Japanese Soft White Buns

by - September 18, 2020

Japanese Soft White Bread

Japanese Soft White Bread

Japanese Soft White Bread

I tried to make Japanese Snow White Buns.  The colour of the buns turned out nice and white.  Unfortunately, the texture seemed like it was under baked and sticky. I wanted to make sure that I got the right texture, so I bought some Snow White Bread from a Japanese Bakery to try (they call it FuwaFuwa). And sure enough, the texture was to the one that I baked.

I tried it again but baked it longer this time. The buns become a very light brown and no longer looks like snow white bread.  However, this time the texture is very fluffy, soft and chewy.  So, I decided I prefer it this way with the slight colour and the texture is what I am looking for.  Instead of calling it Japanese Snow White Buns, I should call it Japanese Soft White Buns.

As you know, I am fond of the Yudane method.  I used exactly the same recipe as my Japanese Soft White Bread (Shokupan) but in different quantities. 

The Japanese Soft White Buns are super fluffy, soft and moist.  It stays fresh longer than most other ordinary homemade bread.  

Yudane method is quite similar to Tangzhong (water-roux) method.  Both methods are scalding method. For the Yudane method, boiling water is used to scald the flour instead of cooking over the fire.   Please click here to see the differences between Yudane vs Tangzhong Method.  

I have other Yudane Method recipes that you may like to try too. Yudane Method Bread Recipes.  

It is advisable to read the below general notes before starting baking.


For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

Some have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  If that happens it is due to over kneading.  Please stop the machine and check your dough during the final cycle of kneading to ensure that you don't over knead. Every machine is different and there is always a chance of over-kneading when using a machine. You may need to adjust this timing and stop as soon as you reach the window pane stage.  This happen especially to Yudane dough method.   I noticed that it is harder to achieve a very thin window pane  with Yudane method dough. 

The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.  Usually bread flour content around 11.5 - 13.5% protein, while high gluten flour is around 13.5 - 14.5%.  All purpose flour content less protein around 9 - 11%.  To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  Sources from here and here.

The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:
  1. First Proofing:
    • Lightly flour or oil your finger or knuckle, gently poke in the centre of the dough then remove your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation then it needs more time.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back or if the dough collapses, then the it is over proved.  
    • If it bounces back just a little, then the dough is ready to be punched down and shaping.
  2. Second Proofing:
    • Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
    • If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
    • There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof your dough until 80 - 90% of the size.

Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Recipe - Japanese Soft White Buns

Yields:  9 buns


70g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
70g boiling water

Main Bread:
280g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
24g (2 Tbsp) brown sugar
1 tsp salt
14g butter
200g fresh milk or full cream milk (start with 180g first, reserve 20g to add in slowly if the dough too dry,  you do not need to use all.  I used 190g)

8 inch square pan, lined with parchment paper.

  1. Yudane:
    1. Add bread flour in a bowl, pour the boiling water and mix well with spatula or spoon.  
    2. Cling film and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.  
    3. Take out from the fridge 30 minutes before using to return to room temperature.
  2. Main Bread:
    1. Put all ingredients (except butter) and including all the yudane dough (tear into pieces) into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix with paddle attachment for 2 minutes or until all incorporated.  Change to hook attachment and knead for another 3 minutes or until the dough comes together. Add in butter and continue kneading for another 10 - 13 minutes or until the dough comes together, become elastic, smooth and reaches window pane stage.  I noticed that it is harder to achieve a very thin window pane  with Yudane method dough. It could be due to the gelatinization of its starch.  It is fine if your window pane is not very thin as long as you have kneaded the dough long enough. During the whole kneading process, I stopped few times to scrape down the dough from the hook to be sure it is evenly kneaded and also to prevent the motor from overheating.
    2. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 45 to 60 minutes or until double in size in a large greased bowl, covered with cling film or kitchen towel.
  3. To shape:
    1. Punch down the dough to release the air.  Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 9 equal portions. 
    2. Form each portion to a ball.  Please watch the video "How to shape the Buns"
    3. Place all dough balls in the prepared loaf pan.  
    4. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes or till about 80% of the size.
  4. To bake:
    1. Preheat oven at 170C (top & bottom heat) for 10 minutes.
    2. Sift plain flour or bread flour on top of the buns.
    3. After 10 minutes when the oven is ready, reduce the temperature to 150C (top and bottom heat), bake for 50 - 55 minutes or until very light brown.  
    4. Remove buns from oven and the pan, let the buns cool on rack.
Japanese Soft White Buns

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  1. I like reading your blog, especially the article on 'yudane vs tangzhong'. I will try this yudane method. Thank you.

    1. You are most welcome.. Thanks for visiting my blog.. Try and let me know the result.

      Cheers :)

  2. Thanks for sharing the recipe!! I have a question, did you use fan-forced oven (150c)?

    1. Hi, You are most welcome and thanks for reading this recipe. It is top and bottom heat as mentioned in Method 4.

      Cheers :)

  3. Hi, if I do not have an electric mixer, can I knead the dough manually?

    1. Hi, yes of course you can. Thanks for dropping by.

    2. Thank you so much for replying ^_^ bt if I were to knead manually
      , how can I know when to stop kneading? Sorry, this is my first time baking bread and I hope to bake a good bread like yours for my children ;) also, can I know where can I get the Japanese high protein flour?

    3. You are most welcome..
      Please knead until you achieve window pane stage (the dough at this stage should be able to be pulled and stretched into membrane).I never done hand kneading and all my bread is machine knead.

      If this is the first time, please watch some Youtube Video on how to knead bread dough with hand first and also understand window pane stage.

      I usually get my Japanese High Gluten Flour from House of Ingredients in KL. You can get online too.

      Cheers :)

  4. Hi!! Thank you for sharing this recipe. The bread looks so soft and moist and fluffy!! 😍This seems like a silly question..if I shape the buns smaller @30g, do I bake it at the same temp and time?? Tq!!

    1. Hi, You are most welcome. Yes, please cut down the time by 15 - 20 minutes first and please monitor closely. You can stay with the temperature.

      Cheers :)

  5. After the first proof, do you punch it down before dividing and give it a bench rest ? Before going to the shaping and final proof ?

    1. Hi, Oh yes.. I forgot to mention. However the air will be release when you scrap the dough to transfer.

      Thanks for asking..
      Cheers :)

  6. Hi, sorry to bother you but if I were to add in fillings to the bread, when should I do so?

    1. Hi, no worry. You add in during shaping the buns.

      Please refer to this recipe method:

      Cheers :)

    2. Alright thank you so much!

  7. Hi! Would you be able to the brand of high gluten flour and possibly where to get it? Thanks!

    1. Hi, thanks for asking. It is Nissin Great High Protein Flour. I got it from House of Ingredients. But, the shop already repacked and named it as Japan High Gluten Flour.

      Cheers :)

  8. Hi! I love your website! very informative and crystal clear :)
    I made japanese soft white buns today, referring to your recipe. They turned out nicely. But I have several questions:
    - will it make a difference if I use low calorie sweetener instead of sugar in term of the bun's texture?
    - will it make a difference that I used dissolved powder full cream milk instead of liquid milk?
    - I love the texture of the buns but I think it's a little sticky. Is it normal?
    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi, thanks for trying this recipe and your feedback.

      1. I never tried using sweetener and not very sure. But, I don't think it will change the texture.

      2. It is fine to use milk powder instead of liquid full cream milk. Just replace the liquid milk with same amount of water.

      3. It is normal. The bread made using Yudane method is usually sticky and chewy compared with other ordinary breads. I guess it could be the gelatinize of starch in the flour. However, I love about this method is longer shelf life for the bread.

      Cheers :)