Japanese Chocolate Milk Bread

I have made Japanese milk bread before, and it is very good, but seeing this chocolate version from King Arthur piqued my interest. Initially I thought it would make a good base for French toast (Pain Perdu) but I did not try that with this first loaf.

making the tongzhong
Making the tangzhong

The first step with Japanese milk bread is to make the Tangzhong, which is a mixture of flour, milk, and water, that is heated in a saucepan until thickened. it is the Tangzhong that gives the bread its moist feathery texture, and keeps it fresh longer than most breads.

Whisking in butter and milk to the Tangzhong
Whisking in butter and milk to the Tangzhong

Butter, more milk, an egg, and yeast is then added off heat in a mixing bowl.

Weighing out the additional flour, sugar, salt, cocoa powder, and milk powder.
Weighing out the additional flour, sugar, salt, cocoa powder, and milk powder.

Using the Tangzhong, along with flour, sugar, salt, cocoa powder, and milk powder, forms the dough. A stand mixer is handy here as it takes about 15 minutes to get the dough smooth and elastic.

After mixing the dough for Japanese chocolate milk bread
After mixing the dough for Japanese chocolate milk bread
After folding in the chocolate chips
After folding in the chocolate chips

Kneading the dough helped to incorporate the chocolate chips into the dough. Next was the first proofing, which took about two hours.

Japanese chocolate milk bread dough after shaping
Japanese chocolate milk bread dough after shaping
Japanese chocolate milk bread dough after proofing in loaf pan
Japanese chocolate milk bread dough after proofing in loaf pan

The finished loaf was amazing. Rich while not being excessively heavy. My wife and I both enjoyed a thin slice, as did the painters working on my house. To keep me eating the remainder of it, I gave the rest away! I plan to bake another loaf soon to see how it works for French Toast. Come for a stay at The Sidecar Inn and experience this and other delicious baked goods!

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