Sunday, 29 December 2013

Santa Bread using Tangzhong Method

Christmas is a time of celebration and what better way to treat kids than to make this beautiful Santa Bread with some soup! Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, it is a wonderful project to do with kids! If there is one thing I have learned, involving kids in the cooking process makes them more interested in eating the food. And you get to have loads of holiday fun.. So what are you waiting for? Ready, Set, Bake!

I have used the recipe for Hokkaido Milk Bread. It uses a Roux which is called Tangzhong. This method was perfected in Asian countries. They make the softest pillowy bread ever. I have made a couple of other recipes using this recipe like these muffin rolls and hot cross buns. Do check them out as well. Shaping of the bread adapted from Aparna's recipe


For The Tangzhong (Roux) - use half of this

All Purpose Flour 1/3 cup
Milk 1/2 cup
Water 1/2 cup

For The Dough
All Purpose Flour 2.5 cup
Sugar 2 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Milk Powder 2 tbsp
Fast Acting Instant Yeast 2 tsp
Milk 1/2 cup
Cream  1/8 cup (or just use milk)
Tangzhong 1/3 cup tangzhong (use half of the tangzhong from above)
Unsalted butter (room temperature) 25gms

Milk to brush on top

Method of Preparation

For Tangzhong

1. Whisk together lightly the flour, water and milk in a saucepan until smooth and there are no lumps. 

2. Place the saucepan on the stove, and over medium heat, let the roux cook till it starts thickening. Keep stirring/ whisking constantly so no lumps form and the roux is smooth.

3. If you have a thermometer, cook the roux/ tangzhong till it reaches 65C (150F) and take it off the heat. Otherwise, watch the roux/ tangzhong until you start seeing “lines” forming in the roux as you whisk/ stir it. Take the pan off the heat at this point.

4. Let the roux/ tangzhong cool completely and rest for about 2 to 3 hours at least. It will have the consistency of a soft and creamy crème patisserie. If not using immediately, transfer the roux to a bowl and cover using plastic wrap. It can be stored in the fridge for about a day. Discard the tangzhong after that. 

The Bread Dough:

1. Add the flour, salt, sugar, powdered milk and instant yeast in a bowl. Give it a quick mix. 

2. In another small bowl mix the milk, cream and Tangzhong (1/3 cup, half of what was made above) till smooth and add to the bowl. 

3. Mix till the dough comes together. 

4. Now add the butter and knead till you have a smooth and elastic dough which is just short of sticky. The dough will start out sticky but kneading will make it smooth. If the dough feels firm and not soft to touch, add a couple of tbsps of milk till it becomes soft and elastic. 

5. When the dough is done, you should be able to stretch the dough without it breaking right away.  When it does break, the break should be form a circle.

6.  Form the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl turning it so it is well coated. 

7. Cover with a towel, and let the dough rise for hour or 2 (till almost double in volume).

8. Place the dough on your working surface. Divide into 2 portions, one slightly bigger than the other.

9. Use the bigger portion to make the Oval shape for face and hat. 

10. Divide the smaller portion into a big piece for beard, a little portion for moustache, another little piece for the rim of the hat and 2 small balls for nose and pom pom for hat.

11. Roll the beard portion into a circle, fold to semicircle. The snip strips leaving the top 1 cm intact. Place this on the face, twist the beard strips. Make sure you cut it very thin cause they expand when baking.

12. Shape the rim of the hat, moustache, nose and pom pom for hat.

13. Cover and allow to rise for about 45 minutes.

14. Brush the top of the bread with some milk (or eggwash).

15. Preheat an oven to 170C. Bake for 20-25 min till the top is nicely browned. 

16. Once it is out of the oven, place it on a cooling rack. 

17. Let it cool and enjoy with some butter and soup.


  1. Fantastic .Happy new year aks

  2. Merry Christmas!! What a cute looking bread! I'd love to eat that beard with Mayo! :D