Chinese-Style Milk Bread

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Lately I’ve been craving the soft, sweet bread that you find in Chinese bakeries.  I was very excited to find this recipe and have made it multiple times now.  Shaped into dinner rolls, it is great for not only dinner but also breakfast and snacks.

 

Original recipe

 

Chinese-Style Milk Bread
Adapted from Woks of Life

Yield: 2 loaf pans OR 16 dinner rolls

For the bread:

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream, at room temperature or slightly warm
  • 1 cup+1 tablespoon milk, at room temperature or slightly warm
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose OR cake flour, tap measuring cup to avoid air pockets
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour, tap measuring cup to avoid air pockets
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

For the egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water

For the simple syrup (optional):

  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons hot water

 

  1. Fit a stand mixer with the dough hook.  In the bowl of the mixer, add heavy cream, milk, egg, sugar, all-purpose OR cake flour, bread flour, yeast, and salt.
  2. Set mixer on “stir” for 15 minutes, occasionally stopping the mixer to push the dough together.  It will feel somewhat sticky.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until the dough grows to 1.5 times its original size.
  4. While the dough proofs, grease two baking pans on all sides with butter or cooking spray.  You can use a 9″ x 4″ loaf pan and a 9″ round cake pan.
  5. After dough finishes proofing, return it to the mixer and stir for another 5 minutes to get rid of air bubbles.
  6. Flour a work surface, turn dough onto it, and cut it in half.  To make a loaf of bread, divide one of the halves into three pieces and place them in the loaf pan.  To make dinner rolls, cut the other half of the dough into eight equal pieces and shape them into round buns.  Arrange them in the cake pan.
  7. Let dough proof in a warm spot for 1 hour.
  8. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350ºF.
  9. Whisk egg with water to make egg wash.
  10. When dough finishes rising, brush it with egg wash.
  11. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until golden brown in color.
  12. If desired, dissolve sugar in hot water to make simple syrup.
  13. Remove pans from oven.  If using the simple syrup, brush buns with it to make them shiny and sweet.  (I skipped this part and the bread tasted good anyway.)  The buns taste best the first day.  If they last any longer, you can store them in the freezer in a Ziploc bag.  Defrost overnight and toast briefly.
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