Baking bread in general is a piece of work, y’all. If you’re planning on making just one recipe, be ready to devote at least 3 hours to kneading, proofing, and baking. Not to mention the subsequent clean-up process! On the flip side, I’ve found that it is pretty therapeutic, which is why I’ve been doing it a lot recently.
Most Asian breads utilize something called “Tangzhong,” a water/flour paste, which precooks some of the flour and allows the gluten to develop prior to kneading. It traps more water in the dough, which activates the yeast to a greater degree and also prevents it from drying out. This is what creates the elastic/stringy “pull” that you see in a lot of Asian breads. It’s a Japanese technique that results in the most incredibly moist, soft loaves.
I am OBSESSED with how they finally turned out: just look at those golden brown tops and light, fluffy interiors!!! This is yet another reason I want to move to Asia… imagine being able to find this kind of bread in literally every bakery. Heaven.