I recently came across this milk bread recipe from the lovely Bake From Scratch magazine. It looked so shiny and fluffy that I immediately knew I wanted to make it. And I was so happy I did! It has such an amazing flavour and a crumb that is airy and incredibly soft. The texture reminds me of cotton candy. Also, it’s how I remember really good brioche. Still I cannot possibly describe how great this bread is, please just make it and see for yourself. Also, it is very easy to veganise because even though it calls for three eggs all together, you can totally do without them. Yeast dough almost never needs eggs. Especially since most of the great texture here comes from an extra step that you should not leave out.
While you prepare the dough, you will have to cook some milk and flour until it has thickened and resembles a paste. Later, you will have to mix the paste with the dough. This Tangzhong or milk roux is a means of making the dough keep fresh longer and it helps with texture. When you cook the flour in a liquid like that, the starch in the flour can take up much more water than it usually would. Which of course helps to keep more moisture in your bread.
Since the eggs in the original recipe add moisture, tenderise the crumb and lighten the texture, we will still need a substitute for that, right? Well, not exactly. Moisture, yes. Tenderising and rising? No. First of all, there is so much yeast in this recipe. You won’t have to worry the bread won’t rise. In fact, you will be pretty surprised how big it gets. To tenderise the crumb there is also fat and soy milk (soy milk has lecithin in it, just like eggs) in this dough, which can do the job just as well. As for the moisture, I simply replaced the eggs with blended silken tofu.
The original recipe calls for bread flour, but we don’t have that here in Germany. Our flour is very soft and has much less gluten than US or UK flour. (Ours is more like cake flour!) I made up for that by adding a bit of wheat gluten. Depending on what flour you have on hand, that might not be necessary. In fact I think that working with just all-purpose flour will be fine, as long as you knead the dough well enough. This bread was calculated for two smaller loaf pans (23 x 13 cm), which I don’t have. Instead I used my largest bread pan (30 x 10 cm) and had some leftover dough that I turned into rolls. (You are supposed to divide the dough into 6 pieces and I was able to stuff 5 of them into my pan.)
For the egg wash, I usually use sugar syrup. I know there are many methods out there, but I find that this is the most simple and most reliable one. Of course, your bread will be a bit sticky on top. But also super shiny and very pleasant to look at!
Tangzhong Bread dough Egg Wash This recipe was adapted from a Bake From Scratch recipe for milk bread. *If you have it, use 700 g bread flour and leave out the gluten. Or use 700 g all-purpose flour and make sure to knead the dough really well, so that the gluten will develop properly.
180g soy milk
30 g all-purpose flour
320 g luke warm soy milk
130 g sugar
10 g active dry yeast
680 g all-purpose flour*
20 g wheat gluten
100 g silken tofu, blended
6 g salt
85 grams vegan butter, soft
2 tablespoons of sugar dissolved in 3 tablespoons of water
This recipe was adapted from a Bake From Scratch recipe for milk bread.
*If you have it, use 700 g bread flour and leave out the gluten. Or use 700 g all-purpose flour and make sure to knead the dough really well, so that the gluten will develop properly.
Made milk bread today by mixing half half 550/1050 flour and I can confirm, as you said, that it does NOT perform like bread flour. I wish i saw your post before I tried that following other blogs! I had been using a high gluten flour purchased from Asian markets in Germany, and that had worked well for my fluffy bread recipes. The 550/1050 turned out soft but felt dense/heavy instead of fluffy. Glad I found your other post on bread flour – will think about buying some gluten as I love fluffy Asian breads, and bread flour is a must for those!
So glad you found this helpful! I had no idea you could find high gluten flour at Asian markets over here. I have to check that out!
Do you think I could substitute oat milk for soy milk without much issue?
Thank you! I plan to make your lemon curd buns this week!
Yes, sure! Any plant milk should work. I hope you like the buns! Please let me know.
your bread looks beautiful and soft. I have heard of Tangzhong and would like to try it one day – it is good to hear that it worked so well without eggs.
Thank you very much, Johanna!
Made it today. Amazing! So soft and sweet. Will def make this again!
Thank you very much. That is great to hear!
I guess we have a love hate relationship with gluten in the US. So many gluten free “health food” products and tons of extra gluten in our breads. lol
I am excited to see Tangzhong! It is something I’ve been wanting to dabble in but been a little afraid of trying it since I couldn’t find any veganized version. I like to bake, but I am not a pro. I bookmarked and hope to try it out soon before summer takes over.
Tangzhong is really easy to make. I was surprised, too.
Vielen, vielen Dank für dieses Rezept. Ich habe diese Art von Brot in China während meines Auslandsstudiums vor vielen Jahren kennengelernt (es war ziemlich aussichtslos, dort im Alltag etwas veganes zu bekommen, sodass selbst offenkundig vegetarisches wie Brot dankend von mir angenommen wurde) und mehrfach erfolglos versucht, es zu reproduzieren. Nun hat es mit diesem Rezept tatsächlich geklappt. Vielen Dank nochmal für etwas Nostalgie!
This looks amazing, I can’t wait to give it a try. Thanks!
That would be wonderful. Thank you!
Beautiful bread loaves! In Germany, try pizza flour or a mix of regular flour and pizza flour. Italian pizza flour has a higher gluten content. You could also look for Emmer- or Einkornmehl . Hope this helps. Will try your recipe this week on bake day. Yeah, Backtag!
Thank you very much! Pizza flour might actually work. I will try it although I am very happy with my flour and gluten mix!
In my experience Emmer and Einkorn are not a good substitute for regular wheat. They have more protein but their gluten is much weaker. I’m not saying it doesn’t work. But I usually love those flours in whole grain breads and hearty things. Baked goods made with those flours are usually denser and flatter and I don’t think they’d be a good choice for this bread.But if you wanna make this bread on your Backtag, maybe you want to use Emmer or Einkorn and let me know how it went!
Your bread looks amazing!
But I think you should be able to get flour with higher gluten content in German supermarkets? You could use type 550, or a ~50/50 mixture of type 550 and type 1050 since American bread flour seems to be equivalent to German flour type 812 which might be hard to find.
It is often assumed that 550 or 1050 flour has higher gluten, but that is not the case. If at all, it is comparable to all-purpose flour. 550 and 1050 flours have more ash but not more gluten. I’ve often had better results with 405 flour, because depending on where your 550 comes from, it can have even weaker gluten. wheat is different from American wheat and flours from different countries often have different baking properties.
I am definitely going to give this a try! No shortage of bread flour here in the US. Looks amazing!!
That’s great, let me know how it turns out! I am super curious about bread flour. I hope I can work with it some day.