Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hokkaido Milk bread with Tangzhong

So today Aniket (my son) and me, we christened my little Bread Tortoise ‘’ LOTTY’’ .Isn’t he cute? You can see him below.

Today I made this amazing   Hokkaido milk Bread .This bread is known for its soft and fluffy texture and is also called Asian Sweet Bread or Hong Kong Pai Bo. Aniket’s “lottY” was the outcome of this. I used only half the quantity of ingredients mentioned below and made a small loaf, a little tortoise and with the remaining I tried to make the ever famous Pav bun. Wow I never dreamed that I would make the softest pav bun at home one day….But the wonderful results were before my eyes and I was elated.


Aniket was fascinated by lotti like me.Tommorrow It will be easy for me to cook up a story when I tell him how smart and brave  he is when he swallows lotty.Another story to get him to eat something  with sound and imaginary screen play…As for Poor lotty.We will always  love you –my  Hokkaido Milk bread pet tortoise!

Well The Hokkaido  milk bread  was as a part of the We knead to bake project-3 .To quote Aparna” Hokkaido milk bread owes its height and texture to an ingredient called Tangzhong,The tangzhong method  involves cooking one part of bread flour with 5 parts of water(by weight)at 65c to  form a roux. At this temperature the gluten in the bread flour water mix would absorb the moisture. creating a leavening reaction. The tangzhong when added with other ingredients produces light fluffy bread.” The credit for the Tangzhong method of bread baking goes to a Chinese woman named Yvonne  Chen in her book-``65C Br

ead Doctor”.

You can see the recipe below-:

Adapted from 65 Degrees Tangzhong “65C Bread Doctor” by Yvonne Chen, and adapted from Kirbie’sCravings)
Video ref: click here (how to make Tangzhong)(note recipe is differant)

For the Tangzhong (Flour Water Roux) (The recipe uses only half of the  Tangzongh)

All purpose flour-1/3 cup
Water-1/2 cup
Milk-1/2 cup

For the bread dough

All purpose flour-21/2 cups
Sugar-3 Tbsp
Salt-1 tsp
Milk powder-2 tbsp
Instant dry yeast-2 tsp
Milk-1/2 cup ora liitle more only if needed
Cream-1/8 cup (25% fat)
Tangzhong-1/2 of above
Unsalted Butter-25 gms
Chopped chocolate -1/2 cup


For the Tangzhong (Flour – Water  Roux)

Lightly whisk flour water and milk in a sauce pan till smooth and there are no lumps.
Place saucepan over medium heat and let the roux thicken. Keep stirring to avoid lumps and so that the roux turns smooth
Cook roux till it reaches 65c or 150 F if you are using a thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer cook till you see lines forming on the roux as you stir it.Then remove from heat.
Let cool for 2-3 hours. If not using immediately transfer to a bowl covered with a plastic wrap and refrigerate.

For the Bread Dough

It is better to use a food processor or kitchen aid rather than kneading the dough by hand as it gets very sticky
Put flour,sugar,salt,yeast, powdered milk in a bowl and pulse for couple of minutes.
In another bowl mix milk cream and ½ of tangzhong prepared well. Add to flour mixture.
Run on low speed till the dough comes together.
Add butter and process till you have smooth elastic bread just short of sticky.
The dough will be sticky but kneading will make it smooth
If the dough is firm and not soft to touch add a little more of milk to make it soft and elastic.
When the dough is done you should be able to stretch it without breaking, when it does break, the break should be in the form of a circle
Shape the flour as a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl turning it so that it is well coated.
Cover with atowel and let rise for 45 minutes or till double in volume.
Place the dough on a working surface .you need not dust it with flour.
This recipe makes enough dough to make one loaf (9” by 5” tin), 2 small loaves (6” by 4” tins) or 1 small loaf (6” by 4”) and 6 small rolls (muffin tins). Depending on what you are making, divide your dough. If you are making 1 loaf, divide your dough in 3 equal pieces. If you are making two smaller loaves, divide your dough into 6 equal pieces.

For the Loaf

Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape, about 1/8” thick. Take one end of the dough from the shorter side of the oval and fold it to the middle of the oval. Take the other end and fold so it slightly overlaps the other fold. 
Roll this folded dough with the rolling pin so the unfolded edges are stretched out to form a rectangle. Roll the rectangle from one short edge to the other, pinching the edges to seal well. Do this with each of the three larger pieces and place them, sealed edges down, in a well-oiled loaf tin. Cover with a towel and leave the dough to rise for about 45 minute

For the Rolls

To make the rolls fold them in the same manner described above, but before rolling them up, place some chocolate chip on the dough. Roll the dough rectangles carefully and pinch to seal the edge. Place each roll of dough in a well-oiled muffin cup and cover with a towel. Allow to rise for 45 minutes.

For the Tortoise

To make the tortoise, take a ball of dough and shape it into a smooth ball. Shape a head and four limbs from smaller pieces of dough. To make the “”shell/ back/ carapace” take another small piece of dough, and shape into a thin round (1/8” thick) and mark it with a knife. This round should be smaller than the previous ball of dough.The marks should be deep enough but don’t cut through the dough. Wet the underside of the dough with water or milk and attach it to the back of the tortoise.Use choco chips for the eyes.
Carefully brush the tops of the rolls and the loaf with milk (or cream) and bake them at 170C (325F) for about 20 to 30 minutes till they are done (if you tap them they’ll sound hollow) and beautifully browned on top. Let them cool in the tins for about 5 minutes and then unmould and transfer to a rack till slightly warm or cool.


You can keep the Tangzhong refrigerated for a day and use it the next day. If not so used within the next day discard it.
If the Tangzhong is refrigerated let it come to room temperature before you use it.
The bread dough is very sticky dough initially, but kneading it well will make it smooth, elastic and easy to handle.
You can make plain loaves or dinner rolls. You can also stuff it with sweet or savoury filling. You can make knots, sweet animals and also shape it into Pavs for pav bhaji
)The bread is only mildly sweet  but If you want to make the savoury version you can reduce sugar to 1 tbsp. and add another ¼ tsp. of salt.
You can substitute cream with 2 tbsp. milk though texture is slightly better if you use cream.
If you want to make a Vegan or milk product free version you can substitute the milk and butter with water and oil.


  1. Loved the tortoise and the lovely loaf of bread