I grew up eating this stuff.
Utterly soft, pillowy, white, glutinous, and deliciously CARB-y.
Despite my recent efforts to eat healthy and semi-carb free, I could not resist making this recipe when I saw it on Food52.
Hokkaido Milk Bread
Don’t worry, I was intimidated too. I mean look at it, it looks beautiful, and is probably the softest bread on the face of the earth. About a year ago, during my novice pastry days, I’d perused the web looking for Hokkaido Milk Bread recipes to simply just entertain the thought of taking on such a project.
From cooking the “tangzhong” (I still don’t know the right way to pronounce it in Chinese), to converting metric measures to American cups and teaspoons, you could imagine how intimidated I’d felt to try and recreate my childhood favorite comfort bread.
Invented in Taiwan, the use of tangzhong is quite prevalent in many Asian style breads. It is a water roux that is cooked and added to the dough. Because this roux holds a lot of water, it gives the bread the moistness and thus, softness that is so characteristic of Hokkaido Milk Bread.
Let’s just say if you’re trying to get your body in shape for a trip to Miami soon (like I am…) this probably isn’t the best thing to be eating. But who cares, life’s too short to skimp on carbs.
Perhaps…the time has come that I take on the long-awaited Hokkaido Milk Bread endeavor.
Well the bread turned out nothing short of amazing. My mom was visiting me in SF this past weekend, and after giving her a taste, she demanded that I bake an entire loaf for her to take home back to San Diego.
Taiwanese mom approval? Check. This Hokkaido Milk Bread is legit.
Since my mom loves raisin bread, I folded raisins into the dough. This can be done right after the balls of dough are rolled out. Add a sprinkling of raisins, and then proceed with the folding of the dough.
This recipe really easy to follow, especially because it’s not written in metric measurements. Therefore, there is reduced room for error, because come on…how many of us actually use a scale or want to dig it out of the dark corners of the pantry?
**Note: I subbed Instant yeast for Active Dry yeast, and the recipe still came out perfectly.