Soft Japanese Milk Bread

5/5 - (1 vote)

I wanted to try some Japanese milk bread which is a wonderfully soft bread. I watched several videos and checked many recipes. Although each was different they were really basically pretty similar. Many used a method of creating a flour and water roux.

There are two methods for creating such a roux. There is Tangzhong and also Yudane. For my bread I decided to use the Yudane method. But there is an explanation of each method here.

The Yudane method uses flour and boiling water to create a thick gel-like paste. That is then broken into piece and mixed in with all the other ingredients to make the bread dough. It is a very simple method.

One reason for using that method is that it , supposedly, creates a bread that stays fresh for longer.

Making the Yudane doesn’t take long, it is just an extra step in bread making. The entire recipe is actually very simple. It does, however, take some time. But that is also the case for most breads.

This blog post is slightly different to my usual posts. That is because I detail ingredients for two different sized bread pans. I wanted to use my pullman loaf pan but was aware that most people don’t have one. So I decided to scale the recipe down to fit in a 2lb loaf pan too.

Although in my video I concentrate on how to make the pullman loaf I did actually also make a 2lb loaf as well.

As can be seen in the picture, above, the pullman loaf is square. It is also 13 inches long. My 2lb loaf did split a little, but that was my fault for not waiting long enough for the final rise before baking it.

The main difference, other than volumes, between to two loaves is dividing the dough into 4 pieces for a pullman loaf and 3 pieces for a 2lb loaf.

My Bake

Both my loaves baked very well. They each reached an internal temperature of 93C (199F) or higher. That meant I could be sure I had a fully baked loaf. As mentioned my 2lb loaf did split slightly. The reason for that was simply that I should have allowed the dough to rise in the pan for a little longer.

I allowed the loaves to cool completely, on a wire rack. Then I sliced the 2lb loaf and saw that I had achieved a wonderfully soft and springy dough. It tasted very good indeed and was perfect for sandwiches.

Soft Japanese Milk Bread – Video

Another great bread recipe is Soft White Sandwich Bread

Soft Japanese Milk Bread

Recipe by geoffcooCourse: BreadCuisine: JapaneseDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time






  • Pullman Loaf Pan – Yudane
  • 127g(2/3 cpus+3 tbsp, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) bread flour

  • 120ml(1/2 cup) boiling water

  • Pullman Loaf Pan – Dough
  • Yudane, from above

  • 300ml(1 1/4 cups) milk

  • 418g(2 2/3 cups+ 2 tbsp, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) bread flour

  • 25g(2 tbsp) caster sugar

  • 28g(2 tbps) softened unsalted butter

  • 9g(1 1/2 tsp) salt

  • 6g(2 tsp) instant yeast

  • 2lb Loaf Pan – Yudane
  • 86g(1/3 cup+ 3tbsp, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) bread flour

  • 82g(5 1/2 tbsp) boiling water

  • 2lb Loaf Pan – Dough
  • Yudane, from above

  • 291g(2 cups minus 1 tbsp, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) bread flour

  • 207ml(1/2 cup+1/3 cup+1/2 tbsp) boiling water

  • 17g(1 1/2 tbsp) caster sugar

  • 19g(1 1/3 tbsp) softened unsalted butter

  • 6g(1 tsp) salt

  • 4g(1 1/3 tsp) instant yeast


  • To make the Yudane place the flour and boiling water into a bowl and mix until fully combined into a thick glutinous paste. Allow it to cool until it can be handled.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer break the Yudane into small pieces, adding the milk to prevent the pieces sticking together.
  • Mix those two ingredients together for about a minute.
  • Add the yeast and flour and mix, with the dough hook, on low speed for two minutes, until everything has combined.
  • Leave the mixture to rest for 15 minutes.
  • Add the sugar and salt and knead on a low speed for 10 minutes.
  • Scrape down the bowl if necessary.
  • Add the butter and knead again for 5 to 10 minutes(mine took 8) until the dough comes clean away from the bowl. It may stick to the bottom, that is fine.
  • Tip the dough onto a lightly oiled surface and knead a little to form it into a ball.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and leave to proof, in a warm place, until it has double in size(about an hour depending on room temperature).
  • Place the dough onto a lightly oiled surface and divide into 4 pieces(3 pieces for 2lb loaf).
  • Form each piece into a ball, then cover and leave for 15 minutes.
  • Press each ball of dough into a square of about 7 inches.
  • Fold 1/3 of the square over and onto the middle third, then fold the top third down to make a 7 inch strip.
  • Turn the strip 90 degrees adn press, or roll, out to 9 inches(23cm) long and 3 inches(8cm wide).
  • Roll the strip up, from a short edge to form a roll with a nice swirl. Place it in the pan, swirls facing the sides. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough. ( pullman loaf will have 4 next to each other, 2lb loaf will have 3 next to each other.
  • Put the lid on the pullman pan, leaving a gap of one inch and cover the gap with plastic wrap(cover a 2lb loaf pan with plastic wrap).
  • Leave the pullman dough to rise until it is 1/2 inch(1cm) from the top. (let the 2lb version rise until it is about an inch above the top of the pan).
  • As the dough rises preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/375F.
  • Close the pullman loaf pan lid.
  • Bake the loaf in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the internal temperature is at least 90C/195F.
  • Turn the bread out onto a wire rack, turning it the right way up, and allow it to cool completely before slicing. The cooling will take at least 2 hours.

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