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  • Writer's pictureEmily Yeo

Japanese Milk Dinner Roll

Updated: May 12, 2020

When I say addictive, I mean addictive people! I’ve made this vegan Japanese milk bread at least thrice in a week, and I’m still not tired of it! Bread is my weakness. Ok where do I start with these rolls? On the surface, milk bread is an utterly fantastic soft, fluffy and springy pillows of carbs that totally melts in your mouth and that you’ll just wish you could sleep on. It is rich, much like challah, but lighter and airier, making it perfect for pull-apart loaves that you just slather with butter.

The first part of the recipe is to make Tangzhong, a Japanese technique for dreamy bread texture. The jist of it is this: science. Tangzhong helps the starches absorb more water resulting in moist and tender breads. This method was originally from Asia and it really makes a difference in enriched doughs. Essentially, it’s a water roux. You cook a small amount of the flour of the recipe with part of the liquid of the recipe. When you start cooking the flour/liquid mixture, it’s just liquid. The more it heats up, the thicker it gets, until you end up with a paste, the tangzhong.

I love asian milk bread, from the soft texture to the milky taste. Soft as a sponge, gorgeous rich crust, and creamy tasting bread that brings new meaning to ‘I could live on bread and bread alone’. I mean would you look at that crust? *Sigh* And you’ll have to take my word on how incredibly soft it was. The crumb is so stringy and feathery that it reminds me of cotton. Will you look at it… does that look like cotton or what?! One of these days, I’m just going to accidentally use it as a pillow.

The interior texture is soft and silky and comes apart in tender layers. The exterior has some crisp edges and a beautiful deep golden sheen for a delicious contrast. Japanese milk bread has the same soft texture that is like the cake of breads. Without being a cake. Once baked, it results in a beautiful golden brown bread that’s uber soft with added richness from the milk and extra flavour from the butter. Best part is, this bread stays soft for a couple of days unlike most bread that turns to brick fairly quickly.

So fluffaaaaay I’m gonna die!! And I’m tellin’ ya, the pictures do even do them justice. I’m actually not satisfied with this photoshoot because I know how much better and delicious looking these rolls are in real life. If I wasn’t training myself to let go of obsessive compulsive disorder, I would’ve reshot them. I have to admit that I was this close. So yaaaaaay me! I can probably live on this stuff alone if we ever run out of food. It is not as rich as brioche, so it feels more like an everyday bread. Grab your favourite butter and let’s get rolling! Please let me know if you try this recipe. Enjoy!


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