The Fresh Loaf

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SD 100% WW Hokkaido Milk Loaf - an oxymoron?

txfarmer's picture

SD 100% WW Hokkaido Milk Loaf - an oxymoron?

Recently, I have posted about my SD version of the classic Hokkaido Milk Loaf (see here:, this time I adapted it to use all ww flour. Yes, the original Hokkaido Milk Loaf is quite enriched, and this ww version is not any "leaner", however, I do think ww flour adds more dimension to the flavor, and all the enriching ingredients bring incredible softness to this 100% ww loaf. To me, "healthy eating" is not about restricting, on the contrary, it's about bringing in different kinds of natural food groups into my diet and thriving for a balance.


SD 100%ww Hokkaido Milk Loaf

Note: 19% of the flour is in levain

Note: total flour is 420g, fit my Chinese small-ish pullman pan. For 8X4 US loaf tin, I suggest to use about 450g of total flour.


- levain

starter (100%), 22g

milk, 37g

ww flour (I used KAF ww), 69g

1. Mix and let fermentation at room temp (73F) for 12 hours.

- final dough

ww flour, 340g

sugar, 55g

butter, 17g, softened

milk powder, 25g

egg whites, 63g

salt, 6g

milk, 150g

heavy cream, 118g


1. Mix together everything but butter, autolyse for 40-60min. Add butter, Knead until the dough is very developed. This intensive kneading is the key to a soft crumb, and proper volume. The windowpane will be thin and speckled with grains, but NOT as strong as one would get form a white flour dough. For more info on intensive kneading, see here.

2. rise at room temp for 2 hours, punch down, put in fridge overnight.

3. Take out dough, punch down, divide and rest for one hour.

4. Shape into sandwich loaves, the goal here is to get rid of all air bubles in the dough, and shape them very tightly and uniformly, this way the crumb of final breads would be even and velvety, with no unsightly holes. For different ways to shape (rolling once or twice, i.e. 3 piecing etc) see here.

5. Proof until the dough reaches one inch higher than the tin (for 8X4 inch tin), or 80% full (for pullman pan). About 5 hours at 74F.

6. Bake at 375F for 40-45min. Brush with butter when it's warm.


A crumb and flavor even whole grain haters would love.


Tear/shread away...


Sending this to Yeastspotting.


arlo's picture
arlo that makes a great pb&j...or club sandwich...or tuna melt...or...

: D



txfarmer's picture

Yeah, PB&J was exactly how we consumed it!

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

That crumb is so uniform, you might have commercial bakeries knocking on your door tomorrow asking how...

It's beautiful! Very well done tx!

- Keith

txfarmer's picture

Thanks Keith!

Janetcook's picture


I always love your loaves BUT I especially LOVE your WW sourdough loaves since whole grains are all I use. When I see WW loaf from you I know I don't have to do any adjustments due to my have done it all for me :-).

This one looks great and I have already copied your formula and it is in line to be baked SOON...

A question about your leaven.  I know you normally maintain your leaven at 100% but in your ww loaves the HL of your leavens is usually 55%.  Do you do a couple of builds to gradually lower the HL before your final feed to allow the yeast to adjust to the lower hydration level.

Another question about the inclusion of milk as the liquid in your leaven.  I have seen this in another one of your formulas and assume you do it to create a milder SD or is there another reason that you put it in the leaven instead of just in the final dough?Do you use liquid milk that you have heat treated or powdered milk that has been reconstituted?

End of this round of questions....

My daughter is going to love this loaf!

Take Care,



txfarmer's picture

Hi Janet,

1) I build the levain exactly as how my recipe specifies: 100% starter mixed with ww flour + liquid to convert it into a firm levain, then make the final dough next day. You can certainly try to do a few builds to maintain the firm levain, but I don't see a good reason to go through the trouble. There MAY be some subtle flavor difference, but with so much added flavors in the dough, I doubt you will notice.

2) Milk in bread make it softer, this formula has no water as liquid, just milk and cream to make the final bread really soft. That's why I put milk in both levain and final dough, simply because there's NO water for me to use as liquid.

Hope it helps!

Janetcook's picture

Hi txfarmer,

Yes, it does.  

         I had read in a thread by Debra Wink that changing hydration slows the yeasties down since they have to adjust to a new            environment.  Hadn't really though about how it would effect flavor.

        I sometimes do a couple of builds depending on the amount of leaven I need and I do switch the hydration levels around             based on how my leaven is 'behaving'....If it appears sluggish I up the hydration level and decrease the flour proportion of           the feed and watch how it responds.  If all goes well I go ahead and make the final leaven - once again switching hydration         level based on formula.....My method is one of 'winging it'  since I really don't know what I am doing....just know it works             most of the time *-)

            I always use powdered milk so I was looking at the milk in your formula the way I use it in mine...Water with powdered               milk added.  Now I see it differently.  

Thanks for your response - simplifies things as I tend to over-think things that are really pretty basic....

Take Care,


P.S.  This is printing oddly when I send for some reason.  Looks fine here but then like stair steps when sent....

ananda's picture

Hi txfarmer,

this is a lovely formula and great result.

I'm just wondering if you had any thoughts about reducing sugar levels?

I know it is in there for all sorts of reasons, but it's too high for my own personal tastes [tastebuds and healthy option too]

So good to see healthy sandwich bread in pans made in a truly honest and additive-free way, standing so proud.

Best wishes


txfarmer's picture

Original Hokkaido Milk loaf is known for its slightly sweet, very soft and rich flavor/texture, which explains the higher ratio of sugar/diary/fat in the formula. When I first adapted it to use sourdough, I did reduce sugar by almost half - mostly because I thought too much sugar would slow down fermentation too much. The breads were still soft and delicious, but not as high and velvety. After making enough of these sourdough enriched loaves, I now know >15% sugar ratio would not affect my starter significantly, which is why I now raise sugar ratio to original level. The loaves are taller, and closer to the classic Hokkaido Milk taste.

So feel free to reduce sugar to suit your preference, I am sure the loaves will still be great.

nicodvb's picture

txfarmer, I'd really like to get a soft wholewheat bread like that, but I'm afraid I don't have the right flour (strong AND whilemeal). Did you use white whole wheat flour?

txfarmer's picture

No, just normal whole wheat flour: King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour.

ackkkright's picture

Thank you txfarmer for your wonderful informative blog. I particularly appreciate your descriptions and information towards the soft pan breads. These have been a challenge for me, but I have had good success using your blog as reference.

I have a kneading question. I hand knead using the slap/fold technique. Lately I have found that the dough tears quite a bit while kneading, particularly during the first several minutes, and especially with high whole grain percentage. Is this normal? I also find the extensibility/elasticity of the dough does not meet my expectations at various points during kneading.

The results have been consistently good, but I remain curious.



txfarmer's picture

In the beginning the dough has no gluten, so it's normal that grain would tear it, as long as the result is good, I'd say you have nothing to worry about.

jar14's picture

100% WW Hokkaido Milk Loaf looks delicious and has a wonderful crumb.  

Who makes the Pullman Pan (brand) that you show in this recipe?



txfarmer's picture

I got mine from China, I don't think it's available here.

jar14's picture

I stumbled upon a US supplier for the pan:  sur la table.  The price is $19.99, and I'll bet you got your pan in China at a much better price.


Janetcook's picture


Amazon sells a pullman that is far better quality than the ones sold at Sur Le Table.  A bit pricier but the quality is 100x better.

Here is the link:


kazz_42's picture

Hi txfarmer, I love your recipes ive tried a few times to make your shreddibly soft sandwich bread and it just doesnt turn out it wont rise nice, and i split it up in three in my loaf pan and when i bake it it all bakes together not like individual humps like yours. I am doing the 100%ww with bulgar right know the rise is good because i think my sourdough likes rye and w.w better than all white, i hope it is light and fluffy my other loaves were dense and chewy.


LisaMaGo's picture

Hello I've made this recipe but the dough was very sticky, yesterday i kneaded it by hand for a good period of time, let it autolyse and kneaded again, this morning I shaped the loaves with wet hands and a floured surface, I left them to rise, but what can I do to amke the dough more manageable?

beckyfong's picture

Hi, would you tell me how to make the Levain for this WW Hokkaido Milk Loaf recipe? is that the same as making Tongzong?