Japanese Milk Bread

Japanese Milk Bread

Japanese milk bread

For the starter (Tanzhong)

1/3 cup/45 grams           bread flour
½ cup                            water
¼ cup                            whole Milk
¼ cup                             Sweet Condensed MIlk

For the dough

5 cups/650 grams          bread flour
1/2 cup/120 grams         sugar
4 tsp/14 grams                active dry yeast (2 packet)
2 tsp/8 grams                  salt (add late in the mixing)
2 ea                                 egg
1 cup/240 milliliters       warm whole milk, plus extra for brushing on the unbaked loaf
8 TBS/120 grams            unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened at room temperature, plus extra for buttering bowls and pan


1. Make the starter [tanzhong] : In a small heavy pot, whisk flour, milk and 1/2 cup water (120 milliliters) together until smooth. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often, until thickened but still pourable, about 10 minutes (it will thicken more as it cools). When it’s ready, the spoon will leave tracks on the bottom of the pot. Scrape into a measuring cup and lightly cover the surface with plastic wrap. Set aside to cool to room temperature. (You will have about 1 cup starter; see note below.) 

2. Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt and mix for a few seconds, just until evenly combined.  

3. Add egg, milk and 1 cup starter. Turn the mixer on low speed and knead 5 minutes.

4. Add soft butter and knead another 10 to 12 minutes (it will take a few minutes for butter to be incorporated), until the dough is smooth and springy and just a bit tacky.

Windowpane Test - When kneading the dough, it’s very important to do several windowpane tests to check if the dough is elastic and the gluten is fully developed. You’ll also notice the dough’s surface is much smoother when it’s almost done. The elastic dough makes the bread soft, fluffy, and slightly chewy which is what we are looking for. What you need to do is taking a small piece of the dough and gently stretch it out. If the dough is translucent and doesn’t break apart easily, that means the dough is ready for bulk fermentation.

 5. Lightly butter the inside of a bowl. Use your hands to lift dough out of mixer bowl, shape into a ball and place in prepared bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 40 to 60 minutes. (79֯ - 82֯ F) 

6. Punch the dough down and use your hands to scoop it out onto a surface. Using a bench scraper or a large knife, cut dough in half. Lightly form each half into a ball, cover again and let rise 15 minutes. 

7. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In the meantime, generously butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.  

8. Using a rolling pin, gently roll out one dough ball into a thick oval. (By this time, the dough should be moist and no longer sticky. You probably will not need to flour the surface, but you may want to flour the pin.) First roll away from your body, then pull in, until the oval is about 12 inches long and 6 inches across.  

9. Fold the top 3 inches of the oval down, then fold the bottom 3 inches of the oval up, making a rough square. Starting from the right edge of the square, roll up the dough into a fat log, pick it up and smooth the top with your hands. Place the log in the buttered pan, seam side down and crosswise, nestling it near one end of the pan. Repeat with the other dough ball, placing it near the other end of the pan.  

10. Cover and let rest 30 to 40 minutes more, until the risen dough is peeking over the edge of the pan and the dough logs are meeting in the center. Brush the tops with milk and bake on the bottom shelf of the 350֯ oven until golden brown and puffed, 25 minutes. (90֯ F) (85% Humidity) 

11. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and let cool at least 1 hour, to let the crust soften and keep the crumb lofty. (If cut too soon, the air bubbles trapped in the bread will deflate.)

Basil Lime Pistachio White Chocolate Truffles

Basil Lime Pistachio White Chocolate Truffles

basil lime pistachio white chocolate truffles


250 gm               White Chocolate (Valrhona) Additional needed for dipping
125 ml                 Heavy Cream
1 small bun         Basil fresh (Leaves only)
1 large                 Lime (juice and zest) (juice to taste)


1.       Rough Chop the chocolate and put into in a bowl.
2.       Finely zest a lime, and then juice the lime.
3.       In a small pan bring the cream and the basil leaves to simmer.
4.       Remove from heat and let the basil infuse for 5 minutes.  Then transfer into a blender and puree, strain through a fine sieve if necessary.
5.       Add the hot basil cream to the chocolate, blend until completely smooth.
6.       Whisk in the zest and lime juice.
7.       Taste the mixture- does it need more lime juice?
8.       Let the mixture cool, wrap bowl with plastic and refrigerate if needed until firm enough to shape.
9.       Scoop the mixture into small balls. 

[I recommend wearing a latex glove for the next few steps]

10.   Roll into ball shape, then line on parchment lined sheet pan.
11.   Refrigerate balls until firm.
12.   Dip balls into reserved melted white chocolate
13.   Crust with toasted coarsely chopped nut.  (My choice is pistachio)


Marsala braised veal cheeks

Marsala braised veal cheeks

Marsala Braised Veal Cheeks


2 1/4 lbs           veal cheeks, trimmed and silver skin removed
1 1/2 cups        marsala wine
2 ea                 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 ea                  carrot, peeled and chopped
1 ea                  white onion, coarsely chopped
1/3                    orange with peel intact, thickly sliced
1                       bouquet garni
4 ea                 whole star anise
1 Tbs                whole black peppercorns
2 Tbs               olive oil
2 cups              veal stock
to taste Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1 Tbs sherry vinegar


  1. Place Veal Cheeks in a large nonreactive bowl. Add the wine, celery, carrots, onions, orange, bouquet garni, star anise, and black peppercorns.

  2. Toss the ingredients gently to combine, making sure that the meat is coated in the wine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to overnight.

  3. Remove the veal cheeks from the marinade, pat dry with a paper towel, and set aside.

  4. Strain the marinade into a small bowl and reserve along with the solids, setting aside the bouquet garni on its own.

  5. Warm the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the veal cheeks and sear for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until evenly browned.

  6. Remove the cheeks and set aside. Immediately add the solids from the marinade and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or just until they begin to soften and caramelize.

  7. Return the cheeks to the saucepan. Add the boiled marinating liquid (impurities removed) and bring to a boil.

  8. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the bouquet garni and veal stock; season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil once more, then reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan. Place covered in oven at 325 degrees and let gently simmer for 2 hours, or until cheeks are very tender throughout.

  9. Remove the veal cheeks from the saucepan and set aside. Strain the braising liquid into a large sauté pan with straight sides. Discard the leftover solids. Bring the braising liquid to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Skim any visible fat from the surface and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  10. Add the cheeks to the sauté pan and heat just until they are warmed through. Add the butter and swirl the pan in a constant circling motion until it is well incorporated into the sauce. Stir in the sherry vinegar.