and beneficial bacteria that make yogurt, cheese, etc; also a form of probiotics) to low fat milk, the acidity from the milk balances the mild bitter taste from the whole wheat. Texture and flavor of the bread is also improved. And the fact that whole wheat flour has 4 times the fiber (>13g/100g flour) than regular flour makes it the healthiest choice !
Ingredients for one 13x4x4" loaf:
480g whole wheat flour 全麥麵粉
300g buttermilk 白脫奶
65g grape seed oil or olive oil 葡萄籽油或橄欖油
60g water 水
7g instant yeast 即溶酵母
2 tbsp honey 蜜糖
1 tsp salt 鹽
1/2 tsp baking soda 泡打粉
3 tbsp vital wheat gluten 麵筋粉
1) One day before you make the bread, mix the whole wheat flour, buttermilk and oil in the bowl of the stand mixer until it forms a ball. Add more buttermilk if the dough is too stiff. Cover with plastic wrap and let it stand in room temperature overnight.
2) Add water, instant yeast, wheat gluten, honey and baking soda to the bowl and knead on low until it is blended.
3) Add salt and knead for 10 minutes. Or 15 minutes or more for hand kneading.
4) Cover and let it ferment until it doubles in size.
5) Divide the dough into 3 parts. Roll out each one and roll it up. Tightly seal it by squeezing the ends and put in an oiled pan, seam side down. Cover and let it rise again until it almost reaches the rim.
6) Put on the lid and bake in a preheated 375F oven for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the lid and lower the temperature to 350F and bake for 10 more minutes.
7) Remove the bread from the mold and let it cool completely on a rack before slicing. After complete cooling, put in a ziplock bag and keep at room temperature for up to a week. For long term storage, it can be frozen. But do not refrigerate.
1) The function of baking soda in this recipe is to balance the acidity of the buttermilk.
2) The addition of vital wheat gluten is crucial in producing a fluffy bread since the bran from the wheat kernel will cut short of the gluten.
3) A stand mixer is really handy here because the dough is heavier than regular bread flour dough.