Bread · International Recipe · Japanese Food

Hokkaido Milk Bread

Hokkaido Milk Bread
These rolls are fluffy, pillowy soft Japanese Hokkaido style milk bread. Bake it today with this simple recipe. It’s a perfect make ahead bread because they stay soft for days! You gotta try these Japanese Milk Bread rolls.
This method does not use the tangzhong roux method. If you live in Hokkaido, you may use Hokkaido milk, but any full cream milk will do. (or whole milk/full fat milk/pure milk)

Listen to Audio Recipe of Hokkaido Milk Bread mp3 file. Voice over by Jainey.

Hokkaido Milk Bread


2 ⅓ cups bread flour
1 cup full cream milk/whole milk
1 tbsp honey
1 ½ tbsp sugar (Adjust sweetness if you like it sweeter) 
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp of butter, room temperature 
3g of active dry yeast  (about one teaspoon) 

Confectioners Icing: (optional) 
1 cup confectioners sugar (or powdered sugar), sifted
1 tbsp water or milk


1. In a mixing bowl, combine the bread flour, salt, and sugar. Set aside. 

2. In a medium bowl, add yeast and honey to the warm milk. Let the yeast activate for a minute. 

3. Start adding milk/honey/yeast mixture little by little to the dry ingredients until it’s all incorporated. 

4. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a loose, shaggy dough, then switch to using your hands. Knead for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the dough forms a semi-smooth ball. 

5. The dough will be quite sticky.. Sprinkle some extra flour, about a tablespoon or two (one at a time), over the dough and your hands as you knead (to keep it from sticking too much) . I normally add at least 1 tablespoon.

6. Add the butter to the dough. The dough will be slippery and messy at this point, but just keep kneading. It’ll become soft and pliable. 

7. Knead for an additional 4 to 5 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.

8. Place the dough in a large bowl with plenty of room and cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until well doubled. 

9. Once the dough is doubled, turn it out on a working table and punch it down. Slice it into three or four equal pieces. For each piece, roll the dough out to a long oval. Fold the oval into thirds widthwise, then flatten again. Roll the dough up lengthwise, and slice into small buns. Arrange them into the pan. Repeat with remaining pieces.

10. Let it proof again until it’s nearly doubled, for 1 hour. 

11. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (or 350°F). Once the dough looks ready, you may press it gently with one finger; if the indentation bounces back gradually but remains visible, your dough is ready to bake. 

12. Bake it for about 30-40 minutes. Remember, time will vary depending on your pan and oven. You need to check it before the prescribed time. 

13. Once done, remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Spread icing on top. Serve and enjoy! 

Prepare Icing: Measure 1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Stir in enough water, about 1 tablespoon to make frosting easy to spread. Makes about ½  cup.

Baking Note:

Preferably, you may let the dough proof overnight in the refrigerator. It allows the gluten to develop for an extra time. It will yield a better flavor too. 

The dough can last for up to 24 hours in the fridge. Just cover more tightly with plastic wrap to avoid drying out, but do not seal completely.

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Credits: Kat Hayasaka and Oriol Portell

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