tangzhong milk rolls

This weekend, I took a stab at baking something a little different – sweet & fluffy tangzhong milk rolls!

If you are nervous about and/or new to baking, this is a good recipe to start off with as its very forgiving. By forgiving, I mean that it measurement’s don’t have to be exact to the milligram, and it can be adapted to be further along the sweet/savoury spectrum without having to change the method/rest of the ingredients.

I adapted the King Arthur Flour – Japanese Milk Bread recipe, and watched tons of youtube tutorials. Below I have detailed the exact method I used, which created buns of the perfect sweetness and fluffiness for me.

This method of bread baking is different to many others, due to the creation of a roux (tangzhong) which is a creative way to add moisture to your dough, without which you wouldn’t achieve the desired fluffiness.

No mixer? No problem! I made this entire loaf by hand, and it wasn’t too taxing on my rather weak arm muscles.


Equipment & Ingredients

Disclaimer – these were the items I opted to use, and they worked for me. If you already own suitable alternatives, then save your coins and use them instead! Majority of these items can also be used in many other ways, not just bread baking.


Digital Scales

Pyrex glass bowl


Dutch Oven


For the Tangzhong 

  • Water – 43g
  • Whole milk – 43g
  • Allinson’s Bread Flour – 14g

For the Dough

  • Allinson’s Bread Flour – 298g
  • Nido dry milk – 18g
  • Caster Sugar – 50g
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Allinson’s instant yeast – 1 tbsp
  • Whole milk – 113g
  • 1 large egg
  • Melted, unsalted butter – 57g


Recipe (adapted from the King Arthur Flour Japanese milk rolls recipe linked above):

First of all, you need to start by making the Tangzhong.

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan, and whisk until no lumps remain.
  2. Place the saucepan over low heat, and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until thick and the whisk leaves lines on the bottom of the pan, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Once this is done, add the rest of the whole milk and the egg to the tangzhong. This helps cool the mixture down, and you can begin prepping the dough immediately.

For the Dough:

  1. Add the flour, yeast, dry milk, sugar and salt to a large bowl/mixer and combine with the tangzhong till there are no dry parts left.
  2. Leave for 20 minutes to rest.
  3. After 20 miutes, add the butter to the dough. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. It took me 10 – 15 minutes to get it to this consistency. This time will vary based on your strength, and how warm the room is where you are working.

4. Shape the dough into a ball, and let it rest in a lightly greased covered bowl for 60 minutes, or until puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk.

5. Gently deflate the dough, divide it into 8 equal pieces, and shape each piece into a ball.

6. Place the rolls into a lightly greased dutch oven (or cake pan). Cover the pan, and let the rolls rest for 40 to 50 minutes, until puffy.

rested, and ready for the oven!

7. Preheat the oven to 120°C. Brush the rolls with milk or egg wash (1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water), and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown on top.

8. Remove the rolls from the oven. Allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.


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