This condensed milk bread is incredibly soft, moist, fluffy, and bursting with milk goodness. My family's favorite part? A heavenly, sweet-milky glaze generously drizzled over the rolls.
Condensed Milk Bread Recipe
This homemade bread is both sweet and milky, and I've got a little secret that makes it extra soft and tender - it's all about using Tangzhong.
The Tangzhong method is the key to achieving this incredible texture in your milk bread with way less butter and eggs. A technique that originated in Japan involves creating a roux by mixing flour and water, which is then added to bread dough, resulting in softer, fluffier bread with improved moisture retention.
Don't let this technique intimidate you; it's simpler than you might imagine. Trust me, you've got this! And I will guide you every step of the way 😊
Now, you might be thinking, 'condensed milk? Won't that make it too sweet?' Fear not! While condensed milk is a star ingredient here, it imparts just the right amount of sweetness without overwhelming your taste buds. Trust me, you're in for a treat with this easy and super fluffy milk bread recipe!
What you need
To make condensed milk bread, all you need are these simple ingredients:
- Flour – Use all-purpose flour. I tried using bread flour and the dough became too sticky. So, let's stick to plain flour for now.
- Egg – use room temperature large egg.
- Condensed Milk - is basically sweetened concentrated milk. This is the only sweetener we will be using for the bread.
- Yeast – Use active dry yeast or instant yeast interchangeably. I always proof my yeast regardless of the type.
- Milk – Use whole milk or regular milk. Low-fat milk works well too.
- Butter – Use pure unsalted butter, the best you can find.
- Salt - To enhance the overall flavor of the bread.
Tangzhong / Roux
To make the tangzhong, you will need flour and equal portions of milk and water.
How to Make Condensed Milk Bread
Let's break it down into 8 practical steps:
- Make the tangzhong or milk-water roux.
- Proof the yeast in milk.
- Make the dough and beat using a stand mixer.
- First rise - proof in a greased bowl until double in size.
- Divide and form into dough balls and place in a baking pan.
- Second rise - until double in size.
- Bake in the oven until the top turns golden brown
- Glaze with condensed milk and butter mixture.
Although it may seem like a lengthy process, the preparation is minimal, and it's easier than you might think. And like any other bread recipe, the hardest part is waiting (and doing nothing) for the dough to rise.
Tips on how to make Tangzhong
- Start with a cold pot to prevent lumps from forming. Combine all the ingredients together in a pot. Don't turn on the heat yet. Once the flour has completely dissolved, turn on the heat and set it to medium heat.
- Whisk continuously until a smooth paste forms. This roughly takes 2 ½ minutes to 3 minutes. Use a kitchen timer to prevent overcooking.
- Do not use high heat - Cook gently over low to medium heat to prevent burning and ensure even cooking.
- Tanzhong is ready when it reaches a thick, pudding-like consistency.
- Let the roux cool to room temperature before adding to the rest of the dough ingredients.
Make the Dough
And here's how to make the sweet bread dough:
Some helpful tips:
- Use room temperature ingredients which include the egg, milk, and softened butter.
- Cut the butter into small pieces while it is still cold then let it soften before adding to the dough mixture.
- Using a stand mixer with a large mixing bowl is the most convenient method for kneading the dough, especially if you're not an experienced bread maker. It simplifies the process of working with sticky dough.
- If the dough is too wet and sticky, you can add a maximum of 4 tablespoons of flour to adjust the consistency.
- Knead the dough on medium speed for 10 to 15 minutes scraping the bowl every now and then.
Note: After kneading, the dough will still have a slightly sticky consistency due to the presence of condensed milk. Don't worry, it will be less sticky after the first rise.
Divide and Shape
Following the initial rise, portion and shape the dough. Given its sticky nature, it's more manageable to shape it into balls rather than attempting to roll it out like a cinnamon roll.
- Divide the dough into 16 equal portions and shape each into a smooth ball. For consistent-sized bread rolls, consider using a food scale to weigh each piece of dough before shaping. I find that my rolls typically weigh around 48 grams each, ensuring uniformity.
- Prepare the baking pan by greasing all sides and bottom with vegetable oil or butter. Line the bottom with parchment paper to make it easier to remove the baked bread from the pan without sticking or tearing.
- Place the rolls in the pan seam side down and arrange them ½ inch apart.
- Brush with egg wash to give the rolls a beautiful golden and shiny brown color.
- The total baking time of condensed milk bread is 20 to 22 minutes at an oven temperature of 180°C /350°F,
Glaze and Serve
Let the freshly baked bread cool until it's warm enough to touch. Transfer it onto a serving plate, and generously brush the top with a mixture of condensed milk and butter. Pair it with your favorite beverage like coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, and enjoy the deliciousness!
Storage and Shelf-life
Allow the bread to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing or storing. Wrap the bread in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to create an airtight seal. You can also use a resealable plastic bag. Ensure there are no gaps or openings that could allow air in.
Freshly baked milk bread stored at room temperature is best consumed within 2-3 days. If refrigerated, it can last up to a week, though it may become slightly dry. To minimize this, double-wrap it to prevent moisture loss and odors from the refrigerator.
The Softest Condensed Milk Bread
- 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 small egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 3 tablespoons condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (softened or melted)
- Combine flour, milk, and water in a cold pot. Stir until the flour is completely dissolved.
- Turn on heat to medium and cook for 2-3 minutes while continuously stirring. Use a timer to prevent overcooking. It is done when it starts to leave flour streaks on the bottom of the pot and hold its shape.
- Remove from heat. Set aside to allow it to cool completely.
- Warm milk - Place milk in a microwave-safe cup. Heat for 20 seconds. Check if the temperature is LUKEWARM by dipping your finger or a kitchen thermometer. If it's still cold, heat for another 10 seconds until it reaches 40c/104f.
- Proof yeast - Add yeast, stir, and let it proof for 10 minutes until it bubbles.
- Combine flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk to combine. Add condensed milk, yeast-milk mixture, egg, and starter. Stir with a spatula until just combined.
- Knead the dough - Attach the dough hook and turn the mixer on to the lowest speed. Beat for 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-low then add the cubes of butter in 3 to 4 increments. Stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Increase speed to medium-high. Beat for 10 to 15 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl every now and then. While beating, add flour until the dough becomes less sticky. Start with 2 tablespoons and go from there. I added about 3-4 tablespoons more. Don't add too much. The dough will still have a slightly sticky consistency due to the presence of condensed milk.
- Wipe or spray the sides and bottom of the bowl with oil. Form the dough into a ball and place it back in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm spot for 1 hour or until it doubles in size (note 3).
- Grease the sides and bottom of the baking pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Divide rolls - Remove the plastic wrap and punch the dough down. Transfer onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 16 portions and form into a smooth ball. For an evenly sized dough, use a kitchen scale. Mine was about 48g each. Adjust based on your preference.
- Transfer the rolls to the prepared baking pan. Cover with cling wrap and let it rise until double in size. This could take 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 180°C /350°F, 20 minutes before the dough rolls finish rising.
- Make the egg wash by combining the egg and milk in a small ball. Beat with a fork until combined.
- Gently brush the top of each roll with egg wash. This is optional.
- Bake - Place the bread in the lower oven rack and bake for approximately 20 to 22 minutes, or until the top turns light brown.
- Transfer to a rack when the bread has slightly cooled. Continue to cool until just warm.
Glaze and Serve
- Make the glaze - Combine butter and condensed milk in a small bowl. Stir until it becomes smooth.
- Brush bread rolls with condensed milk glaze. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- Yeast - use instant yeast/ rapid rise yeast or active dry yeast interchangeably. If you're sure that your instant yeast is not expired, you can add it directly to the dry ingredients without the need for proofing.
- Butter - Cut into small pieces while still cold then let it soften before adding to the dough mixture.
- Proofing the dough - For colder months, I use the oven to prove the dough. Preheat oven to the lowest temperature for 5 minutes, turn it off then place the bowl inside. Warning: Use a heat-proof cling wrap or a damp towel instead of a regular cling wrap if you're proofing in a warm oven.
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