If you're a bread baker or lover, then you will definitely need to indulge on these Japanese milk bread rolls.
Let's just say they will change your definition of soft and fluffy bread..forever.
Dramatic much? Nah!
Let's get on with today's recipe, shall we?
What Is Japanese Milk Bread
Also known as Hokkaido milk bread, it's a type of bread with a very soft and fluffy texture. It was originated in Hokkaido, Japan where it's known for its best quality in dairy products.
As the bread's name says it, this bread uses milk and milk is very good in giving a bread that soft and fluffy texture.
This bread is also the typical type of bread that is usually sold and consumed in many other Asian countries.
The difference between this bread and other typical breads and buns is that this one uses water roux or tangzhong as one of its ingredients.
The other difference is the crust of the bread is also soft, not like the crust on a baguette for example.
What Is Tangzhong
Tangzhong or water roux is a thick opaque paste that is made from a mixture of water and flour and then slowly cooked into a paste consistency.
Why use tangzhong though?
By using tangzhong, you will end up using more liquid than you normally would in a bread recipe without having the dough being extremely sticky and not manageable. It helps to retain the moisture and that eventually results in a fluffy, soft and light bread.
Tangzhong also helps in making a bread rise higher.
Soft Fluffy Bread For Days
One significant marvel about this bread is that it lasts soft and fluffy for days, unlike most breads that will quickly get hard the next day.
This bread doesn't last more than 4 days in our house. Not because it got stale or something but because we would finish it by then.
Cut a thick slice and toast it. Then slather some coconut spread on top and dip it in a 6 minute boiled egg. Oh la la! Truly Asian style.
Of course you can also spread some peanut butter and jam or your favourite toppings.
These Japanese milk bread rolls:
- are extremely soft and fluffy
- they last soft and fluffy for days
- use water roux or tangzhong
- will get you super hooked
- are VERY DELICIOUS on their own or with your favourite spread
Before You Go
Here are some more recipes that you might like:
- Matcha bread loaf
- Pandan coconut braided bread
- Caterpillar shaped red bean buns
- Homemade roti canai
- Net pancake (Roti Jala)
Japanese Milk Bread Rolls
Water Roux or Tangzhong
- 2 tablespoon bread flour (16 gr)
- ⅓ cup water (80 ml)
- 2 cup bread flour (260 gr)
- 2 tablespoon honey (40 gr)
- ¼ cup warm water (60 ml)
- 2 ¼ teaspoon dry yeast (7 gr)
- 1 egg , room temperature
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon powdered milk (16 gr)
- ¼ cup butter (60 gr), cubed small and in room temperature
- egg wash (1 egg with a splash of milk)
- some sesame seeds
Water Roux or Tangzhong
- Add flour and water into a pan on medium heat. Whisk to mix well until the mixture thickens. It's ready when you make a line in the middle of the mixture and it stays. Set aside to cool a bit before using.
- Add honey and warm water into a bowl and mix well. Sprinkle in dry yeast and mix. Leave for the yeast to activate for a few minutes.
- In a standing mixing bowl, add in the rest of the ingredients including water roux, except cubed butter. Mix to incorporate and then knead for 5 minutes.
- Add butter 1 by 1, making sure to mix well between each addition. Once all butter is added and mixed well, knead for another 10 minutes.
- The dough will be a bit sticky. Form into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with a cling film. Leave the dough to rise double its size.
- Place dough on a working surface and lightly knead into a log. Cut it into 3 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball.
- Place 1 ball on a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle 10.5 inch (27 cm) wide (or 3 x your pan average width). Fold each side to the center, overlapping each other. You will have a rectangle 3.5 inch width (9 cm).
- Roll it into a log and place it in a 4.4x10 inch (11x25 cm) loaf pan that has been lined with baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the balls. Leave some space in between rolled logs in the pan.
- Cover loosely with a cling film and leave until the dough almost double the size. Brush with some egg wash and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350ºF (175ºC) for 30 minutes or until golden brown and fully cooked. Cover loosely with aluminium foil to avoid it getting brown too fast. Cool on a rack.
Hi Bea, big fans of your from HK. Love your recipes!
In this recipe, Water Roux or Tangzhong after thickened will be around how many grams? I always have some frozen tanzhong and trying use them up TIA 😗
Hope the have more yummy healthy recipe from your page
Hi! Honestly I have never weigh it but perhaps it's more or less 90-95 grams? Yes, I'm making more healthy(er) recipes now, do check them out. Thank you!
Audrey De Souza says
Tried it tonight and it turned out awesome. Thank you. I am quite poor in doing breads but this bread gave me the encouragement to try n try other breads that I had failed.
Yeay! See? Making breads is not as difficult, I'm so happy that you gave it a go. Do check out my other breads recipe. This no knead focaccia is one of my readers favourites. Thank you Audrey and happy breading! 😍
Shilpa Gupta says
Can I have a subsitute for an egg as we don’t get egg at home . Please.
Hi Shilpa! I haven’t tried this recipe without egg so I can’t really say. Sorry 😐 !
Hi if ill be usinh instant yeast whats the measurement? Thanks
Hi Pat! You can use the same amount, it’s totally fine. I’ve tried it 😊.
First of all this looks very delicious.
Can i add pandan extract to the recipe like 1 tsp or 1 tbsp for flavour and the green colour ?
Or this is not advise
Yes you can Ryan! 😀
Hi .. thanks for sharing recipe . May I ask when you add butter and knead for 10 mins is dough still sticky before proofing ?
Hi Olie. Yes the dough is on the sticky side but still manageable, you refer to see the texture in the recipe video above. Hope it helps.
Olie Pom says
Bea, thanks for response. I saw your video the dough was sticky when you remove from mixer . After proofing your dough looks elastic and able to roll into shape without sticking your hands ..Mine I am using bread maker and dough still sticky after proofing . After 2 tries I still can’t get it right .. hope to get some guidance from you . TIA.
I don't have a bread machine, so I can't really say why yours was still sticky. Perhaps you should reduce the liquid a bit and see how that goes. Hope it helps.
hello, i need recipe for 1 kilo flour plz
Hi, This looks delicious, I am going to make it soon, but I would
like to ask please, what can I use instead of milk or milk powder?
Hi Esty! Thank you! Well this bread recipe is made specifically to use milk/milk powder, sorry though!
Anna Hoo says
Hi! May i know how much milk to use if i choose to use milk instead of milk powder? Thanks!
Hi Anna! I haven't tried it but if you really have to, swap the water for the milk. Milk powder is concentrated milk, helps in the super soft texture. Let me know how it goes, thanks!
Anna Hoo says
Hi! I tried with 50ml of full cream milk in total. Adding in 10ml by 10ml until it has the right softness. It turned out good! Thanks for sharing the recipe and the awesome video <3
That's great, happy to know that it worked out for you! XOXO
Hi, we will try this recipe soon. Thanks for sharing. The predough water heated with flour is realy used by bakers. Its a nice idea. By the way, i want you to ask, why you use dry yeast instead of a fresh yeast cube? And second, dow you xover the breads with alu foil starting the bakinf process or only at the end? More Power!
Hi! Yes the predough/water roux really helps the texture of this bread. I use dry yeast because it lasts longer and easier to store (for me), that's all 😀 . I buy around 12 packets at a time 😀 . I usually cover the bread with aluminium foil only when I see the bread starts to get brown too fast, not from the beginning of baking it. I hope it helps and you will like the bread. Thank you!