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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

17 Hours White Bread Loaf - White Loaf Week # 2

I made this loaf twice.

Being a new bread baker and attempting such recipes is a bit daunting. I do not even recognise when the bread is kneaded enough. I wasn't daring to knead it long and was doing a few silly mistakes like adding too much yeast or putting in sugar when I shouldn't be. In the end, my first attempt with this recipe flopped. It still became a loaf, but I added in a lot more flour due to the pre-ferment dough has overfermented causing a lot of liquid to be produced. I had Bee Bee on my 911 and I knew where I had gone wrong. I told myself, don't give up and try again.

The next day, I made another batch. Woah, I finished one large loaf in a day? To make one loaf, it needs almost one day to ferment, so basically the next loaf came out 2 days later. LOL, to finish up a loaf of not so nice bread, I made club sandwich for dinner and everyone had to eat it by hook or by crook. I also used it to make croutons for a salad the next day and no one knows it's from that loaf of not so tasty bread.

I followed it to a T the next time around, and viola! Perfect sandwich bread came out of the oven. But... will I make this again? Hmmm.. don't think so. The result is fine, but not worth the effort put in. Not to say like it's super good with so many hours of waiting and long time standing there to throw in lumps of pre-ferment dough to knead. It's good but I don't have the patience with this, not with the proofing time, but the kneading process, lump by lump..... I wished to throw in the whole thing instead, but dared not.

17 Hours White Bread Loaf
Recipe source: Honey Bee Sweets
Makes: One 5X5X13 inch Pullman tin, lid on and another small loaf. If lid is off, can fit all into the pullman tin itself 

Pre-ferment Dough
480g bread flour
274ml water
14g fresh yeast ( I used 8 g instant yeast)
7g sea salt
14g skim milk powder (I used full cream milk powder)

Dissolve the yeast in water. Add bread flour, sea salt, skim milk powder and knead until soft. Cover the dough in cling wrap or a big zip log bag. Refrigerate to let it prove for 17 hours.

Note: The dough will expand in the fridge. So whatever container you put the dough in, do give some allowance for growth.

Main Dough:
206g bread flour
7g sea salt
69g caster sugar
199ml water
3g fresh yeast (I used 3g instant yeast)
48g unsalted butter, room temperature

1. Knead all ingredients of the main dough together, except the butter.
2. Add pre-ferment dough piece by piece. Knead after each addition until soft and smooth.
3. Add butter. Knead until stretchable consistency (window pane test)
4. Put the dough into a big bowl. Cover with cling wrap and let it prove for 30minutes till double.
5. Punch down and divide dough into 3 pieces.
6. Roll out each piece and roll up again.
7. Arrange rolled up dough into a greased pullman tin.
8. Let dough rise until 2/3 full. Place the lid on.
9. Preheat the oven at 170(fan)/190C and bake for 35 minutes.

Verdict: Not manual kneading friendly. Taste like an ordinary white sandwich loaf, but very soft and fluffy,  smelling better than store bought due to the use of butter. The crust is perfect for crust lovers, smells great. Bread should stay soft for 3 days, but mine was finished before that.


  1. Wow! The texture and crumb of your bread looks amazing! I wish I could get such good results. Have been trying many loaves but somehow can never get such tender crumb. Now my freezer is full of frozen bread, croutons, bread crumbs. LOL.

  2. Wendy, the bread is perfect!! I especially love the last photo, soft and fluffy texture! If you can not finish the bread please send some to me le :D

  3. You can open a bread shop already! So perfectly baked. I really admire to those who baked their own bread and buns. Wish I can achieve what you have done too.

  4. nice looking bread but still not liking white breads.. hahaha

  5. Wendy...that is a beautiful loaf of white bread. The 17 hours of waiting ...that is the frustrating thing about making this kind of bread but to experience it once is worth it anyway :) You cut the bread with a bread cutter or just a bread knife. Beautifully cut I would say :) I can never cut it that nice even with a proper bread knife :)

  6. NEL,
    Make them into panko and giveaway.. :)

    Ah Tze,
    Fat hopes, all eaten liao, LOL

    I will never open a bread shop. I hate waking up early to make bread for customers. Try la, it takes a few failures for sure, but you learn in the process.

    Swee San,
    Yalar, u come here to see only ma, how to eat? LOL

    the 17hrs perfementation is fine, it's the kneading part, I threw in lump by lump and waiting for the thing to be well homogenized before adding in the next lump is horrible. Took me so long standing there.
    I 'was' a professional bread slicer... took me years to perfect the knife thingy, next time I'll talk about me as a bread slicer history. I could even slice the freshest loaf. But the knife has to be sharp.

  7. Wah, looks so light and soft.You cut the bread veryyyy neatly, just like the store bought one.
    Homemade bread is the best !!

  8. wow, beautiful crumb. Very net work. Can see it's very soft and yumm!!

  9. Wendy, your bread looks so soft and fluffy. Worth the effort, right?

  10. even though 17 hrs seems long, but basically it's just waiting time, we do nothing so it isnt that bad...i say only but i also havent done this yet. can see the texture of the bread is really good!

  11. Your bread looks pretty good to me. Breadmaking is a tacky business, which took me many years to figure out and even now, I still occasionally get surprises.

  12. Looks really great, Wendy, but I don't I wanna wait 17 hours + all the work for a normal white bread.

  13. Very nice loaf of white bread! I love your Hokkaido Milk Loaf too. I have been sleeping with
    Hokkaido Milk Loaf recipe for years... still haven't seen my product yet hahaha...

  14. This really looks very soft and wonderfully baked!!! :) I cant help but steal many glances at your bread! :)

  15. eh, I thought the texture of this bread looks very similar to your Hokkaido Milk Loaf... I want to start to move to more healthy bread now with wholemeal and rye flour...:)

  16. Ahh...this the one you told me you were making the other day? Then you are fast to post it up this time...keke!

  17. Can I defend for this recipe? Hahaha....I think you have not given enough credit to this great recipe, well at least in my opinion. First of all, after baking breads for so many years, I have to say this technique yields the BEST texture, no doubt there. I am no pro, but as a home baker that bakes once a loaf every week, this is truly one I can call the best bread recipe I've encountered. Perhaps not the white loaf version, but the root vegetable version. Secondly, I didn't even think that letting the starter dough rest in the fridge for 17hr is a hustle at all. In fact I've done resting for only 6hrs and the loaf still turn out perfect but perhaps less "elastic". I just prep and chuck in the fridge, tomorrow just take it out whenever I have time to bake. So it's waiting for me...not the other way round. Lastly, I simply tear up the starter dough and dump everything in together with the rest of the main dough ingredients.. And let my KA do it's magic. I'm so sure your heavy duty KA can do it no problem, so why do you have to stand there and put in piece by piece?! Anyway, beauty lies in the eye of the I guess I can only say so much about it. :) BtW, I have not gone back to tang zhong or direct method ever since I discovered this technique....a true hardcore "fan".

  18. I agreed with Bee Bee, i also prefer this method more than tangzhong method. Anyway, the bread texture that i most prefer actually is English white bread., fluffy and soft, but too many steps of waiting time. Maybe you want to try out one day.

  19. yummy little cooks,
    Thanks, the bread is indeed soft.

    honey boy,

    LOL, okla, maybe I could be braver next time.

    the 17 hours is nothing, it's just me trying to be too careful with the recipe.

    Experimental cook,
    Oh yes, the texture's great. I get lots of surprises all the time, LOL.

    Depends on how you look at it. The 17 hrs can be slept through. Home made white bread is always better than store bought.

  20. mycookinghut,

    Happy Flour,
    Haha, HML must have been a very good sleep partner, best pillow? LOL

    Go ahead, FOC, LOL

    Yeah, both bread's texture's great. But it seems this is better for toasting.

    I told you I made this months ago, but the other day I told you I'm going to post it. LOL

    Thanks for the suggestion. I'm still experimenting with different method and recipes, and I'm not concluding anything here as I haven't baked enough breads.

  21. Bee,
    I'm sorry if I didn't give it enough credit.
    The problem wasn't with the waiting, nor the problem was with the method, nor the recipe.
    The problem was ME.

    Since I failed the first time, I made it the 2nd time following it to the T. The instruction said "Add pre-ferment dough piece by piece. Knead after each addition until soft and smooth", so I pulled out golf ball sized dough and threw them in after each piece becomes well incorporated. I didn't dare to throw in the whole thing, even though I had the mixer for the job. I was still learning to use the machine, even until now. Maybe I should have used the blade and not the hook to do this part. But I stupid stupid use the hook, hence the 30 mins standing there to throw in lumps of flour.

    But later when I chatted with Reese, she asked me, "Why you do it so slow, just dump the whole thing in la", then only I knew I could do that.
    Like you said, you bake bread often but I am still new, seriously new. Forgive me for my ignorance.

    I'm sure this method yields very good results, the final picture says it all, but the problem was with me. Not the method, not the recipe.

    The comments are only for this particular recipe, and I'm sure other recipes with this method will be better, like what you told me in FB, the 17Hr pumpkin bread, that one is much better right?

  22. I haven't try out this method on bread making. Shall try one day.
    Your loaf is perfectly baked, soft n fluffy. Your cutting skill is super!

  23. Ai yo, no need to apologies lah. You did nothing wrong my friend. I was just hoping that you can give this technique more credit and perhaps try it out again. :) Ultimately I just didn't want everyone including you to miss out something good. :)Yes, try out the pumpkin and sweet potato version, it'll knock your socks off! :D

  24. Gardenia or High 5 breads no business liao..hehehe..

  25. am glad i dropped by your blog.. silly me also put in the pre-ferment dough pieces by pieces, and that got me very frustrated too... shall follow the advice shared by all, and dump everything in now :)

  26. Vivian,
    LOL, thanks, one day I will post a video on me slicing bread, one day :)

    Maybe I have been too frank, but that was my real feeling when I made this. Nothing against the recipe as it was only me. I'm sure other 17Hrs bread are better since you said so, but I'm not going to be that stupid again when I attempt the other recipes! LOL.
    My words are my personal opinion, but the final picture speaks louder than me, just like how some still attempted summer pudding even when I said I don't like it at all.

    Then quickly learn up this recipe and you sell la! All KL market is yours and I take up Perak market. LOL

    LOL, thank you for telling me this, at least I'm not alone. LOL!!!

  27. Hi Wendy, it was a breeze this time, when i dumped all the pre-ferment dough in =) unfortunately, i have difficulty unmoulding the bread from the tin. Don't know why but it sticks to the sides, though I have already greased it.. any tips i can use for unmoulding bread?

  28. Lala,
    Unmould it when it's really hot, less than 2 minutes after out from the oven.
    If left for too long, the vapour and condensation will cause the crust to be moist and thus, sticks to the pan.
    I plan to make this bread again too, and yeah, dump everything in.

  29. Hi wendy, to knead the dough can i use bread machine? The refrigerated dough cannot become hard dough? I never make bread so im a beginner and want to try it. Thank u.

  30. June,
    The chilled dough don't have oil, it won't be hard.
    Make half the amount because this portion will be too big for the bread machine

  31. Wendy, the prefermented dough keep in refrigerator for 17 hours, after the next day take out from fridge should wait till room temperature to mix into the Main dough? Quite confused of the steps for the beginner. Thank u.

  32. June,
    No need. Making bread with machine prefers cold items, compared to manual kneading.

  33. Hello, I am amazed and seduced by your blog. Can I know how you can slice your bread in such pretty way??

  34. Anonymous (pls leave a name)
    I've been slicing bread commercially since I was 13. Practise makes perfect. :)

  35. Hi trying this recipe today. Just checking bout how long u knead? Dough looks sticky to me (still kneading when I type this lol) and issit ok to throw in starter dough not in room temp? I find it hard to incorporate with the main dough hehe
    I'm using bread maker

  36. irene kay,
    Yes, the dough is not easy to incorporate due to the gluten, but it will turn out alright.
    The dough will be tacky when it's nicely kneaded. No longer sticky


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