ETA: For more ideas of ways to use this dough, go HERE.
WARNING: PICTURE HEAVY POST
The recipe for this amazing bread is found everywhere on the net. I referred to this web page which had lots of great pictures of the process, especially of the tangzhong or flour/milk paste, which is cooked first, and then added to a fairly ordinary sweetened, butter, egg and milk-based bread dough.
The results, however, are anything BUT ordinary.
Crumb of the plain loaf
And the cheddar cheese and bacon loaf
I do NOT recommend trying to knead this dough by hand. If you have a bread machine or a strong stand mixer (use the dough hook attachment) you can make the entire recipe. However, if you have a cheap stand mixer like I do, make a half recipe. I still had to babysit the mixer cause it kept travelling across the counter and I didn’t want it to end up on the floor.
Kneading the dough – after 12 minutes
Stretch the kneaded dough … you’re looking for it to be elastic enough NOT to rip.
Poke a hole in the stretched dough and if the edges of the hole are even, it’s been kneaded enough.
Cover dough and let it rise for an hour. After an hour, poke a hole in the dough with your finger. If it doesn’t spring back, it’s risen enough.
I had some grated old cheddar cheese and crispy bacon bits in my fridge from the Southwestern Turkey and Corn Chowder that I made yesterday so I used it with half of the dough I made for a savoury loaf.
Risen dough divided into 4, rolled into balls and allowed to rise for 30 minutes. Two of the balls were divided into half and rolled into ovals.
Then covered with crispy bacon bits and grated old cheddar cheese, and folded in thirds like an envelope.
The package is turned 90 degrees, and rolled out with a rolling pin until it’s as long as the loaf pan. Then the sheet is rolled up into a snake with the sealed edge at the bottom.
The 4 rolls are fitted snuggly into the baking pan, which has been sprayed with cooking spray, and allowed to rise for 30 minutes.
Then the dough is brushed with an egg wash and allowed to rise for another 15-30 minutes while the oven is preheated to 350 deg Fahrenheit. Bake, covering with a sheet of aluminum foil if the top gets too dark before the loaf is cooked through.