How To Make Shokupan | Japanese Sandwich Bread

Updated: Aug 3

I seldom post any recipe on bread making. Don't get me wrong. I love bread; it is my 2nd favorite food. Like pizza, without good bread, there will not be a good sandwich or burger. Bread is sacred to me. In my humble opinion, to make great bread, you need to be obsessed with bread making. When you are depending on something that's alive, it can't be completely controlled.



Making a loaf of bread is not like making some chocolate chip cookies. Every single detail matters, because any single detail can produce different results entirely. I would think of any possible way of screwing up my bread-making process, from the types of flour, different brands, the water, the hydration ratio, the amount of salt, the kneading process to the fermentation process, temperature, kitchen humidity to the oven temperature, the initial "spring", the baking process, the fermentation bubbles, the after baked crust, etc, etc.



If I know that I couldn't control those crucial elements, I wouldn't bother making. That is how obsessed I am. But, since I am on an adventure to craft out a fried chicken sandwich, I told myself why the hell not? So, I decided to choose a much simpler bread to make. The Shokupan aka Japanese sandwich bread. What makes it different than any of those typical sandwich bread is that the recipe uses a bread roux or aka "Yukane".



The bread roux will create a soft yet chewy texture. It is somewhat like the Chinese Tangzhong roux, but entirely different hydration ratio and processes. The recipe is pretty straight forward. No, you don't need any bread making machine or proofer, just make sure that the kneading process is done properly and your bread will rise beautifully. Without much delay, let's get started with the recipe.


Ingredients:

(Make 1 loaf)

  • Yudane:

  • Bread Flour, 75g

  • Boiling Water, 125g

  • Dough:

  • Bread Flour, 325g

  • Demerara Sugar, 30g

  • Sea Salt, 7g

  • Active Instant Dry Yeast, 6g

  • Water, 200g

  • Heavy Whipping Cream, 50g

  • Room Temperature Softened Unsalted Butter, 25g + More For Greasing

Equipment:

  • Oven

  • Pullman Bread Pan (196 x 106 x 110 mm)

Directions:

  1. Prepare the yudane.

  2. In a shallow bowl, add flour and water.

  3. *The water has to be boiling.*

  4. Stir to combine well.

  5. It should be a sticky roux.

  6. Spread out to cool down faster.

  7. Cover with a damp lint-free kitchen towel.

  8. Set aside to cool down to room temperature.

  9. Prepare the dough.

  10. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast well.

  11. *Do not add the yeast directly on the salt. It will kill the yeast.*

  12. Gradually pour the water and cream into the flour mixture while still mixing with a spatula.

  13. Once it becomes a dough, knead the dough inside the bowl until all the nooks and crannies of flour are kneaded into the dough, about 5 mins.

  14. Transfer onto a lightly floured surface.

  15. Add in the yudane.

  16. Knead for about 5 mins until the yudane is fully incorporated.

  17. Add in the butter.

  18. Continue kneading for another 3 to 5 mins.

  19. *Do take note that the yukane and butter has to be at room temperature.*

  20. The dough should be tacky, fluffy, smooth and it should pass the "window-pane" test.

  21. If the dough is too dry, add in water, 1 TBSP at a time. If the dough is too sticky, add in flour, 1 TBSP at a time.

  22. Lightly grease the bowl with some butter.

  23. Transfer the dough back to the greased bowl.

  24. Cover with a damp lint-free kitchen towel and let rise for 30 mins.

  25. It should slightly risen.

  26. Punch down the dough and fold the top, sides and bottom to the center.

  27. Flip, cover and let rise for 1 hr.

  28. This process is sorta to ensure that the yeast is activated.

  29. The dough should be doubled in size.

  30. *You can do a test by poking a floured finger into the dough. If it doesn't spring back, the yeast is activated properly and the dough is ready.*

  31. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface.

  32. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces.

  33. Form each piece into balls.

  34. Cover with a lint-free kitchen towel and let rest for 15 mins. This is called the bench rest which allows the gluten to relax.

  35. Grease bread pan with butter.

  36. Pat down a dough ball to an oblong disc.

  37. Fold the top 2/3 way to the bottom.

  38. Using the heel of your palm, gently press down the sim.

  39. Fold the bottom 2/3 way to the top.

  40. Using the heel of your palm, gently press down the sim.

  41. Rotate 90 degrees.

  42. Fold the top 2/3 way to the bottom.

  43. Gently pinch down the sim.

  44. Fold the bottom 2/3 way to the top.

  45. Gently pinch the sim.

  46. Roll the dough simmed side down to form a ball.

  47. *You can view the photos below for a better understanding.*

  48. Transfer into the greased bread pan.

  49. Repeat the process for the remaining dough.

  50. You will have 2 dough balls, side by side in your loaf pan.

  51. Cover with a damp lint-free kitchen towel and let rise for 40 to 50 mins.

  52. Preheat oven to 200 degree celsius or 400 fahrenheit.

  53. The dough balls should rise about 1/2 inch away to the top of the loaf pan.

  54. Close the lid and wack into the oven.

  55. Bake for 40 to 1 hr or until the crust is golden brown.

  56. Remove from the oven.

  57. Immediately unmold onto a wire cooling rack.

  58. Set aside to cool down completely before slicing.

  59. Use this sandwich bread for your sandwich adventures, or simply make a toast. I just simply spread my gianduja.




Here's the recipe video:


#shokupan #bread #sandwich

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