Japanese Sesame Milk Buns, Tangzhong Method

I know, I know I have used this dough a few times before in various recipes. But it is so versatile that it would be a crime not to do so.

You can use this dough to make burger buns, whole loaves of bread, sweet, filled buns any many more. The little beauties are the perfect super soft kind of dinner roll. You could also use them to make a bunch of mini sliders.

Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.


For the tangzhong (roux)

90g (3.2oz) milk

20g (0.7oz) flour


For the main dough

200g (7oz) strong white bread flour

2g (0.07oz) dry yeast or 3x the amount of fresh yeast

4g (0.14oz) salt

20g (0.7oz) sugar

30g (1oz) soft butter

10g (0.35oz) milk powder (optional)

50g (1.75oz) cold milk if your kitchen is warm. If not, then use room temperature milk

To learn more about dough temperature control click here.


1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon of milk for glazing

Sesame seeds for sprinkling

Melted butter to brush after the bread comes out the oven


  1. Make the tangzhong (roux) by adding the milk and flour to a small pan and cooking whist stirring for around 5 minutes on medium-low heat until thick and not lumpy. Cover and cool down completely.
  2. In a large bowl combine the milk, yeast, salt, sugar, soft butter, milk powder and tangzhong. Mix until combined.
  3. Add the flour and mix until a dough is formed.
  4. Knead for around 5 – 7 minutes. Desired dough temperature 25-26C (77-79F).
  5. Cover and ferment for 1.5 – 2 hours or until almost doubled in size.
  6. Divide into 12 equal pieces and preshape.
  7. Rest for 15 minutes.
  8. Shape into round balls, dip the bottoms in sesame seeds and place them on a non-stick tray or a tray lined with non-stick paper.
  9. Cover and proof for 1 hour. During final proofing preheat your oven to 160C (320F) with the fan on.
  10. Brush the buns with the egg yolk + milk once, then let them dry for 5 minutes and brush them again. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  11. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.


Watch the video here

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