Are you ready to try one of the fluffiest bread ever? It’s so funny how my favourite bread when I was younger was ciabatta, airy, crunchy and chewy in the center. I can say now I am a big fan of fluffy breads too. Especially when they look so cute. I apologize already for the length of this recipe, but believe me, it’s much easier to make than to write it down.
This is one of the fluffiest and tastier bread I’ve ever baked. Its slightly sweet taste goes incredibly well both with some jam for breakfast and some cheese for lunch. One of the best parts, also, is that you can divide the loaf really easily, and freeze down half in case you have some leftovers (not sure there will be, to be honest). We have so many things to learn from different cultures.
Imagine being able to eat a cloud. This is exactly what I thought when first trying this. And you’ll never get enough, believe me. Add some more sugar if you prefer a sweeter, brioche-like taste. Enjoy either warm or cold, it will be an amazing experience in any case.
“It’s 10:00 a.m., time for the second round of baking of the day. After feeding the fire with chunks of maple, he loads the bread and pastries according to cooking time: first the fat country rounds, then long, skinny loaves dense with nuts and dried fruit, and finally a dozen purple crescent moons: raspberry croissants pocked with chunks of white chocolate.”Matt Goulding, Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan’s Food Culture
Hokkaido Milk Bread
- kitchen robot (optional)
- sauce pan
- Plum Cake Thin (20 cm Long)
- 60 mL Milk I used Almond
- 60 ml Water
- 23 gr Bread Flour
Japanese Milk Bread
- 400 gr Very Strong Bread Flour
- 120 gr Milk I used Almond
- 100 gr Sourdough Starter recently fed
- 50 gr Sugar add 20 gr more if You prefer a Sweeter Loaf
- 10 gr Salt
- 60 gr Butter
- 5 gr Purple Carrot Powder Optional
- Start from the Tangzhong, warm up the water and milk in a sauce pan and pour in the flour. Whisk until you get a smooth mixture with no lumps.
- Continue whisking until the mixture gets tick. The resulting mixture should have a thick, pudding-like consistency.
- Scrape the mixture into a bowl and then cover with plastic wrap and allow the tangzhong to cool to room temperature. You can store it in the fridge for up to two days.
Hokkaido Bread Dough
- In your mixing bowl, add the tangzhong and the sourgdough starter, mix until combined. Add the flour, sugar, carrot powder (if using) and the milk slowly. Mix for about 5 minutes, until you see the gluten net forming. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes, then add the melted butter into two-three times and the salt.
- If using the kitchen robot, use the hook and knead the dough for about 5 minutes on a low speed (speed 2 or 3). Otherwise, do this with a spatula. The dough will be very sticky and stick to the sides, but continue mixing and the dough will start to come together.
- Once all the butter is incorporated into the dough, let the dough rest for 10-15 minuted and knead for further 5-7 minutes, until the dough results smooth. Knead for 2-3 minuted other 3 times, 15 minutes one from the other.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and shape the dough into a ball. Then place the dough back in the mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Keep the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to double in size (about 4-6 hours, depending on the weather/ambient room temperature). When the dough has proofed in a warm place, you can transfer it to the fridge for a couple of hours just to make it a little easier to handle. Alternatively, place the bowl in the fridge and let it slow proof for about 12 hours.
- Once the dough is proofed, prepare the loaf pan. Butter the loaf pan and dust the pan with flour or line the mold with some baking paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press all the excess air out of the dough.
- Transfer dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 3 or 4 equally sized pieces. Roll out each dough portion into a six inch (approximately) square.
- Fold the opposite corners of the square in towards the middle. Roll up this piece of dough, starting from the pointed end. Make sure you roll up the dough firmly, and a little tightly. Once you’ve rolled up the dough to the top, fold the pointed edge in and pinch the seam to seal.
- Place the rolled up dough in the dough pan, seam side down. Repeat with all the dough portions and place them in the loaf pan.
- Cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap and let the dough proof in a warm place, until doubled in size. This can take about 4-6 hours depending on the ambient room temperature. You can also leave the dough proof in the fridge for 12 hours. The dough should rise to just below the top of the loaf pan.
Baking the Bread
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush the top of the bread dough with a milk wash (for a more matte crust), or an egg wash (for a glossy crust). Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes (for the loaf). If the bread starts to caramelize too much in the oven, place a piece of foil over the surface of the bread to prevent it from burning.
- If you have a thermometer, bake until the internal temperature is about 88 – 96°C. Remove the loaf pan / baking pan from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Turn the dough out onto a wire rack and let it cool down further. Slice and enjoy either warm or cold,
I do have a scientific mind, probably it’s the reason why I love to hide in the kitchen and start creating.
My cooking is healthy, fun and colorful… and really tasty!
What are you waiting for? Grab your apron and start creating with me!