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Japanese Milk Bread

Japanese Milk Bread

This bread is mildly sweet like Hawaiian bread, and has the texture of a sweet roll base. Great plain or with honey butter or lemon butter!

Makes 12 rolls.


Tangzhong (Flour Paste):

  • 1/4 c all purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 c water


  • 4 1/2 c all purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp instant dry milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 c milk
  • 4 Tbsp butter (room temperature)

Egg Wash:

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp milk



  1. In a small saucepan, heat flour and water over low heat, stirring until a smooth paste forms.
  2. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until cool. (2 hours)


  1. In large bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, sugar, salt, active dry yeast, and dry milk.
  2. Mix together the egg, milk, butter, and tangzhong until smooth and uniform.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing or kneading until a smooth dough forms.
  4. Cover and allow to rise one hour, or until roughly doubled.
  5. Divide in 12 equal pieces. Roll into balls.
  6. Use a rolling pin to roll each into 5-6″ oval, fold in thirds, then fold in thirds the opposite direction.
  7. Place 4 rolled balls into a small (8 x 4 x 2 inch) ungreased loaf pan (you will need 3 such loaf pans.)

Egg Wash and Baking Process:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cover loaf pans and let rise 30 minutes.
  3. Whisk together the egg and milk to make egg wash.
  4. Brush the top of each roll.
  5. Bake 10 minutes, turn pans around, and bake another 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Cool in pan 30 minutes. Remove rolls from pan and serve warm.

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