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Recipe: Tsangtong Asian-style bread

My children love this bread. It is an old-fashioned milk bread at its best. Called a Tsangtong this Asian-style bread is a simple milk loaf made using a roux. In cooking the flour the starch explodes and gelatinises before it is baked, so this part of the dough doesn’t compete for water as the bread bakes. I’ve used both butter and olive oil to make the roux to prevent the butter from burning as it has a lower smoke point. I'm a huge fan of British stoneground flour, but I also love the Mulino Marino 00. It is a beautiful soft wheat giving a lovely silky feel and subtle sweet favour to your bread.


To make the Tsangtong roux base use a small saucepan, warm the butter and olive oil until the butter melts, then whisk in the flour and cook for a minute then add the water slowly and mix together. Cook whisking all the while until thick and smooth then allow to cool. See the short video showing the roux as it cooks.

Making the Dough
Add all the ingredients together in a bowl, mix well with a dough whisk and cover.

Leave for 5 minutes then knead over a 10 minute period, kneading for 2 minutes and resting for 2 and then repeating.

Prove for 60-90 minutes until doubled in volume.

Grease the Pullman tin with butter and dust lightly with malted flakes. Roll the dough up like a Swiss Roll and then place into the tin with the seam down.

Slide the lid on and allow to prove at room temperature for around 1 hour until doubled in size. Putting the lid on will make the finished bread nice and soft.

Around 30 minutes before baking pre-heat the oven to heat 200°C.

Bake for 35 minutes.

Let the loaf sit in the tin with the lid off for 5-10 minutes when you take it out of the oven and then place onto a wire rack and let it cool completely before slicing.

Tsangtong Roux Base:

30g Butter
20g Extra Virgin Olive oil
25g Mulino Marino Type “00”
110g Water


Milk Bread Dough

9g Dried Organic yeast (or 18g fresh organic yeast) dissolved in 25g cool water
200g Milk (28°C)
450g Mulino Marino Type “00”
25g Granulated sugar
8g Fine sea salt

Malted wheat flakes for dusting the tin

Vanessa Kimbell runs the Sourdough School, Northampton


featured products

Pullman Bread Pan (23cm) | £27.60

USA Pans is part of the world's largest industrial bakeware manufacturer. The pullman pan is tough like commercial bakeware but designed for the domestic baker.

Ground Grey Seasalt | £3.38

Ground (fine) “Sel Marin” or Grey Sea Salt, is a chef’s most valuable cooking salt. The Grey Sea Salt is harvested in the early summer mornings from the bottom of our clay lined salt marches.

Malted Wheat Flakes | £2.55

Malted Wheat Flakes smell fantastic and look great and have a pleasant chewy texture so are ideal for adding to breads to give a rustic appearance and an extra malty flavour.

Do you have a sourdough question for Vanessa? Send it to us and the best ones will appear in our next postbag edition and receive a dough whisk.

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