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  • Writer's pictureYiannoulla Burness

Japanese Milk Bread

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

Learn how to make a soft, airy and light bread using a Japanese technique called Tangzhong. Tangzhong is a technique using liquid and flour cooked together. The ratio is 1 part flour to 5 parts liquid or water. The ratio of flour and water is cooked together until it thickens and the mixture becomes a gelatinous mix, this is called roux. This technique not only creates pillowy soft and spongy bread but prolongs the shelf life of the bread.

In place of egg in this recipe chia seed is used. The chia seed is grinded to a powder. A mixture of the powdered form of chia is added with water and left to bloom. This is used to replace the egg. Chia seed when combined with water becomes gelatinous similar to the texture of egg.

It is always better to weigh ingredients for bread so you get an accurate measure. Too often cup measurements can differ in size and therefore the measurements of ingredients can be inaccurate resulting in a failed recipe. Read the recipe through before attempting to make this bread.

EQUIPMENT: Small pot and wooden spoon. Standard mixer with paddle. Bread or cake tin, wire rack

OVEN: preheat and cook at 200 degrees celcius (preheat oven at least 15 minutes before baking)



35g or 1/4 cup standard plain flour

175g filtered water


Place flour and water in a saucepan whisk together, then place on a low heat and keep stirring. As the mixture thickens stir briskly to avoid any lumps developing. Remove from heat, spoon into a bowl then place in the fridge to fully cool.

Milk bread

15g or 2 level tablespoon chia seed powder 40g or 40ml filtered water (to make chia egg)

340g or 2 level cups standard plain flour + 3 tablespoons

5g or 1 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast

30g or 2 tablespoons cane sugar

40g or 2 tablespoon approx plant based butter or margarine

140g 0r 2/3 cup of soy milk or plant based milk of choice (lukewarm)

3g or 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

Tangzhong roux mixture


*To make chia egg grind chia seed in a seed grinder to form a powder. Measure out required amount and mix with water set aside to bloom for 20-30 minutes.

*Place milk in a small saucepan and heat until lukewarm. Temperature needs to be just right to allow the yeast to properly bloom. Not too warm or you will kill the yeast.

*In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, add flour, instant yeast, sugar, butter, lukewarm milk and chia egg. Mix on low speed to combine. Then raise the speed another notch, until mixture comes together as a dough.

*Turn speed back down low and add in the Tangzhong roux and salt, and mix until combined.

*Turn the speed back up a notch and continue mixing the dough until it is smooth and stretchy 4-5 minutes. If dough seems sticky slowly add by the teaspoon extra flour. Dough should be soft and smooth and stretchy.

*Place dough in an oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap and place in a warm place until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour depending on the room temperature.

*When rising is complete tip dough out onto a lightly floured surface and punch down to remove gas. Weigh dough then divide into equal portions of 100g or so each. Shape each option into round or log shaped rolls and place next to each other in a bread pan or cake tin.

* Cover and set aside until doubled in size. Check after 30 minutes.

*Brush rolls with 2 tablespoons of milk mixed with a couple of drops of maple syrup. Place in pre heated oven on middle rack and bake for 20 - 30 minutes. Check after 20 minutes rotate if needed for even browning.

*When done remove from oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes.

*Tip out onto a wire rack and continue cooling.

*Wrap in baking paper to keep fresh.

*Eat within 3 days.

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