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Smooth, Silky, Delicious – Japanese Milk Buns

Updated: Nov 7, 2021

Where else would you find a recipe for the silkiest, smoothest, and absolutely delicious Japanese Milk Bread, but on a used car dealership website? Right?

Maxwell Smart would ask; “Who done it?” And of course , brought to you by Discount Motor City, the best of the Surrey used car dealerships, located on the used car Surrey strip at 12882 King George Blvd.

Anyone who has made this bread will say definitively, these are some of the best buns around. And to reminisce, my mom used to make these for every Sunday dinner. A spread to behold.

The smells, the visual impact of all the fantastic food; the beef roast just out of the oven and golden brown. The gravy and mashed potatoes with candied carrots sparkling on the table.

And, I have not even mentioned the dessert. But, those Japanese Milk Buns, hot and steamy right out of the oven were to behold. Break one open slap on a chunk of butter and into the mouth. A burst of soft, creamy taste, dreamy, delicious, and to me, better than brioche.

Easy to Make Too

I do not use yeast when making mine. I use sourdough starter, a batch that began more than 100 years ago which I was fortunate to get a small amount to keep it going forward. If you want a starter package, write me at and I will let you know how I can happily get you some.

And, while I am on the advertising, if you are looking for a great used car, give Carlo a call at Discount Motor City at (604) 765 6999. Carlo has an encyclopedic memory when it comes to used cars and our inventory changes very fast so not all our vehicles are on our website. Carlo may just be able to tell you about something that no one else even knows about.

The Japanese Milk Buns

Oh yea, the Japanese Milk Buns. Oops, sorry, back to the recipe:

There are two parts to this recipe. Don't be put off. They are easy.

Part 1: You Need a Flour Roux

This easily made mixture is needed later in the second part of the recipe.

Take 3 tbsps. butter from the fridge to soften and one egg – used in Step 2

In a small non-stick saucepan add the 1/4 cup of flour and the 100 ml full-fat milk. Best to use a minimum of 18% fat content.

Heat slowly, mixing to remove lumps and preventing burning. Continue until all you have is a paste in the pot. This is your Roux.

Cool before using in the second step – I drop mine into the freezer to “flash” cool, but watch that it does not begin to freeze.

Part 2: Make the Buns

Most people talk about using food mixers – I have never used one and in our kitchen one would take up too much space. My mixer is the combination of my hand, arm and shoulder. Add in a little elbow grease and stir for a few minutes.

In a large bowl add:

... 1 ½ cups of flour.

... 2 tsp yeast, or with my sourdough starter, I use ½ cup of starter.

... 2 tbsps. Sugar. In a pinch I have even used brown sugar.

... 1 tsp salt

Mix together with a spatula.


... The one egg

... The 3 tbsps. butter

... The Roux made in Step 1 above.

Be careful with this next part. It is important to add the cream slowly until you have the correct consistency - which is the same as with making bread. Add:

... Approximately 2/3 cup cream if using sourdough starter

... Approximately ¾ cup of cream if using yeast

Mix well for a good 5 – 6 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.

Dust flour on a counter surface and place the dough on it.

Fold by stretching the dough and folding, then pressing down. Turn 1/4 turn and do again, continuing for a few minutes. Some suggest to knead the dough. I do not treat my dough that roughly.

A transition will take place with your dough; it will become smooth and visually will look really nice.

Lightly grease a clean bowl – I use butter for this. Form the dough into a ball and place into the bowl, cover with plastic and let rise to double in size.

Using yeast, the rising will take about 1 hour. With sourdough starter, the rise takes about 2 hours, but the taste is well worth the wait.

When ready, remove from the bowl and place on your flour-dusted surface. Press the dough down forming into a rough rectangle. Remember, you do not have to knead your dough. I treat it like I do my wife; with love, kindness, softness and respect.

Flatten gently and fold by stretching and folding, turning ¼ turn and pressing down. The same as done with the folding and stretching above.

After a couple of minutes, with a final press down into a rectangular shape, roll into a log and cut into a dozen pieces. Roll into balls and place into a butter-greased, floured pan with sides of about 5 - 7 cm (2 – 3 inches) high.

A note about the pan. I love cooking with Emile Henry pans, made in France. Gorgeous, but a bit expensive. You can see mine by Clicking Here. I have bought all my Emile Henry pans at the Hudson's Bay because of their competitive prices and great service. Pyrex and metal pans work well too.

For an example of a Pyrex dish, Click Here, and for a metal pan, Click Here.

Cover with a flour-dusted tea towel and let buns rise until double in size. About 15 minutes before ready, pre-heat your oven to 180°C (400°F). And, for a trick that I use, add a pan of water to the bottom of your oven to create a moist environment, which helps the dough.

To get a deep brown top on the buns, lightly brush with an egg mix, thinned with a little water.

Bake for 30 minutes. If the buns are getting too brown for your liking, cover with tinfoil for the push to the finish.

Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before touching. The waiting is the hardest part. Flip the pan over to remove the buns and folks suggest cooling on a wire rack. Ha, if they last that long.

Mom would put them on the Sunday dinner table when warm. With four guys waiting and lips licking in anticipation, the Japanese Milk Buns never lasted for very long. Something like our quality used cars at Discount Motor City, the best of the Surrey used car dealerships.

Discount Motor City, Used Cars, Surrey, BC

That is it for today; at Discount Motor City, we will happily help you find the best of quality used cars for sale in Surrey, in a no push, no pressure and friendliest environment – even during this time of crisis we are open every day, taking extreme measures to keep ourselves and our customers safe.

Please enjoy making these Japanese Milk Buns and if you want some sourdough starter, write to me at

Best wishes from us all at Discount Motor City, the best of the used car dealerships, Surrey. Please be safe and give Carlo a call at (604) 765 6999 if you have any questions about used cars. We are here to help any way we can.

Discount Motor City

12882 King George Blvd., Surrey, BC

Telephone: (60-4) 628 0400 Email:

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