Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Soy bread. Yes, you heard that right.

When I heard that Kikkoman were running a recipe competition I got pretty excited. After all, I consume so much of their soy sauce that it's practically one of my major food groups. This is mostly due my Japanese takeaway addiction admittedly, but I tend to use soy sauce as an all-purpose seasoning anyway. 
The competition rules state that the recipe should be non-oriental. I went a step further and decided to use the free tester products in baking. 
I have a few ideas brewing, but the first thought that popped into my head was why not use soy sauce in bread? I wanted the umami-rich soy flavour to come through not just be a background note and so I did a bit of experimenting and a lot of research. I came across a recipe for Anadama bread in my mum's well-thumbed Time Life Gook Cook 'Breads' book (c.1980) - a New England bread that uses molasses for flavour as well as colour. I tweaked elements of the original recipe, added soy sauce, teriyaki marinade and brown sugar to produce a bread that is truly delicious. The soy is present in the taste and aroma and lends a unique sweet/savoury note. The bread itself has an almost cake-like crumb and a soft/chewy crust. It keeps remarkably well, toasts like an absolute dream and makes the BEST sandwich bread. But don't take my word for it - please give it a try!

Soy Bread
Makes 1 large, 2 medium or 6 mini loaves
135ml milk / 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp
100ml water / 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp
2 tbsp Kikkoman less salt soy sauce
1 tbsp Kikkoman teriyaki marinade
75gr fine cornmeal (polenta) / scant 1/3 cup
50g butter / scant 1/4 cup
2 heaped tbsp black treacle

2 tsp instant dried yeast
100ml water / 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp
450 strong bread flour (more if needed) / 3 2/3 cups 
50g light brown sugar / 1/4 cup
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water for glazing
Sesame seeds (optional)

Put the milk, soy, teriyaki and water in a small pot and bring to the boil. Add the cornmeal and stir with a wooden spoon until it thickens. Turn the heat off and add the butter and treacle - beat together with a wooden spoon until well combined. Set aside to cool.

Put the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the mixing bowl of your stand mixer. Stir to combine then add the water. Mix on lowest speed (using the dough hook) then gradually add the cornmeal mix. Continue to mix on low speed for about 5 minutes until the dough forms a ball around the hook.

To make by hand: put the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Mix together then add the water. Stir together with a wooden spoon then add the cornmeal mix. Coat your hands with oil then knead for about 10 minutes. The dough should be elastic and soft - try to avoid adding more flour unless it's very sticky.

Form the dough into a ball and put in a large oiled bowl. Cover and let it rise for about an hour (or up to 2). It will rise to roughly twice the original size.

Line a large tray with baking paper and sprinkle with semolina or cornmeal.Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knock it back. Shape into a long sausage shape then cut into 6 equal pieces (or just shape into one large loaf). Roll each piece into a ball and place, spaced apart, on the tray. Loosely cover with a plastic bag and let them rise again for 1-2h (depending on how warm it is).

Brush the loaves with the egg wash and slash the tops 2 -3 times with a sharp knife. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if using.

Place an empty tray at the bottom of the oven and preheat at 180C/350F for at least 20m. Place the bread on the middle self and throw a handful of ice cubes into the bottom tray. Keep an eye on the bread as it tends to colour quickly - if the crust is getting too dark cover loosely with foil after about 15m. Bake for 35-40m (or up to 50m if it's a large loaf) until bottom sounds hollow when tapped.

I will submit this to the wonderful Yeastspotting gallery. 
Delicious toasted and spread with salted butter...

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  1. wow, what for a great idea to use soy sauce in bread! really inventive :D

  2. This looks really well researched. I definitely will give it a go. Good luck

  3. Interesting, never tried it before.

  4. I am going to give this a go. sounds lovely.

  5. This sounds a little different! Love trying different breads! Thanks!

  6. I'd never have thought have doing that, but it looks like it's come out well!

  7. Not tried making Soy Bread before, looks tasty.