WARNING: PICTURE HEAVY POST
You can make a lot of different baked goods with this dough. You can split the ingredients including the tangzhong and make each one separately, as I did or make double of each one.
For a large group, make the Raisin Buns below.
Raisin Buns – makes 16 buns with a half batch of the milk bread recipe below
[Use half of the tangzhong made below and reduce all final dough ingredient amounts by half as well.] Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon to the dry ingredients. Add 1/2 a cup of raisins 5 minutes before the end of the kneading process. (NOTE: If I made this again, I’d add 1 cup of raisins and soak them first.)
For shaping, divide risen dough into 4 portions and then each portion into 4 for a total of 16 balls. Place them into a well buttered 8×8″ baking dish and let rise. Continue as with recipe below.
After 25 minutes of baking, cover with foil and continue baking for another 10 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, remove from pan and continue cooling on a rack until the buns are room temperature.
Matcha Swirl Bread – for elegant sandwiches or just to spread butter over and eat.
Matcha Swirl Bread – 2 mini loaves with a half batch of the milk bread recipe below
[Use half of the tangzhong made below and reduce all final dough ingredient amounts by half as well.] After the first knead, remove half of the dough to another bowl. Add 1 tbsp matcha powder to the remaining dough and knead for another 2 or 3 minutes. Proceed with recipe.
After the first rise, divide each dough into 3 balls. Roll out into 6 rectangles, 3 of each colour. Arrange contrasting swirls (Matcha, Plain, Matcha and Plain, Matcha, Plain).
Roll up the rectangles into a ‘snake’ shape. Let rise. Brush with egg wash and bake as per recipe below.
Hokkaido Milk Bread – enough for 2 or 3 loaves
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup liquid (all water, half milk and half water or all milk)
Method of making tangzhong:
In a small saucepan, whisk the flour into the liquid until you don’t have any lumps. Cook over medium-low to medium (#5 or 6 on electric stove) heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to prevent burning and sticking.
The mixture will thicken very quickly once the liquid gets warm enough, about 5-6 minutes in total. Once you notice some “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon, you’re done.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and transfer the cooked mixture into a clean bowl. Cover with cling wrap, sticking the wrap onto the surface of the tangzhong to prevent it from drying up. Let cool to room temperature. The tangzhong can be used straight away once it cools down to room temperature. Just measure out the amount you need. The leftover tangzhong can be stored in the fridge up to a few days as long as it doesn’t turn grey. If so, you need to discard and cook some more.
(Note: The chilled tangzhong should be brought to room temperature before adding into other ingredients. )
800 g (around 5 cups) bread or all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
50 g (1/2 cup) milk powder
1/2 cup half and half*
3/4 cup milk*
4 tbsp butter, softened at room temperature
4 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
all of the tangzhong
*I didn’t have any half and half so I used 1 1/4 cup of 2 % milk.
NOTE: For savoury fillings reduce the sugar to half/a quarter of the amount used for the full recipe.
Combine all the dry ingredients in the large bowl of your stand mixer whisking to mix together. In a second bowl, combine all the wet ingredients including the tangzhong and the softened butter. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and mix in the wet ingredients. Turn on the stand mixer and beat for 10 or 15 minutes, until the dough is silky and smooth.
Once you’ve kneaded the dough well, remove the bowl from the stand, cover the bowl and let the dough rise until doubled in size, roughly an hour.
Divide the dough into smaller portions depending on your final product.
For 3 loaves, divide dough into 12 equal pieces and place 4 each into loaf pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray or rubbed with softened butter.
Cover the pans loosely and allow to rise for half an hour, then glaze with milk or an egg wash.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit while letting the loaves rise another 15-30 minutes.
Bake the loaves at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 40 minutes. If they are browning too much, you can cover them loosely with foil.