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Milk Bread

Two loaves (8" x 4" x 3.75")
Prep info
30 min prep + 40 min rise + 10 min prep + 15 min rest + 30 min prep + 40 min? rise + 35 min bake
Prep time
Not set
Cook time
3 hours, 20 minutes
Time required
3 hours, 20 minutes
Oven preheat


  • 540 g Flour (Strong Bread)
  • 86 g Sugar (Castor)
  • 2 t Salt (Table)
  • 1.5 T dried milk powder (whole (full cream))
  • 11 g active dry yeast
  • 86 g egg (beaten, weighed without shell)
  • 59 g cream (whipping)
  • 54 g milk
  • 184 g tang zhong
  • 49 g unsalted butter (melted)


To make with a breadmaker:

Add all ingredients (except butter) into a breadmaker, first the wet ingredients (milk, cream, egg, tangzhong), then followed by the dry ingredients (salt, sugar, milk powder, bread flour, yeast). (Note: I used to make a small well in the bread flour, then add the yeast into it.) Select the “dough” mode (refer to the menu of your breadmaker to select the kneading dough programme). When all ingredients come together, pour in the melted butter, continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. The time of kneading in the breadmaker is about 30 minutes.

To make without a breadmaker:

If you don't have a breadmaker, that's fine. Just dump all ingredients except the butter into a mixer with a paddle attachment. Add in the butter once the ingredients come together. Mix till your dough moves away from the sides of the bowl, clinging to the paddle. Or else, knead the dough till it is smooth, elastic, and not sticky.

Continue here for both methods:

Then let the dough complete the 1st round of proofing (rising), about 40 minutes, best temperature for proofing is 28C, humidity 75%, until double in size.

Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface. Deflate and divide into 6 equal portions. Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.

Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape. Fold 1/3 from top edge to the middle and press. Then fold 1/3 from bottom to the middle and press. Turn seal downward. Roll flat and stretch to about 30cm in length. With seal upward, roll into a cylinder. With seal facing down, place in the loaf tins to have the 2nd round of proofing until double in size. The best temperature for 2nd round proofing is 38C, humidity 85%.

Brush whisked egg on surface. Bake in a pre-heated 180C (356F) oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until turns brown. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack. Let cool completely. [If your bread is browning too quickly, let it brown first, then immediately tent the loaf with aluminum foil].


Tang zhong recipe is here:

Notes from source:

What is tang zhong? It is a water roux starter made of flour and water/milk that’s cooked and then chilled in the refrigerator for a day. It is what that makes bread soft, and springy. I recently came across this method and decided to see what all the rave was about. I’m not sure about the precise chemistry involved, but I do know that there’s gelatinization and extra moisture kicked in by the starter. Good news, if not old news, it’s the one best natural way to condition and soften your bread. Best of all, your bread stays preserved for days.

I halved this recipe and it works perfectly. I didn’t have the pan size called for, so I used a regular Pyrex loaf pan instead. The height is a little shorter, but no matter. The recipe is pretty flexible. Feel free to make little buns out of it if you wish.

SJ Notes 15 May 2011: *Very tasty!*  Definitely a keeper.  I used fromage frais instead of cream, as it's what I had on hand.  The rising time altogether was about 9 hours, perhaps the fromage frais was fighting the yeast, I'm not sure.  Shall try it again with cream as written.  We really like the texture, but it's too sweet for Chris, so I shall try it next time with less sugar.