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Braided red bean milk bread (vegan)

July 28, 2017
This braided red bean milk bread has the softest, fluffiest dough ever!
And the most surprising part is that it uses a regular dough rather than a gelatinized one! I do love using the tangzhong method to make my bread because it keeps the moisture in the bread for days after the initial bake but this recipe has less steps and even Mother Deer thought it was better than my usual loaf.
sliced braided red bean bread
It wasn’t that the tangzhong loaf isn’t as fluffy as this one, but it’s less springy and chewy?
I guess the best way to describe it would be that the tangzhong dough more closely resembles a memory foam pillow in that it’s soft and if you press on it, an indent will be created. Alternatively, this loaf, if you poke at it, it springs back like a cotton pillow.
Am I making any sense or am I merely talking about pillows now and I’ve gotten everyone confused? Grayson says I tend to do that sometimes and I make strange analogies that only the two of us understand because we’ve been around each other for so long.
comparing braided red bean bread
Now before I cause any more unnecessary confusion, I’ll tell you all about the red bean filling we put on the inside. Red bean paste is a common ingredient in Chinese and Japanese cuisine.
The paste is simply made up of mashed up anko red beans and sugar. We usually buy ours at an Asian grocery store for no more than $2.50 cad. We used to always buy the fine version which has the consistency of peanut butter and it’s quite thick. But we’ve recently discovered that they also offer a coarse version where some of the beans are still kept whole!
This was quite the discovery because this adds so much more texture to the filling! I guess it’s a little bit like smooth vs. crunchy peanut butter. Okay, now before I make any more confusing comparisons, here’s the recipe and I hope you love it as much as we did!
red bean milk bread
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Braided red bean milk bread (vegan)
 
This vegan braided red bean milk bread has the softest, fluffiest, springy dough ever! And the most surprising part is that it uses a regular dough rather than a gelatinized one!
: Bread
Yield: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 200 mL warm water
  • 200 mL milk of choice
  • 100 mL vegetable oil
  • 5½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2½ teaspoons dried yeast
  • ½ cup red bean paste or spread of choice
Method
  1. Combine the warm water, yeast and sugar in a medium bowl. Stir and allow it to sit for 10 mins until foamy. If it does not become foamy, it means your yeast needs to be replaced because it has expired.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, salt, oil and milk. Using an electric beater with dough hooks, mix everything together. When the yeast mixture is ready, add it to the bowl.
  3. Knead until a dough comes together. It should look "too wet" at first but keep stirring and it should come together nicely. Continue to knead the dough on the lowest setting for another 5-8 minutes. The dough should spring back when poked.
  4. Allow the dough to rise covered in a warm place for 2 hours.
  5. When the dough is finished rising, punch it down and roll it out into a 1cm thick rectangle. Spread the red bean paste on top and roll it up into a log lengthwise.
  6. Slice the log in half and alternate the two logs so that a twist/braid forms. Pinch the ends to insure that it does not come apart. Place the braid into a lined loaf pan.
  7. Allow your loaf to rise again covered in a warm place. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  8. Bake the loaf at 325F for 20-30 mins or until it's golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
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