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Ultra-Soft Japanese Milk Bread: A Cloud-Like Delight for Bread Lovers

Ultra-Soft Japanese Milk Bread: A Cloud-Like Delight for Bread Lovers

Indulge in the cloudy softness of this Japanese milk bread, a delight that embodies bread-making perfection. With its soft texture and subtle sweetness, this bread uses a Tangzhong technique – a flour, milk and water roux – which guarantees a soft and tender crumb. Each slice demonstrates the finesse of Japanese pastry, providing a melt-in-the-mouth experience that is both comforting and luxurious.

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Why you'll love it: This recipe offers an incredibly soft and chewy texture that is unlike traditional Western bread. Using Tangzhong ensures that bread stays fresh and soft for days, making it a practical choice for busy households. Its mild sweetness and buttery flavor make it versatile for both sweet and savory applications: perfect for breakfast toast, sandwiches or even as a delicious snack on its own.

Perfect occasion: Japanese milk bread is ideal for special breakfasts, brunches or as a charming addition to any meal. It's also wonderful for holidays and celebrations, providing a home touch that's both impressive and comforting. Children and adults alike will appreciate its soft texture and delicious taste.

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Decorating Tips: For a simple but elegant presentation, brush the top of the bread with a mixture of milk and a touch of honey before baking. This will give it a nice golden shine. After cooking, you can sprinkle sesame seeds or poppy seeds for added texture and visual appeal. Slicing the bread and placing it in a linen-covered basket can enhance its rustic charm when serving.

Ingredients:

  • For Tangzhong:
    • 45g of water
    • 45g whole milk
    • 15g all-purpose flour
  • For the dough:
    • 115g whole milk
    • 55g butter
    • 1 egg
    • 30g of sugar
    • 15g of powdered milk
    • 1 teaspoon of salt
    • 300 g all-purpose flour
    • 12 g instant yeast or 35 g fresh yeast

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Tangzhong:
    • In a small saucepan, combine water, milk and flour until no lumps remain. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and reaches 65°C (149°F). Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Prepare the dough:
    • In a small saucepan, gently heat the milk and butter until the butter melts. Let cool slightly.
    • In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar, milk powder and salt.
    • Add the cooled milk and butter mixture, the cooled Tangzhong and half the flour. Mix well.
    • Sprinkle with yeast, then gradually add the rest of the flour, mixing until you obtain a soft dough.
    • Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
    • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours.
  3. Shape and rise the bread:
    • Roll out the dough and spread it out on a lightly floured surface. Divide into three or four equal pieces, shape each into a ball, then roll out and fold like an envelope.
    • Place the shaped dough into a greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise again until almost doubled, about 1 hour.
  4. Bake the bread:
    • Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F).
    • Bake the bread for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until it is golden brown and a thermometer inserted in the center reads 190°F (88°C).
    • Remove from oven and let cool on a rack before slicing.

Enjoy your deliciously soft and fluffy Japanese milk bread, a simple pleasure that brings the essence of Japan into your kitchen!

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