Last week my family went to North Carolina. I would have liked to join them, but my ears were acting up so I chose to stay home in the quiet and take care of the dogs. And I missed all the fun! They drove through Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina and ended up in a cute town called Davidson. If you are a baker, you may recognize Davidson as the home of Kindred, a restaurant famous for their bread. Kindred’s “Milk Bread” is a soft, fluffy, white bread made using a Japanese method of mixing a roux starter (tangzhong) in with the dough. It sounds complicated, but I can attest that it’s pretty simple because I made a batch while waiting for the family to fly home.
The recipe I used is the one on Food 52, but I had to make some adjustments since I only needed one loaf. If you plan on making the full batch I recommend using the original version, but this one should work well for one 9×5 inch loaf. Just be sure to use a 9×5 inch pan rather than an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2! I used the smaller size and the loaf baked way high up over the sides of the pan.
Here’s my version with some adjustments. I made one loaf and it only took 35 minutes. The original recipe says to bake the bread for 50 minutes, but most of the comments say their loaves were done in 30-40. It looks like the original recipe calls for Diamond Crystals salt. This is a less salty salt and recipes require a little more of it. If you are using normal salt or Morton kosher (blue box), 1 1/2 teaspoons should work perfectly. For the yeast I used Platinum quick rising yeast. I haven’t tested this with any other brand but Platinum, but it worked really well. I have not yet made this as rolls, but will update when I do.
Kindred Inspired Japanese Milk Bread
- 2 ½ cups 12 1/2 oz plus 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons of bread flour (.75 oz)
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 ½ tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt Morton kosher
- 1 envelope Platinum yeast fast rising
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
- Eggwash a little beaten egg mixed with a little water
- Combine the 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons of flour and the 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a thick paste forms. Add cream and honey and cook, whisking to blend, until honey dissolves. This should only take a few minutes.
- Scrape mixture into a stand mixer bowl and add the milk powder, salt, 2 ½ cups of flour and Platinum yeast. Stir with the paddle attachment or by hand until things start to look pretty well blended, then beat in the egg.
- Attach the dough hook and let the machine knead the mixture until smooth. When dough starts to look smooth, add pieces of butter (mixer still going) and continue kneading for another 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. It is a soft dough and just slightly sticky. You should be able to move it around with a scraper.
- Rub a large bowl with butter or grease with oil or spray with cooking spray, then scrape the elastic dough into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan. If you want, you can grease, then line with a strip of parchment, then grease and flour again.
- Turn out dough onto a floured surface (I just punched it down in the bowl) and divide into 2 pieces. (I just grabbed half). Shape into two cylinders about the length of the loaf pan, then set them side-by-side to create 2 rows down length of the pan.
- Cover loosely with a greased piece of plastic wrap and let shaped dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size (dough should be just puffing over top of pan), about 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Beat remaining egg with 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl to blend. Brush top of dough with egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt (I did not do this), if desired.
- Bake the bread (you can rotate the loaf pan halfway through if you need to) until bread is deep golden brown and baked through, about 35 minutes.