Vegan White Bread (Old Dough Method)

by - June 11, 2020

Vegan White Bread

Vegan White Bread


This Vegan White Bread is the same recipe as  Vegan Pandan Bread

I used pâte fermentée (pre-fermented dough in French) or sometimes called "old dough" to make this soft and flavourful bread.  Traditionally, bread makers take a portion of the bread dough made and save it overnight for next day baking.  I made it from scratch since I did not have any ready old dough. With this method, the bread is more flavourful and aromatic due to the higher acidity and fermentation gasses produced during the slow fermentation.

Please click on Bread Making Method to understand more details.

It is advisable to read the below general notes before baking.

GENERAL NOTES:

KNEADING TIME
For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

OVER KNEADING
Some have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  If that happens it is due to over kneading.  Please stop the machine and check your dough during the final cycle of kneading to ensure that you don't over knead. Every machine is different and there is always a chance of over-kneading when using a machine. You may need to adjust this timing and stop as soon as you reach the window pane stage.

FLOUR
The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.  Usually bread flour content around 11.5 - 13.5% protein, while high gluten flour is around 13.5 - 14.5%.  All purpose flour content less protein around 9 - 11%.  To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  Sources from here and here.

HYDRATION
The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

PROOFING
Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:
  1. First Proofing:
    • Lightly flour or oil your finger or knuckle, gently poke in the centre of the dough then remove your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation then it needs more time.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back or if the dough collapses, then the it is over proved.  
    • If it bounces back just a little, then the dough is ready to be punched down and shaping.
  2. Second Proofing:
    • Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
    • If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
    • There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
WRINKLE TOP OR SHRINKING
If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof your dough until it just reaches or is slightly below the rim of the pan.

BAKING
Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Recipe - Vegan White Bread 


Yields: 2 small loaves in a 450g loaf pan

Total Flour: 365g

INGREDIENTS:      

Old Dough:
110g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
70g water
1/4  tsp instant yeast
1/4 tsp sugar
Pinch of salt

Main Dough:
255g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
3/4 tsp instant yeast
40g brown sugar 
1 1/8 tsp salt
35g extra virgin olive oil 
150 - 160g water, reserve 10g of juice and add in later if too dry.

Utensil:  
450g loaf pan (21.3 X 12.2 X 11.5 cm  /  8.4" X 4.8" X 4.5")

METHOD:

For the Old Dough:
  1. Combine water, yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Then add in bread flour and knead with your hand until smooth.  Roll into a ball and place in a greased bowl.  Cover with cling film and let it ferment for 12 - 16 hours in cool place or  air-conditioned room if you live in a hot climate.
Note: 
You may also let it proof 1 hour in room temperature (hot climate). After 1 hour, place into the refrigerator for 24 - 36 hours.  Take out the old dough from refrigerator to return to room temperature 30 minutes before using.

For the main dough:
  1. Put all main dough ingredients (except oil) and all the old dough in a bowl of stand mixer and knead for about 5 minutes or till the dough comes together. Add in the oil and continue kneading for another 12 - 14 minutes or until achieve window pane stage (the dough at this stage should be able to be pulled and stretched into membrane).  During the whole kneading process, I stopped few times to prevent the motor from overheating.  
  2. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 45 - 60 minutes until double in size.  I usually left it in the same mixing bowl and covered.
  3. Punch down the dough to release the air. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 2 equal portions.  Please use a kitchen scale if you want to be exact.
  4. Form each portion to a ball.  Flatten with rolling pin.  Fold right to centre and fold left overlap it.  Roll out with rolling pin into long rectangle shape. Roll up the dough like Swiss Roll until a small log is formed. 
  5. Place all dough in the loaf pan.  Let it rise for another 30 - 45minutes or until dough rise slightly above the pan's rim.
  6. 10 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 190°C.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 28 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown.  
  8. Remove bread from oven and let it cool on rack completely before slicing.

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