This Tangzhong Whole Wheat Bread recipe makes a wonderfully soft, tender, and delicious loaf of bread! It also stays fresh for a more extended period than your average loaf of whole wheat bread, because of the Tangzhong method!
I first heard about the Tangzhong method while watching The Great British Baking Show. I absolutely love that show, and you’ll come to find out that I am slightly obsessed with it! I’m always trying to recreate the recipes or attempt the techniques I hear about on the show. So, when they mentioned Tangzhong, it sounded unique and odd, so naturally, I had to try it. I researched plenty of information to understand what ratios I needed to achieve a good Tangzhong loaf, and then I went for it!
The Tangzhong Method is an Asian technique that uses a portion of the flour and liquid in the recipe to make a roux. The flour in the roux then becomes pre-gelatinized, so it can now absorb more liquid. Because it holds on to more moisture, the dough will rise more, and the bread will be fluffier after it’s baked. This article from King Arthur Baking is very informative and can give you a better explanation than myself on how Tangzhong works. I just know the basics and how to use them in this bread!
I love that my bread turns out soft and fluffy every single time I use this technique! This recipe is easy to follow but is more time-consuming than usual. I believe it’s worth the effort if you want an extra-tender fluffy loaf! However, if you want something a little bit easier to try, check out my The Best Healthy Whole Whole bread recipe!
Helpful tools for making this bread
So, I want to share some helpful tools to help you get perfect results with this bread. Yeast is always a significant factor in if bread turns out. So, my favorite brands that get me fantastic results are Saf Instant Yeast and Red Star Active Dry Yeast. I’ve tried multiple other brands, and they just don’t stand up to those two! Also, having a stand mixer is really helpful when you’re making bread. Kneading by hand can be fun, but it takes up quite a bit of time and requires a bit of arm strength! The nice thing is, you don’t have to buy an expensive stand mixer. I have one from Amazon that works great and is very inexpensive.
In my experience, bread baking isn’t too hard, but the equipment and ingredients make all of the difference! So, I hope those recommendations will help you in your bread baking successes!
Tangzhong Whole Wheat Bread
- Stand Mixer with dough attachment
- Measuring Cups
- Small Saucepan
- Small Bowl
- Large bowl
- 8×4 Loaf pan
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 3 Tbsp Unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsps Warm water
- 1 1/2 Tbsps Molasses not blackstrap
- 1 1/2 tsps Active dry yeast
- 1 tsp Fine sea salt
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil plus more for greasing
- 1 Medium Egg
- 2 tsp Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
- 1 1/4 Cups Whole wheat flour
- 1 Cup + 1 Tbsp Unbleached all-purpose flour
- Combine the roux ingredients in a small saucepan and turn it on to low-medium heat. Whisk it constantly, until it begins to thicken into a pudding-like texture.
- Use a spatula to transfer the roux into a small bowl. Place plastic wrap on top of the roux itself, so it does not form a skin. Then place the bowl in the fridge to cool it to room temperature.
- To activate the yeast, combine the warm water, molasses, and yeast to the bowl of your stand mixer. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it sit for 5 minutes. The yeast should be bubbling at this point.
- To the yeast mixture, add the whole wheat flour, egg, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Once everything is mixed together, cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel, and let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Add the rest of the all-purpose flour and the tangzhong roux to the mixing bowl, and combine lightly. Attach your dough hook to the mixer and turn it on to a medium speed. Knead the dough for 7 minutes. It should start to pull away from the sides of the bowl and be soft but not sticky.
- Grease a large bowl with baking spray or olive oil and then transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let it proof in a warm place for 45 minutes.
- Uncover the dough and punch it down a bit. Cover again and let it proof for 45 minutes, or until it is fully doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease an 8×4 loaf pan with baking spray. Take the doubled dough out of the bowl and shape it into a loaf. Place it in the tin and cover it with plastic wrap. Proof it for 30 more minutes, or until an inch above the sides.
- Bake the loaf in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until it's golden brown and it sounds hollow when you tap the top. Let the bread sit for 10 minutes before you remove it from the pan.
- Remove bread from the pan and finish cooling it on a wire rack or large plate.
- To keep the bread fresh, wrap it in plastic wrap or foil and leave it on the counter. It should last up to 5 days this way.
- I recommend not keeping it in the fridge because it will dry it out.
- Bread can be frozen by wrapping in plastic wrap and placing it in a zip-top freezer bag. (Keeps good up to 6 months) Defrost on the counter for a few hours when you’re ready to use it.
- If you’re kneading the dough by hand it will take about 10 minutes.