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Sunday, August 15, 2010
I have been searching for this recipe for the longest time and I believe I am not the only one out there on this very frustrating quest. It all started with the Mochi Bread sold at Sun Moulin, one of my all time favourite Japanese bakery in Singapore. I can no longer recall when Sun Moulin first started to offer this interesting bite-size bread that used to be crusty on the outside but yields a chewy, glutinous texture in the inside. However, in the recent years I do notice that the bread has lost its crusty outer layer but it still retains the signature chewy rice-flour center.
Since Sun Moulin, I have tasted similar snacks in various flavour in Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong. It was when I had wanted to try making this on my own that the futile quest began. Though wildly popular in Taiwan and Hong Kong, I have not managed to find any comprehensive start-from-the-scratch recipe for it - this must be one of the best kept secrets in the bakery industry! What has gained popularity with Mochi-Bread-Chefs-Wannabes is the Mochi Bread Pre-mix. (麻署预拌粉) There are cook books and websites that boast delectable mochi bread recipes all based on the Pre-mix flour.... it is frustrating for me as I had been 'tricked' into purchasing one such cookbook on-line. This is analogous to purchasing a cook book that teaches one to cook instant noodle... utterly audacious.
Armed with a single thread's lead from My Cooking & Baking Passion's recipe, I had tried her recipe a couple of times but it did not quite turn out right. Somehow, my Mochi bread just stubbornly remained like a dead pile of dog poop in the oven - it just wouldn't rise evn after I had tried to increase the amount of leavening agent in the recipe. Judging from the comments of others who had tried the recipe, it seems like I am not the only one who was experiencing disheartening disappointment.
Early this year, when I was in Korea, I managed to find the Korean Mochi Bread Pre-mix flour. This yielded a rather delicious bun but it is still very much different from Sun Moulin's mochi bread. The Korean formula yielded something that was closer to a crusty roll, while Sun Moulin's bread was softer and more chewy.
Finally, last week, when I was in Hong Kong, I managed to find what they call Mochi Ball Pre-mix (麻署波波预拌粉). Working with a chocolate chip mochi bread recipe from the cookbook I had been 'cheated' into buying, I was skeptical but when the tray came out from the oven, I have to concede that this is possibly the closest I have gotten to the Sun Moulin morsel. The bread puffed up quite nicely in the oven but started to collapse when they were cooled. However, I am not too worried, as I suspect that my oven temperature could have been a little too low and if I have added a small dash of baking soda, it would possibly hold its shape better. When I liked was the chewy glutinous rice cake texture inside. The little bread was truly delicious and I must have eaten at least 6 of them while I was photographing them.
Delicious as they may be, I am still left with a dissatisfaction that this was not made from scratch. Hence, I would like to launch an appeal to all who are reading this, if you have a clue to making this from scratch, please do share. Is this indeed the industry's best kept secret? I sincerely hope not....
Mochi Bread Pre-mix 100g
Cocoa Powder 2g
Chocolate Chip 40g
1. Preheat oven to 190C. Sieve Pre-mix and Coca Powder together.
2. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend all ingredients, except chocolate chip together.
3. Using a spatula, fold in chocolate chip.
4. Pipe batter using a round piping nozzle onto baking sheet.
5. Bake for 15mins.
6. Cool down.