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The pleasures of making a Matcha-Milk Tangzhong Bread [VIDEO]

This pillowy soft Matcha-Milk Tangzhong Bread made using the tangzhong method weaves together milk and matcha dough to create a lovely fluffy loaf!

I don’t have any life-story to share with you today; only the story of the ridiculous bouts of indecision I’ve been going through when it came to sharing this Matcha-Milk Tangzhong Bread post.

See, I filmed me making this a while back and when I transferred it to my computer and watched the footage it didn’t quite look as good as I anticipated. It was dark and the angles felt all wonky. So I kept putting it off and putting it off until I started filming my recipe videos at an area of the house that has better lighting.

And as you all know, with cameras better lighting always means better images and videos. So I kind of felt like putting this out now would seem kind of strange. There’s definitely a noticeable difference, mostly to me since I’m the one producing this.

On the other hand, I really wanted to put up a video about tangzhong bread on my blog. What the heck is a tangzhong bread anyway? It’s actually that super-soft bread from Asian bakeries, and it’s made using a water roux which I will be showing you in the video below. It’s a genius but simple method that creates crazy soft bread that I adore.

Recipe notes

I’ve wanted to share a video like this for a while now but hadn’t had the time to film a new one. Considering the fact that this Matcha-Milk Tangzhong Bread is THE BOMB, I decided that putting it up it wouldn’t be so bad ultimately. Just bear with me on this older video for now. 🙂

The tangzhong method requires just a bit of work compared to normal yeast breads, but I find the extra step of making the water roux totally worth it for the kind of bread that gets created. I am always so amazed by the texture of Asian breads made this way, and frankly speaking, I don’t think I’ve ever made and tangzhong bread that I didn’t like.

It’s not just the texture, but that lightly sweet taste of the bread as well that lends itself to so many variations using just one base recipe. And oh, the things you can make with it! I’ll be writing about more tangzhong bread soon. 😉

When you enter an Asian bakery, it looks as if they carry hundreds of differently shaped breads with all the fillings you can imagine– from savoury curry to sweet bean rolls– but they’re pretty much using just one base tangzhong bread recipe to make all that bread! Today’s recipe is for a woven loaf with matcha, but you can do matcha and chocolate or chocolate and milk combinations with this recipe as well.

As always with all tangzhong breads, this one has a fabulous pillowy soft texture. But I found the matcha flavour to be a bit too light, so I think maybe rounding up the matcha to 2 tablespoons would be a good move.

Oddly enough, the matcha flavour comes out more when I eat this with a chocolate spread. It does smell so nice though. And as I mentioned, if you don’t have matcha powder, you can just use cocoa powder.

Matcha & Milk Tangzhong Bread

This pillowy soft bread made using the tangzhong method weaves together milk and matcha dough to create a lovely fluffy loaf!

Makes one 9-inch loaf


For the Tangzhong

  • 1/3 cup bread flour
  • 1 cup water

For the dough

  • cups bread flour
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 to ½ cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 120 grams tangzhong, just a little over half of above recipe
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature
  • 1½ to 2 Tablespoons matcha green tea powder
  • Egg wash, 1 egg with a bit of milk or water


Make the tangzhong

  • 1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk flour into the water until completely dissolved and no lumps remain.
  • 2. Set the pan on the stove at medium heat and begin to stir as the mixture heats up. To avoid burning, stir constantly until the mixture begins to thicken. Keep stirring until the mixture forms lines right on the path where you stir your spoon. (If using a thermometer, stir until the temperature of the mixture reaches 65°C.)
  • 3. Turn off the heat and take the mixture off the stove. Transfer immediately to a bowl to stop the cooking process and let cool. Press clingfilm right on the surface to prevent the tangzhong from forming skin. Let cool to room temperature before using, or place in the fridge up to 2 days if not using right away. (Make sure to use within a few days as this does not keep well.)

Make the dough

  • 4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast. Make a well in the center, then add in 1/4 cup of milk first, egg, and tangzhong.
  • 5. Using a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients together briefly until shaggy dough is formed. Add in butter pieces, then attach the bowl to the stand mixer.
  • 6. Using the dough hook, knead the dough on medium speed for about 10 to 20 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. (Add more milk as necessary.) The dough will be quite sticky and will look a bit wet, but to check if the dough is ready, you should be able to take a chunk of dough and gently stretch it to a very thin translucent membrane before it breaks. When it does break, a circular hole-like shape on the stretched dough should form. This is the windowpane test.
  • 7. Take out the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface, and gently knead into a round by hand. Split the ball of dough into half and return one half into the mixer bowl, reattaching it to the stand mixer. The other half goes into a lightly greased large bowl to proof.
  • 8. To the dough in the mixer bowl, add matcha powder and continue kneading with the dough hook for about 2 minutes on medium speed or until matcha powder is thoroughly incorporated. Transfer this dough into another lightly greased bowl, cover with cling wrap or a towel, and let proof alongside the plain dough until doubled in size, about 60 minutes.
  • 9. Once both dough have completed their first rise, punch down and transfer to a floured surface. Working on the dough one at a time, knead briefly before dividing each dough into four equal portions. You should end up with 4 green and 4 white pieces of dough, or 8 pieces in total. Knead each portion into balls, cover with cling wrap once again, and let rest for 15 minutes to relax the gluten.
  • 10. Using a rolling pin, roll out each round of dough into an oval shape roughly 6 x 4-inches. Take one piece of rolled-out matcha dough and put on top of a rolled-out white dough. Run the rolling pin a few times on top of the stacked dough so that the two begin to stick together.
  • 11. Take one short end of the dough and fold just to the center of the oval, then take the other end and fold to meet the top. It will look like a folded letter.
  • 12. Flip dough over with the folds facing down and flatten with the rolling pin. Flip dough over again so the folds face upwards then roll the dough up like you would a Swiss roll. Place the rolled-up dough into the bread pan. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
  • 13. Once all the rolled-up pieces of dough are in the loaf pan, place plastic wrap or a towel over the rolls. Let rise a second time until doubled in size, another 40 to 60 minutes.
  • 14. In a small bowl, beat an egg and add a scant teaspoon of water or milk for egg wash. Once dough has risen sufficiently, brush egg wash on top and sprinkle with some sesame seeds. Bake at 325°F (170°C) for 30 minutes, checking halfway if the bread is browning too fast on top. If this happens, tent your bread with aluminum foil.
  • 15. Let bread cool in pan briefly, then carefully turn out on a wire rack. The bread will be soft so be gentle! Slice through the bread with a sharp knife, making sure not to squash it while doing so. This bread is best eaten warm.


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  • Bonnie

    I was looking for a matcha bread recipe as part of my new obsession with matcha and when I saw your pictures, I knew I had to follow this one. Your bread looks just like the ones you would find in Asian bakeries! I doubled the batch and made both a loaf and rolls. They’re turning out gorgeous and smell phenomenal! Thanks for the amazing and easy-to-follow recipe and video 🙂

  • kimmy

    I made these bread today and my family absolutely love it.The softest yet the tastiest bread i had ever made.Thanks for recipe.Gonna be making this again

  • Evelyn

    May I ask 2 1/2 cups of flour is equivalent to how many grams? Because I’m following your recipe but my dough seems to be a little dry and I’ve also used more than 120grams of tz and it should make the dough a little moist. Thanks

      • Evelyn

        Then I thjnk I’ve got my calculation of the flour wrongly.. I followed per cup but followed the ml amount of it..hence the flour is more..

        Do you have a conversion in grams for the flour and also butter?

        • Clarisse

          Oh so that’s why. I thought it was really strange that your dough would come out dry. Normally the issue with tangzhong dough is that it is too soft and sticky to handle. For flour and most of the other dry baking ingredients you really have to use grams if you don’t like to use cup measurements.

          2-1/2 cups flour = 320 grams
          3 Tablespoons butter = about 42 grams

          You can also find the conversion info for the other ingredients by Googling. Let me know how it goes with the new measurements. 🙂

  • Ying Yu

    Hi, I tried your recipe. It’s really soft! Thanks for the great recipe!!! The only problem is it collapsed after I turn it on the rack to cool.. it just seemed too soft to hold. May I know what I did wrong?

  • Skye

    I just made this and it turned out great! I had to use some whole wheat bread flour mixed with all-purpose flour because I didn’t have any regular bread flour, but I just kneaded it longer and it was fine. Had to let it proof for almost 2 hours each time because it’s so cold right now 😛 and I must say, the dough was VERY sticky and wet, but if you just struggle through it, it will turn out so nice.

  • naomi

    Hi Clarisse, thanks for the recipe and the clear instructions! just wanted to check if it’s necessary to grease the loaf pan? thank you!

    • Clarisse

      Hi Kori! Yes, you may use all-purpose flour for this. Bread flour has a higher protein content and forms a more elastic dough and chewy bread, but if you use all-purpose it’s likely the bread will come out with a lighter crumb. The difference will probably be minimal though when it comes down to eating it.

  • Kat

    Is it possible to overknead it in the mixer? I doubled up the recipe hoping to make 2 loaf but it’s mixing for almost 30 mins now and still not getting the thin membrane look. It’s actually looking stickier :/

    • Clarisse

      Hi Kat, this does make a really sticky dough. I’ve never tried doubling the recipe so I’m not sure how long it will exactly take to knead, but over 30 minutes seems fairly reasonable since a single batch already takes 20 minutes. Keep kneading and checking the dough until the gluten is formed enough to pass the windowpane test. Even then it will be very sticky, but being able to pass the windowpane test indicates that it should be ready for the next step.

      If you redo this recipe in the future, you can try starting out with less milk and then adding more as needed so that the dough won’t feel too wet.

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