Enriched Bread – Tangzhong Method

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Enriched Bread – Tangzhong Method is such a great recipe.  It takes a long time to make, but most of that is waiting time.  However there is a lot of kneading too.  That means that a stand mixer is the best option for making the bread.

The dough, as you might guess from the title of this post, is very rich.  Meaning that it has eggs, butter and milk in it. That is very similar to many enriched doughs, such as for brioche.  However this recipe uses the Tangzhong method.  

Why use Tangzhong?

Tangzhong is a paste made of a small amount of flour mixed with water or milk in about a 1 to 5 ratio.  The paste is cooked to at least 65C/149F and then allowed to cool down.  The effect of the tangzhong, when incorporated into dough is to make a very soft-textured bread.  It also has the effect of slowing down the staling process.  The method works well in all types of bread, so far as I know.

For this recipe it makes a lovely light and soft dough, which will make 2 loaves in 900g(2lb) loaf pans.  Or it will make 10 large buns, suitable for hamburgers or any other type of fillings.  For the purposes of this recipe I detail how to make 1 loaf and 5 buns.  Although I suggest using a loaf pan you can make a braided loaf instead, if you wish.

Enriched Bread

Ingredients for Enriched Bread – Tangzhong Method.

Tangzhong – using a 1 to 5 ratio of flour and milk.

Bread Flour – with a protein level of at least 11 %.

Instant yeast – active dried yeast, or fresh yeast will also work.

Eggs – these help to make a lovely rich dough

Butter – for extra richness, I use unsalted butter.

Olive Oil – this helps to keep the bread nice and moist.  Vegetable oil will work too.

Salt – to help draw out the flavours.

Sugar– a little sugar helps to feed the yeast, and gives a slight sweetness to the bread.

Starting the Process.

Making this bread takes a long time.  However, as I mention, above, most of the time is waiting.

First we have to make the tangzhong, which doesn’t take much time.  Then that has to cool down.

Once the tangzhong is cool it can be put into the bowl of a stand mixer, along with the eggs, sugar, oil and yeast.  Mix those all together before adding the flour and salt.

Then mix again to great a shaggy dough.  Once you have a shaggy dough knead it, according to the instructions for your mixer, until the dough is soft and stretchy.  This will take about 12 minutes.

Then, with the mixer still running, start to add the butter a little at a time and mix to fully incorporate it.

Enriched Bread - Loaf
Enriched Bread – Loaf

Second Kneading.

Knead the dough again, for about 12 to 15 minutes, until the dough is quite smooth and very stretchy.

You can do a windowpane test, stretching a small amount of the dough until becomes almost translucent without splitting.  That will confirm that the dough is ready to proof.

Form the dough into a ball and place it in a bowl, cover it and let it proof for 30 minutes.  Then refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours, preferably longer, or overnight.

The dough will rise slowly in the fridge and will firm up as the butter in it cools. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, one for a loaf and the other for buns.

Forming the Enriched Bread for Baking

For the loaf divide that piece into 8 equal portions and roll them into tight balls. Place the balls, 2 by 2 into a loaf pan.  Then divide the other piece of dough into 5 equal portions and roll each into tight balls.  Place them on a baking tray.  Cover the loaf pan and the baking tray and allow the dough to rise again.  This time it needs to proof until it is very puffy. Test by poking a finger into the dough. If it creates a dent that slowly springs back leaving a slight indentation it is ready.  Depending on the temperature in the room this can take between 1 to 2 hours, or even a little longer.

Enriched Bread - Proofed
Enriched Dough – Ready for the oven

The dough in the bread pan should reach the top of the pan.  It will rise much more during baking.  Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan.  Brush egg over the top of the dough.  Bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes, until it is well risen and is brown on the top.  The internal temperature should reach 88C/190F to be sure the bread is fully cooked.

My Bread.

Enriched Bread
Enriched Bread Buns

My bread was in the oven for 25 minutes.  I did check the internal temperature.  Then I took the bread out of the aven and let it cool on a wire rack.  The loaf rose wonderfully well, as did the bun.  I then had a taste. This bread is quite simply the softest I have ever made.  The texture was perfect, soft and fluffy, with a slight sweetness.  

Enriched Bread – Tanzhong Method – Video

Another lovely bread recipe is Light & Airy Sandwich Bread.

Enriched Bread – Tangzhong Method

Recipe by geoffcooCourse: Bread


Prep time(excl. waiting)


Cooking time




  • Tangzhong
  • 50g(1/3 cup, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) bread flour

  • 250ml(1 cup + 2 tsp) milk

  • Dough
  • 500g(3 1/3 cups, base on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup)bread flour

  • 7g(2 1/4 tsp) instant yeast

  • 50g(1/4 cup) caster sugar

  • 113g(1/2 cup) unsalted butter

  • 4 medium eggs(large in USA)

  • 30ml(2 tbsp) olive oil, or veg oil

  • 10g(1 1/2 tsp) salt

  • 1 egg, for egg wash

  • Sesame seeds(optional)


  • Place the milk and 50g of flour into a saucepan.
  • Put the pan on a low heat and, stirring all the time, heat it until the mixture thickens into a paste, with the temperature at least 65C/149F. That is the tangzhong.
  • Scrape the tangzhong into a bowl and press some plastic wrap onto it and allow it to cool completely.
  • Place the tangzhong, eggs, sugar, oil and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix to combine.
  • Add about half of the flour and then the salt as well.
  • Mix for a few seconds and then add the remaining flour. Mix that until it all forms a shaggy dough.
  • Scrape down the bowl as necessary and knead the dough, according to your mixer’s instructions, until it is soft and stretchy. This will take about 12 minutes, or so.
  • With the mixer running start adding the butter, a little at a time and mix until it is all fully incorporated.
  • Knead the dough again until the dough is smooth and very stretchy. This will also take about 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Do a windowpane test to ensure the dough is fully kneaded and stretches very well.
  • Tip the dough onto a work surface and form it into a tight ball.
  • Place the dough ball into a lightly greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap, then leave it to proof for 30 minutes.
  • Place the dough into the fridge and leave it to chill and slowly proof for at least 4 hours(overnight is good too).
  • Divide the dough into two equal pieces, about 580g each.
  • For the loaf divide the first piece into 8 equal portions of about 73g each.
  • Flatten each portion and pull it into a tight ball, rolling it under your hand. Then pinch the underside to seal any seam.
  • Place the balls 2 by 2 into a greased 2lb(900g) loaf pan.
  • Divide the second portion of dough into 5 equal piece, for the buns, of about 116g..
  • Flatten each portion and then pull the edges up to the centre to form a ball.
  • Roll the ball under a cupped hand to make it nice and tight, pinching any seams together.
  • Place each ball onto a lined baking tray, leaving a large gap between them.
  • Cover the baking tray and loaf pan and leave the dough to rise until it is very puffy. The dough for the loaf will just about reach the top of the pan.
  • Test the dough by pressing it to make an indentation which slowly springs back leaving just a small dent. That means the dough is ready. This will take a long time, between 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, depending on kitchen temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
  • Brush the top of the loaf and buns with beaten egg.
  • If desired sprinkle some sesame seeds over the top.
  • Place the loaf pan and baking tray into the oven to bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes, until it is well risen and has browned on the top. The internal temperature, if you wish to test, should reach at least 88C/190F.
  • Transfer the loaf and buns to a wire rack to cool completely


  1. Hey Geoff, I tried this recipe and it worked perfectly! However, I did modify it a bit to suit my style. I made the tangzhong and added it to the flour as directed, and then I added all the rest of the ingredients to my kitchenaid mixer and let it run for about 10 to 15 minutes until it kinda passed the window pane test. I set it in a warm oven for about an hour, divided it into two and made a loaf and 5 buns. Let them rise in the warm oven. I forgot to wash the tops. Baked them until they were nice and brown. I should test the interior temp next time.
    Thanks for this recipe, Geoff. I really enjoyed this one. TC

    • Hi TC. That’s great. I am glad it worked well for you and that you enjoyed the loaf and buns.

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