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Shokupan with Red Boat Salt & Persimmon Butter

This shokupan (Japanese-style milk bread) with butter flavored with Red Boat salt and persimmon is a great way keep hungry holiday guests occupied while you tend to last minute dinner duties.  Make a few extra loaves, for making sandwiches with leftover ham and turkey.

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20 grams bread flour
100 grams water

175 grams whole wheat flour
175 grams bread flour, plus additional for dusting
15 grams sugar
14 grams dry milk
5 grams salt
4 grams instant yeast
100 grams water
1 large egg
12 grams unsalted butter, softened and cubed into 5 to 8 small pieces, plus additional for greasing the pan

Red Boat & Persimmon Butter
2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temp
1 ½ teaspoons Red Boat salt
¼ cup minced shallots
¼ cup minced Fuyu persimmon


Directions for Shokupan:

  1. First, make the tangzhong: In a small pot, whisk together the flour and water. Set the pot over very low heat and stir; as you do so, the flour-water mixture will thicken. When it’s about the consistency of pudding, just a few minutes, transfer the tangzhong from the pot to a bowl and set aside to cool. Turn off the heat.
  2. To make the bread, place the wheat flour, bread flour, sugar, dry milk, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a spoon, mix until well combined.
  3. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and set the bowl in place. Add the water, egg, and cooled tangzhong and mix on the stand’s medium setting until incorporated.
  4. With the mixer running, add the butter, one cube at a time, being sure that each bit of butter is fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next. Continue mixing for 12 to 15 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic; if you stop the machine and tear off a small piece of the dough, it should be able to stretch easily without breaking. The dough also should be only slightly sticky; if too much dough sticks to your hands, add a tablespoon of bread flour and mix again to incorporate.
  5. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface. Shape the dough into a ball, place it in a greased bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Proof the dough until it doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen (it will proof faster in a warmer kitchen).
  1. Punch down the dough and transfer it to your work surface. Cut the dough into three equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and let the pieces rest, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for 15 minutes.
  1. While the dough rests, grease a 9”x5” loaf pan with butter. Set aside.
  1. Dust your work surface with flour, and lightly flour a rolling pin. Working with one ball of dough at a time, roll out the dough into a long oblong shape. Starting with one curved end, fold the dough into thirds, then rotate the dough 90 degrees. Using the pin, roll the dough out again into an oblong shape, then use your hands to roll up the dough tightly into a log. Pinch to seal and place the piece, seam-side down, into the pan. Repeat for the other two pieces. Cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it rises to the top of the pan, 1 to 2 hours.
  1. While the dough proofs the second time, preheat the oven to 350F.
  1. Bake the loaf, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the middle reads at least 190F.
  1. Remove the bread from the oven. Use a butter knife around the pan to loosen the loaf and carefully turn it out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.


Directions for Red Boat Salt & Persimmon Butter:

  1. Add 1 stick of butter, Red Boat salt, and minced shallots to a heavy-bottom pan, then place pan over low heat. Stirring frequently to release milk solids at the bottom of the pot, let butter gently brown until shallots are tender and can easily be smashed with the back of a wooden spoon. This process should take about 20 minutes.
  2. Transfer shallot butter into a mixing bowl. Let butter cool for 7 minutes.
  3. Once butter has cooled, add minced persimmons and the remaining stick of butter. Stir to combine.
  4. To shape the butter, transfer it onto parchment paper. Using a rubber spatula, gather the butter, to form a square in the center of the parchment paper.  Fold the bottom half of the parchment up to cover the butter.  Fold the remaining upper half of the parchment down over the butter.  Twisting both ends simultaneously and in opposite directions, shape the butter into the shape of a log.  Chill in the refrigerator until firm.
  5. To serve, slice into generous rounds and serve with whole loaves of shokupan.


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