Spiced Japanese Milk Bread


I always struggle a bit with enriched doughs but they always taste great.  This is one of my better ones. I added some of my own spices to this recipe.


3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons unbleached bread flour

320g unbleached bread flour
1 tablespoon powdered ginger
2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
50g cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1/2 cup scalded whole milk (cooled)
5 whole pieces of star anise
1 large egg
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) melted unsalted butter

Cinnamon-sugar filling
1/2 cup sugar
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1.5 Tbsp. cinnamon


Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan, and whisk until no lumps remain.

Place the saucepan over low heat, and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until thick and the whisk leaves lines on the bottom of the pan, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer the tangzhong to a small mixing bowl or measuring cup and let it cool to room temperature.


Place milk and star anise in saucepan scald by storing occasionally and letting the milk use start to foam and boil.  Take it off the heat and let cool.  Scrape off skin and strain out star anise then measure out 1/2 cup.

Combine the tangzhong with the remaining dough ingredients, then mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until a smooth, elastic dough forms.

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.

Cinnamon-sugar filling:

Cream the butter with the sugar, and then add the cinnamon. If easier, you can mix the ingredients with your fingers. You will get a moist, chunky/sandy mixture.

Gently deflate the dough, squishing out all the bubbles you can, and pat it out to a 9×15 rectangle.

Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar filling on top of the dough, leaving a one-inch border all around the filling. Pat out the filling so it adheres to the dough. Sprinkle about 1 tsp. water over the filling.

Starting from a short end of the dough, roll up the dough tightly until you get a jellyroll. Pinch the seam closed with your fingers. Place the jellyroll, seam-side down, in a lightly greased 9×5 inch 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.


12 hour Cinnamon Rolls


Start these chunks of heaven the night before and you’ll have a wonderful treat in the morning.


4 egg yolks and 1 whole egg

2 ounces sugar

3 ounces of unsalted butter, melted

6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature

20 ounces flour

2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt


8 ounces light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch salt

3/4 ounces melted butter


2 cups powdered sugar

1-2 tablespoons milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla




For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.

Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 3/4-ounce of melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight.

Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, approximately 30 minutes.

While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by mixing together the ingredients until smooth.  Drizzle over buns.

Alton Brown helped me out with this one.