Taro Hokkaido Milk Bread

Hokkaido Milk Bread

I am absolutely obsessed with this Hokkaido Milk bread. After making the same recipe repeatedly, I’ve decided to mix things up a little bit. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the raisins are a classic addition. But what’s something else that’s equally as classic? Matcha? Red bean? No no  no…there must be something better.

How about Taro Hokkaido Milk bread?…

Taro Swirl Hokkaido Milk BreadTaro Swirl Hokkaido Milk Bread

Yes! Taro swirl, to be exact. My favorite breads and pastries from the Chinese bakeries I frequented every week growing up, always involved some sort of creamy taro filling. As I’m writing this post, I can almost smell the sweet aroma of freshly baked taro buns, warm out of the oven. Even in college, I found every opportunity I could get to make the drive from Westwood all the way to Irvine to get my hands on those famous oh-so-soft taro swirl buns, a cult favorite from 85C Bakery.

Hokkaido Milk Bread Loaf

Taro-Hokkaido-Milk-Bread

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Soft Hokkaido Milk Bread

Soft Raisin Hokkaido Milk Bread

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

Raisin Hokkaido Milk BreadDon’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.

Fresh Baked Hokkaido Milk Bread LoafFrom 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.

Tangzhong RouxSo what the heck is tangzhong?

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.

Hokkaido Milk Bread ToastAnother reason why Hokkaido Milk Bread is so soft, is because of it’s higher fat content. As the name entails, milk is added to the dough instead of water, as well as a good amount of heavy cream.

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.

#YOLO

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La Fête du Pain in Paris

I’m finally in Paris! It’s been a great trip so far as we eat our way through the city. I’m here with my girl Julia, as we take on the first city of our 2-month backpacking adventure through Europe.

Yesterday, we stumbled into one of the best coincidences ever. Upon visiting the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral, we are pleasantly greeted by the wonderful aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through the air. The smells are emanating from a huge tent. There is a sign. All french words. Darn! But there’s a picture of a baguette. Hmm…we approach. Inside the tent was a sight that I will never forget. 

Breads at the Fete du Painbreads at the fete du pain paris

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