Japanese Milk Bread Recipe

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If you have ever wanted to try one of the best bread recipes on the planet, then this bread is probably for you. This Japanese Milk Bread recipe is so fluffy, airy, and tasty. You will not hesitate to share this recipe with friends and family, it’s that good.

The milk bread on a wooden board with the word 'Fresh' in white lettering.

Japanese Milk Bread

This Milk Bread recipe is a bit of a process, but a process that will help you experience a new way of baking bread and creating homemade bread to be able to impress your loved one with your skills. This delectable, shiny, and golden brown bread with fall apart light a cloud, and melt in your mouth. You will want this recipe saved and made in the future. You can use this milk bread for Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwich or Easy Overnight French Toast Casserole


  • Water- This will be mixed into your egg whites to create an egg wash.
  • Bread Flour- This will help with the elasticity of the dough.
  • Milk– You can use whole or 2% milk for this recipe.
  • Sugar- This will add a bit of sweetness to your recipe.
  • Egg- Make sure the eggs are at room temperature.
  • Yeast- This will allow the bread to double in size and rise in the oven.
  • Butter- You will be needing salted butter for this bread recipe.

How To Make Milk Bread

Add 1/2 cup of water to a small saucepan.

Put in bread flour, 1/3 of a cup. Then, whisk the mixture until there are no more lumps.

Flour and water in a saucepan.

Pour in 1/2 cup of milk and combine again by whisking.

Take out a bowl and pour in the mixture, then use plastic wrap to cover it. Let the wrapping touch the top of the starter so the skin doesn’t form.

Let the starter cool to room temperature.

Milk Bread Dough Mix

Add 1/2 cup of warm milk and a teaspoon of sugar into a mixing bowl.

Add some yeast into the mixture and stir carefully to combine.

Allow the mixture to rest for 10-20 minutes so the yeast can have enough time to activate. The ingredients will become foamy on the surface of the mixture.

When the yeast is finished, put in some sugar, the starter you prepared, egg, and flour, then mix to combine until it forms a dough.

The rest of the ingredients in the batter to begin to make the dough.

Knead your dough mixture for about 5 minutes using a hook attachment at low speed. You will want a soft dough, not too sticky. Continuing to knead will eventually allow the dough to come together.

Add in butter after the dough has finished kneading, do this in 3-4 increments. You will need to mix each increment for about 20 seconds.

Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl and continue to mix until fully incorporated.

Turn the speed to medium after the butter is added and knead for an additional 5-7 minutes, continue using the spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl while kneading.

The dough should end up being smooth and satin in texture and have no issues being pulled from the sides of the bowl.

The finished dough in the bowl it just got done kneading in.

Lightly flour a countertop and plop the dough onto the surface and form it into a mound.

Grease a large bowl and add the dough in. Then, place plastic wrap over the top of the dough to cover it.

Place the bowl somewhere warm to let the dough double in size. This process will take about 1-2 hours. The length of time the dough needs to sit depends on the temperature in your house.

Form the Milk Bread Loaf

Use butter to grease a 41/2 x 9-inch loaf pan, then flour the bottom and all sides once the dough is done proofing. If you don’t have butter, you can use a cooking spray such as Pam and lightly flour it.

Flip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and proceed to release all the excess air out of the dough by pressing down on it.

Separate the dough into 4 portions equal in size.

The dough mound separated into 4 portions.

Proceed to roll the dough creating 6-inch square portions.

Take the opposite corners and fold them into the center.

Create a small loaf shape out of the dough by either rolling or shaping with your hands.

Use your hands to grab the pointed edge of the dough and pinch to seal the seams.

Put your small dough loaves into the prepared pan with the seam facing down. You should be able to fit 4 portions of the dough in your loaf pan.

The 4 dough potions rolled into mini loafs in the prepared loaf pan.

Continue steps until you have used all of the remaining dough and add to the pan.

Place plastic wrap over the top of the pans and put them in a warm area, so it will rise again. This process will take an additional 1-2 hours, again depending on your room temperature.

When the dough is ready, it should be a little bit below the top of the loaf pan.

Baking the Bread

Set your oven to 350 degrees

When you proofed and preheated, add egg whites to a small bowl with a tablespoon of water, and use a brush to baste the top of the bread for a nice glossy crust. If you prefer to use milk, you can, this will not make a glossy texture though.

Place into the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes.

Place foil over the top of the bread if you notice it is browning a bit too much, this will keep it from burning.

You will need to bake the bread until there is an internal temperature of 190 degrees to 205 degrees, you can use a simple kitchen thermometer to check this.

Take the loaf out of the pan and allow it to rest and cool for a couple of minutes.

The baked milk bread out of the pan and cooling on a gray slate.

Transfer to a cooling rack to allow the bread to continue to cool completely.

Letting the bread fully cooldown will make the bread way easier to slice.

Serve with dinner or by itself, and enjoy!

Honey being dripped onto the finished milk bread.

What’s the Difference Between All-Purpose Flour and Bread Flour?

There is quite a difference between all-purpose flour and bread flour. For this recipe, bread flour will be the option to use because of the elasticity of the dough. But, the biggest difference between the two types of flour is the amount of gluten protein. Bread flour has a higher amount of protein in it than regular all-purpose.

What Does Milk Do in Bread?

Milk definitely works its magic when it comes to making bread. For this Milk bread, you will be using whole or 2% milk for the recipe. Now the special part of using milk is that your bread will fluff up like a cloud and have a softer texture with rich flavor.

The Milk Bread cut into serving slices.

More Bread Recipes

The milk bread on a small blue serving plate with butter spread evenly on one side of it.

Milk Bread Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Milk Bread Recipe

If you have ever wanted to try one of the best bread recipes on the planet, then this bread is probably for you. This Milk Bread recipe is so fluffy, airy, and tasty. You will not hesitate to share this recipe with friends and family, it's that good.
Servings: 1 Large Loaf
Prep: 40 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Proof Time: 4 hours


Milk Bread Starter

Milk Bread Dough Mixture

  • 2 ⅔ C Bread flour
  • ¼ C Sugar
  • 1 Lg Egg room temp.
  • 1 Pkg Dry active yeast
  • ½ C Warm milk
  • ¼ C Warm milk or 1 egg white (for brushing bread)
  • 4 tbsp Salted butter


Milk Bread Starter

  • Fill a small saucepan with 1/2 cup water. Add the 1/3 Cup of bread flour and whisk until smooth with no lumps. Add in the 1/2 cup milk and whisk together until combined.
  • Heat the mixture over medium heat, continuously whisking until you have a thick, pudding-like consistency.
  • Pour the mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the plastic wrap to touch the surface of the starter so that skin doesn’t form on top.
  • Cool the starter to room temperature.

Milk Bread Dough Mix

  • In a mixing bowl pour ½ Cup lukewarm milk and dissolve 1 tsp of the sugar in the liquid. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and mix gently until combined. Allow the mix and yeast mixture to stand for about 10-20 minutes to activate the yeast. The mixture should be bubbly and frothy on the surface.
  • Once the yeast has become activated you can add in the rest of the sugar, the starter, egg, and flour.
  • Use a spatula to mix the dough and combine the ingredients, forming a raggedy dough.
  • Using the dough hook attachment on your mixer, knead the dough for about 5 minutes at a low speed. The dough will be very sticky, but if you keep kneading it will come together.
  • After 5 minutes of kneading the dough, add in the butter in 3-4 increments. Mix about 20 seconds between each addition. Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl to make sure it is mixing well.
  • Once all of the butter has been added, turn the speed on the mixer up to a medium speed and continue kneading for 5-7 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl once or twice while kneading.
  • The dough should become smooth, satiny, and pull cleanly from the bowl sides.
  • Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a ball. Put the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Keep the bowl in a warm place and allow it to double in size. This will take approximately 1-2 hours depending on the temperature of the room.

Form the Milk Bread Loaf

  • Once the dough is proofed, prepare the loaf pan. Using a 4½ x 9-inch loaf pan, butter, and flour the sides and bottom. Or you can use a non-stick cooking spray and flour lightly.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly flour-dusted surface and press all of the excess air out of the dough.
  • Divide the dough into 4 equal portions.
  • Roll out each portion into an approximate 6-inch square.
  • Fold the opposite corners into the middle.
  • Roll or shape each piece of dough into a small loaf shape.
  • Once the dough has been rolled to the top, fold the pointed edge in and pinch the seam to seal.
  • Place the rolled dough into the pan, with the seam side facing down. There will be four rolls in the pan.
  • Repeat with all the dough portions and place them in the loaf pan.
  • Cover the pans with plastic wrap and allow to proof in a warm place, until doubled in size. This will take approximately 1-2 hours. The dough should be just slightly below the top of the pan.

Baking the Bread

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Once the oven has preheated and the dough has proofed, brush the top with an egg white and 1 tbsp. water wash (for a glossy crust). You can choose to use milk for a crust that is not glossy. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • If the bread begins to brown too much in the oven, place a piece of foil on the surface to keep it from burning.
  • If using a thermometer, bake until the internal temperature is about 190°-205°F.
  • Remove the loaf pan from the oven and cool for a few minutes.
  • Turn the dough out onto a cooling rack to continue cooling.
  • The bread will cut easier when completely cool.

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