Tangzhong: the Japanese method to make bread

Each time I get an email notifying me that a new post was published on Valérie’s blog “C’est ma fournée”, my heart rate increases in anticipation. That’s because each and every post from Valérie is a gem. She has the knack to unearth the best recipes, her style is brilliantly funny and her step by step explanations are fool-proof. This time is no different and she sells this bread recipe so well that I had to try it the very next day. Indeed, the secret behind this bread is that it uses a mixture of water and flour cooked at exactly 65C (Tangzhong) until thickened, left to mature for 1 day before using it in the bread dough. Apparently, cooking the flour at 65C develops the gluten levels and makes the bread extremely soft and fluffy inside. I must say that my first batch wasn’t as fluffy as the one she had made but it tasted amazing and was a fairly good loaf overall. I guess I wasn’t sure as to what flour to use for this bread. She mentions the T45 French flour, which we don’t have in Ireland, so I used what I thought was the closest match: plain flour. Next time, I’ll use the strong white flour that we normally would use for breads to see if my dough rises more…


Source: C’est ma fournée


20g bread flour
100g water

350g strong flour
100g tangzhong (you will have slightly more than 100g so don’t use it all)
40g sugar
7g salt
1 egg
110g full fat milk
7g skimmed milk powder (I didn’t put it in)
5g dried instant yeast or 15g fresh yeast
30g butter


  1. The day before, make the Tangzhong: place the water and flour in the TM bowl and cook 3 min/70C/speed 3.
  2. The mixture should be thickened. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to get the thicker bits to mix with the thinner ones and mix 10 sec/speed 6 to homogenise. Tip out into a small container and refrigerate minimum 6 hours or overnight.tangzhong_001_01
  3. The next day, place all the ingredients for the dough and mix 30 sec/37C/speed 3.
  4. Knead 3min30 at interval speed (wheat button) on the lid locked position. The dough should be quite wet. Take it out, scraping the dough out with the spatula. Let the dough rise in an oiled bowl covered with a tea cloth until doubled in size.
  5. Punch down the dough and cut into quarters. Roll one quarter on a floured surface into a rectangle.tangzhong_001
  6. Fold in 3.tangzhong_002
  7. Turn 1/4 to the right.tangzhong_003
  8. Roll again into a rectangle shape.tangzhong_004
  9. Roll over itself like a Swiss roll.tangzhong_005
  10. Place in an oiled loaf tin.tangzhong_006
  11. Repeat with the other 3 balls of dough.tangzhong_007
  12. I let it prove in the fridge covered in cling film but you can prove it in a warm place until doubled in size.tangzhong_008
  13. Preheat the oven at 150C and bake the loaf for 50 minutes.
  14. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning it onto a wire rack.tangzhong_009

6 Responses to Tangzhong: the Japanese method to make bread

  1. Wow, Nora, this is hugely interesting and thanks so much for sharing. ThermoHubby John loves soft, fluffy bread so I shall have to try this myself. Here in France I will be able to source the T45 flour but I think you’re right to use a strong bread flour, but according to Supertoinette, T45 is superfine flour, as listed here: http://www.forums.supertoinette.com/recettes_140879.lexique_de_cuisine_fran_ais_anglais.html

    Please let me know how you get on with further loaves.

    And Nora, my heart beats in anticipation every time I get notified of your new posts, too 🙂

  2. G’day! Beautiful photos and beautiful bread, true!
    I recently made this for the first time and smells amazing; can almost smell your bread through the screen too!
    Cheers! Joanne

  3. bonsoir nora,il est superbe ton pain ,surement un délice.bonne soirée bises

  4. hi,

    i’m confused. Is strong flour the same as bread flour? or plain flour?

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