Japanese breakfast bread

Japanese milk bread is served with savory breakfast entrees

Every other morning at the Inn at Ormsby Hill we serve a savory breakfast entree accompanied by fresh baked Japanese bread. “What is Japanese bread?” you might ask. It is a soft, milky bread that is delicious plain, toasted, with or without butter or jam. Here is the recipe:

First, you must make a Tangzhong mixture. Prepare this at least an hour before making the actual dough so it has a chance to cool down. You want it to be room temperature.

1/3 cup flour
1 cup milk

Whisk together the flour and milk in a small sauce pan over medium low heat until the mixture starts to become paste-like. Don’t let it boil or it will get too thick.

For the dough:

1 cup warm milk
4 teaspoons dry yeast
4 tablespoons sugar (extra fine if you have it)
5 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons dry milk powder
3 large eggs (one is for an egg wash after the dough has risen)
4 tablespoons butter at room temperature

In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the warm milk, yeast and sugar.
In a large bowl or your bread machine, combine the flour, salt and powdered milk.
Add your room temperature tangzhong to the milk and yeast, along with two eggs. Whisk to combine into until smooth.
Add to flour mixture.
If using a bread machine, this will make a 2 lb loaf. You can use just the dough setting, and later shape into mini loafs.
For any mixing technique, after the dough is combined, add the softened butter. Continue with machine, dough hook, or by hand until the dough is ball shaped, but a little sticky.
Put dough in a big bowl in a warm spot and let it rise for 45 minutes, until it has doubled in size.
After the first rise, shape the dough into two large loaves, in two greased pans, or shape into 8 mini loaves.
Let rise for another 45 minutes.
Beat the one remaining egg with a fork and brush the tops of the loaves with the egg.
Put into a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes (large loaf) or 20 minutes (mini loaves).

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