Japanese Milk Bread, a.k.a. Tangzhong

Bella AZ


This is the most gorgeous texture. It's Brioche without all that butter!! This bread is soft, bouncy, tender and so squishy good! Tangzhong is simply a bread starter and it isn't hard! Who knew you could get such soft and fluffy bread right out of your kitchen!

NOTE: This recipe came from Japan, and it uses Grams as a measure. A scale is always recommended whenever you bake bread, and luckily, most scales can be changed easily for grams vs ounces.

Try it.. you'll love it. This bread also makes a great cinnamon/raisin bread or soft, fluffy dinner rolls.


☆☆☆☆☆ 0 votes

One loaf
2 Hr 20 Min
30 Min


  • 270 g
    bread flour
  • 30 g
  • 4 g
  • 1
  • 90 g
    tangzhong flour paste (recipe follows)
  • 60 g
    milk, whole
  • 5 g
    active dry yeast
  • 30 g
    butter, unsalted

  • 50 g
    bread flour
  • 250 g

How to Make Japanese Milk Bread, a.k.a. Tangzhong


  1. Make the Tangzhong FIRST!:

    Add 50 grams of bread flour and 250 grams of water to a small saucepan. Over medium heat, whisk together constantly until you get a very thick, pudding-like consistency. This takes less than 5 minutes. Set aside to cool for at least 20 minutes.

    NOTE: This makes more tangzhong than you will actually need for this recipe. You can use the rest for another loaf of bread or you can refrigerate for a few days in a covered container.
  2. After the tangzhong starter has cooled, begin assembling your ingredients. (This recipe is written in grams, so having a scale that allows you to measure in grams is important.)

    In a stand mixer bowl, add all ingredients together with the exception of the softened butter. You'll mix that in at the very end.

    Mix the ingredients together until a ball forms. Dough should be very sticky. Mix on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes. Add softened butter, one tablespoon at a time until all the butter if fully incorporated.
  3. Grease or butter a medium sized bowl and form the dough into a tight ball. Add the dough to the bowl, turning to put the bread greased side up in the bowl, then cover with plastic wrap. Let double for about one hour or so.
  4. Shaping:

    Grease a standard bread loaf pan and set aside. (I use an 8" loaf pan)

    Remove the dough from the bowl and gently press out any large air bubbles.

    Divide the dough into two or three equal pieces. (In Japan, they generally use 3 rolls for one loaf of bread, but you can certainly just use 2) Roll out the first piece of dough to the approximate width of your bread pan with a length of about 8 inches. Starting at the short end, roll the dough up tightly and place the first roll seam side down in your bread pan. Repeat this process with the remaining pieces of dough.

    Cover with a piece of plastic wrap sprayed with PAM so that the dough does not stick to the plastic. Let the dough double, about an hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to about 350 degrees. Remove the plastic from the bread. Beat an egg with about a tsp of water and brush the egg wash over the top of the bread just before placing it on the center rack in the oven.

    Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and allow the bread to cool completely. ENJOY!

Printable Recipe Card

About Japanese Milk Bread, a.k.a. Tangzhong

Course/Dish: Other Breads
Main Ingredient: Flour
Regional Style: Asian

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