Breads (Sourdough) - Soft Loaves

Vegan Sourdough Shokupan

July 10, 2021 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
Vegan Sourdough Shokupan

Vegan Sourdough Shokupan

Vegan Sourdough Shokupan

Total Flour used - 330g ⇧

Total Flour used - 350g ⇧

We have been eating a lot of dairy products recently,  so I thought I'd bake something vegan for a healthy change.   I tried baking a Sourdough Shokupan without using any dairy products.  It turned out to be quite nice!  It actually tastes quite close to something we call "Roti Bengali" in Malaysia.  Roti Bengali is a white fluffy soft loaf that is very famous in Penang. You can however taste the soy in this but it isn't detrimental and we found it quite nice as a subtle flavour.

The texture is very soft, moist, fluffy, slightly chewy and it is still very soft on second day.

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 - Vegan Sourdough Shokupan

Yields:  1 loaf
Utensil:  450g loaf pan (21.3 X 12.2 X 11.5 cm  /  8.4" X 4.8" X 4.5")

330g - Total Flour Used

This recipe suitable for loaf with cover or square loaf

Yudane Dough:
65g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
65g boiling water

Sweet Stiff Starter:
56g sourdough starter (100% Hydration), use at its peak 
172g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
72g water
28g sugar (I used organic light brown sugar)

Main Dough:
65g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
All yudane dough (above)
All stiff starter (above)
8g light brown sugar (I used organic brown sugar)
1 tsp salt
60g water / soy milk or almond milk (reserve 10 to 20g and add in later if needed) I used 60g
20g flavourless vegetable oil (But I used olive oil as I though it will be more healthy)

350g - Total Flour Used

This recipe yields taller loaf

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

Sweet Stiff Starter:
60g sourdough starter (100% Hydration), use at its peak 
180g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
75g water
30g sugar (I used organic light brown sugar)

Main Dough:
70g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
All yudane dough (above)
All stiff starter (above)
10 - 15g light brown sugar (I used organic brown sugar)
1 tsp salt
70g water / soy milk or almond milk (reserve 10 to 20g and add in later if needed) I used 60g
25g flavourless vegetable oil (But I used olive oil as I though it will be more healthy)

* I used homemade soy milk in this bread.

  1. Yudane:
    1. Add bread flour in a bowl, pour the boiling water and mix well with spatula or spoon until no dry flour.
    2. Cling film and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.  I prepared the night before.
    3. Take out from the fridge 30 minutes before using to return to room temperature.
  2. Sweet Stiff Starter 
    1. In a bowl of stand mixer, dilute starter with water, stir in sugar and add in bread flour.  Mix with paddle attachment until well mixed and all come together.   It can be done by hand mixing too.
    2. Cover and let it ferment until tripled. I prepared a night before and leave it in aircond room (approximately 24 - 25C room temperature) overnight until tripled.  It took about 8 - 9 hours depending on your starter.  It should take around 4 - 6 hours to get triple at room temperature at 28C - 30C. The starter should look smooth and round dome.  It shouldn't collapse.
  3. Main Dough:
    1. Put all ingredients (except oil) into a bowl of stand mixer.  I usually torn the stiff starter and yudane dough into pieces first.
    2. Slightly combine the mixture by hand with the paddle attachment before turning on the machine so that the flour will not splash out.  Using the paddle attachment, mix for 2 minutes or until all incorporated.  This step is critical to prevent  an uneven mixed dough as the stiff starter is rather hard and a dough hook may not be able to mix it well enough.
    3. Change to hook attachment and knead for another 3 minutes or until the dough comes together. Add in olive oil in 3 batches and knead until olive oil incorporate with the dough.  It took quite a while about 6 - 7 minutes for the oil to blend into the dough. Once the oil is well incorporated with the dough,  then continue kneading for another 7 - 8 minutes (approx.) or until the dough become smooth, silky and reach window pane stage. 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.
  4. 1st Proofing/Resting:
    1. In the same bowl, let the dough rest for 30 - 60 minutes. Keep it covered with clingfilm or use a lid.  This dough I rested for 30 minutes at 28C - 29C room temperature and the dough didn't rise a lot.  (I did not find any big differences of 30 mins to 60 minutes rest.  So, please follow your schedule).
  5. Shaping:
    1. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 3 equal portions.  Please use a kitchen scale if you want to be exact.
    2. Form each portion to a ball.  Flatten with rolling pin.
    3. Fold right to centre and fold left overlap it.  Roll out with rolling pin into long rectangle shape. Roll up the dough like Swiss Roll until a small log is formed. 
    4. Place all dough in the prepared loaf pan.   
  6. Final Proofing 
    1. 330g recipe - Let it proof in a warm place until the dough reaches 0.5cm - 1 cm below the height of the pan.
    2.  350g recipe - Let it proof until the dough reaches almost the height of the pan for 350g flour recipe.  
    3. This one took nearly 3 hours at room temperature of 29C - 30C.  The duration of proofing depends on your ambient temperature and starter.
  7. Baking:
    1. Preheat oven at 190C (top & bottom heat) or 170C (fan-forced) for 10 - 15 minutes.
    2. Bake in a preheated oven for 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
    3. Remove bread from oven and let them cool on rack completely before slicing.
Yudane Dough

Sweet Stiff Starter

Main Dough



A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.   It is advisable to feed your starter regularly if you want your bread to rise nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.  A starter that is fed regularly will be more active in general.  If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise a lot even though the starter is used at its peak.  


Gluten forms when flour comes in contact with water.  Hydration of the flour causes the sticky and stretchy protein to form, giving structure to the bread.  This makes your bread trap air and rise. 

Gluten in dough can be developed by autolyse, resting, kneading or folding.

The windowpane test is used to determine whether the dough has been sufficiently kneaded.  By gently pulling the dough (or you may pinch off some dough) and trying to stretch it into a thin membrane.  If you are able to stretch the dough paper thin and translucent  without tearing, then the gluten is fully developed.  However, if you can stretch it without tearing but the membrane is not transparent, then the gluten is not yet fully developed.  

However, from my experience not all the recipe can achieve a thin and translucent window pane stage easily.   For example low hydration and low fat dough.  For such recipes, a reasonable window pane is good enough and it can be left to rest. Gluten will continue to develop while resting.  Exercising restraint to not over-knead the dough prevents the gluten from being overworked and broken.   Some of you may have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  It is because the dough is over kneaded. 

The total kneading time for me is usually 15 minutes at low speeds except brioche dough with high fat percentage or dough using liquid fat which usually takes a little longer (maybe 18-20 mins).

From my experience, I found that high hydration dough with high percentage of fat will be easy to stretch and achieve a paper thin windowpane stage.


Why do I use milk powder?  
  1. Milk or milk powder will enhance the flavour of the bread and makes the bread texture softer due to the fat content of the milk. 
  2. Milk powder is shelf stable and you can have it anytime when you want to use.  Unlike liquid milk you need to finish within a certain time before it spoils.

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.


The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.   To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  The protein content is around  12 - 13%.


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, environment, flour and your starter. 

If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:

  1. 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.
  2. If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
  3. If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
  4. 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 until the tip of the dough just reaches the rim of the pan, around 80% - 90% in 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.


  1. Hi, hv always love your recipes as they give consistent results.

    Can we use homemade soy milk. Thank you

    1. Hi, thanks for trying and your kind feedback. In fact, I used homemade soy milk.

      cheers :)

  2. Hi, what is the different bet sweet stiff starter and sourdough starter? I'm newbie here :)

    1. Hi, sweet stiff starter is also sourdough starter. It is 50% hydration sourdough starter and fed with sugar. Liquid starter is 100% hydration sourdough starter.

      Cheers :)

  3. Last night i was thinking of baking a loaf bread and luckily this morning i found your Fb Post. I give it a try next days. Thanks a lot

    1. Hi, thanks for reading this recipe and your comment. I hope you will like it.

      Cheers :)

  4. when is our starter normally peak? For temperature 29 degree celcius,4-6hrs after feeding? thx

    1. Hi, mine usually took about 3 - 5 hours at RT 28 - 30C.

      Cheers :)

  5. Hello, I have tried your recipe. This vegan sandwich is the most delicious I have ever made and eaten!. I must confess, I did not use peak SD starter. It still worked, but waiting time for stiff dough to rise and proofing time is forever. Taste is delicious and proof really well (5hours). Thank you for sharing the recipe. Can’t wait to try your other recipes.

    1. Hi, Thanks for trying this recipe and your kind feedback. To be honest, sometimes I used discard to prepare the stiff starter and it worked very well too.. But, it is safer to mention to use at peaks.. lol

      My pleasure to share..

      Happy baking and stay safe:)

  6. Thankyou for sharing these beautiful recipes. I'm going to make the vegan sourdough shokupan loaf and also the yudane white soft loaf.Can l use oat milk in the vegan sourdough loaf

    1. You are most welcome. Thanks for interesting in the recipes. I tried using oat milk before and found the texture a bit crumbly, but still soft.

      Cheers :)


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