This bread is without a doubt the lightest, fluffiest loaf you’ll come across and with its shiny golden exterior and featherlight white centre, it’s as much a joy to look at as it is to eat. It’s also really simple to make so is perfect for bread making beginners.
This version uses a tangzhong method of making a roux out of flour and water to ensure soft, fluffy bread every time.
Ingredients (makes 1 large loaf)
25g bread flour
300g bread flour
7g sachet of fast acting yeast
120ml milk (lukewarm, not hot)
40g caster sugar
Add water and flour to a small saucepan, whisk until free from lumps. Place over a low-medium heat and stir constantly until it thickens. Set aside to cool.
Once cooled, add the egg to the tangzhong and stir until combined. Add the bread flour, yeast, milk, butter, sugar and eggy tangzhong mixture to the large bowl of a standmixer. Use the dough hook of the standmixer on a medium spped to combine and knead the dough until it is no longer sticky (approximately 10-15 minutes). Add a small amount of extra flour if required.
Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (approximately an hour).
Once it has risen, punch down the dough and divide into three equal pieces. Set the other pieces to one side and use a rolling pin to shape a piece into an oval shape.
Fold one side of dough over to halfway across the remaining dough then fold the other side on top(see photos below). Roll up the piece of dough from the short side (bottom to the top of the middle picture below) as you would a cinnamon roll.
Repeat with the other pieces of dough then put all three rolls of dough in an oiled loaf pan.
Cover and leave to rise again until the loaf is just reaching the top of the pan.
Once nearly risen, preheat oven to 175°C (160°C fan-forced). Lightly beat the egg and brush the top of the loaf with egg wash.
Bake the loaf for approximately 30 minutes until golden brown. If it browns too fast, loosely cover with foil for the last part of cooking. Turn onto a cooling rack to cool before slicing.
Recipe adapted from Caroline’s Cooking ‘Japanese milk bread’.