In this post, I will show you the softest, lightest and fluffiest Japanese milk bread recipe.

You may wonder, Japan is not the country famous for bread, so what is so unique about the Japanese bread recipe?

I was equally puzzled why the Japanese bread (Hokkaido milk bread) is so soft until I found the secret ingredients on a Japanese website (Thanks to Google translate !)

What is TangZhong?

TangZhong is the term of the semi-cooked flour/water mix when it is heated up to 165°F/74°C, which resembles a pudding-like roux. The gelatinized starch withholds more moisture, which makes the bread incredibly soft and fluffy.

This method is not something familiar to people who grow up in the west, where bread is the staple food. 

In fact,  archaeology and history show that bread has been eaten since at least 30,000 years ago, according to an article. There is extensive evidence of breadmaking in Ancient Egypt and the Middle East long ago.   Fast forward to the present time, the method of bread making has been improvised in different ways all over the world.

So today I am using one of the Japnese bread-making methods, the TangZhong method,  which has not seen in any English cookbooks. (As far as I have read 🙂

Making Japanese milk bread for a change

Bread is something undeniably tasty. The flavor of a good loaf, the cracking sound of biting into a freshly baked baguette, and the texture of the soft crumb is almost a sensual experience.

But in the Far East at Hokkaido, Japan, at the land of the rising sun, people living there are making bread with a soft, tender and silky smooth texture, taking the position at the other end of the spectrum.

Japanese or Hokkaido milk bread has become the typical stable in Japan, It is as light as a feather and can tear apart like cotton when it is fresh from the oven.

Read on if you are willing to stick your neck out trying something unconventional.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info. I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

 I will show you the softest, lightest and fluffiest Japanese milk bread recipe.

How to make Japanese milk bread – the easy step-by-step guide

Making Japanese soft bread can be messy, and it takes time to master. Therefore, I try to strip off the unnecessary information, making it simple and straightforward.

As you will notice in the video, I use a simple, small mixer for demonstration rather than using my large mixer in my cafe.  The method is virtually hands-free except for shaping the dough. Alternatively, make use of your bread machine if you have one.

Step 1- Preparing the TangZhong

This is the most important step in baking Japanese milk bread that is as soft as cotton.

Here are the steps:

  • Mix one part of bread flour with five parts of water.
  • Place the flour/water mixture in a small pan (I use a milk pan), heat it up slowly over low heat.
  • The slurry will start to become thicker as the temperature rise. Eventually, you can draw lines while stirring, similar to the consistency of whipping cream just before it forms soft peaks. At this time, it should be around 65°C/150°F. (You can use a kitchen thermometer to test it, but after a few practices, you should be able to judge it visually to decide when to remove it from heat.
  • Let the TangZhong cool down before adding to the dough.
Hokkaido milk bread
Look at the paper-like texture when you tear open the bread!

Step 2- Scaling all the ingredients

Scaling the ingredients is quite straightforward. The only thing might be a little tricky is how much water is required. My favorite amount of water is 63ml per 100g of flour. This ratio usually yields bread dough that is moist, elastic but not too wet to handle by hand.

Flour has the most significant effect on the outcome of bread among all the ingredients. You need to use bread flour, not the cake flour in this recipe.

Bread flour has 12% to 14% protein (gluten), which can produce bread with good structure and texture.

The recipe is set up with the weight of flour as 100%, and the amount of other ingredients is relative to flour.

I will not follow exactly the textbook method, but with a few twists to bypass some kinks and quirks along the way.

Note on bread flour

Bread flour contains 12% to 14% gluten, which is an essential ingredient for a good bread structure. Gluten is the composite of the protein called glutenin and gliadin.

When flour meets water, glutenin will denature and forms a long, curly string. This string gives the bread the desired structure, allows the dough to expand and rise. Glutenin is hydrophilic (meaning attract water) and able to hold more water in the structure of the bread. Therefore, glutenin contributes to the elasticity and springy property of the dough.

Gliadin is hydrophobic (water-repelling) and therefore counteracts the elasticity of gluten and contributes to extensibility to the dough.

Bread flour has the percentage of gluten that provides the optimum amount of gluten for bread making.

Hokkaido mild bread
Japanese bread is soft like cotton and with a fine texture.

Step 3- Mixing the dough

Mixing is self-explanatory, but there are some key points worth taking note to get the best result.

(Note: Please refer to the recipe for the step-by-step mixing instruction.)

  • Incorporate the flour and water and set aside to let it rest. This step is called autolyze, which is a passive step to develop gluten. You can skip this step, but autolyzing the flour will produce loaves of bread with better structure.
  • If you are using active dry yeast, mix it with water to bloom it before adding to the flour and water.
  • Mix with a dough hook at low speed. If you use a small mixer, start with low speed as it might be damaged if you are mixing a tough dough. Low speed is preferred as high speed might tear apart the gluten.
  • Mix all the remaining ingredients (except butter) in the recipe for eight to ten minutes. You will notice the sticky mess in the mixer slowly bind together and takes shape.
  • Add the butter at the last stage since butter hinders gluten development. After a while (about mixing for eight to ten minutes, depends on the power and the speed of the mixer) the sticky mass will become a sticky dough, and eventually turns into an elastic dough with a shiny surface.
  • Perform a stretch test. Mix the dough until you can stretch the dough to form a semi-translucent film without breaking it. This method is commonly used to determine whether the mixing is sufficient. At this stage, you can stop mixing and proceed to the next step.

Step 4- Bulk fermentation

After mixing, leave the dough aside and wait for it to expand. The expansion is due to the yeast cells consume the sugar (which is the result of the starch breaks down during fermentation) and start to produce gas and alcohol. (Yes! The yeast cells can eat, fart and poop!).

Things to take note at this stage:

  • It is best to cover the dough with a kitchen towel or cling film to prevent a crust from forming.
  • Let the dough rise to room temperature. Do not rush the bulk fermentation. In fact, slow rice is better because it encourages flavor and structure development.
  • Fermentation is completed when the dough is double in size. If you poke your finger into the dough at this stage, a dent will remain.

Step 5- Punching, portion, rounding, resting and folding the dough

So far your hands are clean because the mixer is doing all the hard work for you. Now it is time to get your hands dirty. This is a step you cannot rely on the machine.

Some books break down this step into several sub-steps, which is labeled in bold in the following paragraphs. These are quite straightforward, but if you are unsure, please refer to the video below.:

  • Use your fist to punch down the dough (lightly of course!). Punching helps to release the air trapped in the dough. Lift up the side of the dough with a floured hand, and it should flop out in one giant blob onto the table. It is now much less sticky (and more elastic) thanks to the formation of gluten.
  • Use a baker’s scale, portion the dough and divide it into pieces of uniform weight with a dough spatula. Remember there will be about ten to thirteen percent water loss during baking, so the bread/bun will become lighter than the pre-baked dough. So let’s say you want to make some rolls weighted 50g each, you should weight 60 g of dough to get the desired weight.
  • Shape each portion into smooth, round balls. This procedure is called rounding, which stretches the gluten to form a skin on the surface. It helps to shape the dough and also retain gases produced by the yeast cells.
  • Let the dough rest on the working surface for ten minutes to let the gluten relax. It is easier to shape the relaxed dough into the pattern you like. Folding is a crucial step to making Japanese milk bread, although it does not apply to many continental bread recipes. First roll out the dough as thin as possible (if you carry out the previous steps
  • Folding is a crucial step to making Japanese milk bread, although it does not apply to many continental bread recipes. Folding the dough like making croissants help to form texture with layers. You can peel off the bread by layers as thin as paper by hand. Add this little trick to your bread making routine. You will be amazed by the paper-like texture. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin into a rectangle, as thin as possible but not to break it. After that, roll it up like making a Swiss roll.
  • Apply some oil to the cake pan before placing the dough in it to ensure easy removal after baking
  • Clean up your working surface with the bench scraper.
Japanese soft buns for breakfast
Japanese soft buns are perfect for breakfast or afternoon tea.

Step 6- Proofing

Proofing is the final step before baking. Here are a few points worth to pay attention:

  • After putting the shaped dough in the loaf pan or baking pan, cover it with a damp cloth to retain moisture.
  • You can leave them in a warm place until it doubles in bulk. You may also place it in a cold area and let it proof for a longer time (also called retarding). Slow proofing will give the bread better flavor.
  • If you have a rich dough (as in this formula, in which there is a high content of butter), you may want to under proofed slightly as the weaker structure of gluten (as a result of the higher amount of oil) with not withstand much stretching.

Step 7- Baking and cooling

Bake at 180°C/350°F for 25 minutes or until the crust turns golden brown.

Be careful so not over baked the rolls as we are making Japanese soft bread, not a crusty finishing like banquettes.

Perhaps the most noticeable change during baking is the size of the dough. So if you bake the dough which has doubled its bulk, the final volume of the bread will be more than double, around 2 1/2 times larger than the original size. The volume expansion is due to the last effort of the faithful yeast cells before they eventually surrender their life as a result of the increased heat in the oven. This process is called oven spring.

Oven spring occurs due to the rapid rising of temperature in resulting rapid expansion of the gas trapped in the dough and the increased activity by the yeast at a higher temperature. However, once the temperature reaches 60°C/140°F, yeast will be killed, and the dough will stop rising.

Another significant change is the browning of the surface, producing the unique flavor of the bread. At this stage, the starch is broken down into simple sugar, and the proteins are torn apart into amino acids. These simple sugars and amino acids interact with each other to form thousands of organic component which collectively stimulate our senses. That is why you are attracted by the aroma drifting from the kitchen to your dining room. In chemistry, this happening in the oven is called the Maillard reaction.

After baking, remove the Japanese milk bread from the pans quickly to allow the moisture and alcohol to escape quickly. Apply some melted butter before cooling if you prefer to have a soft crust on the bread.

Additional note: Use the right amount of water for the dough

The amount of water is way too little if it is the only source of liquid. That is why you may find that is is too dry in the beginning.

However, after adding the egg and the TangZhong, which have a high percentage of water, the total amount of water becomes just right.

More water is added from the butter at the final stage ( butter contains about 16% of water), which make the final dough has the right consistency.

You can take a look at the images below:

Looks too dry
MIlk bread 2
Add TangZhong
MIlk bread 3
Add butter
Japanese style butter buns
The buns are just baked and cooling on the rack.

Japanese Milk Bread Recipe

Yield: 10 small buns

Japanese Milk Bread

Japanese soft roll

Japanese milk bread is the fluffiest, softest bread you can find. 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 44 minutes
Total Time 54 minutes


TangZhong: (Part 1)

The main dough: (Part 2)



  1. Mix the bread flour and water in part 1) in a small pan, heat it up slowly over low heat.
  2. When the slurry starts to become thicker, you can draw lines while stirring it. When this happens, remove it from heat.

The main dough:

  1. Sprinkle and dissolve the active dry yeast in water, wait for five minutes until the yeast is activated.
  2. Mix the water/yeast combination and flour in part 2 together, mix it for half a minute and set aside to autolyze for at least half an hour.
  3. Add the TangZhog and rest of the ingredients in part 2 (except butter) into the flour/water mixture. Mix with a dough hook for eight to ten minutes.
  4. Add butter and mix for another two minutes or until you can stretch the dough to form a semi-translucent film without breaking it.
  5. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel or cling film. Let the dough ferment at room temperature until it doubles in size. If you poke your finger into the dough at this stage, a dent will remain.
  6. Punch down the dough. Place the dough on a working surface. Portion the dough and divide it into pieces of uniform weight.
  7. Shape each portion into smooth, round balls. Let the dough rest on the working surface for ten minutes to let the gluten relax. 
  8. Roll out the dough as thin as possible, and then roll it up like making the Swiss roll. Place them in an oiled bread pan.
  9. Cover it with a damp cloth or cling wrap to retain moisture.
  10. Leave them in a warm place until it doubles in bulk.
  11. Apply some egg wash on the surface. Bake at 180°C/350°F for 25 minutes or until the crust turns golden brown.


Two teaspoons of milk powder can be replaced by 40 ml of milk. So the 55ml of water will become 40ml of milk + 15 ml of water (The main dough)

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

10 buns

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 148Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 112mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 4g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 5/25/2019

How to convert the ordinary bread formula to Japanese milk bread

This Japanese milk bread is the softest, lightest and fluffiest bread ever.

The following example demonstrates how to convert any bread recipe to the pillowy soft Japanese milk bread.

Let’s say you have a basic white bread recipe as below:

– High gluten flour (bread flour)105g
– Water 47ml
– Milk powder 4g
– Castor sugar 15g
– Salt 1g
– Egg 20g
– Butter 15g
– Active dry yeast 1g

Following the following steps:
1. Set aside 5% (5g) of the bread flour in the recipe to prepare the TangZhong.
2. Reduce 5g of flour in the recipe.
3. Set aside 25ml (5 times of the weight of flour) of water for the TangZhong
4. Reduce 25ml of water in the recipe

The revised recipe will be as below:

– 5g of bread flour
– 25g of water
The main dough:
– High gluten flour (bread flour)100g
– Water 22ml
– Milk powder 4g
– Castor sugar 15g
– Salt 1g
– Egg 20g
– Butter 15g
– Active dry yeast 1g

    91 replies to "Japanese milk bread- How to make the softest, lightest and fluffiest bread ever"

    • Lily Teh

      Thanks Sifu for so generously sharing your recipes and teaching us.
      For the Japanese bread, can we use instant yeast instead of active dry yeast? If not, then any recommendation of brand for the active dry yeast sold locally here?

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Lily,
        Yes, you can. Any form of yeast will give you the same result. You may just get a small packet or those in a small plastic container from the local supermarket.

        KP Kwan

    • KP Kwan

      Hi, this is KP Kwan. I am happy to see you in this comment area, as you have read through my recipe. I am glad to reply any questions and comments as soon as possible.

      • nulsen

        hi, 55ml water for 250g flour doesn’t seem right. Please help. I want to do more so i’m doubling all ingredients. But 500g flour with 110ml is very dry.

        • KP Kwan

          Hi Nulsen
          I have just verified the recipe this morning before I answer your question to ensure it is correct.

          The amount of water is way too little if it is the only source of liquid. That is why you find that is is too dry.

          However, after adding egg and the TangZhong, in which both have a high percentage of water, the total amount of water becomes sufficient.

          More water is added from the butter at the final stage ( butter contains about 16% of water), which make the final dough has the right consistency.

          You can take a look of the images I just added, right above the video in the article.

          Thank you so much for your question. You let me have a chance to pick up this confusion and amend in the post.

          KP Kwan

    • M.S.

      Wow finally i got this recipe in engliah as was looking for it long time now and always used to see in Asian language. The buns looks yumm nd soft. Thanx lots dear for sharing the recipe vwry much appreciated

      • KP Kwan

        Hi M.S.,

        Great to know that you are looking for this recipe which I have just uploaded, Do try out the Japanese milk bread and enjoy it.

        KP Kwan

    • […] Recipe: Taste of Asian Food […]

    • Amassa

      Thank you for this perfect explained recipe .. i wanted to take pictures from the breads i did but they were eaten too fast .. next time i will ! 🙂

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Amassa,
        As long as you did it perfectly and everyone like it, never mind for the picture. I am sure you will make it again 🙂

        KP Kwan

    • Glenda

      It was the best Hokkaido milk bread I made. Following your instructions step by step. Thanks for sharing .

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Glenda,

        Thank you for following this Hokkaido milk bread recipe. Glad to know that it works.

        KP Kwan

    • Sharon

      Can i substitute milk powder with milk for this recipe and how do i adjust the overall liquid content if i do?

      We don’t consume milk powder at home so it would be a waste to buy a whole tin just for a few grams in the recipe.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Sharon,

        Two teaspoons of milk powder can be replaced by 40 ml of milk. So the 55ml of water will become 40ml of milk + 15 ml of water (The main dough)

        KP Kwan

    • Nik Mahani

      Hi there

      Thank you KP Kwan for sharing your recipie with us. I have yet to try but I wld appreciate so kuch if you can give measurements in cups & spoons. My weighing machine is not accurate. Wld love to try it ASAP.

      Thank you again. Bye

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Nik,
        It is tough to convert into cups and spoons, each ingredient and has a different weight when they are filled into the cup. My best suggestion is to buy a reliable kitchen scale that can measure to the accuracy of one gram.
        But if you want a quick guide, I found one which is useful for you. You can check it out the following link:
        Hope this helps.

        KP Kwan

    • Kelli Hyatt

      Can you do this with English Muffins, or would that turn out awful.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Kelli,
        I have not tried that so far, and neither good at English Muffins. Sorry that I cannot really give you a good recommendation.

        KP Kwan

    • Donna

      If I wanted to make a loaf of bread instead of rolls, would i need to double the recipe?

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Donna,
        I all depend on how large is the pan. Take into consideration that you need to wait until the size of the dough doubles before baking, and it will likely expand further in the oven. Other than that, bake a little longer (same temperature).


        KP Kwan

    • Sandra Waller

      The bread looks delicious ! I’m a baker anf i make all kinds of bread,but it is cofusing when the recipe id in Grams and Mls ! It would be nice if when publized you can present your recipes in cups or pounds for the flours ! Thanks !⚘

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Sandra,
        Thank you for your suggestion. I will use cups and teaspoon etc. for baking items in future so that it is easier to follow.
        KP Kwan

    • Bob

      Please continue to keep your recipes in the metric system, i.e., grams, milliletters, etc. The recipes are more accurate when weighed. PASTRY Chefs and most other chefs always weigh the ingredients for accuracy- especially baking Please do not use the stupid and unreliable cus, spoons ounces, pounds and other inaccurate measuring devices. Scales are the best. All my family recipes need a scale in order to make them – they also use metric weights to accuracy. Love your recipes just the way the are – please keep them like they are. Lazy people use cups and spoons when baking & cooking because it is easier. We love the Hokkaido Bread! Thanks for sharing your recipes. Most ignorant people will not share recipes. I don’t know what they think they!!!!! Thanks again Bobby.

      • KP Kwan

        Dear Bob,
        Thank you for your support to continue use weight as the unit of measurement for my recipes.

        I have several inquiries to ask me converting the measurement of baking items to cups etc. I can understand that it is more convenient for them, or they do not have a digital scale at home.

        I know that many cookbooks use cups, spoons etc., but baking is more of science than art, and accuracy is critical to the success. I have converted all our recipes in my restaurant which I have worked for 15 years. Measurement of butter, water, milk, and even ground spices are all down to one gram accuracy. It is a proven method that all my staffs are able to replicate with high accuracy.

        So I am planning to use both measurements in future, grammage in the recipes and a conversion table for anyone who wants to use cups, albeit that is not ideal.


        KP Kwan

    • Lilian

      May I know what is the difference between the Japanese Style Bread Flour and the Normal Bread Flour? Can I use the normal bread flour instead? Thanks

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Lilian,
        Japanese bread flour is just bread flour that made in Japan. Use the regular bread flour will do. It has about the same gluten content as the regular bread flour. I use it because this is a Japanese recipe, but the difference is insignificant. The Japanese one is very fine, and the result of the bread is smoother.

    • Infins

      Dear KP Kwan, what is happening when I poke my fingers but the dent is not remained? And the dough has been doubled in size.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Infins,
        As long as it doubles in size, go ahead for the next step. The milk bread dough is ready.

        KP Kwan

    • Lk lai

      Thanks for the recipe, explanations and tips. Very helpful. Can the butter be substituted with oil and how much? Would using oil, eg, olive oil be healthier than using butter? Thanks!

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Lai,
        The flavor of butter is better than olive oil if you want it to be authentic. You can substitute it with olive oil with the same amount.
        Olive oil is used to make many types of bread so it is alright.
        KP Kwan

    • Ailing

      Dear KP Kwan, may I skip the process of tangzhong method and just use dried yeast instead? For the above recipe how much of yeast should I use? Thanks.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Ailing,
        You can use the same amount of yeast for the Japanese milk bread. If you do not intend to make the tangzhong, please add the amount of all the ingredients of the tangzhong (include water) to the main dough.
        The difference of not having the tangzhong is that the texture will not be as soft and stretchy.

        KP Kwan

    • Yi

      Is it ok to use hands to mix instead of a mixer and just use bread flour to flour the board if needed?

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Yi,
        It is alright to use hand to mix, provided it is a small batch. You will be very tired if you mix with hand for a large batch of milk bread.

        KP Kwan

    • Dave

      1. I could not find a link to the video. Could you post it pls?
      2. Above in the post you mention your favorite ratio of water/flour is 63ml water per 100g of flour. Doesn’t this apply to this recipe?
      3. Lastly you mention 50g egg, you mean beat the egg before so if cutting out some, it’s homogeneous?


      • KP Kwan

        Hi Dave,
        Thanks for your comment and interest in my recipe. Here are the answers:
        1. The video is located right above the recipe. Click the video and it will play right away.
        2. I make other bread based on this 63% ratio. However, this Japanese bread has less liquid to flour ration, as it is made with the ThangZhong. Also, you can use the 63% ratio for most of the loaves, as it will form following the shape of your bread tin. The problem of making small buns by using too much liquid (water, egg, milk etc) is that is will not able to maintain the shape nicely. You can follow the amount in the recipe and it should be fine.
        3. The 50g of the egg is after cracking (weight without the shell). I use a kitchen digital scale so I prefer weight everything with it, which is more accurate.

        Thanks and hope you will enjoy the Japanese milk bread.

        KP Kwan

    • Ursula

      Hi Sir,the video is not playing

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Ursula,
        I check the video which is now playing correctly. I also add a Youtube link right above the embedded video. If you still have difficulty in viewing it, please click the word “clicking this link” in blue. It will open up the video on Youtube.
        KP Kwan

    • […] minutes, it will turn to a springy, elastic ball. If you are interested in making bread, I have a Japanese milk bread recipe with a light and cottony […]

    • A Food Historian & Chef

      good recipe, but you might want to get your facts straight before claiming bread ‘originated’ from the west. it’s already been proven that the first breads have African/Middle Eastern roots.

      • KP Kwan

        Dear Food Historian & Chef,
        Thank you for highlighting the incorrect facts in the article. I have made some changes and remove the ‘originated’ error.

        Best regards,
        KP Kwan

    • Borker

      Hello!! I recently got into bread making and I wanted to make milk rolls for a while! This recipe worked like a charm!! I did overbake them a bit, but they’re so soft and delicious!! Great recipe 😀

      • KP Kwan

        Great to know that it works. Thanks for trying out the recipe!

    • Vanessa

      Hi! Can i check, how long does the bulk fermentation take? And for the second rise?

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Vanesa,
        The answer for bulk fermentation is at the text under ‘Step 4’. Fermentation is completed when the dough is double in size. If you poke your finger into the dough at this stage, a dent will remain. It depends on the visual appearance, not the actual timing since the time required depends on the temperature and how active the yeast.
        For the second rise, you can refer to ‘Step 6- proofing’. You can leave them in a warm place until it doubles in bulk. You may also place it in a cold area and let it proof for a longer time (also called retarding). Slow proofing will give the bread better flavor. Again, it depends on the visual appearance, as the actual timing defers.
        KP Kwan

    • Trinette

      Hi. Thanks for the recipe. The steps didn’t mention how much water I need to use for the dry yeast. Would you
      Please clarify ? I watched the video and saw that water and dry yeast are mixed before adding the rest of the ingredients (except) butter. Thanks.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Trinette,
        Thank you for pointing out the confusion in the recipe. You need to dissolve the yeast in the water first before adding the flour. I have made the amendment int he recipe. The first two lines of the recipe now read as below;

        1. Sprinkle and dissolve the active dry yeast in water, wait for five minutes until the yeast is activated.
        2. Mix the water/yeast combination and flour in part 2 together, mix it for half a minute and set aside to autolyze for at least half an hour.

        Best regards,
        KP Kwan

    • Raelynn Hancock

      Love your recipe & video
      Can I use this dough in cinnamon roll recipes?

      • KP Kwan

        I would like to see the result of using this recipe to make the cinnamon roll. Go for it and it will be delightful.

        • Raelynn Hancock

 is the day for me to tackle this recipe! But I have a quick question .. why do some recipes for tangzhong use milk and some use water. Which is best???? I’m drying to make raspberry rolls with the worlds softest dough!!

          • KP Kwan

            Hi Raelynn,
            The use of milk or water is the preference of the recipe creator. Milk provides flavor in this recipe, and hence it is called milk bread. If you do not wish to use milk, please substitute the exact amount of milk with water and is good to go.
            Best regards,
            KP Kwan

        • Raelynn Hancock

          I’d love to show you a picture of the raspberry rolls(instead of cinnamon). My only issue is I didn’t add enough salt:( I must buy a scale!!

          • KP Kwan

            Haha, that is great. It is one of the best investments I have ever made – buy a digital weighing scale for the kitchen.

    • Raelynn Hancock

      I’m going to tackle this recipe today.. but can you answer a quick question? Why do some recipes for tangzhong use milk and some use water??? What is best?

      • KP Kwan

        I am late to reply but you can refer to my answer to your similar question earlier. I hope it turns out well.

    • mkcs

      Thanks for the recipe!! I tried making it yesterday and it was a great success!! My hubby loved it! The only problem i had was a lumpy dough(it had like little lumps the size of seeds). Any idea in which step i could have gone wrong? Or is it the type of flour that i used (it was a strong, high protein plain flour from Coles). It didn’t affect the outcome of the bread, fortunately but maybe just the aesthetics of it.

      • KP Kwan

        I am not sure what that causes the lumps because I have not encountered such a problem so far.
        It may be a good idea to sieve the flour if you suspect the lumps are from the flour. Other than that, I can’t think of any other reasons.
        KP Kwan

    • Dawn

      Hi ,

      Can I use sourdough starter instead of active dry yeast please?

      How much should I put in if my starter consist of about 50% water and 50 percent bread Flour please?

      • KP Kwan

        I do not want to give you untested suggestions since I have not used sourdough before. One thing I can foresee is the texture may not be the same. I appreciate you to let me know if you have done it successfully.
        KP Kwan

    • A Wong

      Can I use extra virgin coconut oil to replace the butter? If so, at which stage do I add the coconut oil and what is the amount needed?


      • KP Kwan

        Hi Wong,
        I never try to use extra virgin coconut oil to replace butter and is unable to give you a valid answer.
        I can say in principle the substitution seems OK, as both butter and coconut oil share a lot of similarities. I will use the equal amount as the substitute.
        Let me know if it turns out well
        Best regards,
        KP Kwan

    • Abby

      Hi. I have a question. Can I proof (1st) overnight in the fridge please? Thx

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Abby,
        Yes, you can. Slow proof at low temperature for a longer period yields a better result.
        KP Kwan

    • Rya

      Hi, mine seems very sticky even after kneading for almost an hour. Should I put more flour?

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Rya,
        Not exactly sure what causes that but below are the possible reasons:
        1. Too much liquid (water, milk, egg, etc.)
        2. Type of flour should be hight protein flour i.e., bread flour. Cake flour will not develop gluten, even kneading longer than ten minutes.
        If either one of these does not help, you need to add more flour. There is no harm to do so.
        KP Kwan

    • Raphael

      I need procedures in videos.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Raphael,
        The video is embedded in the post, not too far from the top, after the section ‘Making Japanese milk bread for a change.’ You can get the full instruction in the article, and the abbreviated procedure in the recipe card towards the end of the post.
        KP Kwan

    • Christine Wong

      Hi KP Kwan,
      Thanks for so patiently show us step by step of the instruction and answer all the query with full explanation.
      Can I use the break maker for the whole process and baking and omit step 8 to roll it thinly?
      Cause my hands have no strength to roll.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Christine,
        You can surely use the breadmaker to do all the heavy lifting. If you skip the rolling step, the bread is still good but lacks the layer texture. Rolling creates the layers, so when you tear it with your hand, it will be like tearing layers of facial cotton. However, the taste is not affected.
        KP Kwan

    • Pang Zyu Wenn

      Hello sifu Kwan, thank you for sharing ur recipes with us. i have tried out ur pau recipe and is lovely.

      Tried the sausage roll version for this recipe too. I have some queries on this. Hope you can guide me.

      After mixing the butter, my dough becomes very sticky. I use a mixer on low speed for around 10minutes but still turns out to be very sticky. Like super sticky. Still have some left on the wall. It just wont firm up as a ball. I tried kneading it with hand and it all sticks to my hand.

      Is the texture suppose to be this way and proceed straight to fermentation? Or im suppose to mix until it cleans off the wall and forms a ball? I saw some other recipe suggest so. Do kindly advice on this and what could be the possible mistakes i made.

      However my bun turn out fine. Just the crust and the bottom quite hard. Could it be overbake?

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Pang,
        Thank you for leaving your comment.
        1. The dough is indeed very sticky because of high water content so that it comes out soft and moist. The actual amount of water also depends on the weather and the property of the flour. These are all the possible variables. If you find it is too wet, you can add more flour during mixing/kneading (It will not hurt). Just a little bit by bit until it is not that sticky, You can decrease the water the next time you make the same bread. It will still turn out soft if the total water content is at 63% of the total flour used. The calculation is based on the total flour in tangzhong plus the main dough).
        2. It will not form into a ball, no matter how long you mix if it is too wet.
        3. You may reduce the bottom temperature to minimize the hard bottom that formed, or raise your baking tray to the middle instead of at the lower tack.
        Best regards,
        KP Kwan

        • Pang ZyuWenn

          Thank you sifu kwan for responding so well. Will try again surely.
          Just to confirm for point 2, if everything is done according to ur recipe, how should the dough turn out in the end? What type of consistency i should be looking for? Still sticky yet shiny? Will it form a round ball dough?

          • KP Kwan

            Hi Pang,
            It should form a round ball. In any case that it is not, please use more flour or reduce water in the recipe (and that should override that amount suggests in the recipe). The reason is that if it does not form a ball, the dough is too soft, and it will not hold the shape properly after you make it into a small bun.
            KP Kwan

            • Millie

              Hi KP Wan. What is the weight of tangzhong ? I tried your recipe and it was so YUMMY, nothing left for next day. Made a second batch n increased the recipe by 1. 5. I noticed the weight of tangzhong is more than the what is suppose to be based on the first try. Do i use all of it or the computed weight based on the first try? The dough is much more sticky than the first try. The bread didnt rise as much as the first try.

            • KP Kwan

              Hi Millie,
              I suggest using 5% of the flour as tangzhong, regardless of how large the batch size.
              Say if you have a recipe using 100g of flour, then I will use 5g for tangzhong, and 95g for the main dough.
              KP Kwan

    • Millie

      Hi, KP Wan. Thanks for your reply. What i meant was : i weighed the COOKED tangzhong of your recipe. It’s 63g. When increased the recipe to 1.5, the weight of cooked tangzhong was 103g. And i used all of it to the dough part. Should i use only 95g since 63g x 1.5 is 95g? In The dough part, bread flour is 375 n water is 82.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Mille,
        You can use all the 103g or only 95g.
        You probably will not be able to scrape all the 103g out from the bowl. The difference is 8g, which will not make a noticeable difference in the result.
        It is great that you meticulously measure, and I always do the same, but don’t be bothered too much of the minor difference in this case.
        KP Kwan

    • Catherine

      Hi, am glad to find this page.

      I always have the problem that the skin of my bread is not soft but dry, what could be the problem? I use cling wrap to cover them after shaping n proofing.

      Also, am i able to increase the milk powder portion to increase the flavour and aroma of the bread?

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Catherine,
        You can increase the milk part of the ingredients to have more milk flavor.
        There are reasons for the skin is dry. Some standard methods I use are not baking it for too long, add more butter to the dough, increase the amount of water in the dough. Use tangzhong is one way to improve it.
        KP Kwan

    • Florence

      Hi KP Kwan ,
      Thanks for sharing this recipe n detailed explanation. Have made twice n turn out well. I would like to check if I use instant yeast , do I still need to mix the yeast in the water for 5 mins?
      Secondly, if I intend to keep the dough for next day baking, at which stage I put into the fridge? The next day , after taking out from the fridge, I need to leave the dough at room temp b4 baking .
      Thanks n a blessed week

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Florence.
        Here are my answers:
        1. You do not need to dissolve the instant yeast with water, although there is no harm.
        2. I will make the bread until the final stage. My method is to keep the shaped dough in the freezer. When I want to bake it, remove it from the freezer and let it proof at room temperature and bake. The proofing time can be longer because it starts from the frozen state. (If you put it int the fridge, not the freezer, It may be overproof on the next day.
        I hope this information is useful.
        KP Kwan

    • Sue

      Hi Sifu

      I followed everything to a tee, but when my bread came out the crust was rather hard. Not in an unpleasant way, but not like how Tang Zhong is supposed to come out. Inside was super soft and fluffy though.

      Does this have to do with my oven temperature being too hot? Or maybe I over kneaded the dough with my dough hook?

      Thank you(:

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Sue,
        Kneading should not affect the hardness of the crust. Tangzhong makes the bun soft but will not also soften the crust. I suggest you use a slightly lower temperature and try not to bake until the color is too dark. Hopefully, that is the reason.
        KP Kwan

    • CGI

      HI, I like the colour of your bread. May I know how to do the perfect egg wash?

      • KP Kwan

        Hi CGI,
        The bun looks golden partly is because it has a lot of butter. I just beat the whole egg and apply to the buns.

    • Gale

      Hi KP Kwan, been studying your method as I’m a new baker just would like to ask because I read in your article that liquid or water content is supposed to be 63% of liquid per 100g of flour but when I compute the recipe the liquid should be more or less 165ml?(250g+13g=263) 263flour x 0.63 liquid =165.69)But in the recipe its just 55ml? Im confuse please help

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Gale,
        Sorry to make you confuse. The 63% that I refer to is the total of all liquid (water + egg).
        So flour is 13 from Tangzhong + 250 from main dough = 263
        And the liquid is 63 (from TnagZhong) + 55 of water and 50 of eggs from the main dough = 168
        168 divided by 263 = 63.8%
        I hope now it clear to you 🙂
        KP Kwan

        • Gale

          Super thanks for this now its clearer . Can I also ask how many percent should it be for butter and sugar? You are God sent

          • KP Kwan

            Hi Gale,
            You can get the percentage of all the ingredients by dividing the amount of the ingredients concerned with the total amount of bread flour used in the recipe, 263g.
            KP Kwan

    • Lor

      Thanks for the recipe.
      Did want to mention that the tang zhong is also described as a roux, which is a French term.
      This has been in use as the start of sauces and pastries.
      Most commonly known would be choux pastry with which you make eclairs and profiteroles.
      So not in bread that I have seen, but close.

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