Soft Japanese Shokupan bread baked with spelt flour – perfect for sandwiches.
For the tangzhong:
0.7 oz. (20g) spelt flour (Type 630)
3.5 oz. (100g) water
For the dough:
12 oz. (340g) spelt flour (Type 630)
0.5 oz. (15g) dry milk powder
0.14 oz (4g) active dry yeast
0.7 oz. (20g) sugar
0.25 oz. (7g) salt
3.9 oz. (110g) lukewarm water
1 large egg
0.7 oz. (20g) butter, at room temperature
1. Add the spelt flour and water for the tangzhong into a small pot and mix to combine. Place on the stove and heat up over low heat, stirring constantly until the mix thickens and turns into something like a pudding. If you pull with a rubber spatula through the mix you should be able to see the bottom of the pot. Remove from the heat and let cool down.
2. Add the spelt flour, dry milk powder, yeast, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix to combine. Add the tangzhong, the lukewarm water, and egg and mix with a dough hook for about 4-5 minutes. The dough should look smooth and feel slightly sticky. Add the room temperature butter and knead another 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for about 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size.
3. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, divide into two equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 20 minutes. Lightly grease a 9×4.5 inches (23x11cm) loaf pan and line with a strip of baking parchment. Set aside.
4. Stretch out each of the dough balls into an oval – the longer sides should face away from you. Fold the side facing you to the center and then the opposite side on top so you get a little three-layered package. Turn around in a 90° angle so the side with the layers is facing you and stretch out into an oval again. Repeat the folding to the center to get another package. Place the two packages with the open sides down into the prepared loaf pan, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for another 50-90 minutes. The risen dough should at least fill out all the gaps in the loaf pan and come up to the rim of the pan or slightly over it – depending on the temperature in your kitchen this can take quite a while.
5. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Place the loaf pan in the lower third of the oven. Place a heatproof bowl with some water on the bottom of the oven and bake the bread for about 35 minutes or until nicely browned. When adding the bread you also might want to sprinkle some water on the bottom of the oven to create steam and give everything a jump start – but be careful not to burn yourself with the hot steam. If your oven has a function for that – use that one. Take the finished bread out of the oven and remove from the pan. If you knock on the bottom of the bread and it sounds kind of hollow the bread is done. Let cool down completely on a wire rack.
Keywords: Japanese, bread, shokupan, milk, sandwich, toast