Milk bread is one of the first breads I learned to bake— 9ish years ago!
I remember looking for a recipes on Pinterest and was surprise to find a very simple one on Anita Chu’s blog. Since then, I have been using it as a base for a bunch of different flavor combos. For this one I just threw in some black sesame paste and made some measurement adjustments.
I’m a fan of milk breads because they are so soft and fluffy. This is all thank to Tangzhong, a gel-like roux made from cooking flour with a liquid. The roux holds in moisture and makes the resulting bread super soft and fluffy AND helps increase its shelf life. You can read more about Tangzhong and how to adapt recipes to use it here.
Egg wash, milk or heavy cream finish?
To get a nice shiny golden top, brush the top of your bread with egg wash.
If you are lazy like me and don’t want to crack open a fresh egg just to make egg wash, using milk or heavy cream will give decent results. In the photos of this black sesame milk bread, I am using heavy cream. It doesn’t give as shiny of a finish as the egg wash, but I am completely okay with the rustic look!
If you don’t end up brushing the top of the dough with anything, you’ll get a dull/dry finish similar to bagged sandwich bread. So I would recommend brushing it with milk at the very lease!
Elastic Dough (window pane test)
To get a soft and tear-apart flakey crumb, you have to make sure to properly knead the dough until it is elastic. This can take a while! But keep kneading and eventually it will reach that state. How can you tell when you got there? You can use the very popular “window pane” test, when you take a small piece of dough and stretch it thin (without breaking) until some light comes through. See photos of the window pane state below:
Looking for more asian inspired bread recipes?
- Sourdough Caramelized Onion Sesame Flatbread (Zhima Dabing)
- Sourdough Ube Crumble Sweet Rolls
- Chinese Sausage Steamed Bun
- Pork Sung Bun [Sourdough or Yeasted]
- Sourdough Discard Butter Milk Buns
- Toasted Milk Mantou (Steamed Buns)
Black Sesame Milk Bread
- 15 g all purpose flour
- 100 ml milk
- 125 ml milk room temp
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 350 g all purpose flour
- 60 g black sesame paste
- 40 g cane sugar
- 5 g salt
- 1 egg room temp
- 30 g butter room temp
- Make the tangzhong by combining flour and milk in a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stir constantly until a thick paste forms. Let cool.
- Combine milk, black sesame paste, and yeast in a bowl and let rest for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture is foamy.
- Combine egg and tangzhong to the yeast mixture followed by sugar, salt and flour. Knead until a sticky dough forms.
- Incrementally add butter and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 15 minutes by hand). The dough will be very sticky at first but it will come together. The dough at the end is on the wetter side, so don’t be alarmed. Cover and let proof for about 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into four even pieces. Form each peice into a ball, covered with a plastic wrap and let rest for about 15 minutes.
- Grease a loaf pan with butter and dust with flour.
- Roll each ball out into a long rectangle. Even out the sides by folding the edges into each other. Lightly roll over your fold and start to roll our dough from one end to the other. Place into the loaf pan seam side down. Repeat with the other balls of dough. Cover and let rise for another 1-2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Brush the top of the bread with milk or heavy cream. Use an egg wash for a glossier finish.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top turns golden brown. Remove and let cool before serving.