Japanese Milk Bread Buns / #BreadBakers

 Japanese Milk Bread Buns are soft and sweet buns with spicy tones of ground cinnamon and citrusy notes of the candied orange peels. Buns taste amazing with butter.

Autumn is about blue skies, a million wild cosmoses, wild daisies, chrysanthemums, warm hugs of the Sun, cool breeze, colourful butterflies and all that makes the heart joyful and soul contented. Crisp weather, gorgeous scenery and tranquillity, colours of Autumn lift your spirits.

Fog tinted trees stand in the forest. Dew makes the leaves studded with pearls, and the drops keep rolling down from the leaves making sonorous notes as they fall on the vegetation below.  Mornings are misty, cold with the snow-capped peaks shining on the horizon.

Pear trees are shedding leaves, a wee bit early, as the ripe pears are still hanging on the bare branches. Birds keep pecking the juicy fruit. A loud thud every now and then indicates that a ripe pear has fallen down. Pears get camouflaged in the grass and kids love to spot them and get home the trophy. Sliced pears smeared with chilli garlic salt taste lovely.

Wedge Tailed Green Pigeons visit the pear tree quite often, especially during morning hours and seem to love perching on the branches after having their fill of the sweet fruit.

As we enter the late autumn, our baking timetable changes and the bakes have to be done with before the afternoon. The Sun is warmest and makes the dough rise like magic. Yesterday, we baked Japanese Milk Bread Buns using the Tangzhong technique.

This is the Asian bread technique that has origins in Japan’s Yukone (or Yudane) and was popularized across Asia by Taiwanese cookbook author Yvonne Chen. Using Tangzhong in bread makes it soft, and retains moisture, bread does not get crumbly after a few days and it also increases the shelf life.

A small part of the yeast bread recipe’s flour and liquid is cooked into a slurry. This is then added to the remaining ingredients. Typically, tangzhong calls for using 6% of the flour and 45% of the liquid in the slurry. Cooking the slurry into a paste pre-gelatinizes the starches in the flour. This means that the dough will now absorb more water. Tangzhong, distributes itself throughout the dough during kneading. It keeps the bread soft and fresh.

We made regular bread rolls with a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and finely chopped homemade candied orange peels. Sweet buns with spicy tones of ground cinnamon and citrusy notes of the peels made it really delicious. Buns taste amazing with butter.

Japanese Milk Bread Buns



  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Dough
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons milk powder
  • ¼ cup unrefined sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • ½ -3/4 cup warm milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon chopped candied orange peels


  1. To make the tangzhong, mix all the ingredients in a saucepan. Make sure there are no lumps.
  2. Cook on low heat whisking constantly. Cook till the mixture is thick and the whisk leaves lines on the pan. Let tangzhong cool.
  3. For dough, mix all the ingredients except candied peels add all the tangzhong and knead a soft and elastic dough. Start kneading with ½ cup milk and add more only if needed.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a greased bowl. Turn it around so that it is evenly coated with oil. Cover and keep in a dry warm place to rise for 60-90 minutes or until almost double.
  5. Deflate the dough and sprinkle chopped candied peels evenly on the dough. Let dough rest for 20 minutes.
  6. Grease one 9-inch round cake pan.
  7. Divide into 10 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Arrange the rolls in the pan. Cover and let the rolls rise for 40-60 minutes or until puffy.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 20-25 minutes.
  9. Remove the rolls from the oven. Let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to the rack to cool completely.
Linking to  #BreadBakers

The theme for the event this month is baking with Tangzhong. Our host this month is Karen from Karen's Kitchen Stories. Her blog has an amazing collection of breads.


#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

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  1. I'll bet these were amazing with the addition of cinnamon and citrus.

    1. It was a new flavour Wendy. An experiment that worked well.

  2. Love the addition of candies orange peel in your lovely rolls, Namita. I have some homemade lemon peel I think I could substitute successfully to give these a try.

    1. Cinnamon and citrus peels is a great combination Stacy. I am sure you'll love this flavour.

  3. Beautiful pull-apart rolls! I love the flavorings you added.

  4. What a perfectly lovely dinner roll, love the flavors!

  5. I love the addition of cinnamon and orange peels! I feel like I can smell the aroma of this bread by just reading about it and seeing your lovely photos!

    1. The rolls were really soft and delicious :)

  6. Japanese milk bread looks delicious and beautiful. I like that tangzhong makes super soft bread.

    1. Thank You Swathi. Tangzhong does the magic.

  7. I love the flavourful additions to your buns.

  8. I can smell that small hint of orange in this. The buns look soft and moist, so good with tea or any curry.

  9. These look like a soft pillow. Great rolls and love the addition of orange peels!

  10. Love the flavor profile and these buns look soft and fluffy!

  11. May I know, where did you add tangzong..?

    1. Hi, Tangzong is added when we make dough. I have edited and made it clear in the steps.
      Hope you bake these :)