The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

50% Whole Wheat Sourdough with Tangzhong Pullapart Buns

Benito's picture

50% Whole Wheat Sourdough with Tangzhong Pullapart Buns

This is the same recipe as the recently posted 50% whole wheat Hokkaido sourdough milk bread except that the total dough weight was reduced to make 8 buns in a 9” cake pan. These are going to my sister’s house for our Canadian Thanksgiving dinner tonight, the first time having a family dinner since the pandemic started.

 8 rolls in a 9” round pan or

9 rolls in a 8” square pan


Sweet Stiff Starter 



  • 85g milk 
  • 15g whole wheat (stoneground not sprouted)


Final Dough 

  • 141g bread flour
  • 164g whole wheat flour (same as above)
  • 50g sugar (used 40 g)
  • 6g salt 
  • 124g milk 
  • 1 eggs
  • 57g unsalted butter 


Pre-bake Wash 

  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 Tbsp milk


Post-bake Wash 

  • 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • Fleur de sel 



Mix the starter ingredients in a jar or pyrex container with space for at least 50% growth.

Press down with your knuckles to create a uniform surface and to push out air.

At room temperature, it typically takes 7-9 hours for this sweet stiff levain to be at peak.


In a sauce pan set on med-low heat, whisk the milk and flour until blended. Then cook for several minutes until thickened, stirring regularly with a spoon or heat-resistant spatula. Let cool in the pan or, for faster results, in a new bowl.



In the bowl of a stand mixer, briefly whisk the dry dough ingredients, and then add the sweet stiff starter, separating it into 5-6 portions as you add it to the bowl.

Now pour/scrape in all the wet ingredients (including the tangzhong), with the melted butter last. With the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed for a minute, scrape down the sides, and then mix on medium speed for 15-20 minutes. The dough will seem very soft, but as you approach the 15-20 minute mark, it should not stick to your hands and should pass the windowpane test.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, form it into a ball, flip it smooth side up, cover and let rise for 6-12 hours depending on room temperature. You can place the dough into the fridge to chill the dough for about 1.5 hours or retard overnight, this makes rolling the dough easier.

Prepare your pan by greasing them or line with parchment paper.

Scrape the dough out onto a clean counter top. Lightly flour the bench. Press the dough into a rectangle and divide it into 8 or 9 portions. Shape each tightly into a boule, place into a greased or parchment lined pan.

Cover and let proof for 2-4 hours (more if you put the dough in the refrigerator).  Mine took 5 hours to complete final proof at 82ºF.

Preheat the oven to 350F and brush the dough with the egg-milk wash.



Bake the rolls for 30-35 minutes or until the internal temperature is at least 190F. Shield your loaf if it gets brown early in the baking process. You can brush the top of the loaf with butter if you wish at this point while the bread is still hot and sprinkle with flaked salt.  I didn’t have fleur de sel so sprinkled a bit of pink salt on after brushing with butter.



HeiHei29er's picture

Those look great Benny!  Bookmarked this one.

Very nice to hear that you’ll be able to join the family for the holiday.  Have a wonderful dinner!  If nothing else, it looks like the dinner rolls will be perfect!

Benito's picture

Thank you for your comments Troy.  If these are as good as the loaf, then they should be great with Thanksgiving dinner.  Let’s hope for a nice shreddable crumb.


happycat's picture

Looks spectacular. Having made the loaf version, I know they will taste amazing.

I sliced some of my loaf up thin and used it for lamb burgers. I thought the bread was way more delicious than the meat and I kind of wanted to eat it on its own. The bread is all gone now, thoroughly enjoyed,

Hope you enjoy the holiday. My only holiday food this weekend was a buttercup squash pie I baked yesterday.

Benito's picture

Thank you very much David.  I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving as well.  Your buttercup squash pie sounds delicious, have you posted it and I somehow missed it?


happycat's picture

I didn't think it was a bready enough thing to share. Just adapted a recipe from online.

Danni3ll3's picture

Beautiful buns! (No pun intended) 😂 Though seriously, those look yummy!

albacore's picture

Beautiful symmetry, Benny - the loaf looks like a flower!


naturaleigh's picture

I'm so glad you posted this recipe!  I've been looking for a good tear and share for WW and these look divine.  I have not tried any Tangzhong recipes yet, but this looks like a 'friendly' version for a first attempt.  The sweet starter will also be a first.  What kind of WW flour did you use for these?  Freshly ground or store bought?  Your sister is a very lucky person!

Benito's picture

Thank you for your comments Leigh.  I unfortunately do not have a milled but I try to purchase organic flours when possible.  The whole wheat is a stoneground organic flour from a local mill in Ontario and so far has made quite good bread.  My last couple of bakes have been made using that flour.  The Tangzhong is super easy, essentially a roux, just cook the flour milk mixture in a small pot and keep stirring until it gelatinizes and that’s it.

I look forward to your thoughts on this bread.


Benito's picture

The buns were a hit with the family, my nephew ate two of the buns so there are none left.  Nicely shreddable crumb which is what one wants for this style of bread.  Really no need to butter it since it has so much flavour from the milk and butter.

Isand66's picture

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.  The buns sound like they were a big hit and I can see the reason why.

Best regards,


Benito's picture

Thanks so much Ian, we had a lovely evening.  I can’t believe how much time had passed since we had a family dinner together, it was long overdue.

Happy Baking


gavinc's picture

They look fabulous. I hope the dinner went well. We are still in lockdown and can't visit family. Envious of you to say the least.

Benito's picture

Thank you Gavin, yes the dinner went well and was so long overdue.  I’m sorry to hear that you’re still in lockdown, I know what that is like and is the main reason we hadn’t seen family in so long.  We’ve been in and out of lockdown so many times and for so long, in fact, I believe our province had the longest lockdown in North America.  But now with our good vaccination rates, over 82% of the eligible fully vaccinated we can afford to be a bit more open, albeit still with some public health rules in place.