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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Bakery Style Soft Bread (Easy Poolish Starter recipe)

Why are we baking bread at home? ....... Well, I would say, freshly baked bread is one of life's greatest simple pleasures. When your bread turned out to be a success ~ Soft, spongy, tasty ~ that is an accomplishment! 

This recipe is definitely a keeper. Using poolish starter, I would say this is a foolproof recipe to make soft bread and the bread stay soft for days. The texture of this bread is exactly like those that we bought from bakery BUT these are made with NO added bread enhancer/ improver.

There is an important step that you must achieved in order to produce soft bread. Just like any other bread recipes that I shared in my blog, the windowpane test. After kneading for about 12-15 minutes, try to stretch out the dough to see if you can get the soft membrane-like texture. Watch this video if you're unsure what's the windowpane test.

This dough is easy to handle, just need to dust some flour on the dough. Here are some of my creative bread made with this recipe:

Ribbon twirl bun, filled with Azuki bean paste. Learn the method HERE.

'Can you stand on your head?' Cheshire Cat plain bun.
Specially made for my 7yo son.

Packed this in his recess bento. A little messy on a rush morning.
Photo updated 2016

Photo updated February 27, 2017
Packed this for my 8yo boy to eat during school recess. 
Love the size of this bread, just nice to fit in his snack box. :)
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Fluffy and soft homemade bread.
The crust colour is much nicer with egg wash.

Photo updated: September 2019

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Day 1: I normally get this prepared the night before, says 10pm. Start making bread at 8am the next morning. If you are working, you can prepare this in the morning and make the bread in the evening.

Poolish Starter:

125g Bread Flour

125g Water (room temperature)

1/4 tsp Instant Yeast

~ Mix all the poolish starter ingredients in a container with a wooden spoon to form a thick paste. Cover and leave it at room temperature for about 10 hours. Make sure to use a tall container for this as the poolish will rise.~

Main Dough: 

All of the poolish starter


280g Bread Flour

80g Cake Flour

25g Milk Powder

60g Sugar

8g Salt

1 3/4 tsp Instant Yeast


1 Egg

140g Milk


60g Unsalted Butter

Photo updated February 27, 2017
Baked a plain loaf using this recipe using half portion of the dough.
Pan size: 11cm x 21cm

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1. In a mixing bowl, mix together all (A) ingredients.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together all (B) ingredients. Pour (B) mixture into (A), add in all the poolish starter. Knead to form a dough.

3. Gradually knead in (C). 

4. When the dough pass the windowpane test, transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover with cling wrap and let it proof until doubled in size, takes about an hour.

5. When it's ready, transfer the dough onto a floured worktop. Gently deflate the dough, divide the dough into 12 portions. Roll into a ball, cover with cling wrap and let it sit for 15 minutes.

6. You can roll it up to bake a loaf or shape as desired. Get some bread shaping ideas here.

7. Cover and let it proof for 45 minutes or doubled in size. Egg wash and bake in a preheated oven 180'C for 12-15 minutes.

8. When it's ready, transfer to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container when it's completely cooled.

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By readers: Some feed back from those who have tried this recipe:

By Wahyuni Tjendera 

By Marie Goh

Feedback from Icepyz Lee

By Icepyz Lee

Feedback from Icepyz Lee

By Icepyz Lee

By Low Yansuan

By Low Yansuan

Feedback from Kerlyn Ng

By Kerlyn Ng

By Kerlyn Ng

By Kerlyn Ng

By Kerlyn Ng

By Stephanie Tan

By Jenny Ng

By Pauline Chow

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