Japanese Milk Bread Recipe
Japanese Milk Bread is extremely soft and tender. Shaped into rolls, it’s a delicious, unforgettable addition to any meal.
The secret to this Shokupan Bread, or eating bread, is tangzhong, a roux made of flour and water. The delicate, feathery texture of these rolls will have you making them again and again!
Why You’ll Love these Japanese Milk Buns
- This will be the softest bread to ever come out of your kitchen!
- You’ll learn how to make tangzhong which makes bread tender and helps keep it fresh longer.
- Once you give this bread a try, you’ll make it again and again. Cinnamon rolls made with milk bread are next on my list!
How to Make
- Make the tangzhong in a small pan on the stovetop until thick. Cool.
- Measure out all the ingredients.
- Add the ingredients, including the tangzhong, to a bowl or stand mixer.
- Mix with a dough hook or paddle attachment or mix and knead by hand.
- Continue kneading until the dough is not sticky.
- If it’s still sticky after extending the kneading time, add a bit more flour.
- Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size.
- Deflate the dough by pressing down on it with your fists.
- Divide dough into 8-9 even pieces (I used a scale).
- Shape into rolls and place in a greased cake pan.
- Let rise again, brush with egg wash, and bake as directed.
- If you’re new to making tangzhong, it is done when it looks like paper mache paste. You will know it’s ready when your spoon or whisk leaves trails as you stir.
- You will need 1 tablespoon of dry active yeast. This is more than one packet. There are recipes that use instant yeast, too.
- PRO-Tip: When testing this recipe, I measured the flour in cups, and in grams. Using grams produced a less sticky dough so I recommend getting out your kitchen scale to measure your flour.
- This bread is made with all-purpose flour, not bread flour. Using AP flour will make a more tender bread.
- Grease your pan well with butter so your bread will release without much effort.
- If your bread is browning too fast, tent your bread with foil.
- PRO-Tip: This bread is done when the internal temperature reaches 190°.
Frequently Asked Questions
Shokupan is a loaf of fluffy Japanese Milk Bread but made into a square Pullman-style loaf that’s perfect for slicing. The word Shokupan means “Eating Bread.”
It’s slightly sweet with a milky flavor, but what you’ll really note is the soft, pillowy, and feathery texture of this bread.
Yes, shokupan is a version of white bread, with a slight yellow tinge from the egg in the recipe.
Tangzhong is a water roux, a cooked gelatinous mixture of water and flour. Added to bread dough, it works its magic since the pregelatinized starch allows for higher hydration levels. The resulting bread is moister with a slower staling rate.
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- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water, 98-105°
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons water
- 4½ tablespoons milk
- 2⅓ cups or 380 grams all-purpose flour (It's best to weigh your flour with this recipe)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup milk
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- Add the active dry yeast into the lukewarm water, mix and allow to sit for 10 minutes. You know the yeast is active if it blooms (expands and bubbles).
- In a small saucepan, add the tangzhong ingredients. Cook and stir until a thick paste forms. It should be like paper mache glue.
- Add your yeast mixture and tangzhong along with the remaining dough ingredients except for the butter in a stand mixer bowl fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed for 5 minutes or until a soft dough forms
- Add your softened butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix on medium speed until the butter is fully incorporated and the dough is very smooth.
- Allow your dough to proof in a bowl in a warm (85°) location, covered with plastic wrap for 1 ½ hours or until doubled.
- Portion the dough into 8 or 9 equal pieces, and shape it into rolls.
- Place the dough balls into a lightly greased 9-inch springform or cake pan. Leave about ⅓ inch between rolls.
- Allow it to rest another 45 minutes.
- Before the last resting period is up, preheat the oven to 350°.
- Whisk together egg and water until well combined to make the egg wash. Brush across the surface of the rolls and bake for 20 minutes.
- When done, remove to a cooling rack. Let cool for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan to finish cooling.
Adapted from kwokspots.com/
If all your dough balls don't fit into your pan, use a greased ramekin or two to make single rolls with the excess dough.
If you're unsure if your bread is done, the internal temperature should be 190 degrees.
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Serving Size:1 roll
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 277Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 330mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 8g
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