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Soft & Fluffy White Japanese Hokkaido Loaf

Makes approx 1250g of dough. I make mine in a stand mixer as the dough is quite sticky. Its possible to knead this by hand but be prepared for very messy fingers. If you do knead by hand please resist the urge to add flour to try to reduce the stickiness, it will only make the final crumb heavier. With persistence you can get to a manageable state with this dough.

For the tangzhong

40g white bread flour

200g water

For the main dough

580g white bread flour

60g white caster sugar

12g salt

10g dry milk powder (like Marvel) (if you dont have any, dont fret)

10g instant dried yeast

260g full fat milk

1 egg, beaten (weighing approx 50-60g with shell is ideal)

50g unsalted butter (at room temp)


In a small pan make up the tangzhong by combining the flour and water, then continuosly stirring or whisking until it thickens, do not let it boil. Remove from heat and put the mixture into a small bowl and cover with cling film, ensure the film is in touch with the surface. Let this cool to room temperature.
In your stand mixer's bowl add the flour, sugar, dry milk powder, salt and yeast, making sure the yeast and salt do not come into contact with each other just yet, add the cooled tangzhong, the milk and the beaten egg. Mix at a low speed for a couple of minutes until all the ingredients are combined fully. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
Add the soft butter and mix again at a low speed to combine the butter into the dough, this should take 2 to 3 minutes. Once no trace of the butter is seen, let the dough rest for another 30 minutes.
Mix again at low speed for 5 minutes then increase the speed a notch and mix for 15 minutes. These are my timings for my machine, yours may be a little different. you will know when the dough is kneaded enough as the bowl will be clean and all the dough should be wrapped around your dough hook and not be in a puddle in the bottom of the bowl. You may have to knead by hand for a minute or two. To check if the dough is ready, perform the windowpane test, by taking a piece of the dough and gently stretching it out between your fingers, if it becomes translucent so you can see your fingers through it and doesnt tear, its ready.
Ball up the dough and place it into a lightly oiled bowl, you can turn the dough so that all of it gets a coating, cling film the bowl and leave for 1 to 1.5 hours until it doubles in size.
Depending on what you are using to bake in, (I use a pullman loaf pan that is good for half this dough) or a 2lb loaf tin, you will need to divide the dough into 6 identical pieces. Mine are usually around 210g each. (1 pan takes 3 of these dough balls). Round the dough in to balls and let rest for 15 minutes.
My method is to now gently flatten the dough into a rough square shape and roll up the dough to create some tension, then turn 90 degrees and gently flatten out (not too thin) and roll it up again, pinch the bottom seam together to seal it and smooth out with gentle pulls and tucks. You should end up with a rough rectangular shape approx 9x6cm place 3 of these side by side into your tin or pan (long side touching long side etc). Cover with cling film for the proofing.
If youre using a pullman with lid then let the dough rise until its 3/4 of the way up the tin (about 45 minutes or so) then put the lid on and wait until the dough reaches the top. For me this about a further 30 minutes. If youre using a 2lb loaf tin then let dough rise until it reaches the top of the tin.
Heat oven to 180c.
Bake Pullman for 30 minutes. The open loaf should be egg/milk washed and baked for 25 minutes. Once baked remove from respective tins and cool on a wire rack.
Happy baking.
PS made dinner rolls out of the remaining dough as per the picture. Very nice they were too!