85% hydration sesame loaf

85% hydration bread

After the failure I experienced when making chocolate wassant due to the bread flour, I bought a pack of Waitrose Very Strong White Bread flour to make this bread.

Even with the correct flour, this dough is not easy to come together. I used my bread maker to knead this and it took more than 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the dough had not reached windowpane stage. So I kneaded by hand another 20 minutes.

Reading the entry from Victoria Bakes, the dough could be shaped and rolled. Honestly, mine couldn’t. It had reached windowpane stage but was a slightly wet clump that could not be rolled out. Patted out or squished out, yes, but not rolled.

I kneaded about 10 minutes past achieving windowpane stage as the thought “It can be rolled! It should be able to be rolled, not squishy!” kept going around my mind. In the end, my arms were screaming “Give us a break!”, so I divided the dough into 2 and squished each into loaf tins.

85% hydration sesame loaf (spotted from Victoria Bakes, original recipe from Chef Nishikawa)

  • 500 grams bread flour (at least 15 g protein per 100 grams)
  • 25 grams milk powder
  • 325 grams water
  • 100 grams milk
  • 10 grams salt
  • 20 grams sugar
  • 5 grams dry yeast
  • 60 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 35 grams mix of black and white sesame seeds, toasted
  1. Place all ingredients except butter and sesame seeds into the mixer.
  2. Mix until the dough comes together.
  3. Add in butter and knead until windowpane stage.
  4. Add in sesame seeds and knead until well distributed.
  5. Proof for an hour or until doubled in size.
  6. Divide into 2 and place in loaf tins. For shaping, please refer to link above.
  7. Proof for an hour or until doubled in size.
  8. Bake at 220 C for 45 minutes. I baked mine at 220 C for 10 minutes, then 35 minutes at 200 C.
  9. Cool completely before slicing.

85% hydration bread1The bread is wonderfully soft, due to the high hydration. A slight fragrance from the sesame seeds permeates the entire loaf and lends a nutty flavor to each bite. When fresh out of the oven, the crust can be a bit hard. After cooling down and resting, even the crust softens up. Apparently this bread can stay soft for up to 5 days. After all that work, it’d better. Otherwise I’ll throw a screeching fit. LOL.

It is a great recipe, though you’d need specially strong flour and good arm muscles, great stamina plus excellent kneading techniques.

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