Milk Bread

Sweet, downy Milk Bread gets its unparalleled texture from Tangzhong, a milk and flour mixture that is heated on the stove until thickened into a creamy paste. The second crucial part of the Milk Bread recipe? A rolled and spiraled shaping method, which gives the loaf its towering height and the iconic swirling imprint on the side crust. Find more info on milk bread in our July/August 2018 issue!

Milk Bread
 
Makes 2 (9x5-inch) loaves or 24 rolls
Ingredients
  • 1⅓ cups (320 grams) warm whole milk (100°F/38°C to 110°F/43°C)
  • ⅔ cup (133 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4½ teaspoons (14 grams) active dry yeast
  • 5½ cups (699 grams) bread flour*
  • Tangzhong (recipe follows)
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams), divided
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons (84 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) whole milk
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together warm milk, sugar, and yeast. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, stir together yeast mixture, flour, Tangzhong, 2 eggs (100 grams), and salt with a wooden spoon until combined. With mixer on low speed, beat for 5 minutes. Add butter, and beat at medium-low speed for 6 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl, and turn dough over. Beat 2 minutes more. Check dough’s gluten development by using the windowpane test (see page 85 for The Windowpane Test). Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Test dough for fermentation by using the finger dent test (see page 85 for The Finger Dent Test).
  3. Spray 2 (9x5-inch) loaf pans (for loaves) or 2 (13x9-inch) baking pans (for rolls) with cooking spray.
  4. For loaves: Divide dough into 6 equal portions (252 grams each). Shape each portion into a ball. Roll each ball into a 12x5-inch oval. Fold right third (lengthwise) over middle third. Fold left side over middle. Using a rolling pin, flatten dough, and reroll into a 12x5-inch oval. Starting with one short side, roll dough away from you into a cylinder. Place seam side down in prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough, placing 3 portions in each prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. For rolls: Divide dough into 24 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball. Using a rolling pin, roll each portion into a 7x3-inch oval. Fold right third (lengthwise) over middle third. Fold left side over middle. Using a rolling pin, flatten dough, and roll into a 7x2½-inch oval. Starting with one short side, roll dough away from you into a cylinder. Place seam side down in prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough, placing 12 rolls in each prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and remaining 1 egg (50 grams). Brush top of dough with egg wash.
  8. For loaves: Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), about 30 minutes, covering with foil during last 10 minutes of baking. Remove from pans immediately, and let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
  9. For rolls: Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let rest in pan 15 to 20 minutes, then remove and let cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes
We used King Arthur Bread Flour.

Tangzhong
 
Makes about ¾ cup
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) whole milk
  • ¼ cup (32 grams) bread flour*
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together milk and flour. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and registers 149°F (65°C) on an instant-read thermometer and whisk leaves lines on bottom of saucepan (see page 85 for The Tangzhong). Transfer to a small bowl, and let cool to room temperature before using.
Notes
We used King Arthur Bread Flour.

 

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