Japanese Chocolate Milk Bread

Japanese Chocolate Milk Bread

Japanese Chocolate Milk Bread

A chocolate version of our pillowy classic white sandwich bread, this sweet-not-sugary loaf features smooth texture, a crust accented with sparkling sugar, and bits of chocolate throughout. Perfect sliced, made into French toast, or simply toasted and eaten with marmalade and almond butter, it’s a hit for any meal (or snack!).

Prep
35 mins
Bake
30 to 35 mins
Total
6 hrs
Yield
one sandwich loaf
Japanese Chocolate Milk Bread - select to zoom
Japanese Chocolate Milk Bread - select to zoom
Japanese Chocolate Milk Bread - select to zoom
Japanese Chocolate Milk Bread - select to zoom

Instructions

  1. To make the tangzhong: Combine the flour, milk, and water in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until thickened.

  2. Transfer the tangzhong to a large bowl. Add the butter and whisk until melted, then add the milk and egg, whisking until smooth.

  3. Add the yeast and stir to combine. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes.

  4. To make the dough: Combine the tangzhong mixture with the remaining ingredients (except the chocolate chips), then mix and knead — by mixer or bread machine — to make a smooth, elastic dough; this could take almost 15 minutes in a stand mixer.

  5. Stir in the chocolate chips; some hand kneading in the bowl may ease incorporation.

  6. Shape the dough into a ball and let it rest in a lightly greased bowl, covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk.

  7. Gently deflate the dough and divide it into four pieces; if you have a scale each piece will weigh about 180g.

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

  9. Place the logs in a row of four — seam side down and side by side — in a lightly greased 9" x 5" or 9" x 4" x 4" pan.

  10. Cover the loaf and allow it to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until puffy and risen to roughly 1" from the top of the pan.

  11. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

  12. To bake the bread: Brush the loaf with the egg/water (egg wash) and sprinkle with the sparkling sugar or pearl sugar.

  13. Bake the bread for 30 to 35 minutes, until it's firm on top and a digital thermometer inserted into the center reads at least 190°F.

  14. Remove the loaf from the oven and cool it briefly in the pan, just until you can transfer it safely to a rack to cool completely.

  15. Storage information: Store leftover bread, well wrapped, at cool room temperature for 5 to 7 days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • What type of cocoa should you use? Natural cocoa will make fairly mild bread; Dutch-process, more assertively chocolate. If you have black cocoa on hand, try combining it half and half with either natural or Dutch-process; this will give you a beautifully dark loaf

  • To make rolls: Prepare the dough through step 6 and then divide into eight pieces, about 90g each. Shape each piece into a round and place seam-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, spacing the rolls in a 3-2-3 pattern on the baking sheet. Allow the rolls to rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until expanded and puffy. Brush the rolls with the egg/water (egg wash) and sprinkle with coarse sparkling sugar or Swedish pearl sugar. Use kitchen scissors to snip the top of the rolls in an "X" pattern, cutting about 1/2" deep. Bake the rolls in a preheated 350°F oven for about 18 to 20 minutes, until the centers reach 190°F when tested with a digital thermometer. Remove them from the oven and cool briefly before serving.

    Japanese Chocolate Milk Bread – Tip: Rolls
  • With origins in Japan's yukone (or yudane), tangzhong is a yeast bread technique popularized across Asia by Taiwanese cookbook author Yvonne Chen. Tangzhong involves cooking some of a bread recipe’s flour in liquid prior to adding it to the remaining dough ingredients. Bringing the temperature of the flour and liquid to 65°C (149°F) pre-gelatinizes the flour’s starches, which makes them more able to retain liquid — thus enhancing the resulting bread's softness and shelf life.