Anyone Ever Tried Tangzhong?
I bake using Tangzhong frequently.
But your question of whether it is "worth the effort or not" is not the right question.
Baking with Tangzhong is a technique - one that produces a certain texture in the bread (soft and fluffy). It's not something that's appropriate for all bread applications.
For example, I wouldn't use Tangzhong to make sourdough or a French baguette, but certainly would find it appropriate (or worth it as you might say) if I wanted to make dinner rolls or simple basic bread loaf that has that certain cloud-like, almost cotton candy-ish, texture.
So whether it is worth it will depend on the results you seek to achieve.
I have followed the tangzhong recipes from Christine's blog and have very good results. I followed the method and made individual buns, like those in bakeries.
I'm not sure what method you are using. But I make the flour/water paste the night before, store in the fridge, and then make the dough in a breadmaker. (Christine's method uses a breadmaker). The resulting bread is sweet and soft, like the bread we have in Hong Kong. It doesn't store as long on the kitchen bench as shop bought bread in HK, however.
PS. Christine has a tangzhong loaf made entirely in a breadmaker. I can't see that being very labour intensive. I haven't tried it though.
I made Tangzhong Cinnamon Swirl Japanese Milk Bread.
I used the traditional Tangzhong Japanese Milk Bread recipe from the link below and adapted it to a Cinnamon Swirl Bread with Craisins:
I didn't have any plain milk in the house, so I substituted 1/2 cup of buttermilk. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly from the website.
I used my bread machine dough cycle to knead and for the 1st rise.
But when it came to shaping the loaf, I shaped it into a traditional Cinnamon Swirl Loaf and used this filling below.
What a wonderful dough to roll out and work with. It was so light and smooth. Hardly any snap back when rolling out. A pleasure to work with.
1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp vanilla extract (for egg wash inside and outside).
1/2 cup Craisins (Dried Cranberries).
Mix these dry ingredients together, sprinkle as filling:
2 Tablespoons white granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons Penzey's Vietnamese cinnamon
2 teaspoons Penzey's Apple Pie Spice
1 Tablespoon flour
Placed shaped loaf in 9x5-in loaf pan. Standard rise (about 1 hour) and baking at 350-F until center of loaf reached 195-F.
This was the lightest, highest rising, best tasting Cinnamon Swirl Bread I have ever made. It is so light and fluffy.
This will be my go to Cinnamon Swirl Bread in the future.
I make the TangZhong roux in an 1100-watt microwave. Use a pyrex cup. 100-gm room temperature water, 20-gm flour. Mix well with whisk.
-Microwave 20-seconds. Stir, take temperature. Will be about 120-F.
-Microwave 10-seconds. Stir, take temperature. Will be about 135-F.
-Microwave 10 more seconds. Stir, take temperature. Will be about 145-F.
-Microwave a final 5-seconds. Stir and take temp. The roux is at about 150-F.
The roux will be thick and creamy and a translucent white color.
Cool to below 130-F, mix with other wet ingredients and add to bread maker.