Wednesday 18 June 2014

Rainbow Tangzhong Bread

I made this rainbow bread for my daughter's friends to bring some cheer to them because many of them were unwell. This was made using the Tangzhong bread recipe that makes and keeps bread really soft and fluffy like those found in bakery! The green stripe is coloured with pandan paste so the bread smells and tastes really lovely with pandan flavour. My daughter loved it too :) 

Tangzhong (also known as a 'water roux') is a method which originated from the Japanese used in breadmaking to create softer and fluffier breads without the addition of bread improver. However, it was popularised throughout south-east Asia in the 1990s by a Chinese woman called Yvonne Chen who wrote a book called The 65° Bread Doctor. This method also allows bread to stay fresh longer without the need for artificial preservatives. To make the tangzhong, you basically mix together one part flour with five parts liquid (by weight) to make a smooth paste. The mixture is then heated in a saucepan until it reaches exactly 65°C, removed, covered and left to cool to room temperature when it will be ready for use. The tangzhong can be kept in the fridge for a 2-3 days. The amount of tangzhong used should be about 35% of the weight of the main flour. Tangzhong bread is now fairly common among home bakers :).

I used my breadmaker to do most of the kneading as the dough is rather sticky. After proofing, the dough is then punched down and the colours kneaded in by hand. I put it back into the breadmaker to proof and bake. The recipe is adapted from 350 Degree Oven for Japanese Azuki Milk Bread using Tangzhong. I made the azuki milk bread previously and it was delicious!

Ingredients of tangzhong (湯種):
25g bread flour (1/6 cup)
125 ml water (1/2 cup, could be replaced by milk, or 50/50 water and milk)

Ingredients of bread:
350g bread flour
55g caster sugar
5g salt
56g egg (equals to 1 large egg)
7g milk powder (to increase fragrance, optional)
125 ml milk
120g tangzhong
5-6g instant yeast
30g butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)

1. Tangzhong: Put the bread flour and water in a small saucepan, stir and heat over medium heat. Continue to stir while heating until the tangzhong thickens and swirl lines appear. Then remove from the heat and continue to stir for another 30 sec. Let the tangzhong cool to room temperature.

2. Put the ingredients into the breadmaker pan according to the sequence below:
- Add the wet ingredients first: milk, egg.
- Add the dry ingredients next: bread flour, sugar at the side, yeast in the middle (dig a small hole).
- Select dough function on bm. When the mixture is being combined (around 2-5 min later), add in the salt and the softened butter.
3. After the breadmaker is finished with the dough function, let the dough proof in the breadmaker for 40 min.
4. Transfer the dough out onto a lightly floured table and punch it down. *Do not forget to remove the paddle if you are using the breadmaker to bake the bread.
5. Measure out 80g of dough for each of the colours (red, yellow, green and blue) and 100g of plain dough for the top. Leave the rest of the plain dough for the base below the rainbow.
6. Add a few drops of pandan paste and liquid food colouring and knead them into each 80g dough (I used my hand to knead it though you could also use the dough attachment on the handmixer).
7. Use a roller to roll each colour dough into a sheet or layer including the 100g plain dough.
8. Place the big plain dough at the base in the bm, followed by the blue, green, yellow and red dough layers. Lastly, cover with the plain dough layer.
 9. Cover the dough lightly with a clingwrap and let it proof for another 40 min until doubled. 
10. Use the bake function of the bm to bake the bread.  
11. After it is done, remove the bread tin from the bm and let it cool for 5 min.
12. Remove the loaf and let it cool completely on a wire rack.

It was the greatest joy seeing the little kids enjoying their rainbow tangzhong bread!

This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up (June 2014 Event: Butter) organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Jozelyn Ng (Spice Up My Kitchen)

With love,


  1. wow...colourful bread! Wish you have a colourful day as well, thanks for sharing with LTU!

  2. Thanks Jozelyn! Wish you have a colourful day too! :)

  3. Nice colourful bread and it brightens the day too.

    1. Thanks Cecilia! Glad it brightens your day! =)