Sweet Milk Bread Rolls

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 9 rolls


  • cups bread flour
  • 3 tbsp+2tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup fat free milk
  • 120 g tangzhong (see note)
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature


  1. Make sure you have tangzhong already made from the night before or a few hours before you are going to make the bread as it needs to cool before use.
  2. Combine the flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast in a bowl of a stand mixer. Make a well in the center. Whisk and combine all wet ingredients: milk, egg and tangzhong, then add into the well of the dry ingredients. Use the dough hook attachment and mix on low speed until your dough comes together and then add in the butter and continue mixing on medium to high speed. Mix/knead for about 18-20 minutes until the dough is no longer sticky and is elastic. You want the dough to be elastic. So if you were to take a part of it and stretch it out, you can stretch it to a very thin membrane without it breaking. When you poke a hole in the thin membrane, it should form a close to perfect circle.
  3. Gather 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.
  4. Deflate and divide the dough into nine equal portions. Knead into ball shapes. Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Roll out each part 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. Turn the dough over, so that the folds face down and roll and flatten dough with pin. Flip dough again, so folded side faces up. Roll the dough up from top to bottom. Take both ends and fold down until they meet at the bottom. Stretch and move the top portion of the dough around until you end up with a ball shape at the top and the ends are tucked into the bottom. Repeat this step of rolling for the rest of your dough. With seals of the dough balls facing down, place the nine balls into an 8 x 8 baking pan that is lined with parchment paper. Then cover with cling wrap or a wet towel. Leave it for the second r ound of proofing, about 45 to 60 minutes, until double in size.
  6. Whisk an egg and brush egg wash on surface of buns (this will create the shiny finish). Bake in a pre-heated 330°F oven for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer onto a wire rack and let cool completely.


  • Use this recipe here for the tangzhong, but make sure you weigh out 120g as this tangzhong recipe makes close to double the amount needed)
  • Bread base adapted from Christine's Recipes
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