Monday, July 21, 2014

wu pao-chun champion toast | a review of the panasonic bread maker

I remember years ago on one of our trips to the land of the kangaroos, the LAM and I went to visit my brother-in-law. I don't remember much of that visit because I was totally wrecked with nerves seeing that I was meeting members of the LAM's family for the first time. But what I did remember, was this bread maker sitting on the kitchen counter and a HUGE tub of flour nearby.

My brother-in-law would make a huge loaf of bread a day, and I remember being pretty impressed that he made enough bread to need such a lot of flour.

At that time, I was not very interested in bread-making, and I soon got caught up with other things in life and forgot about it.

Some time early this year, I tried making my first loaf of bread, and I was elated with my success. That spurred me on to trying out other recipes, and the more bread recipes I tried, the more "hooked" by bread-making I became.
Yes, I am now a bread-making convert.

Apart from the satisfaction of watching flour, sugar, salt, a liquid and yeast come together and making something so amazing, I am also 100% convinced that home-made bread is far superior both in taste and quality compared to store-bought ones.

So when I was informed that as part of the competition for the Best Cooking Blog category in the Singapore Blog Awards (Ahem, have you voted for me yet, hehe) this year, I would have to make bread using a bread machine from Panasonic, who is the main sponsor of this category, I was really pleased.
Ah, you mean I would be given a bread machine to play around with?

It's a bit like taking me to a baking shop and saying, Go play, Diana!!! :D
I have never used a bread machine before this. I never saw the need to have one, seeing that my mixer can do the kneading of the bread for me.

So, now, I admit, in black and white, my ignorance.

During my trial bake using this machine, I simply followed the instructions, dumped everything into the machine, and - lo and behold - about 3-4 hours later, I had this fresh loaf of bread sitting on my kitchen counter.

I didn't have to knead anything. Not even once.

And the aroma that was wafting through the house while the bread was baking - gosh, it was driving me mad.

I was so pleased with the results, I went on to bake a few more loaves of bread, using different recipes.
And today, I am sharing with you how I made my first Wu Pao-Chun Champion Toast. Wu Pao-Chun is an award-winning Taiwanese baker and owns bakeries in Taipei City and Kaohsiung in Taiwan.

What is special about this bread is that you get a really soft bread (which many Asians and the LAM love), without having to make a starter dough like a Tangzhong (汤种) bread.

So, I started by measuring the ingredients (except the yeast) and placing them into the bread pan of the bread maker.
Then I placed the bread pan into the machine.
One really brilliant feature of the Panasonic bread maker is that it has a separate yeast dispenser. This means that I add the yeast into the dispenser instead of adding it to the rest of the ingredients.
What is so brilliant about this, you ask? Well, this means that I don't need to worry about placing salt on one side of the mix, and yeast on the other and pray that the salt does not murder the yeast, causing a flat loaf of bread!!

The yeast dispenser adds the yeast only after the ingredients were well-mixed.
Then all I had to do was to press the menu to select the type of bread I wanted to make - there are 13 menus to choose from - from a basic loaf to whole wheat bread, to bread or pizza dough, to making a dumpling skin dough. This machine even bakes cakes!!
And pressed the "START" button.
And I walked away.

The machine would do all the work - see how it had kneaded the dough? 
And finally, magic happened.
Isn't this just gorgeous?

It was not easy, but I did wait until the bread had cooled before I sliced into it.



This bread is so soft and so flavorful!

You can spread jam on this, or use it to make sandwiches. I just ate mine PLAIN. It was that good!

I have been making bread everyday and we no longer buy bread from the stores.

So if you are considering getting a bread maker, stop thinking about it and go get one. I love this Panasonic bread maker to bits, and I am going to be baking a lot more bread and sharing the processes with you!

The bread maker is available for sale at: 
Best Denki Ngee Ann, Junction 8, Katong, Court Mega Store, Harvey Norman, Isetan, CK Tangs and Takashimaya.
The retail price is at $329 and above store mentions are subject to stock availability.

Panasonic Singapore 
Official Website
Official Facebook Page

Wu Pao-Chun Champion Toast (Makes one loaf)
Adapted from Baking Tai Tai

198g fresh milk
300g bread flour
24g organic raw sugar or caster sugar
1 tsp (3g) salt 
1 tsp (3g) instant dry yeast 
14g unsalted butter 

Note: I made this using a Panasonic Automatic Bread Maker. You may have to change the baking method to suit your machine.

1. Place all the ingredients (except the yeast) in the bread maker.
2. Place the yeast in the yeast dispenser.
3. Select "Menu 1" for basic bread.
4. Press "Start" and let the machine do the work.
5. When done, remove from bread maker and allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.


  1. hi diana, i do have a breadmachine but have to tell you that it's underutilised. I use my mixer to knead to dough most of the time, just find it quicker to get the dough ready using mixer but i hv to agree with you that it is very convenient to use to breadmachine to bake bread..just press start and that's it :D

    1. Hi Lena, I was a bit worried that my machine would also join the "cold palace" but I think I would be using it everyday because, like you said, it is really very convenient, and the results are always consistent. :P

  2. Diana, I promised myself that I will not buy anymore kitchen gadgets because half of them are sleeping in the cupboard somewhere in my house. But good Lord! I see this Panasonic bread machine and your fabulous loaf of bread and I'm like twitching double time! hah..hah... Let me think about it some more :)

    1. Phong Hong, no need to think! If you eat a lot of bread, then it is time to get a BM!! :D