Japanese tangzhong milk bread VG

after the taste test - I take back all of my apprehensions and doubts about this bread, it is one of the best breads I have ever eaten, reminiscent of a soft brioche loaf without being heavy or greasy. It is like eating carby clouds.

Japanese tangzhong milk bread - vegan. Recipe at Sculpted Buns


This was one of those recipes where I had seen pictures of soft fluffy breads all over pinterest, becoming quickly fascinated by how bread could look like that. It's all down to the Tangzhong method from Japan which relies on creating a flour/water roux which is then added to a basic bread dough. The roux allows the pre-gelatinization of starches within the small amount of flour cooked, leading to easier gluten production and extra stability. 


I was pretty sceptical with the amount of "free" water added; only 195ml for 375g of flour which would be a 52% hydration dough. However, the roux using 130ml of soy milk allowed the inclusion of more liquid albeit a jelly-like paste. Viewing the dough's ratios with the quantities of liquid and flour used, it is technically around 80% which is crazy; that hydration is typically associated with a ciabatta or a bread with a starter. You can see why I was very intrigued!
Japanese tangzhong milk bread - vegan. Recipe at Sculpted Buns

I used a stand-mixer to knead the dough and I am happy I did due to the staggered addition of the butter (well, vegan butter). The dough, a shaggy mess turned into a gorgeous silky and stretchy dough and after 1.5 hours of proving, it had tripled in size and was extremely pillowy. As well as this, it was easy to shape the dough for the second prove; the dough wasn't putting up a fight to be stretched and rolled which makes a change. 

Japanese tangzhong milk bread - vegan. Recipe at Sculpted Buns

After another proof, taking about 45 minutes - 1 hour, I baked the bread in a steamy oven for 30 minutes until golden and looking like a really good tan. Pretty quickly remove from the loaf tin as we don't want condensation to form - that would lead to a soggy boi. 

There are multiple duplicate ingredients within recipe just along with the different stages.

For the tangzhong
  • 26g strong white flour 
  • 130ml soy milk
For the dough 
  • 375g strong white flour
  • 7g salt
  • 30g caster sugar 
  • 195ml wearm water 
  • 7g instant yeast 
  • 10g caster sugar 
  • 40g vegan butter 
Put the ingredients for the tangzhong into a saucepan and heat on a medium heat, stirring constantly until really thick, think porridge you can stand your spoon in. Put into a bowl, cover directly with clingfilm and leave for a minimum of 4 hours in the fridge before use (I made mine the night before).

For the dough, put the flour, salt and 30g caster sugar into a mixing bowl and combine. Mix together the warm water, yeast and remaining caster sugar and leave for 10 minutes for the yeast to bloom. Pour the yeasty water into the flour mixture along with the tangzhong paste (straight out of the fridge is fine). Using a dough hook, mix for a good ten minutes and during the process, add little blobs of the butter, making sure each piece is well mixed in before adding anymore. 

Place the dough into a greased bowl and cover, leave to prove until double if not tripled in size, this took about 1.5 hours for me.

Once risen, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and pat down gently and divide into 3 equal pieces. Flatten each piece with your hands and tightly roll up, as if you were making a cinnamon roll, creating a little oblong bun, the size of a baby guinea pig. Repeat with the other two pieces and place the 3 buns into a greased and lined 900g loaf tin. Cover with a bowl and leave to prove again for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180c and pop in a dish of water to create the steam-room. Once proved, cover the bread with a soy milk wash (mix together some soy milk and a tiny bit of golden syrup and oil) and bake for 25 minutes. Devour the goodness. 

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