Pai bao is like the Hong Kong version of Japanese milk bread. It’s super fluffy and absolutely amazing. Although lil’ bun and I adore milk bread, we find it a little boring to just eat plain bread all the time so we like to change it up every so often.
This time to make it a little different we added cocoa powder and raisins. We used our bread machine to do the dough making and kneading for us because it gives us a way softer loaf. If you don’t have a bread machine you can always refer to my original japanese milk bread recipe for the more hands on version.
Ingredients (2 loaves):
2 1/2 cups bread flour (we used multigrain)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 cup warm milk (or soy/coconut/almond milk)
1 egg (substitute by adding 2 tablespoons more milk/oil)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter or vegetable oil)
1/2 cup Tangzhong
3/4 cup raisins
40 mL bread flour
1/2 cup water
Let’s get baking:
- Make the tangzhong by putting the 40 mL bread flour and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk the tangzhong until it thickens and swirls form. Then remove from heat and stir it for another 30 seconds so it can thicken a little more.
2. Put all the loaf ingredients (except your raisins) into your bread machine according to your manufacture’s instructions for making bread dough. For ours we would add in the milk, egg (or extra milk/oil), sugar, salt and coconut oil first. Followed by the tangzhong.
3. Then we would top our liquid ingredients with our cocoa powder and flour before forming a little well on top of the flour for the yeast. It’s SUPER SUPER SUPER important to not let your yeast touch your wet ingredients or it won’t rise!
4. Let your bread machine do it’s thing and knead your dough together by using your “dough” setting. Our dough took 2 hours to complete (this includes the mixing, kneading and rising processes). When your dough is ready, split it into 6 equal pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough out with a rolling pin into an oval and sprinkle on some raisin. Then fold your oval 1/3 in and press before rolling the rest of the way as you would cinnamon or swiss rolls. Pinch the end seam to seal.
- Place 3 logs beside each other seal side down into each loaf pan. Let rise covered in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Bake at 350F for 25 – 30 minutes until golden brown.
- Tear apart and munch!