Thursday, February 27, 2014

Coffee Bread

A few months ago, I've bought a bread cookbook from one of our local bookstore, "Natural Breads Made Easy" by Kin Chan and was pleasantly surprised to find that it is in bilingual (Chinese/English). Other baking books from Taiwan or Hong Kong are mostly in Chinese language. There are only about 30 bread recipes, and the interesting thing is, this book uses the 17-hour-low temperature fermentation process for all the breads in the book.

As mentioned in the book, "70% of the dough is kneaded and stored in the fridge at 0-5C for 17 hours. As most of the dough has been proved once under low temperature, the final proving time is greatly reduced and the final proving gives a major rise in the dough. Yet, you need to bake the bread for a longer period".

The ingredients for the pre-ferment dough is kneaded and left in the refrigerator to ferment for 17 hours. It is then cut to small pieces and mix into the rest of the bread ingredients the next day, then proceed with the usual process of bread making. Fresh yeast is used for all the recipes, but the author has given a measurement of using instant yeast, use only 1/3 of the amount listed for the fresh yeast.

According to the author, breads made with pre-ferment dough has a moist and chewy texture and a yeasty fragrance. It can keep well without turning hard or getting dry. Sounds good to me!

So far, this Coffee Bread is the first recipe that I've tried, and it turns out really soft and fluffy. The coffee taste is however a little too strong, which can easily be adjusted by reducing the amount of espresso coffee powder slightly. 

The only setback that I've noticed from this book even before I started to bake this bread is, there is no mention of the size of loaf pan that is used for each bread. To me, size matters! Especially when it comes to bread making. The best that I can do is to calculate the amount of the ingredients in weight and estimate which loaf pan size to use. 

This bread has such a lovely soft crust.

With moist, soft and fluffy texture inside.

And it keep for days without getting any harder or dry! It was still soft and fluffy on the third day! 

Do not be put off by the 17-hour fermentation, it sounds like it is taking forever, but it really is so simple. The pre-ferment dough is mixed and kneaded to a soft dough, placed in a large bowl, then cover with cling wrap and keep in the refrigerator to rise in a low temperature for 17 hours, then proceed with the instructions on the making of the bread the next day. Plan your baking time accordingly before you start with the pre-ferment dough the day before, that's all!

Coffee Bread
(adapted from "Natural Breads Made Easy" by Kin Chan)
Pre-ferment Dough :
469gm bread flour
268gm water
13gm fresh yeast (if using instant yeast, use only 1/3 of the amount listed, I use about 5gm) 
7gm sea salt
13gm skim milk powder

Dissolve the yeast in water. Add bread flour, sea salt, skim milk powder and knead until soft. Cover the dough in cling wrap. Refrigerate to let it prove for 17 hours.

For the Bread :
201gm bread flour
13gm espresso coffee powder
7gm sea salt
67gm sugar
54gm honey
54gm milk
80gm egg
7gm fresh yeast (if using instant yeast, use only 1/3 of the amount listed, I use about 3gm)
67gm unsalted butter

Preparation :
Cut the pre-ferment dough into small pieces.

  1. Knead all the ingredients of dough together (except the butter). Add pre-ferment dough piece by piece. Knead after each addition until soft and smooth. Add butter. Knead until stretchable consistency.
  2. Put the dough into a big bowl. Cover with a cling wrap. Let it prove for about 25-30 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough into sixteen equal portions. Flatten each piece of dough with your hands to drive the air out and then round it. Cover in cling wrap. Set aside to rest for about 20 minutes.
  4. Flatten the dough with your hands to drive the air out. Round each piece again. Put eight pieces of dough into the loaf tin and cover with cling wrap.
  5. Let it prove again for about 40-45 minutes or until the dough has risen to 80% of the depth of the mould. Brush egg wash on top. Bake in a preheated oven at 170-180C for about 30-35 minutes until golden brown.

My notes :

  •  I have used two loaf pans measuring 9" x 4-1/2" x 4-1/2"
  • To reduce the amount of espresso coffee powder as it is a little too strong
** You may wish to visit the authors facebook at

I'm linking this post to :

 photo 77951578-1914-4b72-8eda-9e40a91183ac_zps331eb4b4.jpg


Upcoming Event !!!

Cook Like A Star will be entering it's third year this March! How time flies! To celebrate Cook Like A Star's 2nd anniversary, for the months of March and April, Cook Like A Star is having an All Star Anniversary Party! Isn't this exciting? We have the choice to cook or bake from any of the previous featured chefs recipes, and they are :

Ina Garten
Jamie Oliver
Nigella Lawson
Curtis Stone
Ree Drummond
Bill Granger
Martha Steward
Delia Smith
Donna Hay

The hosts for All-Stars Anniversary Party are, Zoe of Bake For Happy KidsMich of Piece of Cake and Joyce of Kitchen Flavours

Everyone is welcome to join us, cook or bake from any of the above chefs' recipes and link your posts to the linky which will be provided at the hosts' page. Your post must be current. Feel free to use the above logo in your blog post. Please mention the following :

I'm linking this post to Cook Like A Star, All-Stars Anniversary Party, hosted by Zoe of Bake For Happy KidsMich of Piece of Cake and Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.

See you at the Party!
From 1st March to 30th April!


  1. that looks like a nice fluffy toast you've got there... i'd always wanted to bake a coffee loaf.. hmm.... how come i never did it huh? hmmm....

  2. the bread looks soft & fluffy ..I'll try baking coffee bread this weekend.

  3. Ya, I can see from the photos the crust are really soft, I have yet to bake a coffee flavored bread, bookmarking for future reference, too many got to try!

  4. I love this bread Joyce look absolutely delicious!!

  5. Soft and great looking bread, can have some slices with a cup of coffee anytime.

  6. Oh Joyce, I never thought in adding coffee to bread I really can see it happen...thanks for the inspiration.
    Hope you are having a wonderful week :D

  7. Coffee bread, coffee bread, I'm up for the coffee bread. Joyce, your bread did look soft there & can't tell they were 3 days old.

  8. Wow 17 hours of fermentation! I guess it's a really good technique as the bread looks so soft and fluffy!

  9. Joyce, I think I like the idea of leaving the dough to rise for 17 hours in the fridge. And it is interesting that there is coffee bread as I am more familiar with coffee buns.

  10. Joyce , I borrowed that book from the library late last year ! Looking at your bread , I'm thinking of borrowing it again :D

  11. Joyce! I'm imagining the aroma coming out from the oven. Wonderful!
    Love the crust :D

  12. I love the flavour of this bread... must smell so good!

  13. using espresso in bread. What an interesting idea. I love trying new types of bread. We eat, well B eats, a lot of bread.