This super simple recipe for gluten free Japanese milk bread makes the softest recipe for batter-style gluten free bread you’ve ever seen—or tasted!
Have you ever heard of Japanese Water Roux (Tangzhong)? As a card-carrying member of the Food Dorks Academy, I love learning what other cultures do to make bread. And then I hunker down and bury myself in figuring out how to make it into gluten free bread for us. I might not be the most fun at parties any more.
But if you make this supersoft gluten free bread that stays fresh forever, you might just see that I’m tons of fun in the kitchen. And by might, I mean will. And by fun I mean hands-off-my-bread-get-your-own. I learned about this from someone else’s virtual kitchen.
I adapted it from The 350 Degree Oven: Adventures in Mika’s Kitchen. She assembles her dough differently, and I’m sure more authentically. What do I know? I’ve never been to Japan. My method of assembling the loaf is a bit simpler, since I’m fairly certain that I’m a bit simpler than Mika. And by simple I mean … simple.
This is what it looks like. I don’t really know what else to say. I think I just teared up a little.
To make the water roux, place about 1/3 cup all purpose gluten free flour and 1 cup water in a small saucepan and whisked to combine well. Cook it over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, and after almost exactly 2 minutes (yes, I timed it ), it thickened quite a lot.
Once you see the whisk leaving tracks in its wake, it’s done. Remove it from the heat right away. You don’t want to overcook it. Then, let it cool.
put it in this here container, and refrigerated it. It makes enough for 2 loaves of bread (140g water roux per loaf), and I’m definitely going to be making more gluten-free bread with this stuff. It’s magic!
The dough is shaggy. And tacky to the touch. But you’ll dust it with more flour and pat it out into a rectangle, then divide it into 6 pieces.
Then roll each piece out into a disk about 1/2 inch thick. After that, gently fold each disk over on itself from short side to short side.
Loosely stack the folded pieces of dough in a loaf pan. Make sure you don’t pack the dough in there, or it won’t bake evenly and you may have raw bits here in there in the dough even after it’s baked. You want the air to be able to circulate everywhere.
Spray the loaf with warm water, cover the pan with plastic wrap and place the pan in a warm, draft-free place to rise until it’s about 150% its original size.
Bread dough 3 cups (420 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter), plus more by the tablespoon if necessary (and extra for dusting)
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons instant (or rapid-rise or breadmaker) yeast
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) + 1 egg white (25 g)
1 cup (8 fluid ounces) warm milk (low-fat is fine, nonfat is not), about 100°F
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 c (140 g) water roux (half the yield of the recipe referred to earlier)*
First, make the water roux. You’ll make twice the amount you need for one loaf of bread, but you can store the rest in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a few days until you’re ready to make another loaf. In a small saucepan, place the roux ingredients and whisk to combine well. Cook the roux over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes or until thickened enough that the whisk is leaving a trail. Remove it from the heat immediately and allow to cool until no longer hot to the touch.
Grease and line a standard 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pan and set it aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place 3 cups of the flour, xanthan gum, cream of tartar, sugar and yeast, and whisk with a separate handheld whisk to combine well. Add the kosher salt, and whisk once again to combine. Add the vinegar, egg and egg white, milk, butter and water roux, mixing well after each addition with the mixer on low speed. Once the dry ingredients have been incorporated into the wet ingredients, turn the mixer up to high speed and allow to mix for about 5 minutes. The dough should be shaggy and tacky to the touch. If it is wet, add more flour by the tablespoon and mix to combine well until it is no longer truly wet. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, dust the top with flour, and pat into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.
Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Dust each piece with flour, and roll lightly or pat out into a flat disk about 1/2 inch thick, sprinkling with flour if there are sticky spots. Fold each disk loosely in half from one short end to the other. Stand the prepared loaf pan on one short side, and begin to stack the folded pieces of dough one behind the other, the rounded (folded) part facing up. Handle the dough gently, still taking care not to compress the dough at all. You want it to have room to rise, and to expand in the oven so it bakes evenly.Right the loaf pan on its bottom, spray the dough lightly with warm water, and cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft-free location to ris until it has reached about 150% of its original volume. While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 350°F (for a softer crust, heat the oven to only 325°F, and bake a few minutes longer).
Once the dough has finished rising, remove the plastic wrap and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove the bread from the loaf pan and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Return the bread on the baking sheet to the oven and continue to bake until the loaf is firm to the touch and sounds hollow when thumped, another 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.