White Loaf [Overnight Starter Dough Method]

White Loaf

There are many methods in making bread I learnt from cookbooks, Japanese and Chinese foodies' blog. Different methods produce different texture of bread, of course other factors like room temperature, ingredients and technique of manipulating the dough affect the quality of end product too.

For soft bread, add small amount of evaporated milk or condensed milk, and/or substitute half amount of water called in recipe with milk. Here are some methods I learnt over the times:
  1. Direct (直接) - This is the simplest method adding all ingredients, except butter, in one time, knead till smooth, add in butter and continue to knead till  smooth and elastic dough is formed  See sample recipe here.
  2. Water Roux (汤种) - Prepare water roux using 5 part of water and 1 part of flour, mix well and cook till smooth paste is formed, cooled then chilled. The amount of water roux use in a recipe is 20%-25% of the total weight of the recipe. See sample recipe here.
  3. 100% Starter (100%中种) - Prepare dough with all ingredients EXCEPT sugar, salt and fat. After 90 minutes of first proofing, add in sugar, salt and fat and knead to form elastic dough. Divide dough, rest 10 minutes, shape, second proofing before baking. Noticed that some recipes called for small amount of yeast and sugar in the starter dough.
  4. Overnight Starter Dough (隔夜面) - Prepare starter dough with small amount of yeast, 30-45 minutes proofing in room temperature (Malaysia/summer) then keep in the fridge overnight up to 48 hours. Check out recipe appended below.
  5. Chilled Batter (冷藏液种) - Similar to Overnight Starter dough method, instead of dough, the starter is prepared with the same amount of flour and water, and small amount of yeast. 30-45 minutes proofing in room temperature (Malaysia/summer) then keep in the fridge overnight and up to 48 hours. See sample recipe here.
If you are wondering which method to use, I normally use the 100% Starter method which is easier and less time consuming. Bread made with method 2-5 stayed soft for 2-3 days without adding softener or improver.

White Loaf
Recipe adapted from Alex Goh’s Baking Code, makes 2 loaves (20 x 11.5 x 11.5cm). I prepared the starter dough for two loaves but halved the recipe for main dough made only one loaf without using the lid of the loaf pan.

Overnight Starter Dough
100g bread flour
60g water, room temp
¼ tsp instant yeast

  1. Mix the instant yeast with 20g of water until well blended. Add in the remaining ingredients and knead to form dough.
  2. Let it proof for 30min. Wrap with cling film and keep in the refrigerator overnight or up to 48hours.

Main Dough
550g bread flour
80g sugar (I used 70g)
6g salt
20g milk powder (I used my boys formula)
10g instant yeast

150g overnight starter (all the above)

1 cold egg
270g cold water (-15g, readers feedback dough too sticky, updated 19 Aug 2011)

75g butter (soften)

  1. Mix A until well blended. Add B, then C, knead to form a dough.
  2. Add in D, knead to form a smooth and elastic dough. Cover it with cling film. Allow it to proof for 45 min.
  3. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions, shape it round. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Roll the dough flat with a floured rolling pin, then roll it up like swiss roll. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Repeat this step one more time.
  5. Place 3 rolls of the dough into a greased loaf tin (20x 11.5x 11.5cm). Let it proof for 50 minutes or until 80% full of the loaf tin. Cover it with the lid. My experience, let it proof till 90% full.
  6. Bake at 200C for 35 minutes (without lid bake at 175C-180C for 35 minutes at lower rack). Remove it immediately from the tin when baked. Cool on rack.

Comments :

14 comments to “White Loaf [Overnight Starter Dough Method]”
Bakeling said...

I like the ways of explaining each of the bread making method here. Thanks.

ccm2poco said...


che'iza said...

Alahai Cantiknyer... you punyer roti lydia...Nampak sangat gebu....

Sarah said...

That is one awesome loaf. How did you get the sides to be nicely browned? Mine usually comes out a lot paler compared to the top crust.

Lydia said...

I greased the pan with lots of butter, also baked on lower rack 3-4 cm away from the bottom heat. If eating hot, the crust is very nice.

Ardentgailla said...

I'm always afraid to try a bread recipe without using a machine. I would like to try your methods here.your breads look so beautiful.

Sarah said...

Thank you very much Lydia for the tip about greasing the loaf pan with lots of butter. Will do it the next time.

Cheers :)

Anonymous said...

Hi My Kitchen

U mentioned knead the starter dough and then proof. May I know do I knead till window pane stage? Similar with ur other overnight starters be they for pau or bread recipes, do I need to knead until window pane stage then proof in the fridge?

Thank you.
Priscilla Poh

Lydia said...

Hi Priscilla Poh,

For the starter dough, you don't have to knead till thin film just mix sure yeast dissolved.

For overnight batter, mix well till yeast dissolved. Or you can dissolve yeast in water first then mix in flour.

Yes, overnight starters can be used for both pau and bread recipe. I tried using leftover starter (made with bread flour) in my Char Siew Pau Recipe (reduced yeast in the recipe), it turned out great.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

Can the above recipe make sausage roll (buns) ??

Lydia said...

Yes, I always use this recipe for all my bread and buns.

Veronica @ Minty’sKitchen said...

Hi your bread looks so soft and fluffy, really beautiful texture. I saw milk powder is one of the ingredients in many bread/buns recipes; and I wonder if it is a must? What will happen if I omit the milk powder? Anyway, thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe with the different methods you listed.

Teng said...

Hi Lydia. Can I know by using this method, is the texture of the bread chewy? My girls don't like chewy bread. They prefer the soft and light texture of gardenia.

Lydia said...

Hi Veronica,
Sorry that I missed out your comment. You can use milk instead of water (50% milk + 50% water).

Hi Teng,
You have to try it yourself. If the chewy you mentioned is like a baguette, it is not.
It is not as soft and yeasty like gardenia too.

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