Japanese Milk Bread or Rolls With Sourdough

"I love the Tangzhong or water roux method for bread. It produces the softest bread or rolls with excellent flavor. I've added sourdough to this, but a poolish would work well, too. Just use 1/2 cup water and 1 scant cup of flour and add 1/8 teaspoon of yeast. In a few hours at room temperature, covered, you'll have a flavorful base for the bread to go along with the water roux. The poolish will rise and be bubbly with a nice aroma."
photo by Red_Apple_Guy photo by Red_Apple_Guy
photo by Red_Apple_Guy
Ready In:
20hrs 15mins
1 medium loaf




  • Refresh your sourdough starter with a cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water to make a thick starter and let double in volume.
  • To make roux, mix flour and water and heat slowly until it begins to thicken and trails can be seen as it's stirred. Take off heat and continue to stir for about a minute.
  • Drop the cold butter pats onto the roux to keep the roux from forming a film.
  • When the roux is lukewarm, mix it with the sourdough starter and the rest of the ingredients in a mixer. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Knead well, for about 8 to 10 minutes and tip out onto a floured counter.
  • Stretch the dough into a rectangle and fold letter-style, top to bottom and side to side. Place in an oiled, clear straight sided container and cover. after 15 minutes, stretch and fold again. Put back into container.
  • Let rise until doubled in volume from the original volume.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • After the rise, shape a loaf and place in an 8 inch by 4.5 inch pan that's well oiled. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise until 1 inch above the walls of the pan. Brush the loaves lightly with an egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon of water and bake for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes for even baking.
  • If making rolls, divide risen dough into 12 pieces (56 to 57g each). Shape as desired and place on parchment paper, cover and let rise until puffed and about 50% larger in size. A piece of dough in a straight sided juice glass to judge when the dough is 1.5 times its original volume.
  • Brush the loaves lightly with an egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon of water and bake in 350F oven for 6 minutes, turn and bake for 7 minutes until browned and 200F internally.
  • Cool on rack before serving.

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  1. Gayle P.
    Excellent ...our family loves this recipe made into dinner rolls, pull apart rolls in a loaf pan......this recipe is a keeper...Thank you for sharing this recipe.


My wife and I live just outside of Atlanta, GA. Two daughters live in town, one with my two grandsons. My son is living in California. I'm a retired environmental manager at a manufacturing facility. My Mom and Dad would have loved this site. Dad was a huge collector of recipes and was in the food industry. Mom was a terrific cook as well. Another influence was a roommate at the Universtiy of Arkansas that was an excellent cook. Today I enjoy barbecuing and grilling year round and cooking in general. My latest adventure is in bread baking. I'm loving it and going to school on it right here on the bread forum. I'm active in a terrific church and also love fly fishing and fly tying.
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