Japanese milk bread


A couple of days ago, I was punched on the face while walking to the office. The woman was crazy – I should have crossed the street. But anyway, of course I called my dear husband and told him about it.

Hubby: Oh my God!!! You have to call the police!!!

Me: But she ran away. I didn’t even have a good look at her 😦

Hubby: You still need to file a police report! You have too!!!!

Me: Why??

Hubby: Because everyone will think I did it!!!

(Thanks, babe! Very supportive!!!)

So, what do I usually do when I’m upset? I bake! This is our favorite loaf of all time – the softest, lightest, and fluffiest loaf ever. Everything will be alright with a slightly toasted bread slice and a cup of cappuccino.

Japanese Milk Bread

(Adapted from Linh Trang’s “Nhat ky hoc lam banh 2″)

For 2 loaf pans 5″x9” (lined with parchment paper)

150g heavy cream
250g milk
1 large egg
540g bread flour
60g cake flour
30g milk powder (optional)
85g sugar
1 pinch of salt
10g active dry yeast
1 egg yolk + a few drops of water (optional)

Labor-intensive method:
  1. Heat the milk + heavy cream briefly until lukewarm. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and set it aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Sift together the bread flour, cake flour, milk powder, salt, and sugar.
  3. Mix together the foamy yeast mixture with one egg.
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in all of the egg yeast mixture.
  5. Knead until the dough forms a smooth and elastic ball.
  6. Place the dough in a large bowl, cover with a plastic wrap and let it proof for 1-2 hours (depending on the room temperature), or until doubled.
  7. Once the dough is doubled, turn it out and punch it down.
  8. Divide it into 6 equal pieces. For each piece, form the dough to a small roll (see instruction here).
  9. Place 3 pieces in each loaf pan.
  10. Let the dough proof again for about 30 minutes.
  11. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  12. Whisk an egg yolk with a splash of water, and brush the egg wash over the dough.
  13. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  14. Let it cool on a cooling rack (although it’s best eaten when warm).
Capital-intensive method (a.k.a. bread machine):
  1. Add all wet ingredients (heavy milk, milk, egg) to the bread pan.
  2. Then add all dry ingredient except the yeast (bread flour, cake flour, milk powder, sugar, salt).
  3. Finally sprinkle the yeast on top.
  4. Set the bread machine to Dough Regular or Quick, depending on how much time you have. Usually, the regular setting takes about 2 hours, while the quick one takes around 1 hour.
  5. The machine will knead and proof the dough for you. Cool, huh? Just sit back and enjoy a cup of tea, or do something else.
  6. Take the dough out and follow from step 8 above.