October 10, 2017

Pai Bao with Tangzhong ~ #BreadBakers

“The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight.” —M.F.K. Fisher

I haven't baked with a tangzhong before.  A little internet snooping and I found out that the word tangzhong translates to soup in Chinese and that this technique was first developed in Asian around 2,000 years ago.  Its primary function is to trap and maintain moisture resulting in a softer loaf of bread that has a good shelf life.

I could not believe how easy this bread was to put together.  Something came up right when I was in the middle of the first proof, so I put the dough in the fridge, and came back to it later.  It continued to rise and was ready for the next step - I seriously thought I may have killed it by placing it in the fridge. Everything else came together wonderfully after that and it resulted in a soft, pillowy, completely delicious bread that I can't wait to make again.

If you would like to know more about #BreadBakers and see what the other bakers made for the Breads with levain (sourdough), biga, poolish, soakers, etc. theme please scroll down below the recipe.

Pai Bao with Tangzhong

Bread ~
  • 700g (5 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 80g (⅓ cup plus 4 teaspoons) sugar
  • 5g (1 teaspoon) salt
  • 14g (4 teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 2 large eggs
  • 240ml (1 cup) of milk
  • 90g (6 tablespoons) butter, cut into small pieces, softened to room temperature
  • 1 serving of tangzhong (this is a separate recipe and you will use all the tangzhong made with the recipe)
  • 1 egg, to be used for the top of the bread prior to baking
Tangzhong ~
  • 50g (⅓ cup) of all-purpose will work as well
  • 205ml (1 cup) of water

Preparation ~
Bread ~
  1. Combine the flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached.
  2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in all wet ingredients - milk, eggs and the tangzhong.
  3. Begin mixing on medium speed until the dough comes together. 
  4. Add in the butter and continue mixing/kneading.
  5. Keep kneading until it is a smooth dough (the dough shouldn't be too sticky and should have some elasticity - add some more flour to keep the dough from being too sticky if needed).
  6. Knead the dough into a ball shape and place in a large bowl that has been coated with oil and cover with cling wrap. Let it proof until it’s doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
  7. After proofing, move the dough to a clean surface and split up the dough into four equal portions - the easiest way is to weigh them. 
  8. Knead and form this dough into balls, then cover them with a damp towel and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  9. Using a rolling pin roll each portion of the dough into an oval shape. Take one end of the oval dough and fold it to the middle of the oval. The other end should then be folded to meet top of the other end of the dough.
  10. Flip the dough over with the folds facing down and flatten the dough with rolling pin and flip it over again.
  11. Place the dough into a greased pan, and cover lightly with cling wrap.  Allow the rolls to rise until doubled in size, about 50 minutes.
  12. Preheat the oven to 160℃ (325℉).
  13. Just before baking brush the bread with the beaten egg to create the beautiful brown shiny finish after baking.
  14. Bake the bread at 160℃ (325℉) for approximately 30 minutes.
Tangzhong ~
  1. Mix the (50g ⅓ cup) of flour and water together.
  2. Whisk until the flour is completely dissolved there are no lumps.
  3. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and turn on the heat to medium, stirring constantly as the mixture heats up.
  4. Cook the tangzhong until the mixture thickens (you should be able to draw "lines" in the mixture and the indent should remain for a little bit). 
  5. Continue to cook until a thermometer reaches 65℃ (149℉).

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

This month's Bread Baker's theme is Breads with levain (sourdough), biga, poolish, soakers, etc. and is hosted by Karen from Karen's Kitchen Stories.

And don’t forget to check out all the amazing breads baked by our talented bakers ~


  1. I'm very intrigued by the tangzhong breads. I can't wait to try to make one. Yours looks so good.

  2. I had not heard of tangzhong before this event. I am anxious to try it.

  3. Isn't tangzhong amazing? It's pretty magical. Your loaf is gorgeous!

  4. Love how soft that bread looks! I love putting dough in the fridge to rise, gives it a better flavour IMHO

  5. The bread crumb looks so soft, perfect to use for sandwiches.

  6. LOVE tangzhong starter -- makes for the best bread. Your Pai Bao looks absolutely amazing.

  7. What a beautiful loaf of bread! I'd never heard of tangzhong before and have just loved all of the entries this month!

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Thanks for visiting my blog. I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment.