Updated: Jul 25, 2021
Taiwanese Milk Bread is a great alternative to regular white bread as its incredibly light and fluffy in the middle. This bread is extremely popular throughout Asia and is very versatile as its sweet milky taste makes it suitable for both savoury and sweet fillings. For this recipe I decided to go with a classic rustic loaf however you can transform this recipe into buns or filled bread etc. With all that said let's bake!
For 1 loaf
45 ml whole milk
15g strong bread flour
310g strong bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
15g milk powder
50g caster sugar
115ml whole milk
55g salted butter
1 whole egg
1 tbsp active dry yeast
sesame seeds optional
Let's begin by making the tangzhong, in a small pan add 15g of flour, 45ml milk and 45ml of water. Place onto a low heat and cook slowly for approximately 10 minutes mixing well. The tangzhong will slowly thicken until the consistancy is almost like thick glue. When ready place the tangzhong into a small bowl and allow to cool.
2. Now to make the dough, for this recipe I used a mixing machine but you can also do this by hand. In a mixing bowl add 310g sieved strong bread flour, 15g milk powder, 1 tbsp active yeast and 50g sugar then mix all the dry ingredients until mixed. Now add 115ml milk, 55g soft butter, 1 egg and the tangzhong we made earlier. Place onto a low speed setting and mix for 2 minutes with a dough hook. Now turn the speed to a high setting and knead the dough for 10 minutes until the dough becomes almost elastic.
3. Now remove the dough from the machine and place onto a work surface lightly dusted with flour. Briefly knead the dough until it becomes more managable (you can add extra flour if needed). Roll the dough into a smooth ball then place into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm. Allow the dough to prove in a humid space for 1 hour.
4. After 1 hour the dough should have doubled in size. Press 1 finger in the centre of the dough to release any unwanted air inside of the dough. Now remove the dough from the bowl and place back onto a lightly dusted work surface. Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces then slap the dough off the work top to release any air again. Roll the dough into 3 small balls and cover in clingfilm. Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes.
5. After 15 minutes flatten the ball of dough and roll into a flat rectangular shape roughly 5 inches in length. Now fold the dough into a 1/3 then fold the other 1/3 over the top and pinch lightly to seal. (the dough at this stage is quite elastic).
6. Now turn the dough so that the length faces upwards then again fold the dough 1/3 of the way and pinch together. Roll the dough to create a cylinder (almost like a pan au chocolate) then seal by pinching at the seal.
7. When the dough balls are all rolled out place into a loaf tin side by side. When the 3 pieces of dough are laid inside the tin cover with clingfilm and allow to prove one last time in a humid space for 30 minutes.
8. After 30 minutes the dough should have doubled in size again. Brush the dough lightly with egg wash and sprinkle over some sesame seeds. Place the loaf into a preheated oven set at 170°c and bake for 25 minutes.
9. When the milk bread is cooked allow to rest for at least half an hour before slicing. You may want to make 2 or 3 of these milk breads as they usually get eaten pretty quickly. Hope you all enjoy this simple recipe.
I definitely recommend toasting this bread with a touch of butter! Instead of making a loaf you could also make milk bread buns by cutting the dough into smaller balls and bake individually. For additional milk bread recipes you could check out my matcha milk bread recipe that also follows a similar technique to this recipe. Have fun!