Shokupan (Cook’s Illustrated)

I didn’t grow up eating white Wonder bread: my family got 60% whole wheat, or even 100% whole wheat. At Hong Kong bakeries, we would get pineapple buns, cocktail buns, or Swiss rolls, but would never buy the loaves of sandwich bread. So seeing milk bread, sliced into angular square slices is somewhat of a novelty to me.

The Guardian calls it “the anti-sourdough” and now Cook’s Illustrated devoted an article to this Japanese white bread in their May/June 2022 issue.

Shokupan (Japanese White Bread)

The ingredients includes a yudane, a boiling water and flour mixture that is similar to a tangzhong, except the latter uses plain water that is cooked with the flour. I loved the shaping technique, which involves dividing the risen dough into four pieces, then rolling them into snails that are then placed side-by-side in the long Pullman pan.

I let me bread proof a little too long, but the end result was still pretty tasty. The crust was surprisingly chewy, I didn’t expect that from a loaf whose interior is so fluffy. My newest cookbook has a recipe for milk bread also, so I’m going to give that a try next.

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