Japanese Milk Bread Dinner Rolls

Japanese Milk Bread Dinner Rolls

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The “roux” or Tangzhong:

  • 6 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour

The Bread:

  • 2 1/2 cups bread or all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) melted and cooled butter


The “roux” or Tangzhong:

Combine milk and flour in a small saucepan and whisk together. Place over medium heat and whisk until the mixture thickens and “clean” trails are left behind as it;s whisked.

Remove from heat and cool. Mixture will cool faster if removed from the hot pan; it’s just as easy to transfer it to the mixing bowl to cool it.

The Bread:

To make the dough: Combine the tangzhong with the rest of the dough ingredients, then mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until a smooth, elastic dough forms. Don’t expect this to form a ball, it will be more like a batter that holds some shape and will be rather sticky.

Shape the dough into a ball, and let it rest in a lightly greased covered bowl for 60 to 90 minutes, until puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk.

Gently deflate the dough, divide it into 8 equal pieces, and shape each piece into a ball by pulling the edges under and crimping or pinching together on the bottom. Place the dough on a very lightly floured counter and cupping it on either side with hands, use pinkies to pull the dough down and in as you gently turn it, tightening up the rolls.

Place the rolls into a lightly greased 9 to 10″ pan, a springform works well. Cover the pan, and let the rolls rest for 40 to 50 minutes, until puffy and smoothly risen.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the rolls with milk or egg wash (1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water), and bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown on top; a digital thermometer inserted into the center of the middle roll should read at least 190°F.

Remove the rolls from the oven. Allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

Yield: 8 large rolls.


To make a loaf: After the dough’s initial rise, divide it into four equal pieces. Flatten each piece into a rectangle, then fold the short ends in towards one another like a letter. Flatten the folded pieces into rectangles again and, starting with a short end, roll them each into a log.

Place the logs in a row of four, seam side down and side by side in a lightly greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Cover the loaf and allow it to rest/rise for 40 to 50 minutes, until puffy. Brush the loaf with milk or egg wash and bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes, until golden brown on top and a digital thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf reads at least 190°F. Remove the loaf from the oven, and cool it on a rack.

Keywords: Bread, dinner rolls, Eggs, Japanese, King Arthur, milk, milk bread, nonfat dry milk, rolls, Tangzhong