Braided Bread With Sweet Milk Crumbles

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The original recipe is titled Fresh Cream Bread from “孟老师的100道面包”.   I replaced the fresh cream with milk and butter instead, as it was too hazy to get out of the house for a packet of fresh cream.  Thankfully the modified milk and butter ratio worked wonderfully well, and so here I am noting it down, in case I run out of fresh cream again.

The accompanying sweet milk crumbles recipe makes too much that is required for the 2 loaves of braided bread.  I only realized it after comparing the photos of my bake with the book.  From the look of the photo, I think only 1/4 of the crumbles made with the recipe was used.

Later, I learned that the unused crumbles can be stored in chiller for future use.  Although my generous crumb serving did not make the bread taste too sweet, it is still made of 30g icing sugar (that is at least 15g of castor sugar).  I better half the crumble recipe next time if I do not want to keep any leftovers, or just use a quarter of it and store the rest in the freezer.

BRAIDED BREAD WITH SWEET MILK CRUMBLES
ADAPTED FROM : 孟老师的100道面包 p.43
INGREDIENTS

for bread
200g bread flour
30g raw sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg, yolk and white separated
3g instant yeast
110g cold fresh milk
25g cold unsalted butter, cubed

for sweet milk crumbles
30g icing sugar
50g corn starch
5g milk powder
40g cold unsalted butter, cubed

METHOD

01. In a mixing bowl, add in bread flour, raw sugar, salt, egg yolk, instant yeast and fresh milk.

02. Using a dough hook, knead the ingredients together at low speed till a dough ball forms.  Increase mixer speed (my KA at speed 2) and knead till dough becomes stretchy, about 3 minutes.

03. Add cubed butter piece by piece while the mixer is turning at low speed.  When the last trace of butter disappears,  increase mixer speed a step up (to 2) and knead till dough reaches window pane stage.

04. Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer, and cover a clean towel over the bowl.  Leave it at a spot that is draft free and let it proof for 80 minutes.

05. After the dough has risen, punch it down to degas it and transfer to a clean worktop.  If the dough is too sticky to handle, slightly grease hands and worktop with some butter.

06. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces, rolling them into balls. Cover with towel and leave it aside for 15 minutes.

07. After 15 minutes, flatten dough to push out the gas inside with palm or rolling pin. Roll each piece of dough into long strands.  Instructions in the book stated about 28cm, I simply roll mine to fit my baking tray and make sure all 6 strands are around same length.)

08. Braid 3 of the dough strands loosely, making sure that both ends are tucked and sealed properly under the bread.  Transfer shaped bread onto baking tray.  Repeat step with the remaining 3 dough strands.

09. Cover with  towel again and let it have a final proof of 30 minutes, while we proceed to make the sweet milk crumbles.

10. With a small hand whisk, mix the dry ingredients (icing sugar, milk powder and corn flour ) well in a bowl.

11. Rub in cubed butter till resembles breadcrumbs.  Set aside.

12. After the bread is done with its final proofing stage, gently brush surface of the bread with egg white, and sprinkle sweet milk crumbles on top.

13. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C/350F for 16 – 20 minutes.  As your oven temperature may be different from mine, watch the bread closely from the 15th minute onward and remove it from oven once it turns to the golden brown.  I baked mine for 18 minutes in my fan-forced oven.  Let the bread cool completely before storing in an air tight container.

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