The ultimate vegan recipe for soft, fluffy, Asian-style bread with a tender-but-chewy texture. Unique due to its water-roux starter technique, this recipe makes for an addictive vegan sweet bread that you can just tear layer by layer. Perfect with butter and jam for breakfast.
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese
Keyword: baking, bread, eggless, vegan
40gstrong white bread flour
For the milk bread:
400gstrong white bread flour
2tbspcoconut milk powder
125mlfull-fat coconut milkwarmed to
80gvegan butterroom temperature
For the vegan “eggwash":
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the flour and water. Stir continuously for 4-5 minutes or until the starter thickens to the consistency of mashed potato or a thick roux, about 65°C/150°F if you have a cooking thermometer. Transfer to a bowl and cover with cling film. Allow to sit until the starter gets to room temperature.
Making the dough:
Add the coconut milk, sugar and pandan paste to a saucepan and heat over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool at room temperature to about 38°C/100°F or just warm. Now add the yeast and stir. Set aside for 10 minutes until frothy.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the bread flour, coconut milk powder, and salt. Once mixed, add in the warm milk and tangzhong starter. Whisk until just combined. Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead the dough at medium-high speed for 10 minutes.
With the mixer still running, add the soft vegan butter, 1 tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated. It will feel like a lot of butter but keep it going - it will be absorbed into the dough the longer it is kneaded. Turn the speed up to high and beat for a final 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Allow to sit for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Shaping the dough:
Knock the air out of the risen dough and knead briefly to remove any large air pockets. Divide the dough into 14 equal parts (about 90g each). Keep the cut dough under cling film to prevent it from drying out or forming an unwanted skin.
Take one portion of the dough and roll into a long oblong, about 5cm (2") wide and 10cm (4") in length. Starting from the end closest to you, roll the dough into a log. Repeat with remaining dough.
Place the first seven logs seam-side up in a well-greased loaf tin (size: 1800g/4lb) for the first layer and for the second layer, place the logs seam-side down. Cover the loaf tin with cling film and allow to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes, until the dough has doubled in volume.
Preheat the oven to 175C/350F
For the vegan “eggwash":
Combine all the ingredients for the vegan "eggwash". Gently brush on top of the risen dough.
Bake in the preheated oven until the top of the bread is a nice golden brown. If the bread top colours too quickly, place a foil tent over it to prevent it from burning.
Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 5 minutes before unmolding (wearing oven gloves). the loaf should slip out easily once inverted. Allow the loaf to cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
You can turn this bread dough into a bun recipe too. Divide the dough into 14 pieces, roll into balls, transfer to a greased pan, and bake for about 35 minutes or until golden brown on top.