Japanese Milk Pan With Milk Puddings Fillings (日本牛奶面包)



I do not know the origin of this bread and I only that it was called “milk pan” by the bakery…Using English pronunciation, it shall be pronounced as “pun” as in puncture. ..”Pan” is a Japanese word meaning “bread” and believed to have been borrowed from Portuguese “Pao” ..Therefore essentially, milk pan means milk bread..


Whenever the family frequented Tampines mall, Singapore, my girl never failed to remind me to buy these buns… While doing some shopping in a hot Sunday afternoon, my girl saw the bakery and requested me to buy again… I rejected her saying there are already lots of snacks at home and we can hardly finished all these snacks.. But my wife concurred with her and bought two, one for my boy and one for my girl…


At the spot when i rejected her request to buy, both mother daughter teamed up and challenged me to prepare these buns at home…. After pondering a while, I have decided to accept the challenge..


This is an extremely soft bun with some sweet custard being wrapped.. It is milky flavoured and the custards are sweet and soft… I know it is delicious  bun as I have tasted several times before. When I reached home, I goggled for recipes but not successful… At least none looked like the one being sold.. I have therefore decide to design my recipe and come out with these buns..


Since Japanese bread recipes like to use milk roux or tangzhong, for this bread recipe, I have also decided to use tangzhong.  Bread with tangzhong are generally able to stay soft for a longer period of time.



Servings: 9 medium size buns


Milk Roux

  • 100 grams of milk
  • 25 grams of bread flour

Bread dough

  • 100 grams of milk
  • 250 bread flour
  • 30 grams of butter , at room temperature
  • 30 grams of milk powder
  • 30 grams of castor sugar
  • 6 grams of instant yeast
  • Pinches of salt


Milk Puddings

  • 125 ml of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar





PicMonkey Collage1

  • In a pot, heat 100 ml of milk under medium heat, add the 25 grams of bread flour. Use a whisk to whisk the mixture until smooth and starts to form a sticky dough. Off the heat and let it cooled completely.

  • Once the roux cooled completely, transfer to a mixing bowl of a standing mixer. Add bread flour, milk, sugar, yeast, milk powder and salt.. Use a spoon to slightly stir until it form a sticky dough. Use the dough hook in the machine to beat the dough at medium to low speed (speed 2 in Kenwood Chef or Kitchen Aid) for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, put the butter, change from medium to high speed (speed 4 kin Kenwood Chef or Kitchen Aid) for about 7 minutes until the dough is smooth and leaves the side of the mixing bowl. Take a small piece of dough and lightly stretch the dough. If it can form a thin film of dough without breaking, the kneading is considered as adequate.. This is called windowpane test.

  • Transfer the dough out to a lightly flour surface. Shape round and let it proof for about double in size. Cover with a clingy wrap or wet towel during proofing.

PicMonkey Collage3

  • While the dough is proofing, in a microwaveable bowl, put sugar, egg and milk. Stir until well mixed. Microwave for 2 minutes or until the puddings have set. Set aside for later use.  Alternatively, heat the milk mixture over a stove under low heat until custard starts to form.

PicMonkey Collage2

  • When the dough double in size, divide into about 9 equal pieces. Take a piece, shape round, flatten it, put a tablespoon of the milk puddings on the centre, seal the edges and transfer to a baking cups with the sealing part facing downwards.  Transfer to a cupcake cup and let them proof until 2 to 2.5 times.

PicMonkey Collage4

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.

  • Once the dough reaches 2 – 2.5 times, bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the desired colour tone.


  • If your custard is wet, you may want to put the cooked custard over a sift and drained away the water. The drier it is, the easier will be the wrapping. If the liquid touch the sealing part of the dough, it will be very difficult for you the seal the dough. Therefore, make sure the fingers are dry and clean before sealing.




I believed that this adventure was at least 80% successful. The bread is softer than my original recipe though it is still not as soft as those sold in the bakery but the taste and texture  of the custards are very close. Of course there are commercial secrets for bread sold in the bakery that will not be leaked out to others…Haha..


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.


(updated as at 13 March 2015)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts. Also follow me at INSTAGRAM or TSU, a new social network for some more personal sharing other than recipes.


12 thoughts on “Japanese Milk Pan With Milk Puddings Fillings (日本牛奶面包)

  1. Hi, may I know what is the reason for you to leave the wire tray over / above your tray of buns in the oven while baking ? Just curious 🙂 Thx

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