We don’t fool around here. We like our bread soft. The softer the better, no kidding, we don’t want no hard bread around these parts, no sir! “Really,” he said. “Really,” they said back. “Well, how soft is soft?” “About as soft as you can get it,” they told me.
There’s no science involved, no questionnaires, no polling data, nothing that involves math. It’s just me with my ears and eyes opened looking at what the average Thai person buys (or will buy). Take my wife for example. She likes the Wonder Bread kind of stuff that they sell at the 7/11. She puts sweet milk on it, no butter needed. When I make bread she looks at it, pokes it, and then runs away. “I know it’s not soft,” she tells me.
Her friends know I bake bread. And they often ask me questions about bread making. How to do it in the small ovens that most of us have. She tried a popular Internet recipe (in Thai) for something called English Bread. What is English Bread you might ask, well it’s really the sandwich white bread that most of us grew up with. It’s soft, right? Well apparently not soft enough for the Thai’s. Stop for a minute, mind you, not all Thai’s, what I’m looking at is the average Thai, not those who have spent time in the USA or Europe, but those who are what we’d consider average everyday Thai’s. “Soft,” they said.
Anyway, I like this Tangzhong Bread recipe that I make…
There is no trick to it. I take my favorite bread recipe (white bread) and us 20 grams of the flour (bread flour) and 100 grams of water, taking it from the ingredients I’ve already assembled and make my Tangzhong. I add this to the recipe, which is about a 1/2 a cup of Tangzhong. I also use 2 tablespoons of coconut oil instead of butter. I don’t know why I do this, but I think it makes for a softer bread. Finally, substitute a 100 grams of bread flour and use all purpose flour instead.
So the test is complete. Giving it to my wife it met with her approval. I don’t think I’ll share the recipe with her friend just yet, since I like to keep things to myself (call me funny about this). I will share the bread, thinking that it’s about the softest home made bread, chemical and additive free, as you can get.