Have you ever eaten Shokupan in Japan? You must try it! It’s that delicious, soft and fluffy white bread loaf that you can get in Japan. They are amazingly fluffy and keep moist for longer than ordinary bread because of the Yudane method.
Why is Japanese Bread So Fluffy?
I did a little bit of research about why Japanese bread is so soft and fluffy and has the mochi-like texture. And I found the “Yudane” method. Yudane method makes the bread incredibly soft, and helps the bread stay fresh longer (it does not last long in my house though…).
The Yudane method works so remarkably well to make soft and fluffy bread and makes the bread last longer because the heated gelatinised starch in the flour keeps the moisture inside the bread and it will make the bread soft and last longer.
What is the Yudane Method?
- The Yudane method originated in Japan and it became widespread and popular way to bake bread when Yvonne Chen introduced “Tangzhong” roux as a secret ingredient to bake the super soft and light Japanese bread in her book called “Bread Doctor”.
- Tangzhong roux is made by 1:5 ratio of bakers or bread flour to water. The mixture is heated up to 65-degrees celsius then cooled down to room temperature and added to the bread dough.
- Multiple Japanese companies have patents on this method, but I found a lot of recipes on the internet. I referenced and adopted this recipe to make my Shokupan in Australia.
I have seen this type of bread also called “Hokkaido Milk Bread” on social media platforms such as Pinterest often. Hokkaido milk bread is made by this Yudane method.
This is not a popular effortless “No Knead” type of bread recipe, however, it is worth the effort to bake this bread especially if you love any Japanese baking stuff, this is the bread you must try!
Q: Can the bread flour be replaced by all purpose flour?
A: Yes, you can. But as you can see the all purpose flour did not rise well. The texture of the bread was not fluffy, but rather it was like eating savoury muffin.
Q: I don’t use cow milk, can I use almond milk or something else instead?
A: Using different milk does not affect the fluffiness and lightness of the bread. The coconut milk I used was the “Ayam Premium Coconut Milk 100 % Natural” which contains 24.3 g fat in 100ml and it is quite rich and thick. The almond milk that I used was “Sanitarium So Good Almond Milk” and contained only 1.4g per 100ml. It was very thin milk. The almond milk bread turned out fluffier and coconut milk bread was denser.
Hope these experiments using different ingredients helps you make a decision as to which ingredients to use.
If you liked my recipe for Shokupan Japanese bread, please rate it and leave a comment below. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook , Twitter and Instagramto keep up to date with all the latest happenings on Chopstick Chronicles. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ChopstickChronicles so I can see your wonderful creations!
And here is the mini movie “How to make Shokupan Japanese milk bread” from me
- 50 g Bread flour/Baker's flour
- 40 ml boiling water above 90 degree celsius
- 200 g Bread/Baker's flour
- 3 g dry instant yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 10 g unsalted butter
- 150 ml milk
- Make Yudane the night before. Place bread flour in a bowl and add boiling water and mix well. Put cling wrap and refrigerate overnight. *1
- Place all the ingredients except the unsalted butter into a bread making machine or kneader with the wet ingredients first then dry ingredients.
- Add the Yudane (torn into small pieces) and knead it for about 10 minutes.
- Add the unsalted room-temperature butter and knead for another 10 minutes.
- Place the dough into a greased bowl. Wrap with cling wrap to raise for about 1 hour at about 30 degrees celsius(86F) or until double the size.
- Punch the dough down and cut the dough into two equal parts with a scraper and roll them.
- Cover the rolled doughs with a wet cloth and take 20 minutes bench time.
- Roll out each dough to about 15 x 20 cm (5.9x7.8inch)rectangle with a rolling pin.
- Fold the dough tightly not letting any air in towards the centre from left and right.
- Rotate the dough 90 degrees and roll it from one end.
- Spray one loaf bread tin lightly and place the rolled dough in the end of the tin facing the centre.
- Start to preheat the oven to 185 degree celsius (365 f).
- Cover it with a wet cloth and let the dough rise for a second time until the dough rises to the size of the bread tin.
- Bake the dough for about 25 -30 minutes.
- Remove the bread from the tin and cool it down on a rack.