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a loaf of japanese milk bread on a marble serving board. loaf has a beautiful golden shine all over and three pieces coming together


  • Author: Zoha
  • Total Time: 2.5 hours (with proofing)
  • Yield: 8 servings


The best milk bread with an incredibly soft and fluffy texture and a light sweet, buttery flavor which can be enjoyed on its own or as a base for different bakes and desserts


  • Tangzhong: 15g bread flour (2 tbsp), 80g whole milk (1/3 cup)
  • 160g whole milk (2/3 cup)
  • 50g sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 325g bread flour (2.5 cups)
  • 15g milk powder (2 tbsp)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 60g unsalted butter, softened (1/4 cup)
  • Egg wash: 1 egg yolk, 1 tbsp milk


  • Tangzhong: Mix the bread flour and milk in a nonstick saucepan until there are no lumps. Place on low heat and stir and cook for a few minutes until the mixture forms a thick paste
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the hot tangzhong with milk and mix to create a warm mixture. Add the yeast, sugar, bread flour, milk powder, egg and salt
  • Using the dough hook attachment, stir and then knead the mixture at medium-high speed for 5-7 minutes until it forms a sticky dough that starts to pull away from the edges of the bowl
  • Add the softened butter and knead for another 5-7 minutes until a soft, smooth and stretchy dough is formed. It should no longer be sticky and you should be able to stretch it quite a bit without breaking
  • Transfer the dough to a clean bowl sprayed with oil, cover with cling wrap and place in a warm, humid spot for 60-90 minutes until it doubles in size
  • Once the dough has risen, punch it down and divide into 3 equal portions. Working one piece at a time, roll into a ball, then roll out into a 9" diameter circle on a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin. Fold the circle into thirds, creating a thin long rectangle. Then roll it along the length to create a cylindrical roll, as neatly as you can
  • Grease a loaf pan with some butter, and place the 3 rolls of dough in it side by side, with their rolled edges on the sides of the pan
  • Mix the egg yolk and milk for the egg wash, and use a pastry brush to generously brush the egg wash on the dough rolls inside the pan
  • Let the dough rise for a second time, for 30-45 minutes, until it looks puffed up
  • Towards the end of the second rise, preheat your oven to 350F (conventional)
  • Once the second rise is done, give the bread another coating of egg wash, being gentle as the dough is quite sensitive at this time
  • Bake the bread for ~25-30 minutes until it becomes a deep golden color
  • Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 15-20 minutes before gently removing it
  • Serve it straight away, or wrap it in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature for 3-4 days. You can always toast it up to make it fresh again
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Keywords: Japanese milk bread