Category Archives: Bread and Rolls

Japanese Milk Bread

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If you have been a part of My Daily Bread Body and Soul very long you will know that I adore making bread.  I like eating it but even more, I like making it!   I was in Japan a few years ago on vacation and I don’t remember bread ever being served.  And what about the Japanese restaurants where I’ve never eaten bread?

Recently I saw a post for Milk Bread from The Brown Eyed Baker.  When I saw her pictures I was drooling. When I read the list of ingredients I was puzzled.  Flour, water, cream, honey, yeast, eggs – this all sounds familiar.

The more I read about her milk bread the more I came to know it is actually fashioned after Japanese Milk Bread.  How is it I didn’t know about Japanese Milk Bread?

I read a New York Times article that said when panko, Japanese bread crumbs, first appeared here, American cooks fell in love with the crispy texture.  And I do love panko breadcrumbs! But how could breadcrumbs arrive from Japan, a land without bread?

Japanese Milk Bread

Ta-da!  The answer is here,  in the lofty, feathery white bread that is a staple at bakeries throughout Asia.  Panko is often made from the heels of the loaf, called the “ears” in Japanese. Milk bread was developed in Japan in the 20th century, using tangzhong, a warm flour-and-water paste traditionally used in China to make buns with a soft, springy texture and tiny air bubbles.

Using a recipe from Julia Moskin, I found Japanese milk bread with a soft crumb and buttery taste is easy to make at home, using grocery store ingredients. Once the tanzhong is cooked and cooled — about 10 minutes on the stove — you have a leavened dough that is soft and pliable with a fragrance that beckons everyone to the kitchen.

This loveliest of dough can be shaped into rolls, round loaves, pull-aparts, or an actual loaf of bread!

My oven was a little hot (and I wasn’t paying close enough attention) and so these rolls look a little over-browned.  As it turns out they weren’t.  My Chief Bread Eater and Sous-Chef Dish-washing mom flipped over Japanese Milk Bread.

Me?  I am making it again this week. Enough said.

Happy Baking!

Japanese Milk Bread
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Add Japanese Milk Bread to your repertoire of bread recipes - you won't be sorry and your family will flip over it - like mine did!
Recipe type: Bread
Serves: 2 loaves
  • ⅓ cup bread flour
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packets)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup warm whole milk, plus extra for brushing on the unbaked loaves
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened at room temperature
  1. For the starter: In a small heavy pot, whisk flour, milk and ½ cup water together until smooth. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often, until thickened but still pourable, about 10 minutes (it will thicken more as it cools). When it’s ready, the spoon will leave tracks on the bottom of the pot. Scrape into a measuring cup and lightly cover the surface with plastic wrap. Set aside to cool to room temperature. (You will have about 1 cup starter and it will make 2 loaves)
  2. Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt and mix for a few seconds, just until evenly combined.
  3. Add egg, milk and the cooled starter. Turn the mixer on low speed and knead 5 minutes.
  4. Add soft butter and knead another 10 to 12 minutes (it will take a few minutes for butter to be incorporated), until the dough is smooth and springy and just a bit tacky.
  5. Lightly butter the inside of a bowl. Use your hands to lift dough out of mixer bowl, shape into a ball and place in prepared bowl.
  6. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 40 to 60 minutes.
  7. Punch the dough down and use your hands to scoop it out onto a surface. Using a bench scraper or a large knife, cut dough in half. Lightly form each half into a ball, cover again and let rise 15 minutes.
  8. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In the meantime, generously butter two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans.
  9. Shape each half of the dough into a round - start by shaping your risen dough into a round. Let it rest for a few minutes after you do this to give the gluten a chance to relax. This will make shaping the loaf a lot easier.
  10. Flatten into a Rectangle - Use the heels of your hands to gently flatten the round into a rough rectangle. If the dough is sticking to the counter, sprinkle a little flour underneath. Try not to use too much flour, though, or else you'll have trouble getting the dough to stick to itself once you shape it.
  11. Fold the Bottom Third Up - This part is like folding a letter! Fold the bottom third of the dough over on itself.
  12. Fold the Top Third Down - Then fold the top of the dough down so that it overlaps the other layers.
  13. Pinch Closed - Use your fingers to pinch the dough closed where the top layer meets the bottom layers. Don't forget the sides!
  14. Fold the Dough Again - Our goal is to get the surface of the loaf as taut as possible. This will help the loaf rise evenly and keep its shape. If your loaf still seems a little loose after the initial folding, just fold it in half again and pinch it closed. We do this by pressing the middle down and drawing up the sides.
  15. Invert the Loaf into the Pan - Roll the loaf over until the seam is facing down and then gently lift the loaf into your pan. The seams should be on the bottom with the tight surface facing up.
  16. Let the Loaf Rise - The loaf is ready to bake when it starts to peak over the rim of the pan.
  17. Brush the top with milk and bake at 350 degrees F. on the bottom shelf of the oven until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F. (check with instant read thermometer)
  18. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and let cool at least 1 hour, to let the crust soften and keep the crumb lofty. (If cut too soon, the air bubbles trapped in the bread will deflate.)
Recipe adapted from:

How to shape a loaf of bread:



Pumpkin Muffins and the Pumpkin Patch

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Who doesn't love fall?  If you don't, you can just leaf!  Okay, that pun was not my best.  But let's be honest, fall is arguably the best time of year.  It's finally cool enough to wear those cute sweaters, drink pumpkin lattes, and light cinnamon bun candles in every room! My nephew, Destin, just had his first birthday a few weeks ago, so my mom and I drove all the way to Oklahoma for his party.  Let me tell you, 12 hours is a LONG time to be in a car!  Unfortunately, my nephew probably won't remember that I was there,  so I made sure to get in the video.   Every little bit counts when you're competing for "favorite Aunt" status.My sister threw a perfectly sweet party at Parkhurst Pumpkin Patch.  We roasted smores, climbed hay bales, pet goats, and even got lost in a corn maze!  The adults had a great time, but honestly I think Destin's favorite thing was his new bouncy balls.  He's such an adorable little chunk!  Look at that face.  Yes, his cheeks are just as squishy as you are imagining them to be.We had a great week visiting with my sister, Anna.  I have to brag on her a little because she made some magazine-worthy meals while we were there.  I really enjoyed the delicious spaghetti squash pumpkin soup! Ever since that visit I've caught the disease. The fall fever.  The sweater spirit.  The pumpkin pox.  When it comes fall and winter, all I want to do is bake.  The only problem is that if I make it at my house, I'll eat everything!  So, at the coffee shop where I work, I made some acorn shaped pumpkin spice muffins with a maple glaze.  That would appease me.  I almost took some home to my family, but at the end of the day, I forgot.  The next morning I went to the gym like I normally do, and when I came home, the house smelled AMAZING!  To my surprise, when I walked in the kitchen, my dearest mother had made pumpkin muffins! She has made these muffins so many times for my brother and me.  They are my absolute favorite!  They are the perfect texture.  So moist, and delicious.  Sometimes she makes them with banana or applesauce instead of pumpkin.  I don't know which kind I like best... no wait, I do know. It's the ones with the chocolate chips! Those are my favorite. These muffins just make me feel warm inside.  Like snuggling up on the couch with a plaid blanket.  There's just something magical about them.  So, here's her recipe for pumpkin spice muffins.  I know first hand that these will make your family look forward to fall every year.  Enjoy!   Also,  you can follow my lovely mother on her blog at Abby Hughes
Pumpkin Muffins
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This versatile muffin is always a hit!
Serves: 24 medium muffins
  • 1 cup soft butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups pumpkin, bananas, or applesauce
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour (or all purpose)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk dry ingredients.
  4. Stir flour mixture into liquid mixture just until combined.
  5. Scoop into greased muffin tins.
  6. Bake 15 minutes for mini muffins and 20 minutes for medium muffins.
Batter will keep in fridge for 4 days.

Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake – Got Blueberries?

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Lemon Blueberry singleI make a lot of food that never makes it to my blog.  Not that it is all terrible (although sometimes it is!) but I only want to blog the recipes that are terrific!!

Lee's Blueberry Bush

Our blueberry bush produced a lot of beautiful berries this year.  I am so grateful to have them in the freezer now.  But if you don’t have a freezer full, the grocery stores still have nice berries for this recipe, because you are going to want to put this recipe on your “to-make” list!

Lemon BB coffee cake top down

I used a 9″ springform pan and the cake turned out well.  If you don’t have a springform pan then a regular baking pan will work and you can simply slice and serve from the pan.

Lemon BB single

Even though this is a simple “coffee cake” recipe the crumb topping really sets it apart from others.  But do not pass up on making the lemon buttercream frosting – that is what puts it on the “must make and bake” list!  Your family and friends will thank you!

Do you bake for compliments?  I do!

Happy Baking,

P.S.  As soon as my sous-chef dish-washing mom sees this blog post she is going to want me to make this again!  And I will.

Blueberry Bush July

Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake
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The weekend is coming and this coffee cake will thrill family and friends. It is fast and easy to put together and a luscious, moist combination of flavors.
Recipe type: Coffee Cake, Brunch or Breakfast,
Serves: 12-16
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
Crumb Topping
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9" springform pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the crumb topping ingredients, sugar, flour and 3 T. butter. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, milk and lemon zest. Add in flour, baking powder, and salt and mix just until combined. Gently stir in the blueberries.
  4. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the crumb topping.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  6. Cool the cake for 10 minutes and then gently run a knife around the edges and remove the ring.
  7. With whisk or electric mixer combine the powdered sugar, softened butter and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Add more lemon juice, 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency. Drizzle over cooked cake.
Optional: I added a sprinkle of yellow food coloring to the frosting to give it the lemony-look!

This recipe came from Barbara at


Sticky Biscuits

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Sticky Biscuits
Sticky Biscuits

Here is the problem … these pictures don’t do these sticky biscuits justice. I have tried on several occasions to take just the right picture to make you want to pluck the biscuit right off the page and gobble it up. Well, let me back up ….

Beersheba Vesper Point Cross

Last spring I was at a Community Bible Study leadership retreat at a beautiful conference center in middle Tennessee called Beersheba Springs Assembly.   Besides the stunning site of serene beauty and peace, the kitchen staff is really friendly and prepares delicious  and nutritious meals for the guests.

Sticky Biscuits layering

As I approached the breakfast bar one morning my eye caught a huge tray that looked like cinnamon rolls or some kind of gooey delight.  As I soon discovered Sticky Biscuits are a morning staple at Beersheba and the cook was more than willing to give me the recipe. In fact, when I approached the kitchen window to ask about the gooey, sweet, yummy biscuits, the cook smiled, moved to a drawer where she extracted the recipe and handed it to me.  She keeps multiple copies on hand because I wasn’t the first or the last to ask for the recipe! But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

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