Japanese-style ‘Pillowy’ White Bread

There's something about Japanese-style white bread that's absolutely irresistible. Fresh out of the oven, the bread is fluffy and feathery-soft, and is delicious sliced thick and toasted. You can never go wrong with spreading butter over it, or try some of your other favorite toppings or spreads. I tried out this recipe for 'Pillowy White Bread' from King Arthur Flour, and I would definitely recommend it!

3 Tbsp (43g) water
3 Tbsp (43g) whole milk
2 Tbsp (14g) unbleached bread flour

2-1/2 cups (298g) unbleached bread flour
2 Tbsp (14g) dry milk or nonfat dry milk
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp instant yeast
1/2 cup (113g) whole milk
1 large egg
4 Tbsp (57g) unsalted butter, melted

1. To make the tangzhong: Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk until no lumps remain. Place the saucepan over low heat and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until thick and the whisk leaves lines on the bottom of the pan (about 3 to 5 minutes). Transfer the tangzhong to a small mixing bowl or measuring cup, and let it cool down to lukewarm.

2. To make the dough: Combine the tangzhong with the remaining dough ingredients, then mix and knead by mixer or bread machine until a smooth elastic dough forms (this could take about 15 minutes in a stand mixer. If you knead by hand, this may take about 30-40 minutes).

3. Shape the dough into a ball, and let it rest in a lightly greased bowl, covered, for 60 to 90 minutes, until puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk.

4. Gently deflate the dough and divide it into four equal pieces (it might be helpful to use a scale, and each piece will weight between 170g and 175g).

5. Flatten each piece of dough into a 5" x 8" rectangle, then fold the short ends in towards one another like a letter. Flatten the folded pieces into rectangles again (this time about 3" x 6") and, starting with the short end, roll them each into a 4" log.

6. Place the logs in a row of four (seam side down and side by side) in a lightly greased 9" x 5" loaf pan.

7. Cover the loaf and allow it to rest/rise for 40 to 50 minutes, until puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

8. To bake the bread: Brush the loaf with milk and bake it for 30 to 35 minutes, until it's golden brown on top. (If you want to make a square toast looked bread, use a 9" Pain de Mie pan. Slide the greased lid onto the pan before place the pan in the oven. Bake the bread for 25 minutes. Remove the lid, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.)

9. Remove the loaf from the oven and cool it in the pan until you can safely move it to a rack to cool completely.

You can store the bread at room temperature for 5 to 7 days, or freeze for longer storage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *