Tag Archives: Tang

白糖糕 Bai Tang Gao – Steamed Rice Cake Recipe

Rice flour, sugar, and yeast are the only ingredients you need to make bai tang gao (白糖糕), or Chinese steamed rice cake.

It must have been more than a decade since I last sink my teeth into a piece of 白糖糕 bai tang gao – steamed rice cake. Since both sets of my grandparents are Cantonese, I grew up eating tons of this soft and chewy cake.

It looks so simple, but believe me, getting that just right texture can be super tricky. Case in point, no one in my family ever attempts this cake and just buy some from the neighborhood shop when the craving hits.

Of course, living halfway across the globe means I have no access to the said trusty shop. But at last, I have managed to recreate this favorite childhood cake of mine 🙂

To prepare the bai tang gao batter: (1) Mix rice flour with water and stir into clumps; (2) Add hot boiling water and sugar liquid, whisk into a smooth batter; (3) Wait until the batter cools to 38 Celsius (100 Fahrenheit); (4) Add instant yeast, whisk, cover the bowl and rest in 75 Celsius (170 Fahrenheit) oven for 40 minutes.

To prepare the bai tang gao batter: (1) Mix rice flour with water and stir into clumps; (2) Add hot boiling water and sugar liquid, whisk into a smooth batter; (3) Wait until the batter cools to 38 Celsius (100 Fahrenheit); (4) Add instant yeast, whisk, cover the bowl and rest in 75 Celsius (170 Fahrenheit) oven for 40 minutes.

What you need to prepare bai tang gao (Chinese steamed rice cake)

Turns out, you only need three ingredients to make a bai tang gao:

  • rice flour (Note: I always use the one from Erawan brand, if you use another brand, proceed at your own risk)
  • sugar
  • instant yeast, you can use active yeast too but instant is easier
Note the many air bubbles in the batter if the yeast is properly activated at the end of the resting time.

Note the many air bubbles in the batter if the yeast is properly activated at the end of the resting time.

How to prepare the batter for bai tang gao (Chinese steamed rice cake)

I have a detailed step-by-step photo that I hope is sufficient to show the visuals of what you can expect the bai tang gao batter should look like.

  1. First, mix 250 gram of rice flour with 150 ml room temperature water into clumps.
  2. Boil 150 gram sugar with 370 ml water in a small saucepot. Once all the sugar dissolves, pour this to the clumpy rice flour mix from step 1. Whisk into a smooth batter.
  3. Wait for the batter to cool until only warm to touch. If you want to be precise like me, you can use a thermometer and it should read 38 Celsius (100 Fahrenheit). Also, you want to preheat the oven to 75 Celsius (170 Fahrenheit) at this point.
  4. Add the instant yeast to the batter and whisk to mix. Cover the mixing bowl with a saran wrap, then rest in the preheated oven. Immediately turn off the oven heat, and rest the batter for 40 minutes.

At the end of the resting time, you should see that the batter has many air bubbles, which indicates that the yeast is doing its job and we should be getting the desired cake texture. If you don’t see the air bubbles, your yeast is either dead or expired, and unfortunately, there is no point to continue cooking the cake since it will 100% fail.

Bai tang gao (Chinese steamed rice cake), just out from the steamer.

Bai tang gao (Chinese steamed rice cake), just out from the steamer.

Can I use active dry yeast instead of instant yeast?

If all you have in your pantry is active dry yeast, you can use that too. But we will need to modify some of our steps above.

  • Step 1: no change.
  • Step 2: instead of boiling 150 gram sugar with 370 ml water, use only 150 gram water with 350 ml water.
  • Step 3: no change.
  • Step 4: mix 20 ml warm water (38 Celsius/100 Fahrenheit) with the active dry yeast and wait until foamy (usually about 5-10 minutes). Then add to the warm batter (not hot! preferably the batter is also 38 Celsius/100 Fahrenheit), and mix. The rest of the step is the same.

Same as the case with using instant yeast, your batter should have many air bubbles at the end of the resting period. From my own experience, when I use active dry yeast if at step 4 I don’t see any foam after 5-10 minutes from the time I mix the yeast with warm water, it is 100% guaranteed that my yeast has already expired and is completely useless.

Bai tang gao (Chinese steamed rice cake).

Bai tang gao (Chinese steamed rice cake).

Prepping the cake pan

Once your batter has finish resting and has produced many tiny air bubbles, let’s prep our cake pan. I use an 8″x2″ round cake pan.

For a successful bai tang gao, you need to pour the batter into a hot pan, so be sure to preheat the pan. It doesn’t need to be scalding hot, but definitely hot enough so it won’t be comfortable to grab it with bare hands.

Brush the hot pan with oil, give the cake batter a final stir so everything is well mixed, then pour the cake batter, and steam.

Bai tang gao (Chinese steamed rice cake).

Bai tang gao (Chinese steamed rice cake).

Steamer pot and tips for a successful steamed rice cake

I hope you do realize before this step that you need a steamer to complete this recipe. After all, we are making a steamed cake, and it even says so in the title.

You can use any kind of steamer as long as it can fit an 8”x2” round cake pan. I prefer a stainless steel steamer for hygiene reasons. But you can use a bamboo steamer too, and you are more likely to get a better result with a bamboo steamer.

Create a makeshift steamer

There is no need to rush out and buy a steamer if you currently don’t have one at home. Instead, you can use this guide from Food52 to create a makeshift steamer.

Fill a large pot with about half an inch of boiling water. Use aluminum foil to make three balls of roughly equal size. Once we are ready to steam, rest the cake pan on top of the foil balls. Cover the pot and steam the cake. Of course, you need to make sure the pot is large enough to accommodate the aluminum foil balls and the cake pan.

Make sure to prevent water droplets fall onto the cake surface

Please make sure that there are no water droplets drop onto the surface of the cake. The steam that rises during the steaming process can condense and turn into water droplets that may fall onto the cake surface. If this happens, your cake may turn sticky and pudding-like instead of light and fluffy.

If you steam with a bamboo steamer and a bamboo cover, you shouldn’t encounter this problem. If your cover is made from metal or glass, please wrap with a piece of kitchen cloth so the cloth will trap the steam and prevent any water droplets from falling onto the cake surface.

And that’s all the tips that I have to prepare a successful bai tang gao (Chinese steamed cake). Enjoy!

Untuk info lebih lanjut,
klik disini

Tang Zhong Milk Bread Recipe

If you grow up in Asia, you probably prefer bread that has a soft and fluffy texture with a strong milky flavor. It really doesn’t matter if you grow up in Indonesia like me, or maybe in Malaysia, Singapore, or even in Japan or Korea, the bread we get from our bakery is pretty much a milk bread.

Or more specifically, this tang zhong milk bread, which is soft and fluffy and milky, and can stay like that for days stored in nothing but the plastic bag the bread comes in. I am happy to report that this recipe will give you that bread.

Ingredients to prepare tang zhong milk bread.

What is tang zhong?

If you have tried your hands with bread baking in the past, you know that as you increase the amount of water to the dough, you should get softer and fluffier bread. But there’s only so much water a typical bread dough can absorb before the dough becomes too wet to handle.

Tang zhong method is created to solve this exact problem, to trick the dough to absorb more liquid than it previously can, and thus leads to a softer, fluffier, and airier bread. And how does this technique do that?

The tang zhong technique calls for precooking a small amount of the flour and liquid (water/milk) from any yeast bread recipe to create a thick roux/slurry, and this roux/slurry is called a starter which will then be combined with the rest of the dough ingredients.

The chemistry reaction created by this roux/slurry allows the flour to absorb more liquid and hold onto that extra liquid during kneading and baking and well into the cooling process.

Basically, a tang zhong bread will have these beneficial properties:

1. The dough will be less sticky and easier to knead.

Despite the high water content, I can still knead tang zhong dough with hands. For comparison, a brioche dough also has a high water ratio, but it is such a big mess kneading brioche dough with hands compared to a tang zhong dough that I usually won’t even bother trying to do it with my hands.

2. Bread will rise higher.

Tang zhong bread usually will rise higher because more liquid equals more steam during the baking process.

3. The bread stays soft, moist, and fresh for days.

Also, because the roux/slurry can hold onto that extra liquid so much better than regular dough, tang zhong bread usually stays moist, soft, and fresh much longer compared to regular bread.

(1) Place flour, sugar, milk powder, instant yeast, and salt in a bowl. Make a well, and add egg, milk, and tang zhong. (2) Stir into a shaggy mass. (3) Knead until smooth, then add butter. (4) Knead until dough is soft and elastic.

(1) Place flour, sugar, milk powder, instant yeast, and salt in a bowl. Make a well, and add egg, milk, and tang zhong. (2) Stir into a shaggy mass. (3) Knead until smooth, then add butter. (4) Knead until dough is soft and elastic.

How to prepare tang zhong starter?

Tang zhong starter calls for cooking a small amount of flour and liquid into a thick roux/slurry. For this particular recipe, our starter is made from:

  • 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, you can also use bread flour if you wish
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 3 tablespoons of milk

Simply whisk together all the ingredients in a small saucepot until smooth, and place the pot over low heat and continue whisking until a thick slurry is formed. This can take anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes. Then we need to remove the slurry to a small bowl to let it cool to room temperature before using it with the rest of our dough ingredients.

Tips: To save time, this is usually the first thing I do when preparing a tang zhong bread. While I let the starter cools to room temperature (you can stick the bowl in the fridge to speed up the process), I measure out the rest of the ingredients. 🙂

(1) Rest dough until volume is almost double. (2) Deflate, knead, and divide into 4 equal portions. (3) Roll each portion into a log, and arrange in a lightly greased loaf pan. (4) Proof until dough fills the pan.

(1) Rest dough until volume is almost double. (2) Deflate, knead, and divide into 4 equal portions. (3) Roll each portion into a log, and arrange in a lightly greased loaf pan. (4) Proof until dough fills the pan.

How to incorporate tang zhong starter into bread dough

Once your tang zhong starter is cooled to room temperature, we can start preparing our bread dough.

  1. Place flour (you can choose from 100% all-purpose flour, 100% bread flour, or 75% all-purpose/bread flour + 25% whole wheat flour), sugar, milk powder, instant yeast, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. Make a well, then add egg, milk, and cooled tang zhong starter into the flour mixture. Stir into a shaggy mass, then knead until smooth.
  3. Add room temperature unsalted butter, and knead again until the dough is soft and elastic.
  4. Gather the dough into a ball, place in a mixing bowl, and cover. Let the dough proof until the volume is almost doubled. This should take about 1 hour in a warm kitchen.

To shape the bread, do the following:

  1. Gently deflate the proofed dough, knead, and divide into 4 equal portions.
  2. Roll each portion (like a swiss-roll) into a tight log.
  3. Arrange all four logs in a lightly grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan.
  4. Cover the pan, and proof again until the dough fills the pan. About 1 hour in a warm kitchen.
Tang zhong milk bread, right out from the oven.

Tang zhong milk bread, right out from the oven.

Egg wash, baking, cooling, and storing a tang zhong bread

If you want to recreate the glossy look of typical Asian milk bread, you definitely need to apply egg wash prior to baking your bread. To prepare an egg wash, mix together one egg with one tablespoon of water/milk. Then brush the dough with this egg solution right before baking.

Every oven is slightly different, but it usually takes about 25 minutes to bake a perfect golden brown tang zhong milk bread in my oven. If you want to be really technical and specific, a digital thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf should register at least 88 Celsius (190 Fahrenheit).

To cool the bread properly, I let the bread cools in the pan for 10 minutes once out from the oven, then gently remove from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

A tang zhong bread is not fussy, once they are properly cooled, I cut them to slices and store in a Tupperware container on my kitchen counter. My bread never lasts any longer than 5 days from the day they are baked, but they always stay soft and fluffy up to day 5. But let’s be honest, they are softest and fluffiest when they are out from the oven. But compared to any other bread out there, you will swear that a day 3 tang zhong bread is really comparable to day 1 any other bread.

Tang zhong milk bread, tear into pieces, or cut into slices. Bread baked with a tang zhong method can remain soft and fluffy for up to five days.

Tang zhong milk bread, tear into pieces, or cut into slices. Bread baked with a tang zhong method can remain soft and fluffy for up to five days.

Bake other lovely yeast bread with this tang zhong dough

In this recipe, I show you how to make a standard loaf bread. But you can use the very same dough to bake other more elaborate bread! Use this tang zhong dough for the bread, and use the filling from these recipes:

Untuk info lebih lanjut,
klik disini