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old-style shanghai bread

4.9

(19)

thewoksoflife.com
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Prep Time: 330 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total: 360 minutes

Servings: 12

Cost: $1.60 /serving

Ingredients

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Instructions

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Step 1

In your mixing bowl, stir together 200g (1 ½ cups) all-purpose flour, 3g (1 teaspoon) active dry yeast, and 12g (1 tablespoon) sugar. Stir in 160ml (⅔ cup) water with a rubber spatula to create a wet starter dough. Mix thoroughly and scrape together the dough, then cover with a plate, and proof at room temperature (about 70 degrees F/21 degrees C) for 2 to 3 hours, until the wet dough has expanded with air bubbles (see my picture for comparison).

Step 2

Once the 2-3 hours have elapsed, put the proofed wet dough back into the mixer. Add 200g (about 1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour, 5g (1 teaspoon) salt, 50g (1/4 cup) sugar, and 20 g (3 tablespoons) dried milk powder. Turn the mixer on low, and add 1 large egg and 45 ml (3 tablespoons) vegetable oil. The dough should be wet, but can hold its shape. Only if the dough is not wet enough, add the 1 tablespoon water 1 teaspoon at a time, only as needed. You might need slightly more or less water depending on the humidity in your kitchen.

Step 3

Once the dough is smooth, scrape the dough off the sides of the mixing bowl and the dough hook, into a ball with a rubber spatula. Cover the mixing bowl with a plate, and let it proof inside your microwave or oven (door closed) with a large mug of boiled water for an hour, until it doubles in size. (Note that the microwave or oven should be off––it’s just providing an enclosed environment) While the dough is proofing, grease a loaf pan (9" x 5") with vegetable oil.

Step 4

Next, transfer the dough to a clean and lightly floured surface. I separated the dough into 3 equal pieces and rolled them into 3 mini loaves arranged in the greased loaf pan. Let it proof one last time in your microwave or oven (door closed) with a large mug of boiled water for an hour until it doubles in size. (Again, the microwave or oven should be off.)

Step 5

When the dough is almost done proofing, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F/190 degrees C. Bake the bread in the middle of the oven for 28 - 33 minutes until the top is golden brown. While the bread is baking, prepare the sugar syrup by mixing 4g (1 teaspoon) sugar with 10 ml (2 teaspoons) water until the sugar fully dissolves. After it’s done baking, brush the bread with the sugar syrup while it’s still piping hot to get that perfect golden rice color. Let the bread cool for 5 minutes before removing it from the pan to a cooling rack.

Step 6

For storage, keep the bread in zip-lock bag, and it will stay fresh for a few days on the counter. But in the summer, it’s better to leave it in the refrigerator.

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