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!

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156 comments on “Milk Bread Take 2”

  1. I’m trying your recipe now but the dough seems dry and rough when I tear it. It isn’t as smooth as yours… any idea what is wrong, insufficient kneading? I’ve been kneading for close to an hour using kitchen aid at level 2 intensity.

    • The dough should actually be really sticky and after a lot of kneading, it becomes less sticky. It sounds like you have too much dry ingredients because the dough should not be dry at all.

  2. The bread didn’t turn out to be soft and fluffy. Although it has risen quite nicely but it’s hard on the outside and dense in the inside. I’m still trying to figure out what went wrong, not sure if it’s too dry or I didn’t knead sufficiently although I let the mixer went on for an hour. Would be grateful if you can advise. Thanks much

    • Hi Lorna. I’m sorry to hear that. I actually am not sure where you went wrong because I haven’t had it be super dense before and I’m not so much of an expert to know what would cause that. Hopefully someone reading the comments can give advice. Did you use instant active yeast? As opposed to the dry yeast?

  3. hi, can i use all purpose flour? i’m making this tomorrow and i don’t have time to buy bread flour. I heard its going to be tougher but will it be softer than regular white bread or the same? 🙂

  4. I made this bread last night for my white-bread addicted daughter. I usually only make whole wheat, but finally relented and I’m so glad I did! I ate more of this bread than she did, and it’s just as soft and wonderful as it’s made out to be. Thanks (I think)!

    • Haha, I’m so glad you love it! This is definitely my favorite white bread recipe. It takes a little effort, but the results are amazing every time!

  5. This bread is the most delicious bread I have ever seen ! My question was, do i have to divide the dough into 4 equal parts? Can i just make one big one and bake it like a regular bread?

  6. How much is 3 tbsp of butter for your recipe above?

  7. I plan on making this hopefully this weekend ! I am so excited LOL ! Have you ever tried this without the egg? Unfortunately, my 2 year old is allergic (anaphylactic shock) to it. Cheers !

    • I have not tried it without the egg. I think the egg is pretty essential to the recipe, so not sure how it will turn out with it. Maybe you canfind an eggless bread recipe to try for your 2 year old?

  8. Wow..the bread looks yummy and I can’t wait to try it.
    I have a question on the yeast. Can I replace the instant yeast with active dry yeast? What additional steps do I have to do?
    Thank u

    • I believe it can be done, but I don’t know exactly the extra steps as I always just buy instant yeast since it’s so much faster.

  9. Hi Kirbie. Thanks for the pictorial guide. Its really helpful. I tried this couple of times but could not get the dough to pass the windowpane test. I did everything with hand, mix and knead since I dont have a mixer. May I know how long did you knead using hand? I tried kneading for 40 mins, stretch and roll method, but the dough still tear when I did windowpane test. Thanks!

    • It’s really hard to get the desired consistency kneading by hand. I only kneaded hand once a long time ago, I don’t remember how it took, but I actually had my husband help me knead because it took a lot of strength and time. Do you have a mixer you can use? It works very well with the mixer.

  10. I tried making this bread and I thought I had a bag of bread flour, put everything together in my ka mixer but it was still very sticky and did not seem to come together. I rechecked all my ingredients and it turns out the bag of “bread flour” was a bag of “bread mix!” is this the culprit? I kept adding ap flour to thicken up the dough mixture so it’s not so sticky. And transferred it to a bowl. I didn’t have the heart to throw the dough out. It’s sitting in my refrigerator hoping there might be a way to save it?

    Thank you

    • Bread flour and bread mix are not the same thing so that is probably the problem. I’m not quite sure how to save it. You might try googling and seeing if anyone out there has discussed it in a forum or something.

  11. I made Tangzhong Cinnamon Swirl Milk Bread.

    I didn’t have any plain milk in the house, so I substituted
    1/2 cup of buttermilk. Other than that, I followed the Milk Bread recipe exactly from this website.

    I used my bread machine dough cycle to knead and for the 1st rise.

    But when it came to shaping the loaf, I shaped it into a traditional Cinnamon Swirl Loaf and used this filling below.

    What a wonderful dough to roll out and work with. It was so light and smooth. Hardly any snap back when rolling out. A pleasure to work with.

    Filling:
    1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp vanilla extract (for egg wash inside and outside)

    1/2 cup Craisins (Dried Cranberries)

    Mix these dry ingredients together, sprinkle as filling:
    2 Tablespoons white granulated sugar
    2 Tablespoons brown sugar
    2 teaspoons Penzey’s Vietnamese cinnamon
    2 teaspoons Penzey’s Apple Pie Spice
    1 Tablespoon flour

    Placed shaped loaf in 9×5-in loaf pan. Standard rise and baking at 350-F until center of loaf reached 195-F.

    This was the lightest, highest rising, best tasting Cinnamon Swirl Bread I have ever made. It is so light and fluffy.

    This will be my go to Cinnamon Swirl Bread in the future.

  12. I make the TangZhong roux in an 1100-watt microwave. Use a pyrex? cup. 100-gm room temperature water, 20-gm flour. Mix well with whisk.
    -Microwave 20-seconds. Stir, take temperature. Will be about 120-F.
    -Microwave 10-seconds. Stir, take? temperature. Will be about 135-F.
    -Microwave 10 more seconds. Stir, take temperature. Will be about 145-F.
    -Microwave a? final 5-seconds. Stir and take temp. The roux is at about 150-F.
    The roux will be thick and creamy and a translucent white color.
    Cool to below 130-F, mix with other wet ingredients and add to bread maker.

  13. First and foremost, let me say i LOVE this recipe! Its super easy to make, the bread always comes out delicious and theyre always so fluffy and soft! I use this recipe for many types of bread recipe. The other day i made cinnamon roll, i used this recipe. I have also made pull apart cheese garlic bread, again using this recipe. One thing i modified when making the garlic bread, i added a little bit more salt and less sugar. (cant provide exact amount cause i just used the feeling method). So, thanks a lot for the recipe!!! <3

  14. Can this recipe me be baked in the bread machine without the added step of rolling out the dough?

    • I believe it can be baked in a bread machine but may need some tweaking of the recipe. I haven’t tried making it in a bread machine so I don’t know what the tweaks are. You can try google search to see if other bloggers have made a version with bread machine.

  15. On your first posting of milk bread you had the oven temperature at 350 degrees F, on this posting you have it at 325 degrees f. Did you find the lower temp to work better?

    • Yes. The first time I made it, the top was getting too dark brown before the bread was done. So I lowered the temperature and it still baked fine and the top didn’t get too brown.

  16. Hi Kirbie, I made this recipe here in India, ended up using only 2 cups of all purpose flour and absolutely loved the resulting bread. I also added milk powder because I love the milky sweet resulting taste. Though I altered the proportions, I found your pictures to very helpful and used those as a guide for the bread. Without the picture of the dough being strecthed, I would have had no idea what I was aiming for. Thanks for the detailed post.

    • Glad to be of help! I’m happy the recipe worked even with the reductions and using all purpose flour instead of bread flour

  17. I’m trying this recipe today and was wondering if you had tried baking it in a Pullman loaf pan? I love the way the Japanese bakeries have their loaves baked and am trying to recreate that….

  18. I added the full amount of tangzhong… Now I’m waiting on the final rise, and then I get to discover if it turns out. (Crossing fingers)

  19. It tastes perfect! Awesome!

  20. Hi there, I used the same recipe from Christine’s blog and my bread turned out soft and fluffy only on the first day. It turned kinda hard and dry the next day, although it still tasted very good after toasting it. Do u have any idea why?

    • That is so strange. I’ve never had that happen before. Did you keep the bread covered overnight? Also did you use bread flour?

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