Hokkaido Milk Bread

This Japanese bread has quickly climbed the ranks to my favorite bread recipe as of late!

A few notes about this recipe:

  • Kitchen Scale: Using a kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients while baking is a GAME CHANGER. Unlike cooking, baking is about precision and ratios of the ingredients. The more precise you are, the better the outcome of your recipe will be. The problem with measuring cups is that they can be inaccurate depending on how you measure. Scooping flour right out of the bag and leveling it vs. spooning flour into the measuring cup and leveling it will give you different amounts of flour. Also, different kinds of flours weigh differently so a cup of bread flour is not the same as a cup of all-purpose flour. They’re very affordable (I got mine on Amazon) and will save you from extra dishes! However if you are DYING to make this recipe and don’t have a scale yet, King Arthur Flour has a great conversion table here.
  • Bread flour: Using bread flour instead of all-purpose flour for certain recipes is preferable because of its higher protein content. That protein when combined with water is what creates gluten, giving the bread its structure and texture. This bread is so fluffy but structured which is a complete testament to its gluten structure that comes from the bread flour. This is not to say all-purpose flour can’t be used for this recipe, I just have not tried it yet. Bread flour isn’t hard to find, I’ve seen it in almost all conventional grocery stores but believe me, your bread will turn out better with a high quality flour. I like King Arthur’s Unbleached Bread Flour.

Onto the recipe! I’m including the original Instagram Story should you have any questions about the technique of creating this bread, of which I based on this Curious Nut recipe. Enjoy!

Hokkaido Milk Bread


  • 8.5 oz Whole milk (3.25 oz and 5.25 oz warm, split)
  • 12.75 oz Bread flour (.65 oz and 12.1 oz, split)
  • 1 packet Active Dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 room temperature egg
  • 1 T room temperature butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Coconut oil or butter to grease loaf pan
  • Optional 1 egg beaten with splash of milk for egg wash


  1. Create the tangzhong, mix 3.25 oz of whole milk to .65 oz bread flower in small skillet or saucepan
  2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes together into a paste (see video)
  3. Take off heat and allow to cool to room temperature
  4. Combine 5.25 warm milk, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes to proof
  5. In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, combine 12.1 oz bread flour and salt
  6. Add tangzhong, proofed yeast mixture, and egg to flour and stir with spoon to combine
  7. Move bowl to stand mixer with dough hook attachment, knead on low for 5 minutes
  8. Add butter and continue to knead on low for another 5-7 minutes
  9. Check elasticity of the bread dough by sprinkling it with some flour, give it a gentle press with your finger and when its ready it will spring back. If it didn't, keep kneading for a few more minutes. (see video)
  10. First rise: Cover with bowl with clean dish towel and let rise for 1-1.5 hours in a warm, draft-free place
  11. Turn dough out onto work surface and split into 3 even parts
  12. Roll out each into long oval using rolling pin
  13. Turn in each side (lengthwise) of the oval to the middle
  14. Flatten with rolling pin
  15. From one end, roll up the dough and pinch the seam
  16. Place the 3 rolls seam side down into a greased loaf pan
  17. Second rise: cover with clean dish towel and let sit for another 1-1.5 hours
  18. When you're about 20 minutes out from completion of second rise, preheat oven to 350 F
  19. Optional: Brush egg wash on top of dough
  20. Bake for 30 minutes
  21. Leave in pan for 5 minutes to set and then turn out to cool on wire wrack