Chinese Fluffy Milk Bread
Chinese Sweet Bread is a staple in all Chinese bakeries. The bread is soft and pillowy and just melts in your mouth with a slightly sweet flavor. The crust is perfectly brown and flaky. It’s gorgeous to look at…and delicious to eat. A perfect snack on any occasion and it can hold its own next to any store bought rolls or loaves.
2/3 cup (158 ml) heavy cream (at room temperature)
1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon (total 250 ml) milk (at room temperature)
1 large egg (at room temperature)
1/3 cup (115 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (about 70 grams) cake flour, tap measuring cup to avoid air pockets
3 1/2 cups (about 500 grams) bread flour, tap measuring cut to avoid air pockets
1 tablespoon (11 grams) active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) salt
Egg wash: whisk together 1 egg with 1 teaspoon water
Simple syrup (optional): 2 teaspoons of sugar dissolved in 2 teaspoons hot water
Step 1: Add the ingredients in the following order: heavy cream, milk, egg, sugar, cake flour, bread flour, yeast, and salt. Knead for about 20 to 30 minutes. The dough should be sticky to begin with. If using a stand mixer, Use the dough hook attachment, and turn on the mixer to “stir.” Let it go for 15 minutes, occasionally stopping the mixer to push the dough together. If you’re in a humid climate and the dough is too sticky, feel free to add a little more bread flour, 1 tablespoon at a time until it comes together.
Step 2: After the hour of proofing, dump the dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead for another 5 minutes to get rid of air bubbles. Make 16 pieces. Roll into balls. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
Step 3: Grease two baking pans on all sides with butter. Place the dough into each pan. Let the dough proof for another hour.
Step 4: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the risen dough with egg wash. Bake the loaves for 23-25 minutes.
Remove from the oven to a cooling rack and brush the buns with sugar water to give them a really great shine, sweetness, and color.