The softest, fluffiest most pillowy bread ever with n incredibly light crumb! Hokkaido Milk Bread is a Japanese Bread with uses the Tangzoug method. Try it once and you will want to eat it every single day!
In a small pan, whisk together the water, milk and flour over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. It will thicken very quickly and continue to thicken. I would say 1 - 2 minutes is enough time for this process.
Allow the Tangzhoug to cool, add to the bowl of a stand mixer, then add the eggs, yeast, double cream and milk to the mixer. Mix on low for 2 minutes before adding the strong bread flour, sugar and salt. Continue to mix on low for 5 minutes. The dough will begin to come together and will be elastic.
Add the butter bit by bit and continue to mix on medium/low for 10 minutes.
Cover the bowl with cling film or a damp towel and prove in a warm space for 1 hour. You can oil the bowl or use a sperate oiled bowl but I didn't and it was fine.
Punch the dough down and bring all the edges into the center.
Return to the bowl, cover again and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Add flour to your work surface and greast 2 loaf pans.
Divide the dough in half and divide each half into 3 or 4 equal parts.
Roll each peice of dough into an oval of 5 inches wide. Fold one side of the oval in to the centre and then the opposite end to meet it. The roll the dough up and place seam side down in the loaf tin. Continue with other peices. There should be 4 rolls per tin.
Cover the tins with cling film and allow to proce for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 180 °C/Gas Mark 4. Brush over the egg yolk and bake in the oven for 35 - 40 minutes.
Allow to cool for 15 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
You don’t have to fold the pieces of dough in the traditional way. I just like the look of it. You can always make rolls instead or shape it how you like. If making rolls, the baking time will be reduced to 20 - 25 minutes. I have some variations coming soon!
Make sure you grease the bread tin so you aren't wrestling to get it out of the tin later.
With this bread, if you choose to slice it, it is better to wait till it cools but once you smell it, you may want do what I do and just tear it apart with your hands.
This bread is best served on the day it is baked but it ok to store at room temperature for 2 - 4 days.
It can also be frozen, if well wrapped for up to 3 weeks.
Freeze unbaked - Freeze unbaked for up to 1 month. Defrost in the fridge over night or on the counter top on the day of baking. Then bake as above.
Freeze baked: The baked bread can be frozen minus egg wash for up to 2 months as long as it is well wrapped and in a sealed container that keeps out moisture. You can then egg wash and bake in the oven at 150 C/gas Mark 2 for around 30 - 40 minutes.
You can add tangzhong to ANY bread recipe and make it softer than it would otherwise be.
You can add 2 - 3 tbsp of Milk Powder to the dough for an even softer dough. Just take out that quantity of flour.
You can also add 1 tbsp of Sweetened Condensed Milk into the dough.
You can make this recipe in a bread machine but don't add extra flour. The dough is meant to be sticky.
Make sure the salt and yeast don't come into contact with each other. Add them at opposite ends of your mixer.
Instant yeast and active dry yeast are interchangeable at a 1:1 ratio. However, active dry yeast needs to be bloomed with liquid before continuing with the recipe and may take longer to rise. What I do when using active dry yeast is add the yeast to the warmed liquid from the recipe and let it stand for 10 minutes before continuing with the recipe.