Want to know how to make gluten-free Japanese milk bread?
Japanese milk bread recipes are all over the web recently. Hence, I decided to make a gluten-free version of the Japanese milk bread because I was drooling all over social media images of Japanese bread. This bread recipe is out of the ordinary. It's super moist and tastes terrific once toasted. Honestly, this is my favorite gluten-free bread recipe so far.
What is Tangzhong?
Japanese bread is soft and fluffy because it incorporates an Asian Technique called Tangzhong. Tangzhong is simply a mixture of flour and water; sometimes, milk is added instead of water. The flour and water are mixed at low heat to provide a slurry mixture. The mixture is then added to the main ingredients.
So why does Tangzhong provide soft and fluffy loaves of bread? When the flour and liquid are mixed at low heat, the flour's starches absorb the liquid, creating a slurry mixture. On the other hand, If you were to mix flour and water without heat, the flour won't retain all the liquid.
The absorbed liquid by the starches in the flour will provide moisture to the bread and rise in the oven. Furthermore, when baking gluten-free, I find that the Tangzhong technique gives the dough a more robust structure making it easier to handle. It also makes the dough less sticky.
For this recipe, I will be using water and milk to create the Tangzhong. You can use only water; however, I recommend using full-fat milk with water for better taste.
Japanese Bread Dough
The dough of the Japanese bread is similar to other bread doughs. However, what provides it with a milky taste is the use of milk and milk powder. Instead of using water to add moisture to the dough, we will only be using full-fat milk. Then to provide the dough with even more flavor, we will be using dry milk powder.
Meanwhile, for the flour, I used Schar Gluten-Free Mix B. It worked perfectly for the recipe. However, if you try other mixes, I'm sure the results will be somehow similar if you manage to maintain the ratios of the ingredients I used.
If the dough is too sticky then apply oil to your hands and equipment before handling it. This will make the dough easier to handle and shape.
How to create air bubbles in the bread?
I'm very proud of the air bubbles I managed to create when making this recipe, as it resembled gluten-containing bread. The trick to making these air bubbles was to use apple cider vinegar, eggs, and baking powder. All these ingredients work to create a leavening effect helping your Japanese milk bread rise. Furthermore, when mixing the dough, I used a paddle attachment to trap as much air as possible. The trapped air then expands in the oven while the bread is baking, creating the tiny air bubbles that bread is famous for.
Gluten-Free Japanese Milk Bread
- 25 grams of Gluten-Free Bread Mix Flour
- 60 ml of Full-Fat Milk
- 60 ml of Water
- 5 grams of Instant Active Yeast
- 220 ml of Full-Fat Milk at ( 49 - 55 °C)
- 40 grams of Granulated Sugar
- 300 grams of Gluten-Free Bread Mix Flour
- 15 grams of Dry Milk Powder
- 1 tsp of Salt
- 1 ½ tsp of Xanthan Gum
- ½ tsp of Baking Powder
- ½ tsp of Cornstarch
- 30 grams of Unsalted Butter at Room Temperature
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar
- In a medium-sized saucepan, mix the flour, milk, and water together using a whisk. Make sure there are no lumps. Then place the saucepan on the stove at low heat and keep stirring using a wooden spatula.
- Once the mixture thickens and becomes slurry ( approx 5 minutes), remove the saucepan from heat and cover it. Let the Tangzhong cool to room temperature before using it.
- In a bowl, mix the yeast, milk, and sugar together. Let the yeast mixture sit for 7 to 10 minutes before using. You will see bubbles forming, indicating that the yeast is active.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, dry milk powder, salt, xanthan gum, baking powder, and cornstarch.
- In a stand-alone mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and apple cider vinegar together at medium to high speed. Once mixed, add in the Tangzhong and beat until well combined.
- Then add the yeast mixture to Tangzhong and eggs and beat until combined.
- Then slowly add in the dry ingredients at low-medium speed and beat until all the ingredients are well incorporated. You will notice that the dough is formed.
- Increase the stand-alone mixer's speed to medium-high and add in the butter one teaspoon at a time until no butter remains.
- Remove the dough from the stand-alone mixture and flatten the dough into a rectangle using a rolling pin. Then roll up the dough from the shorter side of the rectangle and seal the edges once done.
- Grease the bottom of the loaf pan with butter and place your rolled dough into the pan. Brush olive oil on top of your loaf.
- Cover the pan with a damp kitchen towel and allow the bread to rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours before baking.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, place the cooking rack at the oven's center and preheat the oven to 180 ° C.
- Bake the loaf for about 30 to 35 minutes or until a cooking thermometer reads 93° C when inserted in the middle of the loaf.
- Afterward, once the bread is done baking, shut off the heat and slightly open the oven's door. Allow your bread to cool to room temperature while it is in the oven with the door slightly open. This will prevent the bread from falling after it has risen.
- For this recipe, I used Schar Mix B Flour.
- If the dough is too sticky apply oil to your equipment and hands before shaping the dough.