Monday, December 28, 2015

Japanese Milk Bread

Japanese Milk Bread

Ah, I wish that I could say something interesting or clever about how I came to make this bread. I'm just going to sum things up by saying that it was a snowy stay-indoors kind of day, so I decided to try my hand at this Japanese milk bread I've seen here and there on Pinterest.
Since I've never had Japanese milk bread before, I'm not sure if I did it right. This bread ended up a lot moister and denser than I thought it would. It's flaky crusty on the outside, and dense and tender on the inside. I enjoyed a couple of pieces with some butter. 
There's a slight sweetness to the bread, but not so much that I'd call it sweet. My husband thought it would taste good with something like a beef stew, where you could sop up the liquid with the bread. I think it might taste good with some black forest ham and a little mayo.
So, Japanese milk bread. There it is. And here's the recipe. Enjoy.

Japanese Milk Bread
      --adapted from

  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour, plus a little more for kneading
  • 2 tablespoons Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup melted and cooled butter
  • egg wash made from 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • In a small saucepan, whisk together the 3 tablespoons water, 3 tablespoons milk, and 2 tablespoons flour. Place saucepan over low heat and whisk while it heats. When mixture thickens and you can see the bottom of the pan when you run the whisk through, it's done (about 3 to 5 minutes). Place in a large mixing bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Add the milk to the cooled mixture in the mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the 2 1/2 cups flour, dry milk, sugar, salt, yeast, egg and butter. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured kneading surface and knead gently until the dough is smooth and elastic, adding only a tiny amount of flour at a time to keep the dough from sticking. Remember to knead with a gentle hand.
  • Place dough back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 60 to 90 minutes. Dough will get puffy, but it may not double.
  • Butter/grease a 9 1/2 by 6 1/2-inch pan (maybe 10 x 7 is a better description, my pan was 9 1/2 x 6 1/2 measured on the inside). Set aside. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • When dough has risen, turn it out of the bowl and cut into four equal pieces.
  • Form each piece into a small loaf that just about fits the width of the pan. Cover and allow to rise 40 to 50 minutes.
  • Brush loaves with egg wash and bake at 350 degrees for 28-32 minutes, or until bread is deep golden brown on top. The bread's interior temperature should reach at least 190 degrees.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from the pan and moving to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Makes 8 servings

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