What Is A Hokkaido Loaf And Where To Order It

While it uses milk from Japan, the technique isn't from that island nation.

IMAGE courtesy of Everydaylife.ph

Also known as Japanese milk bread or Hokkaido milk bread, this loaf of bread is a super soft bread that has the most tender texture. It's almost too soft and yet the bread is creamy on the tongue and seemingly might dissolve if soaked. It's that soft.    

What is a Hokkaido loaf?

You might assume that Japanese milk from Hokkaido is solely responsible for the tenderness and the general soft texture of the bread, but the fact is the amount of milk used in these bread recipes is actually quite minimal. To make these super soft buns and loaves, a recipe using 2 1/2 cups flour that creates two loaves of bread uses less than 1 cup fresh milk. That's less than 1/2 cup per loaf!

Whether it's the super creamy Hokkaido milk or fresh but low-fat milk, the milk has to be super creamy to have a huge impact on the bread itself. Hokkaido, Japan does claim to have super creamy and rich milk

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While that might be the case, the big difference between this soft milk bread from other bread recipes is not just the milk, but the technique used to make it super tender and soft is also quite unique. This technique is used in both Japan and around Asia but it was the Hokkaido milk that made an impact. This creates that texture that has everyone craving this bread is called the "tangzhong method". It's a Chinese bread-making technique of mixing flour and hot water together to make a sticky paste, the "tangzhong" which roughly means a roux but made with water instead of fat, hence the English translation "water roux". This "water roux" is then kneaded into the base bread dough.

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This method is the reason why Hokkaido milk bread is so softThis homemade bread recipe and this cheese bread recipe both use this same technique and the results are super soft bread.  

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For those curious how it's made, it's similar to making choux pastry, or pâte à choux, for cream puffs and churros but with fewer ingredients. Here's how to make "tanghong" or water roux:

  1. 1. Heat about 3/4 cup water in a saucepan until a rolling boil. 
  2. 2. Combine the water with 1 cup bread flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large clean bowl.
  3. 3. Mix with a spatula until it looks like a thick paste. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate the base until cold.
  4. 4. When the bread dough is just mixed, add the cold tangzhong to the bread and mix until a sticky dough is formed. Knead as normal or as the recipe directs. 

Where can you buy Hokkaido milk bread? 

Are you super curious and craving this bread? Here are a few places where you can order and get your hands on some super soft Hokkaido milk bread: 

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1 Hokkaido Milk Bread PH 

You know exactly what this place specializes in! If soft bread with a super tender texture made with special milk is what you care about, this is the place to order. One loaf is only P170. You'll have to hurry! This place only takes orders over the weekend and bakes only three fresh loaves a day! 

Order from Hokkaido Milk Bread PH via Facebook and on Instagram.    

This Hokkaido milk bread loaf is made by Everydaylife.ph from Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur in Davao.
Photo courtesy of Everydaylife.ph
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2 Everydaylife.ph 

Super-soft bread isn't confined to those living in Metro Manila! If you're down south in Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur, you are in luck! Everydaylife.ph is selling these soft and milky bread, too, for every day for pickup! You have your choice of the original Hokkaido milk bread for P200 or the Hokkaido whole wheat bread for P250.        

Order from Everydaylife.ph on Facebook, Instagram or call (0917)544-8000. 

This gorgeous loaf of bread is made using the tangzhong method which created this Hokkaido milk bread loaf.
Photo courtesy of JJ Sweets and Treats
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3 JJ Sweets and Treats

Pasig is in the center of Metro Manila and, there's a small business owner selling Hokkaido bread at a great price. One Hokkaido loaf is only P85 so if you're located near the Greenpark, you're in luck! This place will deliver your loaf for free.   

Order from JJ Sweets and Treats via private message on Facebook.   

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4 Tuesday Bake 

You'll have to fill out an order form to order from Tuesday Bake but if you want these pillowy soft buns made with French butter, do it. These Hokkaido milk rolls are P200 per box of 9 but you can also have it stuffed with cheese for an extra P40. 

Order from Tuesday Bake via Instagram using this order form.  

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5 Dean and Deluca 

If you're in the Rockwell and Makati area, check the Hokkaido milk bread choices at Dean and Deluca. You have your choice of the original milk (P180) or its other six variants: whole wheat, whole wheat raisin, a matcha or green tea bread, the ube or purple yam, or the unique longan honey, each for P200. 

Order from Dean and Deluca Rockwell branch at 7-958-3644  and (0917)320-2715 or its Eton Tower Makati Branch 7-944-6802  and (0917)302-0297 for curbside pickup or via delivery through GrabFood and Lalafood. 

Boulangerie 22 sells a pack of 10 of these Hokkaido milk bread buns, and it's available for delivery.
Photo from Boulangerie 22 website
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6 Boulangerie 22  

Fresh milk and butter is what make a pack of 10 Hokkaido bread rolls (P129) from this French bread shop a great deal! For the same price, you can choose instead the whole rye loaf that contains nine grains in its soft loaf. Ask to have it pre-sliced before delivery or slice it yourself for awesome French toast goals.              

Order from Boulangerie 22 via its website online or via GrabFood and foodpanda.   

These super soft and fluffy loaves and buns use milk from Japan but it's a Chinese technique that makes it pillow-soft. Find out yourself how worth it it is to indulge when you order a loaf or two and taste it yourself. 

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

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Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here!


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