Tangzhong Milk Bread – Recipe

When I made my homemade ube halaya and vegan matcha milk spread, I knew they deserved to be eaten with homemade bread. And what better bread to enjoy these sweet Asian spreads with than lusciously fluffy tangzhong milk bread?

Also known as 'Hokkaido milk bread' or simply 'milk bread', this super springy, soft, luscious bread is kept moist by 'tangzhong' – which is basically a paste made with cooked flour and water. Here I've gone a step further and cooked it with milk, and then went further still by baking it with double cream. Super good. And it makes AMAZING French toast, too.

I use fresh yeast in this recipe, which can be substituted with dry active yeast. However, if you're going to use 'instant' or 'easy bake' yeast instead, half the amount to 1 tsp, and add it straight to the dry ingredients instead of mixing it with the milk and cream (which you can just add with the butter and tangzhong later).

Need some visuals? Check out my at-a-glance tutorial on my YouTube channel, Tashcakes Cooks:

Ready? Let's go.

Ingredients for Tangzhong:

25g white bread flour
100ml whole milk

Rest of the Bread Ingredients:

100ml whole milk
25ml double cream
10g fresh yeast (or 2tsp dry active yeast)
1 tsp caster sugar
370g white bread flour
60g more caster sugar
30g unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt

Ingredients for Egg Wash

1 egg
2 tbsp milk


1. First make the tangzhong: in a nonstick pan, gradually whisk the milk into the flour so there are no lumps. Switch the heat on to a medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from the heat and tip onto a plate, covering with clingfilm to cool completely.

2. Warm the rest of the milk and double cream together in a small pan until just a little warm, then pour over the 1 tsp sugar and yeast in a small bowl. Stir to combine, and leave for a few minutes until bubbling.

3. Now add the rest of the ingredients, plus the cooled tangzhong and the yeast mixture, into a large bowl, and stir to combine. Tip out onto a work surface and knead for about ten minutes, so the dough becomes smooth and springs back when you try to stretch it.

4. Pop the dough in a lightly-oiled bowl and cover. Let it proof until doubled in size (about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how warm your room is).

5. Punch the dough back down and divide it into four portions. Cover and let rest for another 15 minutes. Now roll out each portion into a long, wide strip, fold the top third of each strip into the middle and the bottom third over that (like an envelope). Now turn the resulting rectangle 90° and roll it from the top down like a swiss roll, pinching the seam shut and placing the roll seam-side down (you can see this whole process more clearly on my YouTube video).

6. Pop the four rolls into a well-buttered 2lb (9"x5") loaf tin, cover and leave to proof until doubled in size again.

7. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C. When the dough has finished proofing, brush the top with an egg wash made by whisking the egg with the milk. Bake it for 30 minutes, or until fully-risen and golden.

8. Leave to cool completely before popping out of the tin.

Enjoy, and have fun.


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