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Hokkaido bread rolls

Widely available across Asia, Hokkaido bread is a great example of a super-soft, sweet white bread usually eaten with a savoury dish such as spicy pork or lamb curry. Hokkaido bread is the Japanese version and is made with a Tangzhong which is a cooked flour and water mix added into the dough at kneading. The Tangzhong keeps the dough super soft and moist and is truly a magic ingredient. 

In this recipe, we’ll take you through step-by-step how to make this magical bread at home. We’ve chosen to make it as a tear and share set of nine rolls but you can equally well make it as a loaf. A few new techniques to learn, and a little trickier to handle but you won’t be disappointed by the final result… so, grab your apron, throw the flour and get baking.


For the Tangzhong
35g Strong white flour
145g Water

For the main dough
350g Strong white flour
All of the Tangzhong
70g Caster sugar
10g Sea salt
8g Osmo-tolerant yeast
190g Whole milk
45g Butter (Unsalted)
2 medium eggs

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  1. Start by making the Tangzhong. Place the flour and water in a small saucepan over a medium heat and cook, whisking all the time, until the mixture has thickened. Scrape the mixture into a glass bowl and leave to cool.
  2. Once the Tangzhong has cooled, mix the main dough. Add all of the flour, sugar and salt into the bowl of the stand mixer. Briefly mix together and then add in the yeast, mix again to combine. 
  3. Scrape in all of the Tangzhong. Add the egg into the mixing jug with the milk and whisk to combine. Pour the milk mixture into the bowl of the stand mixture. 
  4. Knead on a slow speed with a dough hook until the mixture comes together then increase to a medium-fast speed for 7-minutes. After this, cube the butter and add about half to the dough, continuing to knead on a medium-fast speed. After 2-3 minutes, once the first batch of butter has been incorporated, add the remainder of the butter and continue to knead until all the butter is incorporated.
  5. Scrape the finished dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling-film. Leave to rise in a warm place for about 2-hours. 
  6. Separate the risen dough into nine equal portions and shape each into a tight ball. Place the nine balls in a lightly oiled tray and cover with a linen cloth to prove for about 90-minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 200℃ at least 30-minutes before baking.
  8. Immediately before baking, whisk up the egg in a small bowl and brush the egg-wash over the top of the risen rolls.
  9. Place the tray in the oven, hit with steam, and turn the oven down to 180℃. Bake for 20-minutes. Keep an eye on the bake for the last few minutes as with the sugar in the dough, and the egg-wash, there is a risk of them burning.
  10. Remove the tray from the oven and leave to cool for 10-mins in the tray before turning out onto a cooling rack and allow the rolls to cool completely for an hour or so.
  11. Place the rolls on a board and allow your family and friends to tear off their rolls and feast. Delicious with a savoury meal like a lamb curry or pulled pork. Enjoy!

Watch us make this on YouTube


Download the recipe as a PDF.

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Hokkaido bread rolls