Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Failed Breads

Tang Zhong (Water Roux starter) Bread Making Part 1 – The Failures

After a few successful batches of basic bread recipes, I decided is time to experiment more challenging ways of bread making. This time, I was focusing on how to improve the quality of bread texture especially to maintain the softness of the bread to last for days.

Since I had exhausted learning from my basic bakery book, I seek online help. After Google, I came across on Christine's Recipes introducing Tang Zhong 汤种 (Water Roux starter) way of bread making. Following that, it led me to these two Taiwan bestselling homemade bread making recipe books; first Meng Zhaoqing (孟老師的100道麵包.) and Bread Doctor, by Yvonne Chen (陳郁芬65C 湯種麵包).

I started off with Meng Zhaoqing's Tangzhong Coco toast bread. The coco bread did come out soft and fluffy but too bad it contained holes. The reasons of bread with holes might due to the air wasn't pressed out when I shaped the loaf or the dough rose to long before I baked it.
Coco Loaf with holes
Soft and fluffy texture but with holes
My next try was butter crumble toast which I failed miserably. The bread turned out to be flat (over proof) with stone hard crust (over baked). I had left the dough sitting too long in a heated oven during my second rising process.

When I did my touch testing on second rise, the dough flatten once I poked my finger in, this clearly indicated the dough has been over risen. I should have punch down and let it proof again but nevertheless I continued baking. Another reason also the Tanzhong I used was too thick and not runny enough.

Flat Butter crumble Toast Bread

The crust was over baked and too hard to eat

Tangzhong (Water Roux starter) - Too Thick

My 3rd Tangzhong challenge was famous Hokkaido Milky Toast Bread recipe by Yvonne Chen. But again it didn't turn out fluffy and cottony as it should be but instead very dense. I guessed this time I did not knead the dough well enough before proofing L

Hokkaido Milky Toast Bread
I do not mind to share my failures, because in my opinion the great way of learning is to learn from mistakes. By highlighting these mistakes, I hope others will not be caught as what I had been thru, am I right?


  1. Hi Yin, this is a good post. Yes, I agree about highlighting mistakes...it does help a lot. I've had my share of rock-hard loaves which I've used as paper weights and door stoppers in my early days of baking when there weren't this much info :D

  2. Ping:
    Hahaha... you are good at descriptions. But I doubt I dare to use it as door stopper, I won't want to lure a big crowd of rat instead!

  3. I love how you share your mistakes as well as when you do well!

  4. Hi Yin,
    Thanks for being so generous in sharing your mistakes. Appreciate it alot.

  5. Yin, great of you to share your mistakes. Even world renowned chefs have flops sometimes. Check out some of Julia Child's old videos..."to err is human"

  6. Anna:
    Nice to have you over and thanks for the encouragement will check on the video. Hope to see you again.

  7. I just tried to make the Hokkaido toast and it turned out like the one in your photo. :( Do you think it is because it was not kneaded enough?

    1. Maria:
      To find out whether your dough is ready or not, use fingers test on them. Poke your finger into the dough and if the finger's hole impression stay (dough not bounce up), you are done with your kneading, the dough is ready to proof.

      I found it is more challenging to knead the dough when ingredient involve milk, cream, yogurt.

  8. Hi Yin,
    Thanks for ur kind sharing.
    From now on, I will become one of ur fans here...
    I might have lots of questions to ask in future if u dont mind.
    Again, is great to have u here.


    1. Penny:
      Welcome to stop by and place your comments and will try to help as much as possible.

      I'm in learning stage too, however I believe the more we share the more we learn too!



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