The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to get super soft japanese milk bread?

breadnoob's picture

How to get super soft japanese milk bread?

I've been trying my absolute hardest to make Japanese milk bread as soft as what I find in Japanese supermarkets (or even T&T). I've tried multiple recipes: milk and cream, only milk, different ratios of ingredients, different proofing times, extra folds--you name it. I'm 15+ loaves in and I still haven't succeeded. Not even close. 

Does anyone know what actually causes softness in the shokupan loaves? Do I simply have something wrong with my bread flour (Robinhood--I'm in Canada)? I've made the pre-gelatinized flour several ways as well out of both glutinous rice flour and bread flour. 

I'm looking for the texture where the loaves are so soft that any sort of pressure makes them squeeze in. 

clazar123's picture

A long time ago, there was a wonderful poster named txfarmer who wrote up Hokkaido Milk Bread. It is my "go-to" recipe but the most important part of her write-up was technique. You will never get a shreddably,feathery texture unless you knead (or mix) that dough to a good windowpane.

The link above is Floyd's writeup on making Hokkaido Milk Bread with a tangzhong and is excellent. What makes the link quintessential is that at the end he linked to multiple posts (incl. txfarmers) on making this soft, delicious bread. Sadly, txfarmers pictures are no longer in the post. However, Floyd's pics are great.