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

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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. 

Paso 1: 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
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bconnerly
bconnerly dice: Jun 19, 2014. 4:23 PM

Hi. So your ingredients list says "instant yeast" but your pictures show "Active Dry Yeast"

I used active dry yeast and followed your directions but now I'm thinking I should have activated it first because my bread is not rising..

mmala1
mmala1 dice: May 1, 2014. 10:43 AM
Hi I made the bread last nite let it proof and baked this morning. It turned out soo good thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe my parents couldnt stop eating it ;)
jen7714
jen7714 dice: Ago 25, 2014. 3:55 PM

Thank you so much for the nice comment!

evuong1
evuong1 dice: May 1, 2014. 3:18 AM

I tried with some adjustment. I used Bread Flour, and make ~550 grams of flour in total (including the tangzhong). I do not use egg wash, and instead I use melted butter to brush the buns, this makes the bun more moisture and tender...

jen7714
jen7714 dice: Ago 25, 2014. 3:55 PM

Nice! They turned out great!

nida139
nida139 dice: Abr 30, 2014. 1:01 PM

hi , I used your recipe for this bread . I used only half of each ingredients. And it came out perfect. .only It was a little less sweet. Otherwise it was perfect. Thanks for the recipe.

jen7714
jen7714 dice: Ago 25, 2014. 3:55 PM

You're so welcome! Thanks for the pictures!

ALibrarian
ALibrarian dice: Ene 24, 2014. 1:50 PM

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!

jen7714
jen7714 dice: Ago 25, 2014. 3:56 PM

Awesome! Sounds perfect for the occassion!

sharonfpires
sharonfpires dice: Ene 17, 2014. 10:20 PM

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

eevigus
eevigus dice: Dic 25, 2013. 11:37 AM
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
jen7714 dice: Dic 30, 2014. 8:57 PM
Thank you so much! I love hearing how my recipe works out for others. Glad you enjoyed it!
oil_baron
oil_baron dice: Dic 24, 2013. 6:43 AM
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
jen7714 dice: Dic 30, 2014. 8:56 PM
I am so grateful for the amazing comment! Happy you enjoyed it!
jlee166
jlee166 dice: Nov 14, 2013. 7:53 PM
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
jen7714 dice: Dic 30, 2014. 8:55 PM
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.
indianajoel
indianajoel dice: Jul 20, 2013. 12:15 AM
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
jen7714 dice: Ago 4, 2013. 1:14 PM
Thank you so much! It may be our difference in ovens or maybe pan placement, but I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Jessicafiorito
Jessicafiorito dice: Jun 6, 2013. 3:39 PM
Hi!

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
jen7714 dice: Ago 4, 2013. 1:04 PM
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!
eyesee
eyesee dice: Nov 13, 2012. 5:58 AM
be nice
SageMinto
SageMinto dice: Oct 16, 2012. 12:18 PM
I adore breads like this. I will try it today with that new cream cheese recipe I found here lol. Thanks for sharing!! :)
jen7714
jen7714 dice: Feb 21, 2013. 11:33 AM
No problem! Tell me how it goes!
Thergox
Thergox dice: Oct 13, 2012. 8:24 AM
Can't wait to give it a try!
jen7714
jen7714 dice: Feb 21, 2013. 11:33 AM
Definitely worth it!
ferlopag
ferlopag dice: Oct 13, 2012. 8:02 AM
Today I'll try it, wonderful
jen7714
jen7714 dice: Feb 21, 2013. 11:32 AM
Awesome! :)
jessyratfink
jessyratfink dice: Oct 12, 2012. 1:38 PM
Oh yum! Definitely going to try this - I'm awful at making bread.
jen7714
jen7714 dice: Feb 21, 2013. 11:32 AM
Thanks for the nice comment! I hope you do try it out.