Because I wasn’t too satisfied with the results of last time’s baking, I decide to try making Japanese Milk Bread again. This time, I played it safe and used bread flour instead of a mix between all-purpose flour and bread flour… The difference between all-purpose flour and bread flour is that bread flour contains more wheat protein, which, when added to water, forms gluten. Gluten is a protein that contributes to the chewiness and elaciticity of the bread–kneading the dough helps facilitate gluten formation and also makes the gluten molecules link together, creating a gluten matrix that shapes the bread. The gluten matrix also traps CO2 bubbles formed by the yeast and allows the bread to rise.
So, yes, gluten is quite important! Anyhow, here’s the dough, after it’s been kneaded. As you can see, it’s a lot less sticky than last time. Using tons of bread flour also made the dough a lot easier to knead, because it stopped being sticky quite fast.
Looks much better than last time!
The dough didn’t poof up as much as expected after I baked it. There’s probably something that I did wrong again, but it smells amazing so I’ll let it pass for now.
This time, the bread wasn’t as crumbly as the first attempt. It also didn’t taste as buttery as last time even though I used about the same amount of butter, which is a good thing.I’ll call that an improvement! However, it’s still not as soft and fluffy as it’s suppoesd to be. Whatever. It’s delicious, and that’s what matters, right?
Final Verdict: 9/10, bread is too hard to make…
After a year spent in “soft-lockdown” at home in Atlanta, and as Caltech students prepared to finally return to campus, I was aboard an eight hour flight towards Edinburgh, Scotland. Since my junior year plans were interrupted by the virus who shall not be named, I’m spending my first term of senior year studying abroad through the Caltech - Edinburgh University International Exchange program. I’ve only been here just over a week yet have been exposed to so many new people, perspectives, foods, and classes.
When the announcement was first made that fall term was going to be online, I started talking to friends and looking for places to live. We were debating locations around the country: California, Florida, New York, etc.. there were plenty of options. Then it suddenly hit me, what is stopping us from going to Hawaii, covid numbers were better and a two week quarentine would ensure that numbers stayed down… I proposed this to my friend and we agreed it would be an amazing experience, but we didn’t want to get out hopes up. A month or so later we still haven’t decided where to live, Hawaii seemed too far and too difficult to plan. But we couldn’t get the idea out of our heads. We spent some time looking into plane tickets, places to stay, etc… and it actually didn’t seem so impossible after all. A couple weeks later and we were arriving here on the big island!
I visited Amsterdam for a brief two and a half days during my vacation. There were a few landmarks and neighborhoods I wanted to checkout, but did not plan the visit in detail. As such, when it came down to destinations with ticketed entries, I had to skip most of them, since they did not have day-of tickets left for sale. Fortunately, I was able to walk around most of the city and it was generally a good time.