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Light as Air Seed Bread - White Loaf Week # 3

Friday, November 11, 2011

Frankly, is this as light as air? Hmm.. maybe for western standard, it could be. I have never eaten breads besides what is made in Malaysia and Singapore

Growing up with commercial breads made with chemicals like improvers and softeners, this bread is definitely not as light as air. Gardenia definitely is the winner, hands down. Which is why I prefer High 5 if I want to buy. High 5 has better structure, better chew, more to swallow. LOL.

But if you compare a direct method bread, made with natural ingredients, it is definitely soft and good. Don't compare it with breads made with bread improvers or softeners. It doesn’t contain that much of fat compared to wonderfully soft bread or breads made with cream like Hokkaido Milk Loaf. It doesn’t take hours of proofing like 17hrs bread, nor does it need any half cooked dough like the Tang Zhong method.  Those said methods produced very soft breads, and this just a basic bread with flour, salt, water, wee bit of milk powder and 1 Tbsp of oil. The only addition is semolina or sugee. Perfect for that someone who hates wholemeal bread but wants something healthier. Semolina is very rich in protein.

The semolina feels rough and gritty during kneading but after the first proofing… it was barely felt by touch, and after baking it seemed non-existent. The cold oven baking also gave the bread a final push on rising. The initial recipe called for the bread to baked in a covered stoneware loaf baker. But where do I have that? I can’t put this into a Pullman tin, as it required the top to be slashed, of which in the end I chickened out to do, worried I might disfigure the bread with my not so sharp knives. I just put this bread into 2 Daiso loaf pans and when it rose to the rim, I started baking it with only the bottom heat and used an inverted baking tray to reflect heat to reduce the risk of the seeds on the crust from burning. I also lined the loaf pan instead of greasing it as I find lining it creates a very soft thin crust compared to a greased pan.

I’m very happy with the way this loaf turned out. Beautiful sesame seeds still sticking onto the crust after slicing, with only a minor amount falling off. Soft crust, beautiful crumb, beautiful texture and I love the taste of it, it has a light nutty taste, which is not found when baking with only bread flour. Although not a bit of sugar in it, it has this “sweetness” when it reacts with the saliva in your mouth. I only ate this with butter because the bread itself has its own flavour that I do not want cover up with lots of other things. My mom and hubby as usual, went with kaya and butter. Even Lydia's ex nanny who happenned to get half a loaf from me commented the bread is very flavourful.

Will I make this loaf again? Definitely!

And I made it twice
Once as a big loaf, jacked up the recipe 150% and baked it in a 5X5X13 bread tin

And another time, as buns.

The best is still as mini loafs, or maybe you can shape them as longish slim loaves like french loaf.

Light as Air Seed Bread
Recipe source: King Arthur Flour
Recipe is converted to metric weight by me, Wendyywy

240gm bread flour
140gm semolina (sugee)
18gm milk powder
6gm salt (1.5tsp)
2 tsp instant yeast
1 Tbsp olive oil
250gm lukewarm water
1 Tbsp each Black and White sesame seeds for coating, or other seeds if preferred

1. Combine all ingredients except sesame seeds and knead until stretchy. (I was alternating between speed 2-4 on KA for 25 minutes)
2. Cover and let it proof for 1 hour or until double (my double was 1 hour 15 mins).
3. Divide dough into 2 and form into long loaves.
4. Place formed dough into two 3X7 loaf pan or one 9X5 loaf pan. (either line or grease the pans)
5. Let loaves proof (covered) until double. (another 1 hour 15 minutes)
6. Brush top of loaves with water and sprinkle sesame seeds over. Very gently press them on.
7. Place dough loaves into a cold oven.
8. Place a baking tray over the bread (2 inches above the dough’s top. This step is to bake the bread using reflected heat and prevent the sesame seeds from burning, it's optional)
9. Turn the temperature to 200C (lower heat only, if you choose to use top bottom heat, ignore step (8)) and bake for 20 minutes (30mins if your oven preheats slower, my oven takes less than 10 mins to reach 200C, the bread will look slightly golden).
10. Remove the upper baking tray from oven and turn the heating to top and bottom heat and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until desired colour is achieved.

Verdict: Taste nutty, good mouthfeel (springy). Good for toasting (the sesame seeds smell so good after toasting), low sugar, low fat, not manual kneading friendly (very sticky). Stays soft for a day and a half only, so toast it after that for crunchy sesame toast.

36 lovely notes:

Janine November 11, 2011 at 11:23 AM  

oh this looks really good! I was always wary of adding semolina because of its graininess but I'm convinced now that it won't be obvious :)

And I agree that by western standards, it's definitely soft - I tried a dinner roll recipe from the KAF website as well, and their soft dinner rolls are definitely not as soft as the asian bread recipes!

ICook4Fun November 11, 2011 at 11:49 AM  

I like the look of this bread a lot especially with the black and white sesame on the top. I already bookmarked this so I can try it out later.

cik cek November 11, 2011 at 12:01 PM  

Emmmm...cantik menawan...gebu menggebu...bestnya...harum bau roti sampai kat rumah kak cek dah ni...:D

Mel November 11, 2011 at 12:31 PM  

Oh, I prefer the bun type than the loaf because don't need to cut out in slice. Whichever, both of your loaf and buns looks real good with the sesame seeds on top.

Anonymous,  November 11, 2011 at 1:09 PM  


You bread loaf looks very eye appealing and taste bud inviting....Thumbs up for healthy home made bread..

From Olivia

Honey Bee Sweets November 11, 2011 at 1:27 PM  

Beautiful loaf! Love the sesames on top! Ang mo breads are usually little to no sugar so it does retain it's own bread scent. With that amount of water I can imagine it's pretty sticky.  haven't tried with sugee flour in breads, will try it!

Vivian Pang November 11, 2011 at 2:07 PM  

Adding semolina in bread is new to me. I would like to try out. Thanks for the tip of baking with lined paper instead of greased pan. Lovely loaf with the beauty of sesame seeds on top!

Ah Tze November 11, 2011 at 3:01 PM  

Another lovely loaf from you, I've not try baking any bread using semolina or sugee flour! Homemade bread is always the winner because we can omit improvers or softeners which to me is not good for kids.

Sharon @ Feats of Feasts November 11, 2011 at 3:09 PM  

Now im really inspired to bake bread again.... :P

Fong's Kitchen Journal November 11, 2011 at 3:09 PM  

Your lovely loaf of bread reminds me that I've been lazy with bread-making lately.

Alannia,  November 11, 2011 at 3:38 PM  

Mmmm lovely. Feel like eating it right now.

The Experimental Cook November 11, 2011 at 3:38 PM  

Oh no! You have tempted me to bake again..

Aimei November 11, 2011 at 4:28 PM  

I would definitely not want to miss any bread recipe that doesn't require 17 hours of proofing. :) looks really good and healthy!

lena November 11, 2011 at 4:33 PM  

this is a pretty loaf of bread. Just by looking at the pictures, i cant tell the difference between a normal loaf or tangzhong, it still looks soft to me..btw when you said it stays soft for a day or two, i think it's good for fast bread eaters to make these, since the bread might not have the chance to last till the 2nd day.hohoho.. i must try the 17hr bread one of these days already...know it must be very good!

Sherleen.T November 11, 2011 at 6:57 PM  

here i proof that, i'm not get bored with your bread, haha...you have made another amazing bread

Min November 11, 2011 at 8:32 PM  

I love this soft bread. The black and white sesame seeds on top make the bread looks great! Next time I will try bread with semolina, seems promising :)

Elin November 11, 2011 at 9:40 PM  

Beautiful bread ! Envy envy :) and your bread slices looks neat ! Well done :)

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more November 11, 2011 at 11:20 PM  

Yeah, and their kneading times is always so short, I always have to extend it to reach window pane stage.

Hope you like this :)

cik cek,
bila toast roti tu, lagi wangi

LOL. actually nowadays i prefer make buns. Lazy lor, like u said


very sticky ler... but after proofing not too bad, maybe the semolina absorbed it slowly

semolina taste great in bread, try it:)

ah Tze,
Not only for kids, for us too, BAD!

do not give up, it's not that hard

U've been busy making cupcakes ma! LOL

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more November 11, 2011 at 11:27 PM  

LOL, please do

Experimental Cook,
Haha, never knew my breads are so powerful ;)

oh no, do think think of the long hours proofing as difficult, it's the slow digestion of wheat proteins that will make the bread slow to stale. Comparatively this one stales in half the time.

It's a direct method bread, some more not much milk, not much oil, no egg.... 36 hours not bad looo. Actually I'm not goo goo gaga for super soft breads because my hubby likes to toast, and soft breads aren't good for toasting. For plain breads, I always go for flavour... that's my personal opinion

LOL, u are not bored, but my stats dropped, LOL.

The flavour is good, but not like super soft ah...

Practise Elin, LOL, dun go green :)

Jes's Deli Corner November 12, 2011 at 1:12 AM  

Can I have a loaf? :O) It looks very nice.

Shirley @ Kokken69 November 12, 2011 at 7:47 AM  

This bread looks so store bought! I would definitely love to give this a try but may convert it to tangs hong method...:) ... Yes I really love the soft sponge dough...

Shu Han November 12, 2011 at 7:53 AM  

that looks beautiful! i really enjoyed this bread week, because you always give such honest comments and appraisals of each recipe, so I know what to expect e.g. this is not as soft as it claims to be, or like for the bgr week, that the bgr flour is actually not that ideal to work with!

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more November 12, 2011 at 11:30 AM  

LOL, u are too late, all eaten oredi la.

oh great, hope to see your take on this with Tang zhong.

Shu Han,
Thank you for appreciating my honesty.
That BGR is good for kuih but not for cakes, IMPO

jo November 12, 2011 at 5:35 PM  

Oh wow, it does look really soft. I love the black and white sesame topping which really adds character to the loaves.

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more November 12, 2011 at 5:56 PM  

Not as soft as Asian methods :)
but very flavourful

busygran November 13, 2011 at 10:27 PM  

Wendy, you are awesome! I really enjoy reading about your recipes. I even told some people about your blog! Keep 'em comin'!

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more November 14, 2011 at 12:50 AM  

Thanks for the "promotion".
No wonder my hits are increasing, so you are the mastermind behind it :)

Lala November 14, 2011 at 5:41 PM  

this is such wholesome goodness! i've been too busy to bake lately.. but I get this happy feeling from looking at your photos :) haha satisfy me 'visually' till i find time to bake =P

Anonymous,  November 17, 2011 at 5:01 PM  

What is semolina?Where to buy semolina?can I replace it with ghee?

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more November 17, 2011 at 5:04 PM  

Semolina is a type of flour, a coarse flour.
Ghee is fat, pure milk fat.
I don't see how you can do that.
You can easily get semolina or some call it sugee/sugi at bakery supplies stores or Indian grocery shops. Indians make traditional cakes with it, so it's not a hard to find item.

Anonymous,  November 17, 2011 at 10:04 PM  

Is it expensive?what is it call in mandarin?I am from Batu Pahat,dunno can get here?

Sim mp

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more November 18, 2011 at 1:03 AM  

I have no idea what it's called in Chinese.
It's a very very common item for Indian food. Just go to any kedai runcit operated by Indian or Malay and ask for "Suji" they will have it.
It's not a common ingredient in Chinese food.
Even the Chinese owned mini market here has it sold, RM2.60 for 400gm. If Batu Pahat has Indians or Malays, sure will have, 100% have. Even bakery suppplies shop 100% have. Sugee cake is a common type of butter cake. Also can make sugee cookies, very very common one.
You can go and try to find, if cannot find then I send u a picture. Cos once u ask the shopkeeper, he will give u one la.

JasMine,  July 2, 2012 at 1:46 PM  

Hi Wendy,
I had tried to bake this bread yesterday. I love this recipes, cos is had no egg & sugar. Due to health matter, my hubby cannot take sugar & egg. At first i knead the dough with breadmaker. After the 1st proofing, i removed it and knead the bread with hand,but is very sticky. I tried to add flour few spoon of flour also the same. How? I had bake it for 20 mins with cover on top and another 10 mins w/o cover, but the top still not golden in colour. when i removed it from the tray, i notice the bottom is bit wet and the top is hard. How? I want to do it again, cos i had bought 1kg of Sugi flour! Can i add some wheat flour to this recipes? Thanks!

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more July 3, 2012 at 1:26 AM  

this recipe is very sticky, not until 2nd proofing will it be more manageable, it's because the sugi haven't absorb the water.
Let the machine knead it twice on dough function, then leave it to proof, it will be a lot more manageable. But don't be tempted to add more flour. Maybe if u want, just 1 Tbsp, not any more.
Did you wait or removed the loaf from the baking pan immediately?
Chat with me when u see me on Facebook. and i'll talk to you about your oven.

JasMine,  July 3, 2012 at 1:48 PM  

Thanks for your soonest reply Wendy! :) Take note, will knead it twice next time and let it bake in the Breadmachine. Actually i had let it proof for overnite. Yes, I do removed the loaf immediately. Sure will say hello when i see u r on line on FB!

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more July 3, 2012 at 2:35 PM  

Oh no! why did you proof the bread overnight?
Way too long, and you will get a watery dough.

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