Hokkaido milk bread

When you hear the word hokkaido milk bread, most people would think of a bread made with hokkaido pumpkin. It isn’t though. It is the softest, most fluffy bread made with wheat flour you will ever try. It’s not a broiche bread, because there is no butter in the recipe. So to enrich the dough we add egg and whipping cream. That will help with flavor and to retain the moisture in the bread. This is my recipe for hokkaido milk bread.

This bread is known by many names: japanese milk bread, asian milk bread, Shokupan, Pai Bao and Tangzhong milk bread. Whatever the name, this is the best and most fluffy bread you will ever make.

This bread is named for the Hokkaido island in Japan, so that is why it is called Hokkaido Milk Bread.

Hokkaido milk bread recipe

A different pre-ferment in this hokkaido milk bread recipe

The last name listed is probably the most important, because that explains how the bread is made. It is made using a roux called Tangzhong, made from milk and flour. Essentially a custard without flavor.

It binds part of the fluid in the starch molecules of the flour. That means the bread will stay soft and moist much longer, than homebaked bread usually does.

On top of that, part of the fluid is trapped in the dough. So even though this is a high hydration dough, it is not very hard to work with.

You make Tangzhong by warming the milk and flour mixture in a pot. When it hits 65°C/149°F the starch molecules gelatinize, which is exactly what we want to happen.

The formula in this hokkaido milk bread recipe

Dough weight: 593 gram (1 bread)
Hydration: 75%

The pre-ferment is not a classic pre-ferment where you ferment part of the flour with either sourdough starter or yeast. It is actually a type of custard. The hydration is very large, because the idea here is to suck as much moisture into the flour as possible.

WeightIngredientBaker's Percentage
20gbread flour100.0%

The doughs formula is the remaining part of the flour, the milk powder, salt, sugar, egg and the remaining fluids, in these proportions:

WeightIngredientBaker's Percentage
280gBread Flour93.3%
7gActive Dry Yeast2.3%
15gSkim Milk Powder5.0%
75gWhipping Cream25.0%

If you feel like it you can play with the bread formula here in my bread calculator.


I love sourdough bread. Fermented bread with lots of whole grains and taste, but then you meet a bread like this. A fantastic bread. No less.

A wonderfully browned soft crust. The most fluffy crumb I’ve ever seen. It’s just pure genius with some delicious butter on top. When it finally gets a bit dry, it’s also awesome in the toaster.

Hokkaido milk bread recipe

It seems this bread is the perfect match for a french toast or a grilled cheese.

I couldn’t help myself. This bread screams bread porn:

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This is my recipe for hokkaido milk bread. I hope you want to try it. If you make this recipe and post it on Instagram, please tag me as @foodgeek.dk so I can see it. That would make me very happy.

Hokkaido milk bread recipe

Hokkaido milk bread

Course: Breakfast, Lunch
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: bread, fluffy, japanese, milk bread
Prep: 45 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Proof: 2 hours
Total: 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 1 bread
Calories: 1642kcal
Author: Sune Trudslev
Nutrition Facts
Hokkaido milk bread
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1642 Calories from Fat 324
% Daily Value*
Fat 36g55%
Saturated Fat 19g119%
Cholesterol 205mg68%
Sodium 1756mg76%
Potassium 782mg22%
Carbohydrates 274g91%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 55g61%
Protein 50g100%
Vitamin A 1810IU36%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 448mg45%
Iron 3.1mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
The softest, most fluffy wheat bread you have ever tried. It is perfect for a sandwich and because of the way it is made it stays fresh for many days.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe



  • 25 grams bread flour
  • 125 grams milk


  • 280 grams bread flour
  • 1 sachet active dry yeast
  • 15 grams skim milk powder
  • 40 grams sugar
  • 6 grams fine salt
  • 25 grams egg
  • 25 grams milk
  • 75 grams whipping cream
  • 120 grams tangzhong


Make tangzhong

  • Put 25 grams of bread flour and 125 grams of milk in a pot and mix it thoroughly
  • Put the pot on the stove and turn on to middle low heat. Heat while whisking until you have a thick and uniform mass resembling a custard
  • Cool the mixture down. It can be luke warm when it is mixed into the dough, but if it is too warm it will kill off the yeast

Mix and knead the dough

  • If your active dry yeast is the type that require activating, add it to the 25 grams of milk and let stand for 5 minutes until frothy.
  • Mix bread flour, skim milk powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of your mixer
  • Crack the egg into a bowl and mix it lightly with a fork
  • Make a hole in the middle of the flour, pour 25 grams of egg and 120 gram of the tangzhong into the hole. Reserve the remaining egg for egg wash later
  • Add the 25 grams of milk and yeast, or in case you added the yeast to the milk earlier add the mixture.
  • Add 75 grams whipping cream.
  • Attach the bowl to the mixer and mix the dough with the paddle on low speed until everything is incorporated
  • Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough until it passes the window pane test. If the dough is too wet and won’t clear the bottom of the bowl add a bit more flour
  • I kneaded for about 20 minutes before my dough passed the window pane test.

First proof

  • Brush a bowl with a bit of oil. Shape the dough into a ball and put it in the bowl. Flop it around until the ball is covered in oil
  • Cover the bowl and let the dough rise somewhere warm until it has doubled in size

Final proof

  • Butter a bread pan
  • Divide the dough into four equally sized pieces. I weighed the dough, but I am weird like that
  • Take a piece of dough and make it into a quick ball. Press it flat with your hand
  • Roll the dough to an approximate rectangle about a half cm thick
  • Roll the dough into a taut roll
  • Press the dough flat and roll it out again. It will become very long and should be about the same width as your bread pan
  • Roll the dough from the short edge and put it into the pan
  • Continue with the remaining three dough pieces and put them all in the pan. They should about fill the bottom
  • Cover the pan and let the dough rise to double size
  • When the dough is about risen, heat the oven to 170°C/340°F½


  • Mix the remaining egg for earlier with a splash of milk
  • Brush it carefully onto the risen dough
  • Bake the bread about 30-35 minutes until it is done. About half way through the bake, turn the bread the other way around to promote even baking
  • Take it out of the oven and remove from the pan. Let cook for a minimum of 30 minutes on a wire rack


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  1. Pingback: Easy Sourdough Panettone Recipe - in less than 24 hours - Foodgeek

  2. Andre Reply

    Hi! Love your videos of sourdough baking. Just read thru your Hokkaido recipe: I presume the yeast is added with your dry ingredients and the second lot of milk added includes the cream? Thank you!