Milk Bread Recipe
Milk bread is a cotton soft, sweet and fluffy Japanese-style bread made famous by bakeries in Japan.
It’s called Shokupan in Japanese language. I believe it originated from Hokkaido in Japan as Shokupan is also called Hokkaido milk bread.
The bread uses a simple Asian bread baking technique called “tangzhong” or 汤种. It’s a roux starter.
First part of the dough is cooked first, producing cottony soft, fluffy and tender bread.
This is the best, softest bread ever!
Once you have tried the bread, you will never go back to regular white bread.
These soft and cottony milk bread recipe is perfect for dinner tonight, holidays or any day!
This milk bread applies a roux technique to make the dough.
First part of the dough is cooked first.
This roux starter technique yeilds soft, puffy and absolutely amazing bread that stay soft for days.
Milk Bread Ingredients
This fail-proof, homemade and easy recipe calls for simple ingredients:
- Bread flour
- Heavy cream
- Dry milk powder
- Unsalted butter
- Sugar and salt
It’s important that you have an active dry yeast that is alive so please check the expiration date of the yeast before baking.
What Pan to Use for Milk Bread?
You can bake this bread using a regular 9X5″ loaf pan.
You can also use a baking tray for split-up dinner rolls or buns.
I made them into these cute clover-shaped buns using a big muffin pan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Bake Milk Bread Ahead?
Yes, you can.
This bread can be baked 5 days ahead. Tightly wrap the rolls with aluminum foil and place in a plastic bag before storing in the refrigerator.
Reheat the rolls in a toaster oven before serving.
Can I Store the Bread at Room Temperature
Yes, you sure can. Cover or wrap the rolls and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.
How Many Calories per Serving?
This recipe is only 329 calories per serving.
What to Serve with This Recipe?
Serve these soft milk bread with main dishes of steak, chicken, fish or pasta. For easy weeknight dinner, I recommend the following recipes.
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- 5 1/3 cups bread flour (divided, plus more for surface)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder
- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast (from about 3 envelopes)
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter (cut into pieces, room temperature (4 tablespoons))
- nonstick vegetable oil spray
- flaky sea salt
- Cook 1/3 cup flour and 1 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a thick paste forms, about 5 minutes. Add cream, honey and cook, whisking until honey dissolves.
- Transfer mixture to a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and add milk powder, yeast, kosher salt, 2 eggs, and 5 cups flour. Knead on medium speed until dough is smooth, about 5 minutes.
- Add butter, a piece at a time, fully incorporating into dough before adding the next piece, until dough is smooth, shiny, and elastic, about 4 minutes.
- Coat a large bowl with nonstick spray and transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Lightly coat a 6-cup jumbo muffin pan with nonstick spray. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and divide into 6 pieces. Divide each piece into 3 smaller pieces. Place 3 pieces of dough side-by-side in each muffin cup. Let rise again in a warm place until doubled in size and puffing over top of muffin pan), about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 °F (190 °C). Beat the remaining egg with 1 tsp. water. Brush top of dough with egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until bread is deep golden brown, about 25–35 minutes. Let milk bread cool slightly in pan before turning out.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.
Milk bread is the best.
I really want to try this recipe. I do not have a stand mixer but have a hand held mixer. Will this work as well?
Can I bake this in a smaller loaf pan? Small loaf? How long should I bake it?
Yes you can. Bake about the same time, or longer.
Has anyone made this in their breadmachine? If so, how did you adapt it??
Has anyone tried this with all purpose flour? I can’t find bread flour anywhere with coronavirus
It should work.
How do I do it in a breadmaker?
I am sorry but I didn’t try it with a bread maker.
Could I use Nido dry milk instead of the nonfat one?
I think it’s fine.
You said to a previous commenter that one could make this in a regular loaf pan but that it would have to be made as “pull apart bread”. This would be my first time making pull part bread and my second time making bread (I’ve only made potato bread in the past), can you give me more info on how to do that and if all of the times given are the same or if they change when cooked as a loaf. Thanks so much!! I love your site and your recipes. You’re definitely one of my favorite food bloggers. Your Asian recipes are so authentic and I like how you keep the ingredients simple. Thanks again!!
Hi Nicole, if you make this into pull apart bread, you are basically putting all the dough balls into the regular loaf pan instead of shaping them like shown in this post. Thanks for your sweet support!
Can I use molasses instead of honey since im allergic to horse ey
Is there any substitute for milk powder…. can I use milk? How much should I use?
Thanks in advanced!
Please follow the ingredients.
This is the exact recipe of the Kindred Milk Bread that was featured on Food 52–word for word, I think. The bread is really good and versatile–best of all, one of the easiest to make!
I adapted it from Bon Appetit.
Kindred did not invent Milk Bread. They adapted it themselves from Japanese Milk Bread. I have tried Kindred’s Milk Bread several times and it is amazing, but tons of Asian (Japanese, Korean, Chinese) Bakeries have been serving and selling Milk Bread for years before Kindred did.
May i know how do i incorporate this recipe by using a zojirushi bread maker??
I am not sure as I don’t have one.
Hi you used to have a different milk bread recipe on your site that I can no longer find is there any way you can repost that one?
Yes I need to update that recipe and repost.