I’ve been trying to replicate the type of bread that I love and buy from Chinese bakeries. Unlike European style bread which tend to be really crusty on the outside and firmer and chewier on the inside, Asian style breads don’t usually have a hard, crusty exterior and the interiors are much, much softer.
I found a very good recipe online here that uses the Japanese water roux method that’s apparently the secret to the fluffy, light texture of Asian breads.
The bread is awesome straight out of the oven but, like many Asian style bun/bread recipes I’ve been experimenting with lately, doesn’t maintain that texture as it cools down. It’s not that it gets stale exactly but the interior seems to seize up and get really firm as it cools down. There must be some secret ingredient or preservative that Asian bakeries use so that their breads stay fluffy even at room temperature. I wish I knew what they use! Maybe it’s as simple as swapping out some of the butter for oil because I know that baked goods with butter tend to firm up as they cool compared to those that only use oil. *sigh* More testing is necessary!
Well, at least it looks, smells and tastes good when it’s piping hot.