Monday, 20 June 2016

Natural Yeast Japanese Milk Loaf (Cold Ferment) 天然酵母日本牛奶吐司

This is my first pure natural yeast bread loaf. Although it was not a perfect loaf of bread, it marked my milestone in bread baking that involved natural yeast. I certainly would have to thank all the sharings by the generous bloggers, and reference books that helped me in this self-taught journey.

True sharing - the entire bread making process were surrounded by the nice aroma of the dough till it turned into a bread. I was happy to achieve this light and soft texture in my first pure natural yeast bread. Thanks to the wonderful recipe I found at Cookpad. I was lucky to have a successful bake despite facing language hurdle in deciphering the Japanese  language recipe  Y(^_^)Y

Time and patience are the two basic criteria one must posses in order to engage in the natural yeast bread baking. In the entire process I have been peeping and waiting, peep again and again, wait and wait (ーー;) 
But the reward was priceless (^-^) 

Bread weight: 485g
Raw dough weight: 529g
Room temperature: 29.9 degree C
Yield: one 20x10x11cm loaves 

All ingredients in room temperature 
250g bread flour 高筋面粉
100g natural yeast* 天然酵母
25g fine sugar 细糖
8g coconut/vegetable oil 椰/植物油
4g fine salt 幼盐 #

155g fresh milk 鲜奶

20g unsalted butter 无盐奶油

* 100% hydration (flour:water = 1:1)
# about 1/2 tsp

Some milk  牛奶

1. Feed 130g of active natural yeast with 10g each of cool boiled water and unbleached bread flour. Wait for the natural yeast to double in volume. For good active natural yeast, it should be able to double itself within 60 to 90 minutes. Use the natural yeast, while it is still active, within 3 hours after feeding.
Collect 100g for baking, and keep the remaining in the fridge.

Click the below link on cultivating natural yeast:

2. Allow fresh milk to return to room temperature. 

3. Mix all ingredients, except butter, in a mixing bowl. 

4. Stir in one direction to combine the ingredients into a lump. Cover with a lid, and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the flour to fully absorb the liquid.

5. As the dough is quite sticky, wearing a CPE disposable gloves would make kneading easier. Knead the dough by slamming, pulling, and folding the dough, until the dough becomes smooth. This process takes about 10 minutes.

6. Spread out the dough and apply softened butter onto it. Knead to incorporate butter into the dough.

7. Continue to knead till the dough reaches window pane stage. This takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

8. Shape the dough into a ball by pulling down the sides several times, till the dough surface is stretched and smoothen, and seal at the bottom. 

9. Keep the dough into a plastic bag pre-coated with a little oil.

Squeeze out all the air and tie the opening with a loose knot.

To prevent moisture loss in the fridge, keep the dough in another plastic bag.

Place the dough in a bowl, and allow it to stand in room temperature for about 1.5 to 2 hours.

1 hour 30 min later, the dough became inflated.

10. Finally, place the dough in the bowl covered with a lid, and store in a fridge for 12 hours at least.
I stored it for about 18 hours.

11. On the next morning, transfer the cold dough out of the fridge. Invert the dough with the base facing up, and allow the dough to thaw for about 1 hour.

Thawed for about 1 hour.

12. While waiting for the dough to thaw,  apply a thin coat of butter on the Pullman tin interior walls. Set aside.

13. Cut open the plastic bag, and turn the dough onto a floured work top. 

14. Flatten the dough to release the trapped air. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions, about 178g each.
It's okay if the dough is still cold to touch.

15. Shape the dough into 3 balls by pulling down the sides, and seal at the  bottom.
Cover and let them rest for about 15 min.

16. Flatten the dough and roll out into a  oval dough.

17. Roll up the dough from the shorter side, cover with a lid, and let it rest for 10 minutes.

18. After the rest, roll out the dough into a flat dough again. The shorter length of the dough should correspond to the shorter width of the Pullman tin. 

19. Flip the dough over so the smoother side will be facing out after rolling up. Roll up the dough from the shorter end. 

Place the dough into a greased non-stick Pullman tin. The open end of the dough should be facing down.

20. Spray some water over the doughs and place them in a closed oven.
Let the dough proof in a warm oven for about 90 to 120 minutes, or till the dough reaches about the rim of the Pullman tin.
To facilitates the second proofing, you may switch on the oven to its minimal temperature for about 1 minute.

21. After the second proofing and the dough has reached about the rim of the Pullman tin, remove the dough out of the oven. Preheat the oven to 170  degree Celsius.  And brush a coat of fresh milk over the dough.

22. Bake the dough at the lower rack of the oven at 170 degree Celsius for about 50 minutes. If your Pullman tin has a thinner wall, you can bake for about 40 minutes at the same temperature.

23. Remove the bread from the Pullman tin immediately after leaving the oven. Let the loaf cool down on a wire rack before slicing it.

24. Slice with a bread knife :)

For step (21), if you apply egg wash instead of fresh milk, you'll get a glossy top :)

Recipe adapted from
with great appreciation :)


  1. Your post was so helpful in my preparation for making natural yeast bread. The pictures will serve as a great reference point. Your instructions also contain a lot of detail. I think I will have a lot of success following your recipe. Thank you! But I do have a question about how the bread tastes. Since it uses natural yeast, will the bread taste sour?

    1. Hi Nguyen, I’m happy to receive your good feedback on my recipe presentation 😊
      Usually if your natural yeast is fresh, that is about less than a week old, you would not get very strong sour taste. Cover your natural yeast to reduce the oxygen in the bottle also would help to minimise the acid in the natural yeast. In my opinion, there’s no obvious sourness in the bread :)
      Wish you success in your bread attempt 👍😊


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