17 March 2012

My Birthday and Cheese Breadsticks

Pardon me for my absence, went on a short 4D3N getaway to Tokyo/Kinugawa Onsen earlier this month and haven't been able to pick myself up to do anything constructive since then. I guess I must be suffering from post Tokyo syndrome. Missing Tokyo terribly, especially Kinugawa Onsen and the lovely cool and dry weather. Have sorted out the photos, will try to blog about this trip soon!

Anyways, it's my birthday today! Nothing special, spent the morning with my kiddo at the Botanic Gardens then sent him off to his grandma's place and I have the entire afternoon all to myself (till tomorrow evening, yipee!); and in the evening, going for a nice meal at Greenwood Fish Market wiht hubby. Well, I guess once you have a kid, your own birthday doesn't matter anymore, your kiddo's birthday becomes the focus.

So I was saying, I had my free afternoon and decided to bake some bread. Gotta pick up my baking mojo once again. Meeting some friends in the night and they love the luncheon meat soft buns so I made a batch of those. And in addition, a batch of Cheese Breadstick (using the Tangzhong/Water Roux 汤种method) recipe from LK of Food For Tots. I'm eager to try this method to see how it compares with the Japanese "Yukone" method (for the luncheon meat soft buns).

I love how this photo turned out, a little vintage looking? I thought the bread looked ok. Texture-wise, it was still slightly soft and fluffy when warm but drier and chewier once cold. Taste-wise, slightly saltish and flavourful with the use of cheese and dried pasley flakes. I added some Jap Mayo too.

This were the breadsticks before baking. I weighed each dough to be 45g instead of 60g as I like my breadsticks smaller size, managed to get 12 pieces. Would probably reduce the size further next time to see how they will turn out.

So what are the main differences?

For the Tangzhong/Water Roux 汤种method, I just need to cook some bread flour with water till 65 degree celsius then let the mixture cool completely before using. Whereas for the Yukone method, I would need to prepare the gelantinized starch at least 24 hrs beforehand by pouring boiling water into some bread flour. I guess both methods work on the same theory, to pre-cook some bread flour as a starter dough. One thing convenient about the Water Roux method, I can bake anytime I want whereas for the Yukone method, I have to plan ahead. I realised my candy thermometer starts registering only at 90 degree celsius so I had to "guesstimate" when to stop cooking the mixture, and I think I had overcooked the mixture as mine looked drier (like a lemon curd texture) as compared to her photo which looked more watery.

Another difference is the proofing time. For the Water Roux method, the first proofing was 40 mins, then second was 40 mins. Whereas for the Yukone method, the first proofing was 20 mins and second an hour.

The other difference is the addition of plain flour besides bread flour, and also inclusion of a little milk powder. Other than that, the ingredients and proportion are similar, plus minus here and there.

This was the breadsticks after baking, looked pretty :)

Well, this batch of cheese breadsticks couldn't compare with my luncheon meat soft buns which were super soft and fluffy, since I suspected I over-cooked the Water Roux. I would definitely try this recipe again to confirm my suspicion. I wish my breadsticks would be as fluffy and soft as my luncheon meat buns using this Water Roux method.

Anyway, how GOOD it feels to be baking again and I really enjoyed the peace and quietness the whole afternoon at home without the kiddo. Lalalala. Bliss :p


  1. Can't wait to see your Tokyo photos.

  2. hello! happy belated birthday! we share the same birthday! Only found out today. :D
    I like your blog very much, been reading it for short while. It inspires me to bake & I've tried out an egg tart recipe, although they turn soft pretty fast, but they are yummy!

    Those bread of yours look so inviting! Been wanting to make bread. Maybe I should join valerie kong class to pick up some skill! :)

    Keep on blogging! Would love to read the upcoming japan post!

  3. Happy birthday to you! Our birthday are about 1 month apart! Heheh

  4. Glad that you have an enjoyable baking session on your birthday. Happy Belated Birthday!

  5. Lisa: Soon, soon :)
    Grace: Thanks. Happy belated birthday to you too! You can pop the egg tarts into the oven for a minute and they'll be as good as just baked :) Valerie's class is definitely worth joining.
    OKC: Happy Birthday in advance :)
    LK: Thanks!