Whole Wheat Milk Bread

Baking has always been a pretty big part of my life but whereas I was always more interested in muffins and cakes and desserts, this past year I hopped onto the bandwagon with everyone else and got really into baking bread. The first couple of forays into the mysteries of kneading and proofing were pretty unsuccessful – the bread was always underbaked, too dry, or too dense, and the flavour always felt a little off. It took a long time to finally arrive at a bread that both tasted good and didn’t contain an obscene amount of butter or sugar that would’ve guilted me out of breakfast every morning. This recipe is my version of a classic Japanese milk bread or shokupan, with 50% whole wheat to make it healthier and just enough fat content to give it a rich, buttery taste and a soft texture. It’s great as an everyday bread for peanut butter spread or sandwiches but works equally well in a fancier avocado toast, especially when topped with flaky sea salt.

Like most Asian style breads, the key to this bread’s softness is the tangzhong, made by pre-cooking bread and milk together into a paste. Some recipes use water for the tangzhong instead of milk and while this will yield the same texture, I recommend sticking with milk for a better flavour.

Whole Wheat Milk Bread

  • Servings: 4.5x8.5 inch loaf
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Soft and fluffy milk bread made with healthy whole wheat.


Ingredients

  • 10g bread flour (for tangzhong)
  • 50g whole milk (for tangzhong)
  • 100g bread flour
  • 100g whole wheat flour
  • 20g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 30g egg
  • 100g whole milk
  • 20g butter, softened
  • Egg wash
  • Flaky sea salt

Directions

  1. Make the tangzhong. Cook 10g bread flour and 50g milk over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture forms a thick paste. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Combine the bread flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Lightly beat 1 large egg. Add 30g to the dry ingredients and set aside the rest to use as a egg wash.
  4. Add the cooled tangzhong and milk and mix everything together until it forms a rough dough. Use your hands to do this if necessary – the dough will be very sticky.
  5. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 – 15 minutes, until the dough no longer sticks (it will still feel slightly tacky). Try to keep the same side of the dough facing down to prevent it from sticking to the surface.
  6. At this point the dough may feel tough and will appear a little lumpy – don’t worry! Gradually knead in the 20g of butter until butter streaks are no longer visible. Continue kneading for ~10 more minutes until the dough becomes soft, clean and smooth.
  7. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for ~1 hour, until doubled in size.
  8. Gently deflate the dough and divide into thirds. Give each third a quick knead then roll out into a rectangle. Fold the top and bottom towards the centre like a letter. Then roll along the long edge into a log, making sure to pinch the edge closed.
  9. Place the thirds, seam side down, in a lightly greased 4.5 x 8.5 inch loaf pan. Cover and let rise for ~45 minutes until dough is ~1 inch over the top of the pan. At the 30 minute mark, preheat the oven to 350F.
  10. Lightly brush the top of the dough with a thin layer of egg wash, then sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and immediately tip out of loaf pan. Gently tap the bottom of the loaf – it should sound slightly hollow. Let the loaf cool for ~30 minutes until the top is soft before slicing.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Nice video and photos!! 童年的面包, haha, but whole wheat!! Great recipe 🙂 I’ll make this when I get time~

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      1. Is it just me or can I not figure out how to follow your website? Your posts are great and I would love to keep connected 🙂

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      2. Not entirely sure actually. What do you see when you scroll down to the bottom of the home page? There should be a button that says “Follow”

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Found it!! I subscribed and followed 😊 Your blog is great~ Keep it up!!

        Liked by 1 person

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