Hokkaido Milk Bread
Hokkaido Milk Bread

I was glad when Karen H Kerr decided the theme of bread with levain or tangzhong for October 2017. This was time to make Hokkaido milk bread recipe with tangzhong.

What is tagzhong? Is this what you just asked? Hang in, I will explain the tangzhong method a little later.

Hokkaido milk bread recipe is a long pending recipe I was contemplating to make. When I told my sweet ladoo about this water roux bread, he was like, say it again. He was curious to know what water roux means. He was excited to know that we are going to make Japanese soft bread recipe. I just loved his expressions.

The moment I entered in my kitchen, my ladoo tailed me. He was after me to assist me in making this Hokkaido bread recipe. His excitement level multiplied when I told him that this will be one of the softest bread he would have had in the past. His eyes were asking only one question. How to make soft and fluffy Hokkaido milk bread?

Video Recipe

Hokkaido Milk Bread with Tangzhong Method

Hokkaido milk bread recipe is one of the popular Japanese Bread types that have rich flavors of milk. Last year when I baked whole wheat bread with tangzhong method, the bread turned out to be awesome. I knew the benefit of tangzhong, hence was equally excited to try my hands on Hokkaido bread.

By the way, tangzhong bread recipe is a pretty old Asian baking technique. It refers to adding water roux to the flour which makes it lighter and fluffier when baked. Tangzhong bread recipe originated in Japan. But it is more popular in China after the release of the 65 °C Bread Doctor, a cookbook written by Yvonne Chen in 2007.  According to this book, 65 °C is the temperature when starch in the flour gelatinize and comes together into a pudding-like roux.

All of those who want to know the making of tangzhong, the technique is just as simple as it could be. Make a roux by mixing one portion of the flour with five portions of water. Watch the video to see how to make tangzhong.

Sliced Hokkaido Milk Bread

When we add this roux to flour and knead the dough for bread, it locks in the liquid throughout the process. As a result water roux bread has a higher moisture content. Homemade bread gets hard and dry in two days but bread baked with tangzhong stays soft and fresh for longer time. This is another reason why Hokkaido milk loaf is more popular among Chinese Home cooks.

What is Hokkaido?

So far we were talking about the technique used in this bread. But, what is the difference between Japanese Hokkaido bread recipe and regular white sandwich bread? For a regular white sandwich bread flour, salt, sugar, yeast, and water are the ingredients. But for Hokkaido, milk is the most important ingredient. Not only this recipe needs milk powder but the dough should also be kneaded with milk. Hence the name, Hokkaido Milk bread.

 

I have curated the list of recommended tools and ingredients for baking. I recommend only tried and tested products that have given satisfactory results in my kitchen.

If you bake this recipe, please share a picture with me on my Instagram using #bakewithsonia

Instructions

To prepare the Tangzhong (Water Roux), whisk flour and water in a pan. Place the pan over medium to low heat. Continue to whisk the mixture and cook it until it thickens like pudding. The whole process will take no more than 5 minutes. Moreover, if you want you can check the temperature. It’s done when the temperature reaches 65 °C. Let the prepared water roux cool to room temperature.

Tangzhong

In a bowl, add active dry yeast, sugar, and lukewarm milk. Stir the mixture and set aside until yeast froths. Time taken by yeast to froth depends upon the weather conditions. Warm and dry weather is most favorable for the yeast to grow.

Activated Yeast

In a large mixing bowl, take flour, milk powder, salt, prepared water roux (Tangzhong) and activated yeast solution. Start kneading the dough with milk. The dough will be sticky because of water roux. Kneading this dough will need more patience. Add 1 tbs of oil and continue to knead.

Hokkaido Milk Bread Dough Kneading

After 10 minutes of kneading, you will get a non-sticky, soft and elastic dough. Place this dough in a greased bowl and cover it with cling wrap. Let the dough rest until it doubles in Volume.

Hokkaido Milk Bread Dough after kneading

It’s humid in Pune nowadays. It took 40 minutes to double the dough. Punch the dough to release the air and gently fold the dough.

Hokkaido Milk Bread Dough after first rise

Divide the dough into four equal parts and then roll each part into a rectangular sheet. Fold both the opposite edges towards the center. Now start rolling this sheet as shown in the picture.

Hokkaido Milk Bread Shaping of the dough

Similarly, shape all the dough portions and arrange all these in a greased loaf pan. Brush with milk and cover with cling wrap. Let the shaped dough rest until they double in volume.

Hokkaido Milk Bread dough before second rise

Let’s Bake

Once shaped dough doubles, remove the cling wrap and bake it in a preheated oven at 200 °C for 35 minutes.

Hokkaido Milk Bread dough after second rise

If you feel your bread is browning faster, then cover it with aluminum foil and continue to bake. This will prevent the bread from getting burn. Once baked, take the loaf pan out from the oven and demould the bread. Place it on a wired rack and let it cool completely. The beauty of this bread is in its swirl.

Hokkaido Milk Bread Swirl

Hokkaido bread with Tangzhong is ready. This is one of the extremely soft, light and fluffy bread I have ever baked. I loved to have it with butter and slices of cucumber.

Hokkaido Milk Bread slices

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BreadBakers Theme for October 2017

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

BreadBakersFew other Interesting International Bread

Hokkaido Milk Bread
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 1 loaf

Ingredients

For Tangzhong

  • 25 gm All Purpose Flour
  • 125 ml Water

For Dough

  • 350 gm All Purpose Flour
  • 20 gm Milk Powder
  • 5 gm Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbs Oil
  • 150 ml Milk

Instructions

  • To prepare the Tangzhong (Water Roux), whisk flour and water in a pan.
  • Place the pan over medium to low heat. Continue to whisk the mixture and cook it until it thickens like pudding. Let the prepared water roux cool to room temperature.
  • In a bowl, add active dry yeast, sugar and lukewarm milk. Stir the mixture and set aside until yeast froths.
  • In a large mixing bowl, take flour, milk powder, salt, prepared water roux (Tangzhong) and activated yeast solution. Start kneading the dough with milk.
  • Add 1 tbs of oil and continue to knead.
  • Place this dough in a greased bowl and cover it with cling wrap. Let the dough rest until it doubles in Volume.
  • Once dough doubles in volume, punch the dough to release the air and gently fold the dough.
  • Divide the dough into four equal parts. Roll each part into a rectangular sheet. Fold both the opposite edges towards centre. Now start rolling this sheet.
  • Similarly shape all the dough portions and arrange all these in a greased loaf pan.
  • Let the shaped dough rest until they double in volume.
  • Meanwhile preheat the oven at 200 °C for 10 minutes.
  • Bake the bread in preheated oven for 35 minutes.
  • Once baked, take the loaf pan out from the oven and demould the bread. Place it on a wired rack and let it cool completely.

Notes

  • While kneading the dough, never add suggested amount of milk/water in one go. Add little by little.
  • Because of roux, the dough will be sticky while kneading. You can dust the counter with dry flour in-between but don’t add too much flour as it can change the texture of the bread.
  • I have used skimmed milk for the recipe, you can use full fat milk as well.
  • To make it rich in flavours, you can add 1 medium size egg to the dough.
  • Before baking the bread, do not miss to brush it with milk.
  • If your bread is browning fast then cover the top with aluminium foil and continue to bake.
  • Always slice the bread once it’s completely cool down. I always recommend to rest the bread for 2 hrs after baking to get perfect slices.
Tried this recipe?Mention @bakewithsonia or tag #bakewithsonia!

22 COMMENTS

  1. Hi
    Your recipes are awesome. I tried and came out well. If I use instant yeast how much should I use? Also can we make it using whole wheat flour?

    • Dear Sangeetha,

      Thanks much for liking my work.
      Active Dry Yeast or Instant Yeast are same.
      You can bake the bread using whole wheat flour, but remember the whole wheat flour bread will not have the same texture.

      Sonia

  2. Tangzhong starter is one of my absolute favorite — easy to make and the breads turn out soooo soft and yumm!! Your hokkaido bread reminds that it’s been quite a while I made it and will have to make it some time soon.

  3. Hello Sonia,
    I have been contemplating on baking a Hokkaido milk bread since long. You give me a perfect reason to bake one. You’ve explained the history behind this bread so well and it was an interesting piece of information. I am sure that your family must have loved the soft pillowy bread. By the way, I loved the loaf pan.

    • Hey Namita,
      Thanks for liking the information part. With reducing span of attentiveness, I actually wonder how many people would read the information I keep adding in my posts. But thanks for letting me know that there are still curious people who read.

      Thanks again
      Sonia

  4. The crumb on this bread is so beautiful. I can practically taste the soft bread. I’ve never baked bread using a “Tangzhong”. I can’t wait to try this. Your directions are really easy to follow.

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