The Best Milk Bread Recipe Experiment Ep 2 | Kitchen Princess Bamboo Shokupan

Welcome back to our Milk Bread Recipe experiment! Last time we talked a little bit about the common starters for milk bread called yudane and tangzhong and we explored both methods and while it wasn’t a direct comparison on the techniques, it gave us an introduction into making milk bread. We did notice that Umi’s recipe that uses tangzhong did come out with a more melt-in-your-mouth gummy texture compared to the Chopstick Chronicle’s, which may make sense since yudane uses a more equal proportion of flour to water while tangzhong uses more liquid. However they were pretty different recipes so we can’t be certain if the tangzhong is the reason for the more moist texture.

So today we’re going to do a direct comparison by using Princess Bamboo’s recipes that do use the same exact base recipe that’s adjusted for each method and this way we can test if technique makes a significant difference!

Kitchen Princess Bamboo: Tangzhong loaf
Tangzhong loaf

Kitchen Princess Bamboo: Shokupan Recipes

Original Recipes:

Yudane Shokupan Ingredients


  • 75g Bread Flour
  • 125g Boiling Water


  • 325g Bread Flour
  • 30g Sugar
  • 7g Salt
  • 6g Instant Dry Yeast
  • 175g Water
  • 50g Whole Milk (room temperature)
  • 25g Unsalted Butter (room temperature)

Tangzhong Shokupan Ingredients


  • 20g Bread Flour
  • 50g Water
  • 50g Whole Milk


  • 380g bread flour
  • 30g Sugar
  • 7g Salt
  • 6g Instant Dry Yeast
  • 250g Water
  • 25g Unsalted Butter (room temperature)

Adapted Guide

  1. Make the yudane (mix flour and boiling water together) or tangzhong (mix flour, water and milk, then cook and stir on medium until a smooth paste). Set aside to bring to room temperature.
  2. In a stand mixer with a dough hook, combine bread flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
  3. Slowly add liquids (water, or water and milk). Mix for 5 minutes on 6 speed.
  4. Add the yudane/tangzhong and mix another 5 minutes until the dough comes together or it passes the window pane test.
  5. Add butter and mix another 3 minutes until fully incorporated.
  6. Remove dough from mixer and shape. Rest covered for 45 minutes or until doubled.
  7. Punch down the dough and reshape. Rest covered for 30 minutes.
  8. Poke the dough, if it passes the finger test and doesn’t bounce back, divide dough into 2, shape it into balls, cover and rest for 10 minutes.
  9. Shape the 2 pieces for the loaf by flattening the pieces and folding into thirds in one direction, then flatten again and fold the thirds in a perpendicular direction. Pinch the end of the folds to seal. Place into loaf pan and cover to rest 45 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 190C/374F and apply egg wash. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  11. When baked, immediately remove the bread from the pan and cool on a rack.
  12. Enjoy warm or allow to cool completely before slicing.
Kitchen Princess Bamboo: Tangzhong and Yudane comparison
Yudane (L) and Tangzhong (R) comparison

Yudane vs. Tangzhong Conclusion

Interestingly the breads turned out a bit different from our initial test batch, perhaps from the rainy weather during the day. The breads felt much wetter and so when they baked, almost became more of a french loaf with the crisp exterior and fluffy interior. Definitely not a bad result but not typically what people are looking for in a milk bread. There is a beautiful crumb with lots of pockets and a spongey texture. Our initial test run resulted in a more normal milk bread with a soft crust.

With this direct comparison we are able to say that the two techniques did not have a striking difference, though we detected a slight tang from the yudane whereas the tangzhong method created a more mild fragrance. We personally did not have a strong preference between these 2 recipes and so far, prefer the recipes from Episode 1. Next time we’ll compare a recipe with a starter and one without so we can decide if it’s worth the extra step to use a starter!

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