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How To Make Shokupan | Japanese Sandwich Bread

Updated: Sep 15, 2023


Bread-making is more than just a casual endeavor for me—it's almost sacred. Unlike whipping up a quick batch of cookies, crafting the perfect loaf involves obsessing over multiple variables. From the flour type and brand to the kneading and fermentation processes, every detail has the potential to make or break your loaf.


Just out of the oven...


When I decided to venture into making a fried chicken sandwich, I realized I couldn't compromise on the bread. That led me to Shokupan, a Japanese sandwich bread distinct for its use of a bread roux or "Yukane." This not only gives the bread its unique soft yet chewy texture but also differentiates it from other roux-based breads like the Chinese Tangzhong.



The recipe for Shokupan is straightforward; no need for specialized equipment like a bread machine or proofer. All you need is attention to detail during the kneading process, and you'll be rewarded with a loaf that rises to the occasion. Now, without further ado, let's dive into the recipe.


 

Ingredients:

(Make 1 loaf)

  • Yudane:

  • Unbleached Bread Flour, 75g

  • Boiling Water, 125g

  • Dough:

  • Unbleached Bread Flour, 325g

  • Granulated Sugar, 30g

  • Sea Salt, 7g

  • Active Instant Dry Yeast, 6g

  • Water, 200g

  • Heavy Whipping Cream, 50g

  • Room Temperature Softened Unsalted Butter, 25g

  • Sesame Oil, 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 to the salt. It will kill the yeast.*

  12. Create a well in the middle.

  13. Mix water and cream in another mixing bowl.

  14. Gradually pour the water-cream mixture into the well while still mixing with a spatula.

  15. Once it becomes a dough, cover and rest for 15 mins.

  16. Knead the dough inside the bowl until all the nooks and crannies of flour are kneaded into the dough, about 5 mins.

  17. Knead in the butter, followed by the yudane.

  18. Knead for about 10 mins until the butter and yudane are fully incorporated.

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

  20. The dough should be tacky, fluffy 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 sesame oil.

  23. Transfer the dough back to the greased bowl.

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

  25. It should have 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. 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.

  34. Grease the bread pan with sesame oil.

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

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

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

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

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

  40. Rotate 90 degrees.

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

  42. Gently pinch down the sim.

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

  44. Gently pinch the sim.

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

  46. Transfer to the greased bread pan.

  47. Repeat the process for the remaining dough.

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

  49. Cover with the Pullman loaf pan slider and let rise for 40 to 50 mins.

  50. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius or 400 fahrenheit.

  51. You can feel some resistance when you try to slide open the cover, which means the dough has risen.

  52. Wack into the oven.

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

  54. Remove from the oven.

  55. Immediately unmold onto a wire cooling rack.

  56. Set aside to cool down completely before slicing.

  57. Use this sandwich bread for your sandwich adventures, or simply make a toast.


Soft and chewy...


Making your own bread is therapeutic...


So good that you can even eat this on its own...

 

Recipe Video:



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