Kindred's Milk Bread - Japanese method Tangzhong

Kindred Milk Bread

Kindred Milk Bread - uses the Japanese method called Tangzhong (milk is cooked with flour) and they are so light,fluffy, rich and delicious! Easy and fast rising, too. Can make in large pans

There are times you can’t help yourself, you just have to make a recipe – and this is one of those times! This is Kindred’s Milk Bread. It’s served at Kindred Restaurant in Davidson, North Carolina to every dinner table. It’s a beautiful thing, this bread.  Make it – I promise you you’ll love it!

Kindred's Milk Bread - Japanese method Tangzhong

Kindred’s Milk Bread

I was first seduced by a photo of this Milk Bread I saw online and then I started seeing references in magazines – first Bon Appetit, then Food & Wine, and finally a lovely post on Food 52. I’ve made it twice in three days. To say it’s a bit addictive is an understatement!

The Kindred Restaurant uses this dough for all kinds of things but I really love their little pans of rolls. It’s a fun bread to eat and to make, and amazingly quick. There’s loads of yeast and 1/3 cup of honey in the bread and that speeds the rising right along – the rolls were out of the oven from start to finish in just under two hours.

Kindred's Milk Bread - Japanese method Tangzhong

Kindred’s Milk Bread, removed from the pan so you can see how darling it is!

Speaking of pans – I couldn’t justify spending big bucks on special little pans for this bread, but what I do have is several smallish casseroles, kind of like the ones I got at Pier 1 years ago – the size was close enough and the bread turned out beautifully. They’re about five inches across. Kindred also recommended Jumbo muffin cups.

The first time I made the breads, I checked the rise too late (at about 40 minutes; the recipe said an hour but I fiddled a bit with the salt which can affect rise) and they were a little higher than they should be. I didn’t get the great oven spring that makes this bread really almost “thrust” out of the pans like I did for the ones in these photos. Look for them to rise just over the top of the pan then get them into the oven.

Kindred's Milk Bread - Japanese method Tangzhong

Kindred’s Milk Bread

This recipe, by the way, is more than forgiving. I used what bread flour I had for the first batch and regular flour for the next. I also used milk instead of cream; the bread turned out great both times. I do use less salt than the original recipe and the first time, I made a mistake and used a stick of butter instead of a half stick! None of it mattered, it was still great. So go ahead and make it – it’s amazingly easy and will make you look like a genius!!

When I made my little pans of rolls, I divided some of the dough into three and some into four. I think the four would be a more normal size, but there were three of us at the house. We feasted on it, gave some to neighbors and made peanut butter toast with some. We ate it with butter, we ate it with jam, and we had some FOR dinner one night and with dinner on another!

Kindred's Milk Bread - Japanese method Tangzhong

Kindred’s Milk Bread

Kindred Milk Bread

  • Servings: see below
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

  • 5⅓ cups bread flour, divided, plus more for surface (all-purpose may be used)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (milk works)
  • ⅓ cup mild honey (such as wildflower or alfalfa)
  • 3 tablespoons non fat dry milk powder
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast (from about 3 envelopes)
  • 1 tablespoons Morton’s kosher salt (see conversion table if you don’t wish to use kosher)
  • 3 large eggs (2 for dough, one to brush rolls)
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
  • Non-stick vegetable oil spray
  • Flaky sea salt (optional)

Cook ⅓ cup flour and 1 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a thick paste forms (almost like a roux but looser), about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add cream (or milk) and honey. Whisk till dissolved.

Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (note: make sure the flour mixture isn’t too hot for the yeast) and add milk powder, yeast, kosher salt, 2 eggs, and 5 cups flour.

Knead on medium speed until dough is smooth, about 5 minutes. If dough is climbing up the dough hook, add water, about a teaspoon at a time. If dough is not forming a ball, add flour, a teaspoon at a time.

Add butter, a piece at a time, fully incorporating into dough before adding the next piece, until dough is smooth, shiny, and elastic, about 4 minutes.

Coat a large bowl with non-stick spray and transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

If making rolls, lightly coat a 6-cup jumbo muffin pans or small casseroles with non-stick spray. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and divide into 6 pieces. Divide each piece into 4 smaller pieces (you should have 24 total). They don’t need to be exact; just eyeball it. Place 4 pieces of dough side-by-side in each muffin cup.
 (No need to shape into balls, although you can.)

If making loaves, lightly coat two 9 x 5″ loaf pans with non-stick spray. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and divide into 4 pieces. Nestle pieces side-by-side to create a row down length of pan.

If making split-top buns, lightly coat two 13 x 9″ baking dishes with nonstick spray. Divide dough into 12 pieces and shape each into a 4″-long log. Place 6 logs in a row down length of each dish.

Let shaped dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size (dough should be just puffing over top of pan), about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

While dough is rising, preheat oven to 375°.

Beat remaining egg with 1 teaspoon of water in a small bowl to blend. Brush top of dough with egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt, if desired. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until bread is deep golden brown, starting to pull away from the sides of the pan, and is baked through,

22–35 minutes for the small pans of rolls, 50–60 minutes for loaf, or 30–40 minutes for buns.

If making buns, slice each bun down the middle deep enough to create a split-top. Let milk bread cool slightly in pan on a wire rack before turning out; let cool completely or serve warm.

Do Ahead: Bread can be baked 5 days ahead; store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

from the kitchen of, adapted (slightly) from Kindred Restaurant, Davidson, NC


Today, of course, I’ll be linking to our very own Throwback Thursday Link Party, hosted by Quinn of Dad What’s for Dinner, Meaghan of 4 Sons are Us, Alli of Tornadough, Carlee from Cooking with Carlee and Moi! That’s right – me!

Click over to our latest Throwback Thursday post for links to their blogs and social media, rules and more info or, as always, to see all the links or add your own, click on the little blue frog, below.

And, as I do almost every Friday, I’ll be linking up to Angie’s Fiesta Friday – this week is Fiesta Friday 126, so stop by and party!

Guys, I’m happy to report that the recipe for Kindred Milk Bread was a feature on Fiesta Friday!


60 thoughts on “Kindred Milk Bread

  1. Susie Tunks

    Hi, there! I know I am VERY late to the party but wondered what dimensions your ramekins are? I want to make it cute like yours but want to get the right sized bakeware. CanNOT wait to try this!! Drooling! Thank you!

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Suzie, I’m in Atlanta and my ramekins are in Minnesota! I should have specified. I can tell you approximately 4 1/2 to 5″ across. Most stores that sell these basic ramekins have pretty standard sizing and carry a small (about 6 ounces) and a larger one like this. I always got mine at Pier 1 before they closed but I’ve seen them at grocery stores and places like target before as well as cooking stores and home goods!

      Hope that helps!


  2. Stephanie

    Mollie, do you prefer this recipe or the other you have on your site (from KAF)? I want to add a MIlk Bread to a Care Package for some friends.

      • Stephanie

        Ok, so I made it and…whomp whomp. I either did not knead it enough (it hit 4 min and was elastic but not totally smooth) or my method to help a chilly kitchen killed the yeast (heat oven to 200, turn it off and let it proof). I used the weights given in the comments on BA’s page, so I don’t think that was it. I am totally trying again! It also hit 200 degrees internal temp at the 30 min mark for two loaves, not 50-60, but I did use 8×4 loaf pans. (I took some out and baked the excess in little ramekin.)

        • FrugalHausfrau

          That’s a shame, but I’m glad you’re going to give it another go. I just measure, stir to lighten (I made this several times at my folk’s house and they didn’t have a scale) and it worked beautifully except the time I let it rise too much. Now I think it might have been the temp in you kitchen and here’s why, My folk’s house is always hot as hades, really I just died down there. It was often 86 to 90 degrees.

          But when I made the other milk bread on this site, I made it at my house and it was chilly, my house is always chilly, I can’t stand too much heat, My thermostat is set on 65 in the day and down to 55 at night.It was for Thanksgiving and it didn’t rise right It was lumpy and strange. I was mortified. I even did what you did, put it in the oven preheated and turned off and it was still a disaster. I made it a second time, but by then I had the heat up (because I had company and want them to be comfortable) and it turned out beautifully.

          That sounds kind of like the problem you had! I wonder if this milk bread is more temperature sensitive than most while it rises? That doesn’t seem like it would have a scientific basis, but it is strange that you and I both had issues that seem similar. Plus when i made this recipe at the folk’s house, like I said, I goofed it up and changed it and it was still amazing…but it was hot in that kitchen. So I wouldn’t think a bit of variance in the amount of flour would make any difference or mine wouldn’t have worked.

          Anyway, let me know! It’s so good, I think it’s worth making it again.It is so good!


          • FrugalHausfrau

            Oh, I forgot I had a disaster with the other milk bread when I stuck it in the fridge overnight, too! It just wouldn’t rise after that! But that’s weird, too because being too cold shouldn’t kill the yeast, only retard it. It’s being too hot that kills it. Maybe someone following this might have a comment or suggestion,too.

            • Stephanie

              Oh wow! That is so interesting! I am definitely going to try it again within the next few weeks. It really is easy…I just have to figure it what I’m doing wrong, haha. Thanks, Mollie.

  3. That photograph of the bread and butter is making me drool. Reminds me so much of a bread I used to eat as a child in South Africa, called mossbolletjie.

  4. Awsome recipe! I don’t often make bread, but I think I have to try this one! By the way, do you use instant yeast or the traditional one? Thanks so much for the drool-worthy post!! 😀

  5. Sandhya

    This milk bread brought back childhood memories for me- we used to get milk bread in India, which I loved. Your photos are spectacular! Great recipe!

    • Thanks much Sandhya! I grew up in the Midwest and there were plenty of recipes for bread that had milk in them, but I’ve never seen this method before so it was fun for me! 🙂

  6. YUM! I have been loving making fresh bread, there is nothing better! I have been on a sourdough kick lately, but may have to take a break from that to make these! I hope you are having a festive 4th!

  7. I absolutely love this bread and can’t wait to make it. What a cool idea and I am intrigued by the method. Great recipe Mollie and your photo’s are mouthwateringly beautiful.

    • Thanks, Suzanne – it was a good subject to photograph – beautiful and it stood still, lol! Seriously, I *think* I’m starting to get better at the pictures, so thanks!!

      The bread, though, omg!! I just now walked into the kitchen to start the dishwasher, stopped, broke off a piece of this and stuck it in the microwave for 10 seconds. I sat down with the folks in the tv room, and my stepmom reached out her hand for some, so I gave her mine and got another one! It’s that good!! No butter, nothing on it! 🙂

    This bread looks absolutely DELICIOUS !!
    I happen to be a butter-freak (no kidding!) and this is definitely for me. Will try this SOON

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