Kirbie's Cravings

Milk Bread Take 2

 

close-up photo of a loaf of milk bread

Since I’ve been working with the Tangzhong method a lot, I decided to revisit the milk bread which was the first recipe I tried, which you can read about here. As a brief summary, the “tangzhong” method was created by a Chinese woman, Yvonne Chen, who calls herself the bread doctor, wrote a book which translates to “65 degrees Tangzhong.”  Her method is a natural method of creating a bread that is incredibly soft, bouncy and fluffy, which is often a signature style for Asian breads.

Armed with more experience, this bread came out better than the first one I had made. The only problem I had was that my dough rose too much. I should have taken some dough out because it ended up being squished in the 9 x 5 bread pan I was using.

photo of loaf of milk breadphoto milk bread in a pan

I wanted to create an updated post with my new insights and step by step photos.

photo of a loaf of milk breadphoto of a loaf of milk bread with a piece torn off

Milk Bread (adapted from two of Christine’s recipes here and here,which she adapted from the 65 degrees book)
Yields 1 loaf

Ingredients:

2½ cups bread flour
3tbsp+2tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
½ cup milk
120g tangzhong (click here for making tangzhong; please not the recipe for tangzhong makes more than 120g so you will only use a little more than half)
2 tsp instant yeast
3 tbsp butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)

 

Directions
1. Combine the flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast in a bowl of a stand mixer. Make a well in the center. Add in all wet ingredients: milk, egg and tangzhong. Fit the dough hook attachment on your stand mixer and begin mixing on medium speed and knead until your dough comes together and then add in the butter and continue kneading.  Keep kneading until the dough is smooth, not too sticky on the surface and elastic. I kneaded the dough for about 18-20 minutes. Each mixer may vary.

When the dough is ready, you should be able to take a chunk of dough and stretch it to a very thin membrane before it breaks. When it does break, the break should be form a circle.

photo of stretched doughphoto of stretched dough with a hole in it
2. Knead the dough into a ball shape. Take a large bowl and grease with oil.  Place dough into a greased bowl and cover with a wet towel. Let it proof until it’s doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
3. Transfer to a clean surface. Divide the dough into four equal portions. Knead into balls.  Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes.
4. Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape.  Take one end of the dough and fold to meet the middle of the oval. Take the other end and fold to meet on top.

photo showing how to roll out the doughphoto showing how to do the first foldphoto showing how to do the second fold

5. Flip dough over with the folds facing down, and flatten dough with rolling pin.
photo showing how to roll the dough after it's been folded
6. Flip dough over so the folds face up. Now roll the dough up. Place each of the rolls into a lightly greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and put a piece of plastic wrap over the rolls. Let them rise until double the size, approximately another 40 minutes.
photo showing how to start rolling up the dough to make a rollphoto of the dough roll-up up
7. Beat an egg and brush egg mixture on top to create shiny eggwash finish.
8. Bake at 325 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes.

close-up photo of a loaf of milk bread in a pan

Milk Bread

Servings: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Japanese
This bread is incredibly soft, bouncy and fluffy, which is often a signature style for Asian breads.
4.8 from 5 votes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 3 tbsp + 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 120 g tangzhong (see note)
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature

Instructions

  • Combine the flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast in a bowl of a stand mixer. Make a well in the center. Add in all wet ingredients: milk, egg and tangzhong. Fit the dough hook attachment on your stand mixer and begin mixing on medium speed and knead until your dough comes together and then add in the butter and continue kneading. Keep kneading until the dough is smooth, not too sticky on the surface and elastic. I kneaded the dough for about 18-20 minutes. Each mixer may vary.
  • When the dough is ready, you should be able to take a chunk of dough and stretch it to a very thin membrane before it breaks. When it does break, the break should be form a circle.
  • Knead the dough into a ball shape. Take a large bowl and grease with oil. Place dough into greased bowl and cover with a wet towel. Let it proof until it’s doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
  • Transfer to a clean surface. Divide the dough into four equal portions. Knead into balls. Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes.
  • Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape. Take one end of the dough and fold to meet the middle of the oval. Take the other end and fold to meet on top.
  • Flip dough over with the folds facing down,and flatten dough with rolling pin.
  • Flip dough over so the folds face up. Now roll the dough up. Place each of the rolls into a lightly greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and put a piece of plastic wrap over the rolls. Let them rise until double the size, approximately another 40 minutes.
  • Beat an egg and brush egg mixture on top to create shiny eggwash finish.
  • Bake at 325°F for approximately 30 minutes.

Notes

  • Click here for making tangzhong; please note the recipe for tangzhong makes more than 120g so you will only use a little more than half.
  • Recipe adapted from two of Christine’s recipes here and here, which she adapted from the 65 degrees book.

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

154 comments on “Milk Bread Take 2”

  1. I saw this recipe on christine’s website and yours and I have been dying to try it. I just took it out of the oven and will taste it tomorrow. It seems like everything went well.

  2. Thank you! The bread turned out great! I will be trying the whole wheat version next.

  3. Hi can I half the recipe for tangzhong if I’m only gonna make one loaf?

    • The TZ recipe isn’t quite enough for two loaves unfortunately. If you use 120g, you will have less than 120g leftover. also it is hard to reduce the quantities to make a smaller amount.

  4. Thank you also about how many cups is 120g?

  5. I did end up halving the tangzhong and it worked so well. My family love it it was so soft and fluffy!

  6. Hi~ First time making bread and I have a few questions regarding this delicious looking recipe.
    – How sweet is this bread?
    – Did you used unsalted butter?
    – Did you used normal or full fat milk?

    Thanks!

    • sweeter than standard toast, but not so sweet to be a sweet bread. yes, unsalted butter. i used fat free milk, but i think it should be fine with low fat or full fat.

  7. Hi what speed do you use for your mixer? I have a kitchen aid and have been using speed 2 but find it takes very long to knead. You say you used a medium speed so is it fine to use speed 4 instead to make the kneading process faster?  Thanks! Love this bread and the kid inhale it the moment the buns are cool enough to eat!

    • 2 seems too slow. I would increase to 4 and give it a try. I usually mix mine between 5-6, but I am using a Cuisinart and not a Kitchenaid. I’ve heard that kitchenaid sometimes struggles with kneading bread, so I’d watch it carefully.

  8. I would definitely change the recipe and say NOT to use the whole tangzhong. It’s a bit misleading as I bet many added the whole thing instead of measuring out the tangzhong. I dumped the whole thing and the dough was extremely sticky. Then I see that it’s for doubling the recipe…
    Making it right now and hope it comes out good! =)

  9. hi dear.. may i know it’s about how many ounces is a cup of flour?
    tq

  10. thank you for the recipe, i made it today and it turns out great. Really hard to knead the dough by hands though, so sticky that i thought i did something wrong. i wish i had a machine. The bread is extremely soft and delicious! ?.?~

    • Hi, glad it worked out! yes it’s super hard to knead by hand. if you have a stand mixer, that is the best and easiest way

  11. Hi Kirbie,
    I’ve used this recipe a few times now to make dinner rolls but the bottom is always sticking to my parchment paper even though I dust the bottom of my buns prior to placing them on the piece of paper.. Any ideas why? Also, the “feet” portion tends to get a bit wrinkly after I pull them out of the oven. Thanks! =]

    • Hmm, I haven’t had any sticking issues, especially with parchment paper. I wonder, have you tried baking them slightly longer?The wrinkling you describe sounds like maybe they need to cook slightly longer so they don’t deflate as much.

  12. Hi Kirbie,

    I’ve tried baking them longer but the bottom starts to burn and the top starts getting too dark and hard. 

    • Hmm, this is quite strange. Just double checking, you are using parchment paper and not wax paper right? Another thing–you might try a different baking pan or baking in a different section of the oven. for example, i only use the top half of my oven because my baked goods always bake unevenly on the bottom half.

  13. Hi Kirbie,
     
    I use the regular white muffin paper cups. I assume they’re the same as parchment paper but thicker? I usually bake it in an aluminum pan in the middle rack of my oven. 

    • Hi Jennifer- so then, if I understand correctly, you are making individual bread rolls in muffin cups and not baking this altogether as one big bread? In that case, you may need to adjust baking time or temp. The breads cook much faster as small rolls which would explain why they might be browning too fast

  14. To the commenter Michelle, I had the same problem with my bread too, and I’m guessing is that you could have possibly spaced your bread dough too far apart, hence allowing the dough to rise more and the air bubbles in the dough to be bigger, allowing to be dry out faster. So you could sort of squish the dough in smaller pans and make sure they are closer together. (It should rise up?) Please note that this is simply a theory and I haven’t tested it out yet. And you should definitely check google for a solution.
    I’ll try this recipe again tomorrow, thanks for sharing this lovely recipe, it is by far the sweetest and tastiest bread I have ever eaten.

  15. Hi,
    I have a question, if you are hand-kneading the dough, do you knead it till it’s no longer sticking to your hands? Because my dough is always able to stretch to a very thin membrane and even create holes when it tears but it’s always very sticky and I haven’t been kneading long enough.
    I don’t do my baking in an air conditioned environment, furthermore Singapore is humid and warm, do these factors play a part?

    • humidity and warmth can play a factor, but yes, the idea is also to knead the dough until it’s no longer sticky. I recommend kneading with a mixer if you have one as it’s much easier to get the right consistency.

  16. Can this be baked in a 13 x 4 pullman bread pan?

  17. HI Kirbie! Thanks for sharing this recipe and your notes on them! I tried it and the texture was amazing! But mine turned out to have a very yeasty/alcoholic smell and taste. I followed your instructions and measured two teaspoons from an envelope of Fleischmann’s instant yeast. However, I had let the bread proof for a little over an hour instead of 40 minutes because the weather is rather cold here. Do you think it may be the brand of yeast or that I let it proof too long?

    • Hi Cindy- the brand of yeast is the same I used. I think it might be that you needed to proof longer. With the colder conditions, you probably needed even longer than an hour unless you place the bread somewhere warm. When I make bread in the winter, I usually place the bread in a slightly warmed up oven or near a windowsill if it’s sunny, to get to proof properly. hope that helps!

  18. Hello Kirbie, I have tried baking with Christine’s recipe recently and it turned out great! I was just wondering if this is just a half version of her recipe? Another question I have is about instant yeast. I stored my yeast in the freezer, and before I use it, do I need to thaw it out first? If I do need to thaw it out, should I measure out the amount I need to use so that I don’t have to thaw out the whole jar of yeast and freeze it everytime I need to use it? I read online about it and people are saying thawing and refreezing over and over again could affect the yeast, is that true? And I love how descriptive you are with each steps! Keep up your good work!

    • Hi Alisa, my recipe is a combination of 2 of Christine’s recipes (that I linked to) as well as insights from the cookbook. It’s not just half of one recipe. With regards to the yeast in the freezer, I’ve never stored yeast in the freezer before so I’m not sure but I would guess you should thaw first.

  19. What a great recipe, it came out so light and fluffy! It was very sticky after it was kneaded which made me nervous and it barely rose the first time in the bowl but the second time in the pan it rose beautifully. One question: can you suggest how I can make this diary free? Could I use marg instead of butter? I don’t know what to substitute the milk with. Any suggestions? Thanks so much again for posting!!!

  20. So exited to have come across this recipe. Thank you so much. I do have a question though, is the sugar in this recipe a necessity for rising etc. or just for the flavor? Also, can I use the tangzhong for a regular white bread to make it light and fluffy. I feel that the bread I make in my bread machine comes out a little dense and not fluffy.

  21. Followed this recipe and the bread was so soft! Thanks for the detailed steps and explanation. I kneaded the dough by hand and bcoz of ur detail on how to determine the readiness i din over knead. Thank u so much!!!

  22. Hi! This bread is delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe. Can this recipe be doubled?

  23. I just baked it 
    It was delicious thank you for the recipe but I believe I did something wrong because it was soft but not fluffy. I didn’t feel it was light or “airy” I don’t know how else to explain it’s texture.
    I don’t know if it’s the tangzhong or the kneading time! But taste wise it was a 100%

    • I’m not sure why your bread wasn’t as fluffy. It may have been kneading or resting time. Also make sure you only add in part of the tz and not the full amount. But I’m glad it tasted good

  24. I have used this recipe since the time it was posted. This has been a favorite recipe of ours ever since. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  25. Hi, Thank you so much for this recipe! I’m making it as we speak. I had one question:
    I had to knead by hand because I don’t have a mixer. It took me 40 minutes and I thought it was done. But now when it came to rolling out the balls into an oval shape the dough kept sticking to the rolling pin. I had to do it by hand. Do you know where I could have gone wrong? I ended up shaping it by hand. I would really appreciate your advice.

    • If the dough is still sticky it sounds like you needed to knead it longer.

      • oh wow… really? Longer than 40 minutes? I felt like I had a good workout with all that kneading! Anyway, I ended up using my hand to spread it into the desired shape and the end result was beaauuutiful! Had a great rise and was super fluffy. Thank you SOOO much for this recipe. Will make it again when I buy my stand mixer. Thanks!

  26. Hi there. Thanks for recipe. However I have a question. I do all following your recipe. But bottom of bread after baking is done is yellowish and looks like it wasn’t baked enough. Is there any way how to avoid it? Or problem is in oven? 
    Thank you for help. 

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