The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Hokkaido Milk Bread with Tangzhong

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Hokkaido Milk Bread with Tangzhong

Every now and then you learn a new technique in the kitchen that really knocks your socks off.  Tangzhong is one of them.

Tangzhong

Tangzhong is the technique of heating a portion of the flour and liquid in your recipe to approximately 65C to make a paste (roux).  At this temperature the flour undergoes a change (gelatinizes?).  Adding this roux to your final dough makes a huge difference in the softness and fluffiness of your final dough.

It is really easy to do a tangzhong.  Take 1 cup of liquid (milk or water) to 1/3 cup flour, or a 5 to 1 liquid to solid ratio (so 250g liquid to 50g flour) and mix it together in a pan.  Heat the pan while stirring constantly.  Initially it will remain a liquid, but as you approach 65C it will undergo a change and thicken to an almost pudding like consistency.  

Once it is evenly thickened, remove from heat and allow to cool down some before making your final dough.  

Reportedly you can cover it and keep it in the fridge for a few days before using it, but I baked with it immediately.

Hokkaido Milk Bread

We have some great Asian bakeries in Vancouver and they all make some version of a Milk Bread.  Soft, slightly sweet, often baked in pullman pans so that the slices are perfectly square, sometimes containing raisins or a swirl of red beans or cream cheese, milk bread is the ultimate comfort food. It has a tenderness I've never reproduced at home until now.  I always figured it was a ton of oil or some other artificial conditioner that gave it that consistency, but now I think Tangzhong and heavy kneading were the secret. 

My recipe is a hybrid of a bunch of different recipes I found online and credit below.  What I offer here is a good place to start but certainly not an authoritative version or one I'd suggest is the best.  Still, it was awfully good.

 

Tangzhong

 

1/3 C all purpose flour

1 C liquids (I used 2/3 C water and 1/3 C milk)

Final Dough

800g (around 5 C) all purpose flour

1/2 C sugar

50g (1/2 C) milk powder

1/2 C half and half

3/4 C milk

2 eggs

4 T butter

4 t instant yeast

1 t salt

all of the tangzhong

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or standmixer and mix the heck out of it, 10 or 15 minutes, until the dough is silky and smooth.  I didn't initially add enough liquid so my dough was quite dry, but by adding more to the bowl and using wet hands I was able to work more milk and water into the dough.  

Once you've kneaded the dough well, cover the bowl and let the dough rise until doubled in size, roughly an hour.

Divide the dough into smaller portions.  I divided it into 8 ~210g pieces, which I baked 4 to a pan in 2 pans.  As you can see, that was a bit much for the pans I have!  Next time I think I'll divide the dough into 12 pieces and bake it in the 3 pans. 

Cover the pans loosely and allow to rise for half an hour, then glaze with milk or an egg wash.

Heat the oven to 350F while letting the loaves rise another 15-30 minutes.  

Baking the loaves at 350F for approximately 40 minutes.  If they are browning too much, you can cover them loosely with foil.

Look at that crumb!  Absolutely the softest, silkiest loaves I've ever made.

Further reading/discussion about Hokkaido Milk Bread and Tang Zhong:

Comments

BluePrelude's picture
BluePrelude

Thank you, I made your Hokkaido bread last night. It was amazingly good. 
And yes it is a super addictive bread. food food and indoor food

drainaps's picture
drainaps

Looks amazing. To me living in Asia and believing for years that all the Asian soft breads were full of additives, and never touching them as a consequence, this has been a real eye opener. 

Would you please share with us what's HALF AND HALF? Google says it's a 50/50 mix of light cream and whole milk, but I see milk listed as a separate ingredient and this made me think. 

Thanks again for sharing this with us. 

 

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Yes, half and half is half milk half cream. It isn't necessary to use it or cream at all, it just is what I happened to have on hand when I baked this.

Generally speaking, adding a bit of some kind of fat, whether that be cream, butter, or an oil will result in a softer, less dry dough.  

drainaps's picture
drainaps

Appreciate your prompt answer. Thanks again for sharing. 

drainaps's picture
drainaps

Floyd. One more question if I may. 

At the end of the kneading should the dough come off the bowl? I guess yes because gluten must be fully developed if I understand correctly.

I'm asking this because with the initial recipe, the dough was very wet (my flour I guess) so little by little I added another 60gr of flour (+8% roughly) to get a more cohesive dough. Gluten was okish after some 15 minutes of kneading in the KA, but I didn't pursue further machine time as the dough temperature was quite high at 33C.

Any insights based on this? I'm in the process right now and will revert with the finished product. Thanks again. 

Floydm's picture
Floydm

 Based on your follow up comment, it sounds like it baked up fine for you, which is great to hear. Yes, I think the additional flour you added sounds appropriate.

drainaps's picture
drainaps

Baked this today and came out beautiful.  Posted the result in my blog for all to enjoy (especially my son).  It's yummy, although I might try to add some more sugar next time.  I'm aware that Asian breads are not very sugary, but my son likes the additional glucose kick ;-).  Thanks again for all your help.

Capyboppy's picture
Capyboppy

Gosh drainaps: you must like your bread really sweet! :-) Most folk in the west prefer to leave a lot of the sugar out in Asian bread recipes. A typically loaf I would make has up to a tablespoon of sugar/sweetener. Yet in in the Panasonic Bread Maker group I am in on FB a lot of their recipes have between 30-60g of sugar, and those are for half size bread makers too!

Out of interest if you don't mind me being nosey, how much sugar do you prefer in your loaves?

 

Capyboppy's picture
Capyboppy

When the recipe refers to milk, does it mean Hokkaido milk? If so how does that work as I was led to believe you can only buy it in the Far East due to it being made in Japan. 

There is to the best of my knowledge no Hokkaido milk in England, so would Channel Isles milk be the next best thing?

Am I correct in thinking the 'half and half' means semi-skimmed milk?

Is the milk powder referred to in the recipe semi-skimmed? This and Caribbean full fat powder called Nido are the only types I have seen here.

Can bread flour be used instead of all-purpose (which I think is our plain flour?)

Many thanks.

 

 

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Milk just means milk. What I got at the grocery as milk.

Half and half is known as Creamo or Coffee Cream in Canada. It's like ... 10-15% milk fat. 

I have no recollection what kind of milk powder it was. Again, probably just whatever I found on the shelf.

Yes, I'm sure you could use bread flour though personally I think I'd advise against it. Bread flour tends to be higher protein and results in a chewier bread, right? If soft and fluffy is what you are shooting for, as this recipe does, then I'd think a softer flour would be the way to go. But give it a go, see what you think.

Capyboppy's picture
Capyboppy

Thanks for the reply. we call the creamer Coffee Mate over here. When I get round to trying the recipe (hopefully very soon) I will stick with the plain flour as it makes sense What you said about the chewiness. 
Just one other question: why is it called  Hokkaido Milk Bread when there is no Hokkaido milk in it? A bit misleading. Now ‘Mock Hokkaido Bread’ I can understand ?

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I'm pretty sure Coffee Mate is non-dairy creamer. I'm not talking about that. Half & half is real dairy, it is just half milk / half cream. If you can't find it there, I'd just substitute in whole milk.

I think you are interpreting Hokkaido Milk Bread as "Hokkaido Milk" bread rather than Hokkaido "milk bread." I've always assumed it was the latter: a milk bread formula from Hokkaido.

Capyboppy's picture
Capyboppy

Yes you are correct. I was thinking of bread using the actual Hokkaido milk. I would say our channel isles milk from Jersey cows is the nearest to Hokkaido milk itself. 

Pages