Mother’s Day (May 10th) is around the corner, and like we said earlier this week, your mom deserves a good cup of coffee. But do you know what else she deserves? A homemade baked bread, fresh and hot out of the oven. Baking bread has been the popular home hobby to take up during shelter-at-home, and these sweet milk bread rolls will surely show Mom that you appreciate her. They’re sweet, luscious, incredibly fluffy and it even pairs well with a fresh cup of pour over coffee.
So if you are not sure what to do for Mom this Mother’s Day, these sweet milk bread rolls are a wonderful option whether you’re sheltering at home together or will need to carefully send them through the mail (which you certainly can do). Maybe even send it with a pour over coffee bundle.
What makes this particular bread so special?
The secret is in what’s called the tangzhong – a cooked mixture of flour, water and milk that helps make bread fluffier. The sugar gives the bread a sweet taste akin to Hawaiian rolls, and the finishing butter makes every bite an explosion of flavor.
So let’s get right to the recipe.
- 2 tbsp (20g) bread flour
- 2 tbsp (27g) water
- 4 tbsp (60g) whole milk
- 2 ½ cups (320g) bread flour
- 1 tbsp (9g) active dry yeast
- ¾ tsp (3g) fine salt
- ½ cup (120g) whole milk 90°F - 95°F
- ¼ cup (56g) sugar
- 3 tbsp (42g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 whole egg, room temperature
- 1 egg
- 2tbsp whole milk
- 3 tbsp (42g) unsalted butter
Making the Tangzhong
Mix the ingredients for the tangzhong in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Whisk quickly until the mixture is sticky and tacky, which will take about 1-2 minutes. At first it will be slow, but as it comes together, the mixture will thicken up very quickly. Once it’s very thick, remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
Activate the Yeast
Bring milk to 90°F - 95°F on a stove over low heat. Transfer milk to a cup or bowl, mix in yeast and let sit for about 10 minutes. The yeast should bubble up. If not, your milk may not be in the correct temperature range.
Making the Dough
Whisk bread flour, salt and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add tangzhong, milk and yeast mixture and room temperature egg and place dough hook in. Start mixing on low (if you don’t have a mixer, you can knead the dough with your hands in the dough) until the ingredients start to bind together. Once the ingredients come together, turn the mixer to medium and start adding butter slowly ⅓ at a time. Mix for 5-7 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and is slightly sticky.
Let the Dough Rise, Proof and Bake
Move dough to a board or flat surface and roll into a tight ball (or boule) by rotating it around the board. Place into a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise at room temperature for 1-2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
After 1-2 hours, uncover, punch down dough and place onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 12 roughly equal sized portions and roll each portion into balls by rotating them on the board. Place dough balls in a 9x13in baking pan and equally space out. If you don’t have this exact size pan, that’s ok. You can use almost any size pan that fits the dough, but we recommend it to be at least 2 inches tall.
Cover pan with a damp towel and let it proof for 1-2 hours at room temperature. After proofing, remove towel, brush with egg and milk mixture (egg wash) and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 30 minutes.
Finish It Off With Butter
While the bread is in the oven, put the cold butter into a small saucepan and gently melt. Remove from heat once melted. After about 30 minutes, the top of the bread should be a nice golden brown, which is a sign that it’s time to take it out of the oven.
Immediately after removing from the oven, brush the top of the rolls with the melted butter and sprinkle with salt. These sweet milk bread rolls are ready to eat as soon as they’re cool enough to handle.