Soft Japanese Milk Bread using Water Roux Starter (Yudane Method)
Have a love for soft, fluffy Japanese Milk Bread? Come try making it at home with the Yudane method! The Yudane (湯種), or more commonly known as the Tang Zhong / Water Roux method originated from Japan and comprises of a starter dough by mixing flour to water in the ratio of 5:1 and then heating up the starch over low heat. the heated roux helps to lock in moisture making the bread soft and lasts longer.
SOFT JAPANESE MILK BREAD
Makes 1 x 20cm bread
This recipe uses the Sakura Chiffon Cake Tin.
You may use any other bread pan with a similar volume.
WATER ROUX STARTER (Tang Zhong / Yudane)
20g High Protein Flour / Bread Flour
5g Dry Instant Yeast
5g Milk Powder
290g High Protein / Bread Flour
25g Unsalted Butter
Beaten egg (any leftover from the 25g above)
Milk (as you like)
Yudane湯種 Water roux:
1) In a saucepan, prepare yudane 湯種 (Tang Zhong) or water roux dough by adding the flour (20g) to 100g of water and cook over slow heat with consistent stirring until the gluten forms and the dough resembles a sticky starchy paste.
2) Remove from heat and allow to cool and chill in the fridge overnight. For its next use in step 5, make sure to bring it to room temperature or remove it from the fridge for at least an hour before use.
Stand Mixer: Make sure to use a dough hook (and not whisk). add all dry ingredients one by one into the mixing bowl (Flour, Sugar, Salt, Instant Dry Yeast, Milk Powder). Be sure to separate salt and yeast when adding them in. Do not let the salt touch the yeast. Turn on the mixer and mix on low speed
Prepare the workstation and make 4 small wells around the bread flour. Add the sugar, salt, yeast, and milk powder in the small wells and mix gently with your hands to combine. Next, make a big well in the center.
Stand Mixer: Add Milk, Egg, and the Yudane Water Roux dough and mix on low speed. When the mixture has clumped together, add in the butter. Continue to mix for about 4-5minutes at medium-high speed until dough becomes smooth and stretchy. Remove from bowl and on a dusted work surface, gently roll it into a ball shape
By Hand: Add Milk, Egg & Yudane Water Roux dough in the center of the well and mix and knead by hand. Knead for about 15 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and stretchy. Gently roll it into a ball.
6) Put the dough into a greased bowl and cover it with food wrap. Leave it to ferment for 40 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the fridge. It is done when it has doubled in size. Test it by inserting your finger into the middle of the dough and the hole retains its shape.
7) Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Use a weighing scale to be more accurate.
8) Leave 5 pieces on a plate covered with a damp cloth or food wrap and work on 1 piece of the dough. Gently knead it a couple of times and then roll it around the workstation at the same time tucking the sides into the bottom with both hands, forming a ball.
9) Repeat for the other 5 doughs and then let them rest for 15 minutes, covered.
10) After resting, take one piece out and roll it out with a rolling pin into an oblong shape. Next, fold it into thirds. Turn it 90 degrees and tuck the top (previously the sides) into the center of the dough and then roll it gently towards you. Pinch and seal the bottom. Repeat for the other 5 pieces of dough
11) Put the dough into your bread pan. We used the Sakura Chiffon Cake Tin. If you are using the Sakura Chiffon Cake tin, please grease it. Cover it and let it rise for 30 mins.
12) Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celcius.
13) Glaze the top of the egg with the egg & milk mixture.
14) Bake for 25 minutes.