Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Light Wholemeal Cream Cheese Bread (Sponge & Dough)

I have taken the recipe from Rei. I like Sponge and Dough method cos it is a no-nonsense recipe which give predictably soft bread. Always.

I have add in the method of kneading without using bread maker or electric mixer. Just my 2 good clean hand... I hope this will encourage more baker to try out bread making without a bread machine. If you run into any issues, pls feel free to contact me (by leaving a comment and I will try my best to help).

Cream Cheese Bread
adopted from

Ingredients (yield about 550g of dough)

Starter Dough
180g Bread flour
120g Water
1 ¼ tsp Instant Yeast

Main Dough
40g Bread Flour + 20g bread flour (see grunt below)
30g wholemeal flour (replaceable with bread flour if desired)
40g Water
1 tbsp Milk Powder
20g Sugar
50g Cream Cheese
¼ tsp salt
15g Corn Oil

Some flour to dust
Some butter to grease tin


  1. Mix all ingredients for Starter Dough in a mixing bowl. Use a wooden spoon to mix them until you get a rough dough. Let it sit for 10min.

  2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 30seconds. Stop and let it rest for another 10min. (Grunt: I didn't manage to get to the knead at this point without adding another 20g pf bread flour. I am not sure if it is becos I have used some wholemeal which has a different liquid absorption rate than bread flour. So if you want to save the agony of scrumbbling to open up the flour & grab the weigher with 2 handful of sticky dough, just weigh and leave it aside in case you need it)

  3. Once again, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 30seconds. By now, it will be soft smooth dough which is tacky but not sticky. Cover and let it rest for 90min.

  4. After 90 minutes, prepare the main dough: add all ingredients except salt and corn oil into a mixing bowl. Use a wooden spoon to mix it first. You will get a very wet shaggy dough.

  5. Tear starter dough into small pieces, about a finger long, and add into the mixing bowl (step 4) gradually, mixing well after each addition to incorporate the dough fully.

  6. Add in salt and corn oil slowly and well thoroughly. Let it rest for 10min.

  7. After 10min, I still get a wet shaggy dough, which mean I am not able to knead by hand. So I added 20g more of flour. As flour has different water absorption ability, it is best to add 10g a time and check for sufficiency. It is ready when the dough pulls away from the bowl. It may look a little dry now but it is how it will be.

  8. Turn it out on a lightly floured surface and knead for 30sec. Add flour only if needed; too much flour will upset the liquid and affect the texture of bread. Rest for 10min.

  9. Knead again for 30sec, using flour sparingly. Leave it to proof until double in size. (30-60min). I refrigerate the dough at this time and bake it the next morning.

  10. The dough is fully proofed when you dip a cleaned, floured finger into the dough, and the dent recovers slowly. If it recovers immediately, proof for another 15min then check again.

  11. Deflate the dough gently and turn it onto a lightly floured surface. Divide it into 50-60g dough and let it rest for 10min before shaping. The rest time allows the gluten to relax and more elastic when you try to shape.

  12. Elongated the dough, place 2 slices of ham over it, and roll it up like swiss roll. Make a cut in the middle and turn both ends out. (the side view of the bread below may give you a better picture of how it is shaped). Place on a muffin pan or any baking pan for 30min.

  13. Bake at 170 deg.C for 30 minutes.

My Notes:
Sheen loves cheese. So usually I will bake the bread with a slice of cheese over it. As you know, the cheese melts and drip all over the bread & pan when it gets hot in there. The washing & scrubbing is ok, but the cheese ended up being very hard and burnt!

What I did this time round is to leave out the cheese when baking. Only when the bread is done, I placed a slice of cheese over it. I also tried to put the cheese-covered bread back in the oven for few minutes, using the remnant heat to melt it softer but the result is better when I simply leave it on the wire rack.

If you want to know how it looks with the cheese in the oven (even though for a short 2 min), see the small pic above; those 2 on the left.

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