Milk Bread Recipe

Ever since the success with the Ciabatta bread recipe, I’ve been motivated to make more bread. #FMR loves milk bread so that was my next project. Unfortunately, the first attempt was a failure. Perhaps because it wasn’t a good recipe; more likely because of the idiot baker.

Bread making - milk bread

Then Eat it Real found this amazing recipe from Su-Lyn Tan (which I’m gonna save right here so I don’t lose it):

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[BREAD MACHINE RECIPE] I’ve noticed many of you wondering if it’s possible to turn the soft milk buns into a loaf baked entirely in your bread machine. It seems that you can, but I’m not sure if you can slice it. . I wanted to share a great recipe that’s designed specifically for the bread machine’s controlled time and temperature. You’ll notice that the ingredients list is very similar to that of the milk buns. This was the bread machine recipe @meng_choo shared with me some time ago, knowing that I’m still relatively new to bread baking. She wrote it down years ago for a friend. . I tried her recipe in my bread machine and it turned out better than any other loaf I’d ever baked in it. You’ll notice that Meng Choo marked out the percentage of liquids relative to the flour. It was this recipe that prompted me to look at the dough hydration percentage more closely. . She also explained that I could feel free to experiment with my choice of liquids while maintaining this percentage — cream and water; egg whites, egg yolks, whole eggs with milk; yoghurt and water etc. And I have. It’s remarkable how these little tweaks can affect outcomes. I think the addition of egg enriches the crumb and gives it better structure if you want to slice your bread. I use an egg plus a yolk, and increase the butter to 40g for a loaf that moves towards the direction of a brioche. . If you’re looking for a good bread machine loaf, you might want to give this a go. @meng_choo says that these days, she would add another 10g of liquid (making it 170g in total; or 68 percent hydration). I’ve reduced the IDY and salt to 4g each in my preparations. I just place all the ingredients into the bowl of the machine and set it to “soft” on my bread machine. I’d love to hear how it works out for you.

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I was planning to use the bread machine but it decided to go on the blink right after I put all the ingredients into it so I had to revert to my trusty Kitchenaid mixer.

Bread making - milk bread

Ingredients:

My ingredient proportions were slightly different because my eggs are larger so I adjusted the liquids according to the recommendation that they should come up to 170 grams in total weight (68% of total flour weight):

  • 250 grams bread flour
  • Liquids (combined weight should be 170 grams):
    • 1 egg (67 grams)
    • 103 grams milk
  • 4.5 grams salt (slightly under 1 tsp)
  • 4.5 grams yeast (slightly under 1 tsp)
  • 25 grams sugar
  • 25 grams butter (increase to 40 grams for brioche)

Method:

Bread Machine: put all the ingredients into the machine and press start.

Mixer: add wet and dry ingredients to mixing bowl, except butter. Mix on low speed until combined. Add butter and continue mixing for 15 minutes.

Bread making - milk bread

Grease a loaf tin and place the dough into it. Cover, proof until double (1 hour). At this point, you can glaze the top with an egg (I didn’t and I quite like the unglazed result). Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, slice and serve.

Bread making - milk bread

Texturally, it was so amazingly fluffy and soft! I don’t I have ever had a bread recipe turn out quite as beautifully as this. I’ve been told that the flour you use can make a difference to how your bread turns out. After experimenting with different flours for our ciabatta bread, I must concur. For this particular batch, we used this Japanese bread flour recommended by a friend:

Bread making - milk bread

Milk Bread Recipe Using All Purpose Flour

For academic purposes, I’ve decided to make a new batch of bread using a regular all-purpose flour for comparison. I’m curious to see if the type of flour used can make that much of a difference to the end result. The comparison was against Cap Sauh all purpose flour.

Milk bread

The dough created with the Japanese bread flour was a lot smoother in texture. Coming out of the oven, the bread loaf made with the Japanese bread flour also looked better. I thought it was going to be a hands down winner for the Japanese bread flour, but when I cut the Cap Sauh loaf, it was just as soft and fluffy inside. On eating, I honestly didn’t notice much difference between the two flours.

So there you go… based on my limited experimentation, if you have a good bread recipe, you can get away with the flour you use. For all those bread making efforts that I failed – I can now blame the recipe.

Variants:

Before placing the dough into the prepared tin, you can fold in any of the following ingredients to add some variety to your milk bread:

  • Raisins
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Dried Blueberries
  • Chocolate Chips
Fruit bread

To prevent your fruits from getting burnt in the oven, try to tuck them in under the dough.

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