Japanese Milk Bread - Hokkaido

Japanese Milk Bread - Hokkaido

I've recently discovered this Japanese milk bread (also known as Hokkaido bread). Though it's not sweet, its texture and flavour are very much similar to a fluffy sweetbread and it stays fresh for a long time. Everybody appreciated this bread, the kids liked it combined with butter and jam and my husband enjoyed it alongside Chicken Soup a la Grec.

I will definitely make Japanese milk bread again, it really is something special and eye-catching. It's not hard to make, especially if you use a food processor with a dough hook for kneading. And you can also see below how to knead the dough with your hands.


150 ml
White flour
240 g
2 tbsp
Active dry yeast
10 g
or 20-25g fresh yeast
2 pieces
0.5 tsp
25 g
softened, at room temperature

Step by step

Step 1

Combine 75ml milk and 25g flour in a small pot. 

Place the pot over medium heat and whisk constantly until it comes to the boil and starts to get thicker.

Japanese Milk Bread - Hokkaido - Step 1
Step 2

Then scrape this flour and hot milk mixture onto a plate and wrap in cling film so that it doesn't form a skin.

Let cool for 20-30 minutes.

Japanese Milk Bread - Hokkaido - Step 2
Step 3

After this time, combine the yeast with 75ml warm (not hot!) milk and 2 tbsp sugar. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until a light foam forms.

Japanese Milk Bread - Hokkaido - Step 3
Step 4

Now in a large bowl, place 215g flour, 1 egg, 0.5 tsp salt, the milk together with the yeast, the flour and milk mixture we prepared at steps 1-2 and 25g softened butter.

Japanese Milk Bread - Hokkaido - Step 4
Step 5

Stir well with a spoon or using the mixer with the dough hook on. 

If you are using a mixer, you won't have to knead the dough on the table anymore.

Japanese Milk Bread - Hokkaido - Step 5
Step 6

If you are kneading the dough by hand: 

-transfer the dough onto the table and start kneading using your hands;

-dough will be soft and sticky, but keep going, without adding any flour!

-use a knife or a spatula to unstick the dough from the table;

-stop when dough is smoother and a lot less sticky.

Japanese Milk Bread - Hokkaido - Step 6
Step 7

Then shape the dough into a ball and return to the bowl (you may grease it with a little oil). Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap.

Let rest and rise for 1 hour.

Japanese Milk Bread - Hokkaido - Step 7
Step 8

After 1 hour, cut the dough into 4-5 equal parts.

Japanese Milk Bread - Hokkaido - Step 8
Step 9

Sprinkle with some flour on the table and shape 4 round balls.

Let rest on the table for another 10 minutes.

Japanese Milk Bread - Hokkaido - Step 9
Step 10

Now take the balls of dough and, using a rolling pin, roll each one of them into 4-5 mm thick rounds.

Japanese Milk Bread - Hokkaido - Step 10
Step 11

Fold the lateral sides - fold one side lenghtwise over toward the centre, then do the same from the other side.

Japanese Milk Bread - Hokkaido - Step 11
Step 12

Then, starting at a short end, roll the dough up into a coil. See the pictures.

Japanese Milk Bread - Hokkaido - Step 12
Step 13

Do the same with the remaining dough pieces. Place the coils in a loaf pan, lined with parchment paper.

Let rise for 45-60 minutes to room temperature.

Japanese Milk Bread - Hokkaido - Step 13
Step 14

Whisk a raw egg yolk with 1 tbsp milk and brush the bread with this mixture before baking.

Japanese Milk Bread - Hokkaido - Step 14
Step 15

Bake the bread for 40-45 minutes in the preheated oven to 170 degrees C.

If it browns too quickly and you are afraid it might get burnt, you can cover it with kitchen foil for 10-15 minutes while baking in the oven.

Japanese Milk Bread - Hokkaido - Step 15
Step 16

Right after removing from the oven, pull up the parchment paper to lift out the bread.

Place onto a kitchen towel and let cool before serving. It didn't last more than 30 minutes for us...


Japanese Milk Bread - Hokkaido - Step 16
Quantity: 1 piece
Prep time: 60 min
Difficulty: intermediate
Ready in: 90 min
Publish date:

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