Raisin bread 港式提子包

From time to time I miss the soft and silky texture of morning bread from the bakery around the corner of our apartment in Hong Kong. Remember preparing for school early morning, as soon as the elevator door opened, the smell of the bakery awakened my senses, the warmth of the oven surrounded me like a cozy jumper.

With the extra step tangzhong湯種, the bread variety extends to another continent. The following recipe is so versatile or shall I say fun, you can exchange raisins for sausage(Vienna hotdog)腸仔包, bacon and cheese芝士煙肉包, add walnuts…all you need is imagination!

Ingredients of tangzhong (湯種 The amount is enough to make two loafs):

50gm (1/3 cup) all purpose or bread flour
250ml (1cup water, could be replaced by milk, or 50/50 water and milk)

Ingredients of bread:

350gm (2½ cups) all purpose flour
55gm (3 Tbsp+2 tsp) caster sugar
5gm (1 tsp) salt
1 large egg
125ml (½ cup) milk
120gm tangzhong (use half of the tangzhong you make from above)
5 to 6gm (2 tsp) instant yeast
30gm (3 Tbsp) butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
½ cup raisins or more
Egg wash (1 egg + water/milk)


Part 1 – Making tangzhong 湯種

Mix flour and water until smooth. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to prevent it from burning and sticking.

The mixture becomes thicker and thicker. Once you notice some “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon, kind of like custard, remove from heat.

Transfer into a clean bowl. Cover with a cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up, let cool. The tangzhong can be used straight away once it cools down to room temperature. Just measure out the amount you need. The leftover tangzhong can be stored in fridge up to a few days as long as it doesn’t turn grey.

(Note: The chilled tangzhong should return to room temperature before use)

Part II – Making the bread

Combine all dry ingredients: flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast in a bowl. Make a well in the center. Whisk all wet ingredients: milk, egg and tangzhong, then add into the well of the dry ingredients. Knead until you get a dough shape and gluten has developed, then knead in the butter. It’d be quite messy at this stage, keep kneading until the dough is smooth, not sticky. To test if the dough is ready, you might stretch the dough. If it forms a thin “membrane”, it’s done.

The time of kneading all depends on how hard and fast you knead.
Knead the dough into a ball shape. Place in a greased bowl and cover with a wet towel or cling wrap. Let it proof till it’s doubled in size, about 40 minute

Transfer to a clean floured surface. Deflate and divide the dough into four equal portions, knead into ball shapes. Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes.

Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape. Sprinkle raisins evenly as much as you like. Roll from the upper, shorter end down to the bottom. Flatten the dough with your rolling pin. Then roll once again, seals face down.

Arrange the rolled-up dough in a greased or non-stick loaf tin. Leave it for the 2nd round of proofing, about 40 minutes, or until the dough rises up to 3/4 of the height of the tin inside.

Brush whisked egg on surface of rolls. Bake in a pre-heated 180C (356F) oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and tin. Transfer onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

Ready to eat or place in an airtight plastic bag/container once it’s thoroughly cooled.

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