Shokupan Summarized (Read This!)

With a few of different methods and all the pros and cons of each, I thought it would be so much easier to find the summary and key aspects of each method in one place.
If you are wondering which method to choose, please read this first.


Pre-Ferment (Poolish Method)
Making a starter consisted of part of flour, water, and yeast and let it ferment overnight before incorporating it with the main dough.


Pros:
  • Less kneading time
  • Great complex flavor
  • Very soft, light, and fluffy
  • The bread develops more sweetness and will be sweeter compared to straight-dough method with the same amount of sugar.
  • Bread stays soft and fresh longer
Cons:
  • Needs planning. The poolish needs to be made the night before you plan to use it.
  • Takes longer time overall from start to finish as it also uses very little yeast, which means much longer time to proof.
Yudane
Developed by Japanese Chef, involves making a dough consisting of part of flour and boiling water and let it rest for some time.


Pros:
  • Bread is very soft and fluffy and lasts for days
  • Bread has chewy texture due to the gelatinizing effect of mixing boiling water and flour
  • Bread is also more sweet compared to straight-dough with the same amount of sugar
  • Have more flexibility in terms of time compared to pre-ferment, as you can refrigerate the dough if you are not ready to use it.
Cons:
  • Needs prep work, though it only takes 5 minutes.
Straight-Dough
No prep-work, mix everything on the same day.



Pros:
  • Fast. No need planning. Generally uses more yeast so it rises faster.
  • Easy. Mix everything together without any prep work.
Cons:
  • Longer kneading time
  • Lack of taste
  • Bread will start to dry out faster
Straight-Dough with Autolyse
An improved version of standard straight-dough with very little effort needed


Pros:
  • Better taste and texture compared to standard straight-dough 
  • Less kneading time compared to standard straight-dough
Cons:
  • Requires 30 minutes-60 minutes of extra time with no extra effort.
Uses
This recipe can be used to make all kinds of bread. Buns, Japanese milk buns, pull-apart bread, cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, hamburger buns, regular white bread. 
For hamburger buns and regular white bread, substitute some of the milk with water as it will be too rich for sandwiches and such (but each to their own).

Baking Time
Each oven might be slightly different and some adjustment might be needed.
The temperature and time listed on the recipe is for my oven and for non-stick Pullman-loaf pan (450g dough).


Note that different material and thickness of the pan will affect the baking time. I have two pans, one non-stick (left) and one silver aluminum (right) and the silver one has difficulty to brown on the sides. Using the same baking time (350F for 30 minutes), the sides are still rather pale and it would collapse on its own weight after being unmolded.

The time listed on the recipe is for the standard non-stick pan (left pan). If you are using the aluminum silver one (I sould say mine is the same thickness as the non-stick), bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes (until the top is brown), then cover the top with aluminum foil, lower the temperature to 300F and continue baking with the foil on for another 30-35 minutes. 

How To Shape
Follow the step by step below. I like to divide my dough in 3 portions, but you can do 1 or two or as you like.


Amount of Yeast
This would apply to yudane, straight-dough, and straight-dough with autolyse method. I generally use less yeast than normal for these, because I try to minimize the yeasty flavor on the bread, but this will result in longer proofing time. You can increase this up to 3g per recipe. Proofing time is going to be faster but still minimal yeast smell. Here's a guidelines:

1.5g ~ 2-2.5 hours each proofing time
2g ~ 1.5-2 hours each proofing time
3g ~ -1-1.5 hours each proofing time

Note that this is a guideline only. Time will depend on temperature and humidity. On hotter days, it might take longer. Likewise, on a colder days, it might take longer.

When Do I Know The Dough Is Ready To Bake?
For Pullman-style loaf pan with no lid, I generally let it rise until the dough almost reaches the top, maybe 1-2cm below the rim. The bread will rise a lot more in the oven.

For Pullman-style with lid on (square version), resize the dough to be smaller. I put the conversion on some of the earlier method and same can be applied to the straight-dough method. Let the dough rise until about 1" below the rim.

Please let me know if you have other questions I can help with.

If you make any of this, I would love to see it on instagram at @gourmetbakingblog

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