Jan 6, 2023

Japanese Milk Bread

Have you ever heard of this type of soft bread? I hadn't until the other day Cindy a friend was talking about hers. You know I had to try it. My bread pictured on right baked a little darker than planned, but it was still so very soft and so good! Today I'm sharing a post on this delicious bread that is soft, flaky, and just plain delicious!

I found many recipes but chose to make the King Arthur Japanese Milk Bread Recipe. You truly can't go wrong making any of their recipes.


First of all, I had no bread flour so I had to make it with all-purpose flour.  Bread flour has a lot of gluten more than other flour it seems.  To make your own you must add gluten in some form or another, see my post Make Your Own Self-Rising, Cake, and Bread Flour which DUMMY ME, I forgot to make the homemade bread conversion and just added all-purpose flour to this recipe! What a wonderful mistake! It very well may be the best bread recipe I've ever made and  I share it with you today.

MY RECIPE VERSION of King Arthur's Original. Using what ingredients I had on hand.

Using all-purpose flour instead of bread flour I made the Tangzhong a soft paste that helps to make your bread moist soft and rise well.

Using their recipe as a guide, But replacing the bread flour with all-purpose and kneading plus the first rise in my Zojirushi bread machine.  I did the following:

MAKE this first it has to cool

TANGZHONG the flour paste

3 Tablespoons water

3 Tablespoons whole milk

2 tablespoons bread flour or all-purpose flour 

Combine all the above ingredients in a small saucepan.  Whisk removing any lumps. Cook over low heat whisking frequently for 3 to 5 minutes.  You can see it separate and thicken. (shown in their photo above)  Remove from heat, put into a dish to allow to cool. Set aside to add to your bread dough mixture later.


2 1/2 cups King Arthur Bread Flour or all-purpose flour  (I used what I had Pillsbury all-purpose)
2 Tablespoons dry milk (I used Horizon Dry Milk found at Sam's Club)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (I use Dominos pure cane sugar, not the GMO beet sugars)
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon instant yeast
1/2 cup whole milk
1 large egg
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

ADD the ingredients above Plus the Tangzhong paste that you've made and cooled to a bread machine.

USE Dough Setting on the bread machine
Mine takes about 1 1/2 hours to rest, mix, knead and rise
When it has risen unplug the bread machine and Remove your dough ball. Gently deflate the dough 

SHAPE the dough ball into a rectangle

CUT the dough into 4 equal sections

FLATTEN into 5 x 8-inch rectangles

FOLD short ends in towards each other like an envelope

FLATTEN the pieces again this time into 3 x 6-inch rectangles

STARTING with a short-end roll each section into a 4-inch log

LIGHTLY GREASE a 5 x 9-inch loaf pan (I used my excellent USA pan)
PLACE the logs side by side in a row of 4 with the seam side down.

COVER with a light tea towel or cloth and allow to rise for 40 to 50 minutes (I placed mine in my oven on the PROOF setting above a pan of hot water to rest and rise)

WHEN it is almost time to bake preheat the oven to 350 degrees

** my note ** I had to remove my dough quickly from my oven, so I could preheat it for baking. I placed it into the microwave above a pan of hot water for the remaining time to finish rising. It worked well. Of course, if you are proofing your dough elsewhere omit this step.

BRUSH the top of your dough with room-temperature milk before baking or you may use an egg/water wash to brush.  I used the milk and it was great!


When the dough has risen, bake immediately.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes or when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 190 degrees.

COOL for a few minutes then remove from the pan and place on a rack to cool further. I also brushed it with butter while cooling.

STORE leftover bread well-wrapped at room temperature for 5 - 7 days.  You may freeze for longer storage.

So, I found out you can make a great loaf of this soft bread with all-purpose flour!

What a Wonderful Mistake!

I like the homemade Tangshong which also works well with all-purpose flour

This bread is amazing in taste and soft amazing texture!  Light and feathery!

We love it!

Print only pages you need Hibiscus House Dolly is Cooking here

Original Test Kitchen Recipe here

Oh, and before I forget:  Merry Old Christmas!

My Grandmama Cora used to talk about this day I remember.

About Tangzhong

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