Having experimented with various milk bread recipes, I’ve settled on a favourite one. It is fuss-free, wonderful when eaten on its own and can be used as a base to pair with my favourite fillings.
Here’s the recipe, adapted from The Flavour Bender’s Japanese Milk Bread Recipe.
The original recipe incorporates a Tangzhong roux but I noticed the addition of Tangzhong did not make any discernible difference to the bread’s texture or taste. To preserve the bread’s freshness, simply freeze the bread.
The MVP ingredient is actually the milk powder – it infuses the bread with a sweet aroma.
6 g instant yeast
1 egg (cold from fridge)
30g full cream milk powder
290g milk (cold from fridge)
70g unsalted butter softened, to allow easy incorporation into dough
I stay in the tropics so I use the ingredients straight from the fridge. But if it’s cold in your country, you may need to warm up the milk before adding in the yeast else the yeast may not bloom.
- Whisk the egg and milk in mixing bowl until well mixed. Then add the yeast, sugar, milk powder, salt in this order. Whisk well after each addition.
- Add flour and mix thoroughly with a pair of chopsticks/spatula until it all comes together. The dough will be sticky. Let it rest in the bowl for 30 minutes.
- Transfer the dough onto the kneading mat/worktable. Stretch/knead the dough for 2-3 minutes then add the butter and knead until fully incorporated (about 10 minutes or less). The dough will be sticky so use the slap and fold method. Avoid adding flour.
- Proof the dough till doubled in size or proof it overnight in the fridge (not freezer).
- Degas the dough, divide and shape into smaller pieces as desired. Give it a 15 minutes bench rest if you can.
- Shape the doughs and let them proof until doubled in size. If using a loaf pan, until the dough is almost touching the lid. If the 1st proof was done overnight, this may take longer ie 1.5 – 2 hours.
- Brush the buns with egg wash. If using a loaf with a lid, no need to apply egg wash.
This dough weighs around 970g and is good for 1 bread loaf (540g for a Chefmade loaf pan measuring 8.4″ x 4.8″ x 4.5″) and 12 small bread rolls (35g-36g each) that fit nicely into a brownie pan.
Bake the loaf @ 200°C for 30 mins and the bread rolls @ 200°C for 13-15 minutes.