Saffron and cardamon infused milk bread. A yellow fluffy cloud.
When I first tore this bread open and saw the pillow soft interior, I had to stop my self from shoving my face into it.
It was like a puffy cloud. The texture was like cotton candy.
I love making this hoikkado style milk bread. Each time i make it i adapt it into something else,
The recipe was originally in the cookbook, A common table by Cynthia Chen McTernan from Two red bowls. But i have adjusted it slightly each time.
Because it is made with a tangzhong paste the bread seems to stay really soft and fresh for ages.
It was still perfect for toast, and french toast after 6 days covered in a tin.
I used some of the left overs for an overnight marmalade french toast bake.
Adding the saffron and cardamon added a lovely colour and flavour to the dough.
Saffron and cardamon milk bread
The instructions seem a bit fiddly but it is honestly such an easy loaf of bread to make.
I make the dough the night before and let it rise overnight in the fridge.
You can stain the saffron strands if you like, but i decided to keep them in.
The dough is basically the same as a hokkaido milk bun loaf, famous in japan.
I was inspired to use cardamon as originally i was going to make some semla buns. However while i was looking in the cupboard for it i found the saffron.
The two together work wonderfully.
What is a Hokkaido milk bun?
If you have no idea what a Hokkaido milk bun is, don’t worry i hadn’t heard of it either until last year.
Basically it is bread made with milk, dried milk powder and most importantly tangzhong paste.
The tangzhong is a paste made with flour and water and mixed in a pan over heat to make a gel like roux, it is then added to the dough.
To make the milk bread I adapted the recipe in the cookbook, A common table by Cynthia Chen McTernan from Two red bowls
Saffron and cardamon infused milk bread
- Stand mixer with dough hook
- 2 tbsp water
- 6 tbsp strong bread flour
- 3/4 cup whole milk (plus 1 tbsp extra) about 185 ml
- 1 gram saffron strands
- 6 green cardamon pods
- 2 and a half cups strong bread flour 320g
- 1 7g sachet fast action yeast
- 1/3 cup caster sugar 40g
- 1 tbsp non fat dry milk powder or condensed milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large egg plus one mixed with a tbsp milk for glaze
- 3 tbsp softened butter
- The night before, or at least two hours before baking
(I have always made it the night before) : bash the cardamon pods lightly and place in a small sauce pan with the milk and saffron. bring the milk just to the boil. leave saffron and cardamon to infuse Set aside to cool slightly. remove the cardamon pods.
- Now make the tangzhong: in a small sauce pan add the water and flour and whisk until no lumps remain. Heat over a medium/low heat whisking constantly until the mixture resembles a roux like gel, about 2 minutes. As soon as lines begin to appear in the mixture when it is stirred, remove from the heat and transfer to a small clean bowl and allow to cool down to room temperature.
- Prepare the dough: When the milk is just warm and no longer hot, about 100f to 110f, sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile in the bowl of your stand mixer add the flour, salt, sugar and milk powder and mix.
- Once the yeast has foamed, add the egg and tangzhong and whisk together until well combined.
- Turn your mixer on and pour in the liquid and start mixing with the dough hook. sometimes when i make this i find i need to Add 1 more tbsp milk now (different brands of flour can absorb liquid differently and even the method of storing flour can effect how much moisture it already has in it. you are looking for a soft dough so add more milk if you need to.
- After the dough has been mixing for two minutes add the butter in small chunks a bit at a time and making sure it is combined before you add the next chunk. Turn the mixer up and knead for another 3 to 5 minutes.
- The dough should be well kneaded and no longer sticking to the side of the bowl showing that gluten has built up
- Place the dough in a large bowl, so it has space to rise and cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge over night until it has doubled in size. (alternatively let is rise in a cool place for 2 hours)
- The next day: remove the dough from the fridge. when I do this over night method I like to leave the bowl on the work top for 30 minutes so it can get back to room temperature, but I’m not sure that step is essential.
- Shape the dough as desired. I rolled it out into a large rectangle and folded it in half and cut it into equal pieces and rolled it up and placed them in a lined baking tin. I also made some buns.
- Leave to rise again for 1 hour, until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 180c 350f. Mix an egg with a tsp of milk and brush the top of the loaf.
- Bake for 30/40 minutes until golden brown, or an instant read thermometer inserted into the middle reads 200f (at 30 minutes it was quite brown so I covered the top with some foil so it didn’t burn.