Hokkaido/Tangzhong Milk Bread

Hokkaido/Tangzhong Milk Bread

Recently I was added into a group on Facebook called Indian Artisan Bread Bakers. The experience till date has been great, and I’ve also learnt some new techniques in bread making.

The latest in this is the hokkaido or tangzhong method or also called Asian Milk Bread. I recieved this recipe through the group itself, but modified to make it my own!! This method basically involves making a roux as a pre-step before the usual bread recipe. Also I’ve used a couple of elements like milk powder that I haven’t used in the past. The final effect has been of almost professional looking bread. To say I’m thrilled is an understatement! 🙂


This recipe makes about 7-8 burger buns or 1 bread loaf and a large portion of garlic bread. Please do experiment with amounts to see which works for you!!

NOTE: the traditional recipe calls for egg. I did not use it, nor did I replace it with anything.

For Tangzhong:
50-50 of whole wheat and maida – 1/3 cup heaped
Water – 1 cup

For the bread:
50-50 of whole wheat and maida – 5 cups, plus ¼ cup if required for dusting
Active dry  yeast – 3 tsp, proofed in some warm water
Sugar – 1/3 cup
Salt – 1 tsp
Powdered milk – 8 tsp
Milk – 1 cup
Butter – 1/3 cup, softened
Garlic oil: Crushed garlic pods mixed with olive oil, rested for abt 10-15 mins

To prepare the tangzhong /water roux 

  • Mix together the flour with the water in a small saucepan.
  • Heat mixture over low flame continuously stirring until it thickens enough, till your stirring leaves marks on the surface, with a texture of glue. Remove from heat immediately.
    • I guess you can move it from this to a cooler bowl to let it cool. But I haven’t really done that.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a wet towel to prevent it from drying on the surface and let it cool to room temperature.

Mixing the roux

The bread:

  • Mix together all the dry ingredients except salt and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, put milk, yeast and cooled tangzhong and mix well.
  • Add the dry ingredients to this mix.
  • Mix well till a sticky dough is formed.
    • I use a hand-held whisk/mixer. So i mix lightly and let it sit for abt 30 secs and then mix. It gets done immediately.

Making the dough

  • Add the butter and salt, and knead for 15 minutes until the dough formed is smooth and elastic. I usually need a bit more flour here to make it smooth.
    • The windowpane test works well at this stage. But normally the stage I stop the whisk is when the dough seems to “split” around the kneader. A windowpane check is always successful here too! 😉
  • Cover the dough with a wet cloth, and proof it until it doubles, usually abt 70-90 mins.
  • Press the dough down to deflate and then shape into the tins that you wish to bake in. I split my dough into a bread tin and a smaller one for the garlic bread.
  • The bread tin was left to proof as is. but i got to work on the garlic bread.
    Garlic Bread
  • Split the dough into 4 small portions. Spread one portion on a lightly oiled surface. Spread it out into a rectangle shape with your hands. and spread the garlic oil lightly and roll gently and place in the tin.
  • Cover and let it rest 30 minutes.

After the 2nd proof

  • Bake in preheated oven at 180 C for about 35 minutes.
    • After 30 min place a sheet of aluminium foil over the bread/s to prevent burning.
  • Once done, take out of the over to cool. Brush tops of hot bread with milk. This will give a nice color to the bread while it cools.

After baking

  • Wait for abt 5 mins and then turn over onto a wire rack. This prevents the bread base from becoming soggy.
  • Let it cool and then slice!

Ready to eat!!


The garlic bread was firm to cut through and I was able to toast in in my regular toaster. You can always add some grated cheese to the hot bread and enjoy! 😉


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