Milk Bread Rolls
These milk bread rolls are super soft and fluffy, thanks to the popular Asian technique of tangzhong. The technique involves pre-cooking some of the recipe’s flour and milk to make a roux beforehand. This roux pre-gelatinizes the flour’s starches and increases their ability to retain liquid—so when added to the dough, it leads to super soft and extra fluffy bread rolls! Access the recipe by supporting Hummingbird High on Patreon; learn more below!
Why You Should Make Milk Bread Rolls
Here are all the reasons to make these milk bread rolls:
This milk bread rolls recipe is adapted from one of the hottest cookbooks this season—Mooncakes and Milk Bread: Sweet and Savory Recipes Inspired By Chinese Bakeries.
One of my favorite food bloggers, Kristina Cho of Eat Cho Food, recently published a cookbook dedicated to Asian-style baking. Her cookbook, Mooncakes and Milk Bread, focuses on lots of Asian-style milk bread recipes like pork floss rolls, hot dog flower buns, and more. It’s the first cookbook to exclusively focus on Chinese bakeries and cafes and has been recommended by Bon Appetit, Eater, and more.
I don’t consider myself an expert on milk bread at all, so I decided to use Kristina’s milk bread base recipe to make these milk bread rolls. Her recipe did not disappoint—the milk bread rolls were super light, soft, and fluffy!
These milk bread rolls store well.
I mentioned earlier that this recipe uses the Asian method of tangzhong to make the milk bread roll. The tangzhong method pre-gelatinizes the flour’s starches and increases their ability to retain liquid. Not only does this make the milk bread rolls super soft and fluffy, but it also gives them a longer shelf-life, too! More liquid translates to softer rolls that stay that way longer.
You can easily customize the serving size of this milk bread roll recipe.
Although I divided my dough into 12 pieces to make 12 smaller buns, you can easily customize the recipe to make different serving sizes. In the original recipe, Kristina provided instructions on how to make 9 medium buns. I’ve included instructions on how to shape the dough in this way, as well as how to divide the dough to make a smaller batch of 6 buns.
This milk bread rolls recipe is designed to be made ahead.
I love making bread and yeasted baked goods like babka, cinnamon rolls, and more. That being said, I DON’T love how long the recipes take to make. Almost all bread recipes instruct you to proof the dough for at least 1 hour to let the bread rise. Others require at least two 1-hour sessions! As a result, a yeasted dough recipe will easily keep you in the kitchen for at least 2 hours.
But what if I told you there was a better way? When writing my cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I discovered that you could break the work up overnight. That is, you would make the dough the night before planning on baking the bread and stick it in the fridge to rise slowly in its cooler temperature. The next morning, the dough would be proofed and ready for the next stage of rising and baking. Dividing up the work this way meant you wouldn’t be stuck in your kitchen waiting for the dough—you could get other things done (like get a good night’s sleep, lol).
But what does that mean for these milk bread rolls? Well, I usually like to serve a recipe like this as a side with Thanksgiving dinner. I make the dough the night before, and proof the dough in the refrigerator overnight. On Thanksgiving, I shape the rolls and let them rise again for their second proofing while I prepare the other menu items. Doing so saves me time and allows me to focus on the other recipes!
That being said, these milk bread rolls can easily fit into any schedule.
I get it—waiting overnight for bread isn’t for everybody. So if you want to make the rolls all in one day, I got you! I’ve also included instructions on how to make these milk bread rolls without an overnight proof in the recipe.
Milk Bread Rolls: An Exclusive Recipe for Patreon Supporters
Now that I’ve convinced you to make these milk bread rolls, I have some potentially bad news. You’ll need to support me on Patreon to access the recipe. Before you click out, please either learn more about why I started a Patreon.
But the TL/DR is this: Patreon supporters of Hummingbird High get exclusive access to extra recipes like this one with a basic $1 or $5 subscription. Supporters also have the exclusive ability to choose the recipes I develop for Patreon by participating in a monthly poll. Previous recipes have included:
- Blueberry Scones (Small Batch)
- Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting (Small Batch)
- Cinnamon Rolls (Small Batch)
- Mini American Flag Cake
- No Bake Cheesecake Bars (Small Batch)
- Peach Crumb Bars (Small Batch)
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- Baked Apple Cider Donuts
- Peppermint Bark Oreos
- Gateau Basque
- Blood Orange Drizzle Cake
- Small Batch Baileys Brownies
- Lemon Pudding Cake
- 6-Inch Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe
- Small Batch Streusel Coffee Cake Recipe
- 6 Inch Japanese Strawberry Shortcake
- Biscuit Peach Cobbler (Small Batch)
- Apple Galette (Small Batch)
- Apple and Almond Upside Down Mini Cakes (Small Batch)
And now, these milk bread rolls. Hooray!
Why Becoming a Patreon Supporter Helps Me Create Recipes
By becoming a patron of Hummingbird High, you are enabling me to keep developing the baking recipes that you have been using and relying on during these critical times. You’ll also enable me to shift my focus away from pitching to sponsors and working on branded content, and instead spend more time creating recipes and tutorials that are specifically made for you and your needs. You can see examples of this work on these recipe blog posts for Small Batch Brownies, Small Batch Blueberry Muffins, and Small Batch Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins.
I’m hoping that, through Patreon, I can continue to develop more personalized recipes thanks to the generous support of viewers and readers like you. Please learn more by either heading to my Patreon page. If you’re unable to financially support my work right now, don’t worry! I completely understand—it’s a tough time out there for everybody. Check out this blog post about the other ways you can support my work for FREE with nothing more but a few minutes of your time.
Stay safe and healthy, and thank you for your support!
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NO TIME TO BAKE?!
Over the past several years of running Hummingbird High, I kept a crucial aspect of my life hidden from my readers: I had a full-time, extremely demanding job in the tech world. In my debut cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I finally reveal the secrets to baking delicious desserts on a tight schedule.