Sourdough Hokkaido Milk Loaf

I guarantee this is THE SOFTEST, FLUFFIEST sandwich loaf you’ll ever make! This bread is the ultimate crowd pleaser, it’s perfect for every occasion and you can enjoy it with both savory and sweet toppings.

There are times when only a plain white sandwich loaf will do. What sets this recipe apart from other recipes is the use of tangzhong, an Asian technique that yields a softer, more tender crumb. Similar to adding a porridge or pre-cooked mash (ala Peter Reinhart) to your dough; flour and water and/or milk are first made into a roux before being added to the rest of your dough ingredients. This pre-gelatinizes the starches in the flour, and when added to a recipe, results in a dough that can absorb and retain more liquid.

This recipe is incredibly versatile, and once you’ve mastered it, you can get creative and use it as a base for babka, cinnamon rolls or even this matcha coconut loaf. You’ll end up with an incredibly pillowy, fluffy bread each time.

Now onto the recipe!

Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links. I earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. This in no way impacts my recommendations.


Stiff Levain

QuantityIngredientBaker’s %
10 gramsStarter (unfed)25%
25 gramsWater 62%
40 gramsFlour100%
10 gramsBrown Sugar25%


QuantityIngredientBaker’s %
15 gramsBread flour100%
45 gramsMilk300%
45 gramsWater 300%


QuantityIngredientBaker’s %
300 gramsBread flour100%
18 gramsPowdered milk6%
8 gramsSalt2%
88 gramsMilk30%
1 Egg
50 gramsGranulated Sugar16%
60 gramsButter (melted) 20%

** you can substitute 30% of the flour in this recipe with whole wheat flour

Egg Wash

1 tablespoonWater


Make Stiff Levain

The night before you’re ready to bake, combine all of the ingredients in the levain section above.

Make Tangzhong

Before mixing your dough create your Tangzhong starter.

In a small saucepan whisk together milk, water and flour from the Tangzhong section.

Once combined, cook over low heat until mixture thickens and whisk leaves lines on the bottom of the pan. For best results don’t let roux dry out too much.

Transfer to a bowl and cool completely before adding to the rest of your ingredients. Adding this mixture to your dough while its too hot may kill your yeast***

Mix Dough

Combine the tangzhong and stiff starter with the rest of the dough ingredients. Mix and knead ā€” by hand, or in a mixer until smooth and elastic.

Form a ball with the dough and transfer to a lightly oiled container. Cover with lid or plastic wrap.

Bulk Ferment

Allow dough to rise on your counter until doubled, around 4 to 8 hours (watch the dough not your clock).  

I usually mix my dough at night and allow it to rise overnight.***

Once your dough has doubled in size, you can proceed to shaping or store in your dough in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently degas your dough and form an 8″ by 8″ square. Roll the dough onto itself to form a tube-like shape.

Place dough in a 8″ by 4″ loaf pan that has been greased or lined with parchment paper.

Final proof

Allow dough to proof until it has filled the loaf pan and appears bubbly (2 to 4 hours depending on temperature)


Towards the end of proofing, preheat oven to 350 F / 176 C.

Combine water and egg to create an egg wash.

Brush top of loaf with egg wash and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the internal temperature of the loaf registers at 190 F or 87 C.

Once baked, allow to cool in loaf pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.  

Et Voila!

You really can’t go wrong with this bread. It’s so soft and tender with only a subtle hint of sweetness. Slice the loaf into thick slices, slather it with butter and grill ala Texas toast if you’re having a BBQ, eat it with jam for breakfast or simply tear into it and enjoy it plain.

Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Remember to post a photo and tag me @makeitdough when you make this delicious recipe, so I can check out your bake.

Follow me on Instagram @MakeItDough or like Make It Dough on Facebook for more sourdough and baking ideas.

Follow me on Instagram @MakeItDough or like Make It Dough on Facebook for more sourdough and baking ideas.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. This bread looks absolutely delicious! We will have to try this recipe.

    1. Please do! Iā€™d love to know how it turns out!

  2. Absolutely will let you know!

  3. Dee says:

    i follow this method to make my 100% whole wheat loaf… but it doesnt have sour dough tho. i am planning to try sourdough and came across your blog. love your site. will try some recipes from here. Thank you.

    1. I’ve never tried a whole wheat loaf using tangzhong! It sounds incredible. Can’t wait to hear about your results.

  4. Qiuru says:

    I’ve tried your recipe and my family is in love with this bread. Very very soft and fluffy and it stayed soft and moist for up to 4 days. Slightly sweet slightly tangy. This recipe is a keeper!

    1. This recipe is a staple in our kitchen! So glad you loved it as well šŸ˜€

  5. KT says:

    Hello! This looks so yummy. Would it be possible to substitute the powdered milk with something? Perhaps more milk? Thank you so much!

    1. You can skip the milk powder all together and the loaf will still turn out beautifully

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