I am not sure if I have talked to you about my friend Panagiotis. He is one of Greece's top designers, he makes killer lights and fixtures, he is a super guy, comes from the city of Volos in the center of Greece, studied and lived in Italy for years, he is well travelled and with a great love for food and especially baking.
I saw him a few days ago and as we were talking he told me about his Tsourekia. He makes tthese Greek delicacies every year around easter and since I had tried his in the past I know how tasty they are! But this year he told me, they were exceptional. He used a method called Tangzhong.
You need to look into that he told me.. It is what makes all the Asian baking goods sooooo fluffy..
So, I searched on line and found out that this Tangzhong is actually something like a starter. It has no leavening effect though... And they make it by boiling some of the flour of the recipe with water. Flour absorbs water when you mix it, but it absorbs five times the amount of water if you boil it.
So if you incorporate this wonder mixture in the rest of the dough it makes it very supple, it stays fresh for a lot longer and the texture is just sublime.. And this is always the problem with the home made Greek Tsoureki.. in most recipes that I have tried for years now in the second day they become hard..
So, how much flour can we make it this way? Up to 10% of the flour in the recipe. And with how much water we boil it? 5 times more water than the weight of the flour we use.
How long do we boil it for? till it reaches 65 celsius.
And how much water we take out of the water in the recipe for the dough? The water required in analogy with the flour we removed to make the Tangzhong.
Using this method I made a killer Tsoureki.. the best ever!!
Give it a try!