Bow Tie milk breads

When only bow ties will do for a formal dinner ! I love the way Japanese decorate some of their breads. They are light, soft, buttery with a hint of sweetness. You find them everywhere in Japan… but not like mine ! The first time I wen to Japan, I spent my first morning at Seibu department store… in the basement. Of course, this is where the food courts and the grocery department are located… and what a grocery department it is. Every high end pastry chef name, chocolatier, top bakers in the world rub elbows in small booths, where each one is more impressive, appetizing and inviting than the other, like visiting the jewelry boutiques in Place Vendome in Paris. The presentations are unique and so sophisticated. They are priced accordingly and not for the faint of heart, but well worth the pleasures they bring. I remember tasting a mini baguette from Kayser bakery from Paris and have to admit, it was even better, if at all possible. The croissants I tasted there were the best I had ever had anywhere in the world. I cannot wait to return to Japan and dig a little deeper in their cuisine and culture.
The following recipe is quite easy to prepare and takes very little time. Those little fluffy breads are made with an ingredient we don’t usually use; dry milk. However, the addition of even a small amount, make the breads smooth and so soft. Of course, you can turn them into small dinner rolls or bake them in muffin tins, equally delicious.

INGREDIENTS
200 Gr. Bread flour – If you use 00 type flour use 250 Gr.
20 Gr. Sugar
10 Gr. Milk powder
1 Large Egg at room temperature
90 Gr. Milk
3 Gr. Dry Active yeast
2 Gr. Salt
20 Gr. Butter at room temperature, cut in small pieces.

INSTRUCTIONS
Using a stand mixer with a dough hook, pour the milk with the yeast and let it stand for 5 minutes, to ensure it is activated. Add the sugar, flour, dry milk, the egg and finally the salt. Mix and knead for 5 minutes.
Add the butter at room temperature in small batches.
Continue to knead for another 10 minutes at medium speed.
Cover your bowl with cling film and let the dough rise for 1 1/2 hour.
Turn the dough over on the counter and cut in 8 equal pieces and for a small balls. Cover them with a tea towel for 15 minutes, until the dough starts to relax once again.
You can shape them any which way you prefer.
I like the bow tie which is always a good conversation piece at the table.
Using a rolling pin, form a round disk of approx. 20cm – Make a cut at the top of the circle, in the middle, up to about half way.
In the opposite direction, make two cuts at the bottom on the disk, with 2-3 cm. distance.
Fold the top half of the disk into the opposite side.
Cover the last strip of dough all around and place at the the back of the bow.
Let them stand for 20 minutes
In a pre-heated 180 Celsius oven, bake for 15-17 minutes, until golden brown.


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