Even though rice is a staple food in Japan, bread is also a popular breakfast menu in the country. And one of the most popular Japanese bread which becomes worldwide is Japanese milk buns. This bun has a really soft texture and milky taste. Because of the sweet and milky taste, you can just directly eat it right away without any additions. Or, you can slice the bun to thin slices and eat it with your favorite jams. You can make this Japanese milk bread at home even though you probably need to try several times in order to get the perfect texture.
Japanese milk bread is made with water roux or tangzhong starter. Tangzhong is a dough that is made from the mixture of flour and water with the ratio 1:5. 1 for the flour and 5 for the water. This dough is then heated until it is thickened or looks like gelatin. This gelatin is the ingredient that differentiates Japanese milk bread with other buns. This way, more waters are absorbed in the dough, making the bread more elastic and way softer. The most important is the Japanese bread has longer-lasting freshness though it is left in room temperature for 2 days.
Japanese Milk Buns
Water Roux/Tangzhong Starter Ingredients
- 50 grams of high protein flour
- 250 ml of water
- 540 grams of high protein flour
- 86 grams of sugar
- A half-teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of full cream milk
- 11 grams of yeast
- An egg, whisked
- 59 grams of whipping cream. You can also replace it with milk.
- 55 ml of milk
- 185 grams of tangzhong dough
- 50 grams of melted butter
- A half-tablespoon of milk powder
- 1 tablespoon of water or whisked egg
Water Roux/Tangzhong Starter
- Prepare a small pan, put half of the water and flour in the pan. Stir it with a spatula until the flour is dissolved. After that, add the remaining water and stir again. Heat the pan and cook the tangzhong starter with low heat. Stir the dough continuously so that it will not be burnt. Stir until the dough becomes thickened. Once it is thickened, turn off the heat and let it cool.
- Prepare a large bowl and put the dry ingredients: flour, yeast, salt, sugar, and milk powder. Stir it evenly and put aside. Prepare another large bowl and put the wet ingredients: tangzhong dough, milk, egg, whipped, cream, and stir them with a spatula. After that, mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients. You can use a spatula or your hands. Once the ingredients are mixed well, pour the melted butter to the dough and stir again.
- Cover a flat table with plastic, sprinkle flour on the table, and place the dough on the table. Knead the dough by pressing it with your hands. Knead it for around 30 minutes until the dough becomes very smooth and soft. Shape the dough into a solid round ball. Put the rounded dough into a bowl that has been slightly brushed with oil. Cover it with a clean cloth and leave it for around 40 minutes to an hour. Leave it until the dough becomes twice bigger.
- After that, divide the dough into 2 parts. If you use a big loaf baking sheet, you do not have to divide the dough. You just need to directly divide it into 3 parts and make round each part. Cover and leave it again for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, roll out the dough with 1cm thickness. Fold the left and right sides of the dough to the center and roll it out again to tightly close the folds. Roll the dough. Do this step to all of the dough parts that you have divided before. Then, place them in a loaf baking sheet with the folds in the bottom. Cover it again with a clean cloth and leave it for an hour to make the dough even bigger. Brush the surface of the dough with whisked egg or milk.
- Heat the oven for half an hour. Next, bake the Japanese milk buns at 180ºC for around 30 minutes to 40 minutes until the surface is brownish. Remove it from the oven and take out the bread. You can let it cool or eat it while it is warm.
Japanese Milk Buns Nutrition Facts
The nutrients below contained in a piece of the bun or around 40 grams of milk bun.
Carbohydrate: 17gr, Protein: 4gr, Fat: 3gr, Saturated Fat: 1gr, Calorie: 120 calories, Sugar: 7gr
Those are the ingredients and steps to make Japanese milk bread. This delicious and milky bread is suitable to be combined with a cup of coffee or tea for breakfast.