March 27, 2013

Easter Bunny shaped Bread / Hokkaido Milk Bread with Tangzhong (Softest White Bread)

Rabbits soft and cuddly
Baby chickens, too.
Easter eggs for baskets
White and pink and blue.
Easter cards of greeting,
Music in the air,
Lilies just to tell us
It's Easter everywhere.
Are you a fan of the warm, extremely soft and freshly baked bread? If yes, which I would assume is the unanimous choice, then you should try this out!! 
Versatile dough

This recipe yields such soft, delicious loaves of bread or other favorite forms such as buns, Hawaiian rolls, Pav/Pao bhaji rolls, Stuffed breads, Cinnamon rolls etc.

Softest White Bread Ever!

Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen came up with Hokkaido Milk Bread for this month’s baking challenge and I am so glad I joined the guild. I can’t thank her enough for sharing this beautiful recipe. Believe me, I have made 4 batches of this bread in the past month alone but we just keep running out of it in a few days– Isn't that enough to prove how good these are? Aparna also shared tips on how to transform the dough into cutsie animal shapes like Hedgehogs and Tortoise which I think is extremely creative. But since Easter is almost round the corner, I settled on some Bunny shaped bread to please my little munchkin.

A very Happy Easter to all of you!! 
Hope you all have a great time with your family and friends.

Original Recipe from 65 Degrees Tangzhong “65C Bread Doctor” by Yvonne Chen, and adapted from Kirbie’s Cravings

Yields: One 9*5 Loaf and 5 Rolls OR 3-4 Bunny shaped Bread
For The Tangzhong (Flour-Water Roux)
1/3 cup - All-purpose flour
1/2 cup - Water
1/2 cup - Milk
For The Dough:
2 1/2 cups - All-purpose flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp - Salt
2 Tbsp - Powdered milk
2 Tsp - Instant dried yeast
1/2 cup - Milk (and a little more if needed)
1/8 Cup - Cream (25% fat)
1/3 Cup - Tangzhong (use HALF of the tangzhong from above)
1/4 Tsp - Salt
2 Tbsp (25gm) - Unsalted butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
For Glaze
4 Tbsp – Cream or Milk
For Bunny Bread
Raisins or Mini chocolate chips to make eyes
Fondant to make teeth and whiskers

For Tangzhong (Flour-Water Roux):
  • Whisk flour, water and milk in a saucepan until smooth and there are no lumps.
  • Place the saucepan on the stove, and over medium heat, let the roux cook till it starts thickening.
  • Keep whisking constantly so that no lumps form and the roux is smooth.
  • If you have a thermometer, cook the roux/ tangzhong till it reaches 65C (150F) and take it off the heat. If you don’t have a thermometer, then watch the roux/ tangzhong until you start seeing “lines” forming in the roux/ tangzhong as you whisk it. Take the pan off the heat at this point.
  • Let the roux/ tangzhong cool completely and rest for about 2 to 3 hours at least. It will have the consistency of a soft and creamy crème patisserie. If not using immediately, transfer the roux a air tight container and store in the fridge for about a day.
  • Discard the leftover Tangzhong
For Bread Dough:
  • In the food processor pulse the flour, salt, sugar, powdered milk and instant yeast a couple of times to mix.
  • In another small bowl mix the milk, cream and Tangzhong till smooth
  • With the food processor running pour the liquid mixture through the feeding tube
  • Run on slow speed until the dough comes together.
  • Now add the butter and process until you have smooth and elastic dough which is just short of sticky.
  • The dough will start out sticky but kneading will make it smooth.
  • If the dough feels firm and not soft to touch, add a couple of Tsps of milk till it becomes soft and elastic.
  • When the dough is done, you should be able to stretch the dough without it breaking right away. When it does break, the break should be form a circle.
  • Form the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl turning it so it is well coated.
  • Cover with a wet towel, and let the dough rise for about 45 minutes or till almost double in volume.
  • Place the dough on your working surface. You don’t need flour to work or shape this dough.
  • Shape the dough into desired shape and spray some oil on it (See this video on tip on how to shape the dough
  • Cover with a wet towel and leave the dough to rise for about 45 minutes.
  • Carefully brush the tops of the rolls and the loaf with milk (or cream) and bake them at 170C (325F) for about 20 to 30 minutes until they are done (if you tap them they’ll sound hollow) and beautifully browned on top.
  • Let them cool in the tins for about 5 minutes and then unmold and transfer to a rack till slightly warm or cool.
Notes and Tips
  • Make sure the you place the dough in a large bowl while proofing it so that it doesn’t rise and stick to the wet towel
  • If you live in a cold region like me, heat the oven to 40C or 100F and switch it OFF. Switch the oven light on and place the dough for proofing in the warm oven. But please make sure you switch off the oven before you place the dough.
  • Please watch this video before you make this bread as it give you a fair idea of the procedure. 
  • This is very versatile dough. You can make into a plain loaf, or dinner rolls. You can fill the rolls with sweet or savory fillings. You can even shape the dough into knots, or cute little animals. This dough also makes the softest Pav/ Pao for Pav Bhaji.
  • Tangzhong can be refrigerated for a day or 2.
  • This is mildly sweet bread. If you want to make a savory version, with or without filling, you can cut down the sugar to 1 tbsp and add another 1/4 tsp of salt.
  • The recipe below asks for a small amount of cream as an ingredient. The cream does make a slight difference in texture, but you can use all milk instead.
  • To make this vegan, replace the milk with water and the butter with oil.


  1. wow, looks really cute! I so love the softness of hokkaido bread ( and hokkaido chiffon cupcakes!). happy easter to you and your lil one!

  2. sooooo cuttteee!! both the breads nd ur gal!! the texture luks awesome!!

    Ongoing Event- Mummy Ka Magic

  3. Am so in love with this super cute idea...loved the bunnies. Happy Easter!!

  4. they look really lovely shema... beautiful.. i don't think i would have been able to eat them... :)

  5. Stunning, so good and utmost pleasing to look at. I admire your great baking skills and thumbs up for that.

  6. Shema, thakarkuvanallo...loved all ur recent all geared up for Easter alle? Happy Easter dear...hope you and your family have an awesome celebration!

    Loved the bunnies...hats off to your creative thinking!

  7. looks beautiful... and wonderful photos to compliment your hard work shema

  8. That looks like lot of fun to play with the dough...I bet kids would love it.

  9. Bunny bread looks cute but the soft bread texture is a winner out here. I have to try this bread sometime!

  10. Oh now u r tempting to bake this...they looks super cute and ur little one is a cute model indeed,loved her frocks and her cute expression :)

  11. Looks lovely and tempting..cute.

  12. I did not bake anything special this Easter for some reason. I love your idea and your creativity! Looks so cute and so delicious. Well done! Thank you dear-)

  13. That is so cute and creative. Love it!

  14. Beautiful clicks,inviting bread..yummy!!

  15. Awwww! These bunny shaped bread looks AMAZING!!! SUPER CUTE! My kids will adore them for sure. Your daughter is so cute! And I love her hair style. I assume her hair is naturally curled. I want to have the exact hairdo! My hair is too straight and perm won't even help. :( Seems like she had a good time!

  16. Beautiful bunnies and loved the texture of bread...Your daughters expression is so cute in those beautiful frocks...

  17. Perfect looking bunnies :) Ur daughter must have had a great time munching the soft bread :) Am ur new follower !! Please do visit mine when u have time..

  18. gorgeous bunnies and love the picture of the little one....adorable

  19. shema

    i have a question... did u shape the dough in bunny shapes and n baked them on a cookie sheets?

    1. Yes - I shaped them ...and baked them on a cookie sheet


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