Friday, August 27, 2010

A Beautiful Mistake

Sometimes mistakes can be beautiful.

Even though I read through the recipe twice and then double checking on the screen before I pour it in, I still read it wrong. Clearly it says ¼ cups of water. What was I thinking?

Yup, so after I pour in 1 – ¼ cup of water and 2/3 cup of milk over the yeast, and dropped in the egg in the mixture, I still didn’t realise I made a mistake. It was only when I added 2 cups of flour in the mixing bowl that I realized something wasn't right. I turned on the mixer to reveal the truth and voila, I've got a batter! Not wanting to waste the mixture I decided to add more to it. What a crazy idea! I added more flour of course, started with 1 cup, then at 1/4 cup intervals to make the dough to come together. Thinking the yeast in the recipe won't be enough for the 4 cups of flour that I used, I added 3/4 teaspoon more with 1/3 cup of warm milk. The dough was still very soft and a bit sticky, but it was ok to touch. I left it covered on the counter for 20 minutes and it doubled the size already.  This dough never reached to the stage that when you poke it with your finger it would bounce back, rather it just lied tiredly on the table.  I crossed my fingers and pray the dough will be edible at the end, rolled them into buns and put them in the oven.

The result? As said on the title of this post, beautiful. The buns were so soft and moist with tight, even air pockets throughout. The texture was a crossover of that Japanese tang zhong buns and brioche. I like it and will make it again.

Trial and Error Hot Dog Buns
My guess for the quick proof time was the low amount of salt in this recipe.

2/3 cup warm milk
1 - 1/4 cup warm water
2 egg yolks
1 egg white
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
4 cups bread flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. instant dry yeast

Mix the milk, water, sugar and yeast in the mixing bowl. Add eggs. Layer the bread flour, and salt on top and start mixing. The dough should resemble chewing gum at this point. Sprinkle more flour on the dough to get it out of the bowl to a floured surface. Lightly round up the dough with more flour and cover the dough with the mixing bowl and let proof for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and put a bowl of water in the oven. Divide the dough into 12 and round up to the desired shape. Put dough on a baking sheet on a silpat with flour. Brush the top with egg white (you have an extra egg white from the egg yolk don't you?) and let proof for another 10 to 20 minutes until it rises 3/4 of its size. Bake for 15 minutes. You should have a nice colour on the buns and the bottom should sound hollow.

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