food 4 tots

Cheese breadsticks (tangzhong/ water roux method)

 cheesy breadsticks, tangzhong, water roux, bread, homemade bread, food for tots, recipe for toddlers, cheese, picky eater


Hello 2011! Hello everyone! What’s your New Year resolution? One of mine is to make more bread using tangzhong / water roux method (汤种法). It’s a bread making method that I never know its existence until I read about it from Grace’s blog (Kitchen Corner). [Please be prepared when you hop over to her blog as you may be drown by her mouth-watering bakes especially her homemade ice-cream.  Grace, thank you so much for your unselfish sharing and patience in answering my queries that I posted to you]. To a novice baker like me, I am totally amazed with this method as it produces soft and fluffy homemade bread without the use of any preservatives or bread improver. The bread stays fresh for 3-4 days even at room temperature. This tangzhong method is also highly recommended by many other food bloggers who had tried and tested it themselves.


cheesy breadsticks, tangzhong, water roux, bread, homemade bread, food for tots, recipe for toddlers, cheese, picky eater


According to Yvonne C (陳郁芬) the author of 65°C 汤种面包(Bread Doctor), “tangzhong” means moderately hot or liquid flour mixture in Japanese. In baking terminology, it refers to a bread starter which is obtained by cooking bread flour and water mixture under gentle heat until it turns starchy at 65°C. This starter helps to increase moisture absorption rate of the dough. Hence, when it is added with other ingredients, it will produce bread with soft, fluffy and springy texture which is the main distinction between this method and other bread making methods. Comparing to the sponge dough method which I featured earlier, it requires less proofing time as well.


cheesy breadsticks, tangzhong, water roux, bread, homemade bread, food for tots, recipe for toddlers, cheese, picky eater


I must say that I totally fall in love with these cheesy breadsticks I baked. So, are those who had sampled them (apart from my hubby and son). I couldn’t believe that the bread quality is as good as those sold in the bakery shop. This is the kinda of bread I like and surely a keeper for me. To increase your rate of success in using this tangzhong method, I have provided more detailed explanations as well as photos to illustrate the entire process in this post. New Year, New Resolution! Dare to take this challenge?

I am submitting this post to YEASTSPOTTING.


>>> Click on PAGE 2 BELOW for Cheese Breadsticks Recipe with step-by-step photos …………………..

>>> Click on PAGE 3 BELOW for How to make tangzhong/ water roux with step by step photos …………………..

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68 Comments

  1. mei says:

    Looks really yum! thanks for sharing the secret to soft bread! :)

    Just wondering, my oven doesn’t have light, so can i proof the dough at room temperature, perhaps covering it with cling film? am a noob to bread making, not sure if this works.

    If i wanna make the cheese breadsticks with sugar sprinkled on top (like what many bakery sells), do i sprinkle the sugar after baking is done when i take them out from oven?

    • food-4tots says:

      Mei: Thanks! I haven’t tried the 2nd proofing at room temperature. I think you can still proof without the light in your oven. I’m not really sure how the cheese breadsticks with sugar on top look like. But if you see those powdery sugar coating on top, then it is done after baking. If you want to have some crunchy sugar bits on top of the bread, then it is sprinkled before baking. The former is using powdery sugar and latter is using coarse sugar. Hope it helps.

      • mei says:

        I’m referring to those crunchy sugar bits on top :) no idea it can be sprinkled before baking, cos I thought oven temperature might melt the sugar.

        • food-4tots says:

          Mei: I had seen my baking teacher making a dessert pizza using this method. He made the pizza base, spread oil and sprinkled fresh grapes and coarse sugar on top. It came out crispy with crunchy sugar bits. That’s how I got this idea. Maybe you can do a google search to confirm this. Sorry I can’t help much. ;)

          • mei says:

            hi, so sorry, i’ve got another question again. When you state 60g egg, does it mean the uncracked egg weighs 60g, or do you crack the egg and weigh it? Thanks so much!

            • food-4tots says:

              Mei: It refers to net weight (which means without the shell). A large egg is about this weight. It is best to use a digital scale to weigh all your ingredients when making bread. Hope it helps! ;)

  2. Ching @ LCOM says:

    It looks soft and I bet it’s delicious.

  3. Joanne says:

    Love your resolution! These cheese breadsticks look absolutely drool-worthy!

  4. tigerfish says:

    Nah….you can’t be a novice baker! Cheese breadsticks can be my hubby’s fav cos he like cheese plus no mess to eat, really.

    • food-4tots says:

      Tigerfish: Yeah, I’m indeed a novice baker as compared to other pro-baker bloggers. I still encounter many (undisclosed) failures in baking. Hehehe! They are my hubby’s fav too. ;)

  5. Xiaolu says:

    Mmm these look delicious! Happy New Year!

  6. celine says:

    you met your resolution 3rd day into the New Year? very efficient, my friend. the breadsticks look super soft and yummy, LK …. even from the pictures! :) btw i like the font that you used for your watermark for “photography” ALOT. what font is that?

    • food-4tots says:

      Celine: Hahaha! Not yet, my target is to do as many as possible. Thanks for your wonderful compliments! The font is called “mistral”. Glad you like it. ;)

  7. peachkins says:

    I love cheese breadstick! Happy New Year!

  8. Sarah says:

    These look great. Exactly like the kind you find in Malaysia. Awesome stuff.

  9. Alice says:

    These breadsticks really look good and tasty! My son loves breadsticks! It is a-must-try recipe for me! :)

  10. jenny says:

    Can I use the bread maker machine instead? thanks.

    • food-4tots says:

      Jenny: I haven’t tried this recipe with a bread maker machine but I guess you can give it a try for the kneading part. Then shape and proof it manually. Do share your outcome with me. Thanks! ;)

  11. WOW!! Too much praising hur!! You’re most welcome!! I’m so happy that you like this recipe. That’s indeed a good recipe! You’ve a blessed 2011!

    • food-4tots says:

      Kitchen Corner: No no no! It’s from the bottom of my heart. You’re indeed a talented baker. Thanks for sharing this great recipe. A blessed 2011 to you too!

  12. Little Inbox says:

    I’m a newbie in bread making, but I’ve seen quite a lot of impressive tangzhong method recipe.
    Well, I really hope I can make this soon, looks so delicious!

  13. Hello, you have indeed shown us a wonderful execution of tangzhong baking!
    Happy, healthy 2011!

  14. Haha…another tangzhong bread lover. Welcome you on board.
    Be prepared…It’s very addictive. Once I baked the first tangzhong bread, I can’t stop baking more…and more….

  15. Wow, nice and soft bread. My kids would love these!

  16. Heather says:

    I’m starting a baking challenge this year, and feel like I was fated to find this technique! How fascinating. I can’t wait to try it. :)

  17. Evelyn Ng says:

    After I saw your post, I immediately digged out a pocket test thermometer that never been used. How long it takes to make these bread?

  18. mycookinghut says:

    Happy New Year LK!
    I this my Near Year resolution for this year is to bake more ;)

  19. noobcook says:

    professional looking! looking at the results, I’m convinced it’s a good technique =)

  20. I do love tangzhong!! It’s definitely a great way of making homemade bread and you’re right, the texture is the same as those being sold in bakeries :D Love your cheesesticks..yummy for sure !

  21. MaryMoh says:

    Wow…love the texture of the brea. It looks so soft. My children will go crazy with these bread sticks. It’s so expensive to buy. You are saving money! :D

  22. LK it looks absoultely amazing. And such beautiful pictures! (I also noticed we have the same white and blue tea towels from Ikea!)
    I have a whole book of tangzhong recipes that I was actually going to try soon. Glad I now have your post for guidance as well! (my chinese quite terok)

  23. I love using water roux to make bread!! your breadstick look so soft !!

  24. Can’t get enough soft cheesy rolls!

  25. Stefanie says:

    I like the water roux methode very much, too. I add it mostly to sweet bread doughs, but your cheese breadsticks looks delicous, so I will try something like this, too.

  26. Diana says:

    I use this method for the first time. Bread sticks are soft and delicious – I like them.
    Thanks so much for this recipe and technology. Diana

  27. Janice says:

    Hi there. I tried your recipe and it turn out very fluffy and soft. I think if i were to do this again i would add the parsley flakes so that the bread will be more fragrance !

    http://homecookbaker.blogspot.com/2011/02/cheese-breadstick-water-roux.html

    • food-4tots says:

      Janice: Thanks for your kind feedback and glad to know that my recipe works for you too. Yes, the pasley flakes (preferably fresh ones) will definitely add more aroma to the bread. ;)

  28. cristina says:

    ciao sono italiana e sono senza parole dalla bellezza di questi gressini, una sola domanda, cos’è la farina di pane?
    ho visto che negli ingredienti c’è 90 gr di farina e 195gr di pane di farina? qual’è la differenza grazie mille

    • food-4tots says:

      Cristina: Thanks for dropping by and your compliment! Bread flour (195g) refers to high protein flour/ strong flour (is it called 00 flour in Italy?) and plain flour (90g) refers to low protein flour/ all purposes flour. Hope I have clarified your doubts. Please use Google Translate to translate my reply. (Si prega di utilizzare Google Translate per tradurre la mia risposta). ;)

  29. Nguyen says:

    Hi,
    What is the purpose of fry milk? Can I omit it without affecting the result?

    • food-4tots says:

      Nguyen: I think you mean the milk powder right? It helps to enhance the bread with some “milky” taste. Yes, you can omit it. If your dough is sticky due to this omission, add a little bit of bread flour (not more than 12g) during kneading. ;)

  30. Meg Tan says:

    Hi LK,
    I tried this recipe and the breadsticks turned out ok, just a bit dry and hard when cold. I suspect overcooking of the tangzhong as by the time I turned off the stove heat, the texture became quite gluey. Will certainly try it again! Thanks for the detail photos :)
    http://dreamersloft.blogspot.com/2012/03/my-birthday-and-cheese-breadsticks.html

    • food-4tots says:

      Meg Tan: Thanks for your kind feedback! The tang zhong is supposed to be gluey when cooled. It will be good to have a cooking thermometer. When proofing your dough, remember to cover it with cling wrap or damn cloth to prevent the dough from losing its moisture. Do share your 2nd attempt with me yeah! ;)

  31. Teh Shu Yeing says:

    hi, want to ask your kithern mixer. The kithen mixer is solely for bread mixer?

  32. Leena says:

    can we omit the TangZhong? if yes, what do we replace it with?

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