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 tbsp bread flour (16 gr)
- ⅓ cup water (80 ml)
- 2 cup bread flour (260 gr)
- 2 tbsp honey (40 gr)
- ¼ cup warm water (60 ml)
- 2 ¼ tsp dry yeast (7 gr)
- 1 egg , room temperature
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp 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.
How To Serve
- Enjoy it like any other bread or buns.
How To Store
- Keep it in an airtight container on the kitchen top.
- Stays soft and fluffy up to 4 days or slightly more.
How To Freeze
- Put in a ziplock bag and freeze up to 6 months.
- Defrost at room temperature. Bring it back to life in the oven at 350ºF (175ºC) for 5 minutes.