Hokkaido milk toast is popular japanese-style bread. It’s soft, thick, fluffy and addicting. I found a recipe for Hokkadio milk toast in the 65 Degrees Tangzhong book and decided to try it out this weekend.
As you know, I love making bread using the tangzhong method, which you can read a little more about here. It takes a little more effort, but the results are worth it. The bread has such an incredible rise and stays so soft and fresh. This is something I’ve not been able to achieve with other bread recipes and I’ve been testing out a lot of bread recipes. Anyhow, I finally got my hands on a copy of the 65 Degrees Tangzhong book which is the book that introduces the tangzhong method of making bread along with a ton of gorgeous pictures and recipes. Of course, once I had the book, the problem is I don’t read enough Chinese to understand it. So I spent some time browsing through pictures and looking at the step by step photos. I’m slowly having my mom help me translate recipes I want to check out.
When I went through the book, the picture that stood out to me most was this recipe for Hokkaido Milk toast. The bread looks so incredibly fluffy when pulled apart. Hokkaido is an island in Japan. I believe the bread is named after a bread that is made in that region. I followed the recipe for the most part, except that instead of splitting the bread each loaf into two sections, like the recipe called for, I did three sections. All the recipes I’ve used so far, have required the dough to be divided into four sections. To suddenly do two seemed so odd and they seemed so giant. Three sections was a nice compromise. I was really really pleased with how the bread turned out. And the three sections came out evenly-sized, something I’ve been working on achieving as well because in the past, my four sections are not completely even and you’ll see one push over the top of another. This bread is soft and a little bit sweet. It’s titled a “toast” as opposed to “bread” so I guess you are supposed to slice it up like toast, but I like just taking the chunks and eating the bread as is. I think if I had left the bread in two sections, it would be easier to make toast with it, since each section is so big.
Several people have asked me what kind of board I use to roll out my dough for breads. I purchased this Pastry Board* a while ago, and I love it. It’s very a sturdy wood board. The measurements written on it come in handy for measuring out how much I need to roll my dough out.
*Some of the links contained in this post are affiliate links. Much like referral codes, this means I earn a small commission if you purchase a product I referred (at no extra charge to you).
Hokkaido Milk Toast
Hokkaido milk toast is popular Japanese-style bread that is soft, thick, fluffy and addicting. It starts with a flour and water mixture, called tangzhong, that needs to be made ahead of time. The recipe for tangzhong is linked in the notes and I like to make it the day before I make the bread so it has time to chill.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, salt, milk powder, and yeast. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add 86 grams of egg, cream, milk, and tangzhong. Combine the ingredients on medium speed until the dough starts to come together. Add the butter and continue kneading the dough for 20 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic. The dough is ready once you can stretch it very thin without it breaking. Once it does break, the break should form a circle. Grease a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and leave it in a warm place for 40 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Divide the dough into six equal parts, cover them with plastic wrap, and rest them for 15 minutes at room temperature.
Roll out each dough ball into an oval shape. Fold 1/3 from the top edge to the middle and press. Fold 1/3 from the bottom to the middle and press. Flip the dough over and roll it until it's approximately 30 cm long. Flip the dough over and, with the seam side up, roll it into a cylinder. Repeat this process with the other dough balls.
Place the rolls, seam side down, in a loaf pan (three rolls in each pan). Cover the pans with plastic wrap until the rolls have doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 356°F (180°C) Whisk the egg in a small bowl and brush it on the top of the rolls. Bake the rolls for 30 to 35 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Cool the rolls on a wire rack before serving.
Tangzhong is a flour and water mixture that is cooked to a certain temperature. It's added to the dough and is what gives the bread its soft and fluffy texture. The instructions for making it are in my Soft and Fluffy Milk Toast post. You just need to make the tangzong (not the whole recipe), chill it, and then use a kitchen scale to portion out 184 grams of it to use in this recipe. You will have leftover tangzhong, which can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days to use in another recipe.