How to Make Fluffy and Soft Japanese Milk Bread

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Introduction: How to Make Fluffy and Soft Japanese Milk Bread

About: Hey y'all! My name is Lydia and I want to share my passion for cooking/baking with everyone!

Today we are making Japanese Milk Bread. You may be asking yourself what makes this Japanese Milk Bread any different than any other bread. Well I'm glad you asked, you see this bread is the fluffiest and softest bread you will bite into. The reason that it is so fluffy and soft is because we are making a stater or a roux that is made up of milk, bread flour and water and we are using bread flour which has more protein than all-purpose flour and it results in a more denser and chewier loaf of bread. The starter also is said to help keep the bread fresher for longer because it holds in the moister, I wouldn't know because every time I make homemade bread it's gone after a day or two. We love homemade bread around here, so if you love homemade bread follow along step by step and watch the video tutorial below. Let's go!

This recipe was adapted from Bobs Red Mill

Supplies:

Some of the tools I used for this recipe

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Step 1: Ingredients

Flour Paste/Tangzhong

  • 3 Tbsp Bread Flour (27 g)
  • 2 Tbsp Water (15 g)
  • ¼ cup Whole Milk (60 g)

Dough

  • ½ cup Whole Milk warmed to 100°F (120 g)
  • 1 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast (10 g)
  • 2 Tbsp Cane Sugar (27 g)
  • 2 ¼ cups Bread Flour (325 g)
  • 1 Egg (50 g)
  • 1 Egg Yolk (20 g)
  • 1 ½ tsp Kosher Salt
  • 4 Tbsp room temperature unsalted Butter (56 g)

Step 2: Making the ​Flour Paste or Tangzhong

To start this recipe, we need to make the starter or the flour paste/tangzhong. The flour paste makes the bread soft and fluffy and last longer than your average bread. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together flour (make sure you are using bread flour), water and milk.

Step 3: Cook Paste

Whisk together flour, water and milk until all the liquid is absorbed and a thick paste forms, about 2–3 minutes. Transfer into a bowl to cool off. I spread the paste out to cool faster. Set it aside.

Step 4: Bloom Yeast

Whisk warm milk, yeast and sugar together and let bloom for 10 minutes while flour paste/tangzhong cools.

Step 5: Add Paste, Yeast, Flour and Eggs

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the cooled flour paste/tangzhong, yeast mixture, bread flour, egg and egg yolk.

You will want to use a standing mixer for this recipe unless you want to get a great arm workout in. I've never personally tried making this recipe without a standing mixer.

Step 6: First Mix

Mix on low for 2–3 minutes, until very little dry flour is visible. You will see that the bread dough comes together. Let dough relax in mixer for about 10 minutes.

Step 7: Second Mix

With the mixer running on low, add in salt and butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting until the butter mostly disappears before adding in the next tablespoon. I would stop the mixer and help the butter mix into the dough. Increase speed to medium-low and knead for an additional 5 minutes.

Step 8: Shape Into a Ball

Scrape dough out onto an unfloured surface and shape into a ball. Dough should be bouncy and slightly tacky.

Step 9: Allow Dough to Rest

Lightly oil the mixing bowl and return the dough to the bowl. Cover with a damp towel and proof for 1 hour in a warm place.

Step 10: Prepare Loaf Pan

Prepare a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with baking spray and a piece of parchment paper cut to fit the long side of the pan, like a sling. This will help the bread come out easily and hopefully avoiding burning yourself.

Step 11: Divide Dough

Punch down dough and divide into four equal portions. Dough should be bouncy and smooth to the touch, but not stick to your hands. Use a scale to get even portions, I didn't and felt bad because the individual loafs were not even in the finish bread.

Step 12: Form the Dough

Working one piece at a time, roll the portioned dough into a 7 x 3 ¾-inch rectangle. With a short side facing you, roll the dough up and away from you as you would a sleeping bag. Repeat with three remaining portions of dough. Place all four portions of dough into prepared pan seam side down.

Step 13: Rest and Bake

Cover and let rest for 30–40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Once risen, bake for 33–35 minutes.

Step 14: Cool and Remove Loaf

Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then carefully lift both sides of the parchment to remove the loaf. Let cool completely before enjoying!

Step 15: Enjoy!

Enjoy this fluffy and super soft bread. The texture is incredible and completely different than anything I've made before. It's not sweet but it is a bit creamy from the milk that is used to make the flour paste.

Step 16: Video Tutorial

If you want to watch the video tutorial, watch it here!

5 People Made This Project!

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17 Discussions

0
spgreenfield
spgreenfield

18 days ago

I am gluten sensitive but can handle Einkorn flour. Unfortunately it has rather weak gluten and because you mention bread flour I suspect this wouldn’t work...thoughts?

0
FOOD by Lyds
FOOD by Lyds

Reply 17 days ago

I'm so sorry to hear that! Unfortunately I'm not familiar with Einkorn flour besides that it is a great alternative to gluten sensitivity and in general a healthier option. You can try it and see what happens, I'm a bit curious now myself. I'm thinking the bread might be a bit more dense...

0
spgreenfield
spgreenfield

Reply 17 days ago

I know there’s a bit of change in the liquids...I’ll see if I can figure it out!

0
FOOD by Lyds
FOOD by Lyds

Reply 17 days ago

Yes, you might need to add more liquid. Wishing you the best results! =)

0
macshout
macshout

26 days ago

I was skeptical about the use of the term roux, but it really is. "Best buns ever!", exclaimed my wife. I am using this technique for King Arthur Flour's spinach and ricotta calzone recipe tonight. Can't wait. The dough is rising. Thanks for sharing this. Bread making has just jumped to another level, and given that it was already here, it's getting hard to lose weight around here.

20180408_144549_artisan_bread_good_crumb[1].jpg
0
FOOD by Lyds
FOOD by Lyds

Reply 25 days ago

Thank you so much for sharing, I'm so happy to hear that you and your wife loved the bread! Hope the spinach and ricotta calzone turned out as delicious as it sounds as well =)

0
macshout
macshout

Reply 24 days ago

Had I followed the filling recipe more closely it would have been excellent, but alas...
The dough, however, was spectacular again, and reheated perfectly in the toaster oven two days later.
Next stops on the hand pies tour: Panzerotti, Stromboli, and Cornish pasties, though this dough might even be a bit too soft and puffy for that application. Either way we'll cover our tracks by eating the evidence.

0
FOOD by Lyds
FOOD by Lyds

Reply 24 days ago

Haha, thank you for the update!

0
TJHen
TJHen

5 weeks ago on Introduction

I've been making this bread for a few years and there's nothing you cant do with it!
I make donuts, jam donuts, caramel and nut swirls, Chelsea buns, iced finger buns, cream buns etc etc. Its a fab bread to eat.

0
FOOD by Lyds
FOOD by Lyds

Reply 5 weeks ago

You had me at donuts! That is something I definitely want to try to make with this dough now, thank you! =)

0
Penolopy Bulnick
Penolopy Bulnick

6 weeks ago

That seems so soft and lovely to eat!

0
FOOD by Lyds
FOOD by Lyds

Reply 6 weeks ago

Thanks Penolopy, it really is =)

1
shadoedreamer
shadoedreamer

Question 6 weeks ago

Could I make this in a bread baker machine?

0
FOOD by Lyds
FOOD by Lyds

Answer 6 weeks ago

To be honest, I'm not sure.... I've never owned a bread baking machine so I'm really not familiar with how they work.

0
skylane
skylane

Answer 6 weeks ago

Maybe. I wouldn't be very pessimistic about it.
The biggest expense would be the price of two eggs.
If I still had mine, I'd give it a shot.

1
Drjr
Drjr

6 weeks ago

Thank you for sharing. I will try this recipe except I will use half and half instead of milk.

0
FOOD by Lyds
FOOD by Lyds

Reply 6 weeks ago

You're welcome! Half and half sounds like a great alternative =)