Your Cooking Assistant Find a recipe by the avaliable engredients
Set the ingredients

Chef John's Milk Bread


260 min

Chef John's Milk Bread

Chef John's Milk Bread Photo 1


260 min


10 persons




4.00 rating-star (18)


Author: Victoria Bailey
Japanese-style milk bread is easy to make and stays moist and fresh longer than your typical loaf of homemade bread thanks to a starter or "roux." It's light and soft with the perfect amount of sweetness. Try it with my Japanese Egg Salad Sandwich (Tamago Sando) or toast it and use it for a tuna salad sandwich.


  • bread flour: 0.25 cup
  • water: 0.25 cup
  • whole milk: 0.33333 cup
  • bread flour: 2.5 cups
  • kosher salt: 1.25 tsp
  • white sugar: 0.25 cup
  • (.25 ounce) package instant dry yeast: 1 pack
  • warm whole milk (110 degrees F (43 degrees C)): 0.5 cup
  • egg, beaten: 1 piece
  • unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed: 4 Tbsp
  • milk, or as needed: 1 Tbsp

Metric Conversion

Stages of cooking

  1. Whisk bread flour, water, and milk for starter together in a small saucepan until very smooth. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often, until very thick and just about to bubble. If you want to check, it should be at least 150 degrees F (65 degrees C). Pull off the heat and transfer into a measuring cup; you will need exactly 1/2 cup. Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
    Chef John's Milk Bread Photo 2
  2. Prepare dough: Combine bread flour, cooled starter, salt, sugar, yeast, warm milk, and egg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Beat on low speed until dough begins to form a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl, scraping down the sides as needed, about 5 minutes.
    Chef John's Milk Bread Photo 3
  3. Stop the mixer and scrape dough off the hook and into the bowl. Add butter and knead on low speed until dough is slightly tacky but very smooth and elastic, scraping down the sides as needed, 10 to 12 more minutes.
    Chef John's Milk Bread Photo 4
  4. Remove dough from the bowl and shape into a smooth ball. Transfer into a lightly buttered bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
    Chef John's Milk Bread Photo 5
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Very generously butter a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
    Chef John's Milk Bread Photo 6
  6. Transfer dough to a work surface (you don't need flour.) Press and knead out all the air and shape into a 9-inch wide rectangle. Starting at one 9-inch side, roll dough lengthwise into a log. Transfer log into the prepared loaf pan with the seam down. Press on dough a bit to be sure it's evenly distributed. Cover the pan and let dough rise until it comes to just about the top of the pan, 35 to 45 minutes.
    Chef John's Milk Bread Photo 7
  7. Brush the top of the loaf with just enough milk to lightly coat the surface.
    Chef John's Milk Bread Photo 8
  8. Bake in the center of the preheated oven until the top is golden brown and the loaf is beautifully puffed up, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest in the pan for 10 minutes. Very carefully remove bread and place on a wire rack to cool all the way to room temperature before slicing, about 1 hour.
    Chef John's Milk Bread Photo 9

History of the Chef John's Milk Bread:

Chef John's Milk Bread is an adaptation of the classic Japanese milk bread recipe. Milk bread is a popular yeast bread that has a fine, tender crumb and is slightly sweet. It is believed that this bread originated in Japan during the late 1800s and was introduced by the Portuguese, who were known for their sweet bread recipe. Over time, the Japanese have perfected this bread, making it more soft and fluffy than its Portuguese predecessor.

Tips and Tricks for Chef John's Milk Bread Recipe:

  1. Use a kitchen scale to measure out the ingredients. This will ensure accurate measurements and the best results.
  2. Use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour. Bread flour has a higher protein content, which results in a higher rise and better texture.
  3. The starter is crucial to the recipe. Make sure that it thickens well and take it off the heat once it reaches 150В°F (65В°C).
  4. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place. This will help it to double in size and give it a soft texture.
  5. Be patient with the rising process. Let the dough rise for at least an hour or until it has doubled in size before baking.

Tips for presenting the dish:

  1. Slice the bread thickly to showcase its soft and fluffy texture.
  2. Serve it warm with butter and a cup of tea for a cozy afternoon snack.
  3. Use the bread to make sandwiches, such as the Japanese Egg Salad Sandwich (Tamago Sando) or a simple tuna salad sandwich.
  4. Cut the bread into cubes and toast for breakfast or use it as a base for French toast.

How did you like this article?

You may also like