Milk bread is a soft, fluffy and lightly rich bread that is simply irresistible. As its name suggests, the moisture content of this bread consists mostly of milk which gives it richness. It's also quite versatile as it can be baked in a number of ways including loaves, rolls, braids, and split buns. Like most recipes for bread, Milk bread can be somewhat challenging to make as it requires strict attention to structure, temperature, and timing for the recipe. However, it's these strict rules that make baking an exact science.

This recipe is for milk bread loaves.

What's great about these loaves is that they can be served either intact or can be pulled apart into individual rolls. The recipe will yield 2 loaves coming in at 9 x 5-inches, so a couple of 9 x 5" sized loaf pans are required. And as a simple recipe, this one will obviously call for the use of a stand mixer for quickly kneading the dough as opposed to hand or what's the point of it being 'simple.' Hence, there will be no exceptions to this requirement.

The recipe

Dough Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (240 ml) milk, warm
  • 1 tsp (5 g) instant yeast
  • 2 tsp (10 g) salt
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 4 cups (500 g) bread flour
  • 1 large egg (60 g)
  • 1/2 stick (60 g) shortening

Egg Wash ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar (optional)

The directions

  1. Warm the milk over medium-low heat until it reaches 93°C, then set it to cool in a bowl at room temperature.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in the milk and transfer the mixture to a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the bread flour, salt, sugar, eggs, and shortening to the mixture and knead on low speed for 3 minutes or until fully incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. If the dough isn't soft enough, add more flour and knead until it reaches the right consistency. Switch to medium speed and continue kneading the dough for 7 minutes or until it reaches 27°C and is fully developed.
  3. Coat the inside of a bowl with cooking spray and roll the dough around the insides. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for an hour.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and divide into 12 pieces. Lubricate the insides of 2 loaf pans (9 x 5-inch) with butter or cooking spray. Fill the loaf pans with the pieces, lining them side by side with their tops touching each other for the loaves. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and rest for an hour.
  5. Whisk together the egg and tablespoon of water in a bowl for the egg wash. Uncover the dough and brush the tops with the egg wash.
  6. Bake at 190°C for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a rack and cool.