Have you ever eaten Shokupan in Japan? It’s that delicious, soft and fluffy white bread loaf that you can get in Japan. My mom and dad always eat toast and drink coffee for breakfast, unlike many elderly Japanese people who eat a traditional breakfast that consists of a bowl of rice, miso soup, and side dishes. So it was not hard for me to eat toast and coffee for breakfast when we moved to Australia because that’s what I ate growing up. However, I miss Shokupan! The white bread in Australia is different from what I used to eat. So what did I decide to do? Bake it myself!
I did a little bit of research about why Japanese bread is so soft and fluffy and has the texture a bit like mochi. 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 household though…).
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. The Yudane method originated in Japan and it became widespread and popular bread to bake 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 ratios of bakers or bread flour to water and the mixture is heated up to 65-degree celsius. Then cooled down to room temperature and added to the bread dough.
Why does the Yudane method work so remarkably well to make soft and fluffy bread which lasts longer than ordinary bread? Because the heated gelatinised starch in the flour keeps the moisture inside the bread and it will make the bread soft and last longer. Although multiple Japanese companies have patents on this method, I found a lot of recipes on the internet. I referenced and adopted this recipe to make my Shokupan in Australia. This is not 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 😀
Yield 1 loaf
- 50 g Bread flour/Baker's flour
- 40ml boiling water( above 90 degree celsius )
- 200 g Bread/Baker's flour
- 3 g dry instant yeast
- 1 tbs sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 10 g unsalted butter
- 150 ml milk
- Make Yudane a night before. Place 50g of bread flour in a bowl and add 40ml of boiling water and mix well. Put cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- 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 degree celsius 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 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 the oven to preheat to 185 degree.
- 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.