Asian Sweet Bread (Hong Kong Pai Bao, Hokkaido Milk Bread)

Picture of Asian Sweet Bread (Hong Kong Pai Bao, Hokkaido Milk Bread)
I am so happy to share this recipe with you. Asian Sweet Bread is a staple in all Asian bakeries. The bread is soft and pillow-y and just melts in your mouth with a slight sweet flavor. The crust is perfectly brown and flaky. It's gorgeous to look at...and delicious to eat. A perfect snack on any occasion and it can hold its own next to any store bought rolls or loaves. 

This recipe is close to my heart as well. I have always gotten some sweet treat when going to Asian bakeries. I always came home with all kinds of bread...all of which derived from this simple recipe. 

Asian Sweet Bread (otherwise called Hong Kong Pai Bao or Hokkaido Milk Bread) is a staple in Asian bakeries and it should definitely be a staple in your household :) Delicious, fluffy, soft and everything bread should be. 
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Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients
For this delicious sweet bread:
  • 5 cups bread flour (all purpose flour will also work: the kneading time will need to be increased though)
  • 1/3 cup plus 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 4 teaspoons instant yeast (this is usually two packages of yeast)
  • 6 tbsp butter (cut the butter into small pieces and make sure it is softened at room temperature)
  • 1 serving of  tangzhong: this is a separate recipe and you will use all the tangzhong made with the recipe

For the tangzhong:

1/3 cup of bread flour (all purpose will work as well)
1 cup of water
ALibrarian2 months ago

Thank you for this recipe! I tried it for the first time today. I have a Chinese New Year celebration tomorrow and I wasn't sure what to bring so I simply put down "Dinner Rolls". Well, these are perfect and they taste great! Thank you again!

sharonfpires3 months ago

hi i tried out this recipe - it was fantastic , i used the overnight proving method and the buns were wiped off the table at breakfast ...... thanks for the same

eevigus3 months ago
Made this recipe. The most perfect, light bread ever. Easy and fast compared to some yeast breads. Made small rolled loaves like ones to go in pan but put them on a baking sheet and some in large muffin tin baked them just 20 minutes. They were beautiful
, better than the best I have tasted at Chinese bakery.
jen7714 (author)  eevigus3 months ago
Thank you so much! I love hearing how my recipe works out for others. Glad you enjoyed it!
oil_baron3 months ago
I've been baking bread for ten years now and this is one of the best recipes I have come across. The bread is so fluffy I can hardly believe it. THANK YOU!!!!
jen7714 (author)  oil_baron3 months ago
I am so grateful for the amazing comment! Happy you enjoyed it!
jlee1665 months ago
if i dont want this bread to be sweet, can i take out the sugar from this recipe? i know its defeats the purpose of this recipe, but is it possible?
jen7714 (author)  jlee1663 months ago
The trouble with taking the sugar out in this recipe is that the yeast needs it for "food." However, you can definitely reduce the amount of sugar.
indianajoel9 months ago
What a great recipe! My only problem was that it took a lot longer than 30 minutes to bake in a loaf pan. It took me about 50+ minutes or so to reach 195-200F internal temperature. Other than that, your bread recipe rocks!
jen7714 (author)  indianajoel8 months ago
Thank you so much! It may be our difference in ovens or maybe pan placement, but I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Jessicafiorito10 months ago

I'm so glad to have found your recipe! However, I ran into a little trouble while baking this...what size loaf pan did you use? I used a standard size loaf pan and the dough ended up overflowing the pan...I had to take it out after 30 mins, cut it into 4 and bake again for another 15 mins as the centre was still raw? Not sure what went wrong...still looks and smells great though...waiting for it to cool down so I can try it!
jen7714 (author)  Jessicafiorito8 months ago
Hello! I also used a standard size loaf pan. Make sure you you only use enough dough to fill up 1/2 to 3/4 of the pan before you proof it in the loaf pan. Also, ensure that you don't overproof the dough (doubled in size is good :) Hope this helps, and let me know how it worked out!
SageMinto1 year ago
I adore breads like this. I will try it today with that new cream cheese recipe I found here lol. Thanks for sharing!! :)
jen7714 (author)  SageMinto1 year ago
No problem! Tell me how it goes!
Thergox1 year ago
Can't wait to give it a try!
jen7714 (author)  Thergox1 year ago
Definitely worth it!
ferlopag1 year ago
Today I'll try it, wonderful
jen7714 (author)  ferlopag1 year ago
Awesome! :)
Oh yum! Definitely going to try this - I'm awful at making bread.
jen7714 (author)  jessyratfink1 year ago
Thanks for the nice comment! I hope you do try it out.

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