Saturday, February 2, 2008

Fluffy Fluffy Bread: Journey to Great Ma-pan part 1


Remember back when, when I told you I broke my rice cooker trying to make bread? Well my broken rice cooker has been replaced by a much nicer one…so maybe if I can learn from my mistakes, I can try the bread again…And I did! Now the purpose of being able to make bread in a rice cooker would usually only apply to those without an oven or bread maker, but I have both. Aside from that I just plain did do it out of love for bread and for the show Yakitate Japan!!!, which translates from Japanese to “freshly baked Japan!!!” This is a pun as the show is about making bread worthy of being called Japans national bread and “pan” means bread so Japan=ja-pan=Japanese bread. Any how this recipe is nothing new. My first attempt was before there were English translations of the recipe (in English measurements not cc and grams) and there were guides on both instructables and wikihow. I used wikihow because the measurements were clearer and it was all on one page.

• 188 grams flour (1.5 cups)
• 5 grams yeast (about 1.25 teaspoon) dissolved in…
• …180 ml water (6 oz.) (and a pinch of sugar)
• 21 grams sugar (about 1.5 tbsp)
• 6.5 grams salt (about 1.5 tsp)
• 21 grams butter (about 1.5 tbsp)
• 30ml milk (1 oz.)

Proof the yeast in the warm (80-100 degrees F) water for 10 minutes.
Aerate the flour in the rice cooker bowl and mix with sugar and salt.
Once yeast is foamy add it and milk to the dry mixture and knead.
Make sure you have floured hands or else its going to me messy.
Once you have formed the dough incorporate the butter and let the dough rise for an hour.
Toss the dough around in the bowl or drop from 5 feet (do not pound ) to get the gas out gently.
Let rise a second time.
Bake about 30 minutes on each side in the rice cooker (checking regularly so that it doesn’t burn.
Depending on you rice cooker the first bake could be 30-60 minutes but the next to bakes should only take an 30 hour.

The bread came out cute and small

In the end my bread only took an hour to cook; 30 minutes on each side, presing the cook switch 3 times for each side. It was done perfectly and had nice texture but the taste was so-so. If I wanted really great flavor without adding spices and such, I would have to had used a starter or vinigar/beer in the bread to give extra depth. As this bread had only used instant yeast it was nothing I could enjoyably live off of with out butter or soup to dip it in. As for the cooking method, there was nothing to complain about it. Just know your rice cooker. In other words, once you have made this once and understand how the bread cooks in your rice cooker it should be a breeze to make a second time.
Next time I might spice this bread up with whatever:
  • Cottage cheese/dill
  • Beer
  • Nuts
  • Fruit: cranberry, blueberry, raisen
  • Cheese
  • Garlic

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