Breads (Yeast) - Loaves

Easy Shokupan

March 28, 2022 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
Easy Shokupan

Easy Shokupan

This is a super easy and simple Shokupan recipe that does not require Yudane Method, Sponge Dough or Pate Fermentee/Old Dough, but it still achieves a very soft loaf with and good self life.   There is no need to knead until a thin window pane stage either. I could not believe it myself that this simple Straight Dough method could yield a a loaf this good.   

This recipe is a straight dough method with retard in the fridge overnight.  The texture is cotton-soft, fluffy and stays fresh quite well for around 2 - 3 days. It is a perfect easy sandwich loaf! 

I have tried same day bake but the texture is not as cotton-soft compared to long retard in the fridge. 

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.  Do tag me on Instagram @Bakewithpaws if you attempt on this recipe.

Recipe - Easy Shokupan

Yields: 1 loaf


325g  bread flour (I used Japan high gluten flour, 12% protein)
1 tsp instant yeast
15g caster or brown sugar
1 tsp salt
150g full cream milk (whole milk)
85g water (Reserve 20g first, add in later if too dry. I used all 85g of water)
30g butter, room temperature

Egg Wash (Optional):
1 egg + 1 Tbsp water, whisked

450g Loaf pan with lid (20 X 10 X 10 cm) or (8" X 4" X 4") 

  1. Kneading:
    1. Put all ingredients (except butter) into a bowl of stand mixer.  
    2. Slightly combine the mixture by hand with the hook attachment before turning on the machine so that the flour will not splash out.  
    3. Knead for another 3 minutes or until the dough comes together. Add in butter and continue knead for 10 - 12 minutes or until the dough come together. But, the dough is not very silky and smooth. You also do not need to achieve  window pane stage because the long overnight retard in the fridge will allow adequate gluten development.  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. 1st Proofing:
    1. Cover the bowl and transfer dough to the fridge to retard overnight for about 8 – 12 hours.  I retarded in the fridge for 10 hours.
    2. You may also do the same day bake - Let the dough rise in a warm place for 45 - 60 minutes until double in size.  But, the result is not as good as long retard in the fridge. I usually left the dough in the same mixing bowl and cover with cling film. 
  3. Shaping:
    1. Take out dough from the fridge. Punch down the dough to release the air. 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.  Rest for 10 minutes.
    3. Flatten with rolling pin into a dish.  
    4. Fold right to centre and fold left to meet in the centre. Roll out with rolling pin into long rectangle shape. Roll up the dough like Swiss Roll until a small log is formed.
    5. Place all dough in a lined loaf pan.  
  4. 2nd Proofing:
    1. Let it rise at warm place (my room temperature around 30C) for another 45 - 90 minutes, until dough rises slightly below the rim of the pan.  
  5. Baking:
    1. Preheat oven at 190C (top & bottom heat) 170C (fan-forced)  for 10 - 15 minutes.
    2. Brush with egg wash (optional
    3. Bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
    4. Remove bread from oven and pan,  let it cool on rack completely before slicing.


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.

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 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 until it rises 80 - 90% in size or is slightly below the rim of the pan.

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 Bake with Paw,

    I appreciate all your sharing. I intend to start baking Sourdough bread and also I love to use the sourdough discard into crackers. But, I don't know how to start to do the starter. Also get confused when read about different level of hydration. Can you pls guide me to do the starter? How many days then I am able to use it? Thank you very much in advance

    1. Hi May, Thanks for visiting this blog.

      We usually start cultivation from scratch with 100% hydration sourdough starter. It means 1 part of flour and 1 part of water.

      Please read this post "How I cultivate Sourdough starter using fruit yeast water"

      There are many method using water too. You can google search and there are alot.

      Please search for How to cultivate sourdough starter from scratch in Youtube by Full Proof Baking. This video is very clear and detailed.

      Cheers :)

  2. Hi! Thank you for your beautiful recipes! I never baked a shokupan and I would like to start with this easy one. Is it possible to do it with sourdough? I have a liquid sourdough that I normally use to make bread.

    1. Hi, thanks for reading this recipe. I have 2 sourdough shokupan recipes in my blog. One using liquid starter and another one using sweet stiff starter. You can search in my blog via search button or Recipes menu on top bar. Or you can use the below links.

      I find the one using sweet stiff starter is better.

      Liquid Starter: https:

      Sweet Stiff Starter:

      Cheers :)

  3. Hi..thanks for the recipe, can I keep the dough in freeze more then 12 hours? I love to bake not in evening 😀

    1. Hi, You are most welcome. I have not tried retard in the freezer. Hence, I am not sure it will work. Maybe it will. You should try. However, you can prepare the dough at night before you go to bed and bake the next day morning or afternoon.

      Cheers :)

  4. Hi , I don’t own a high powered mixer n been kneading dough in bm. Would it b the same 15 minutes of kneading in bm as well?


    1. Hi, thanks for reading this recipe. I don't use bread maker and not sure how it works. I would advise you to just follow the duration that you knead other bread. The long retard in the fridge will allow the gluten to be developed.

      Cheers :)

  5. Hi YL, thank you so much for your recipes! I’ve tried your other Shokupan and other recipes and love all of them. I was so excited when I saw you post another shokupan recipe and was waiting all week to try it. I made 2 loaves, plus two lots of your potato burger buns, all in one day yesterday! Thanks to you, my family can enjoy nice bread everyday:) My son especially appreciates the soft bread since he just got braces 😁

    1. Hi, It is my pleasure to share. Thanks for trying and sharing with me the feedback. I am so happy to hear that you like the recipes. You made my day :)

      Happy baking and have a wonderful day :)


  6. Hi, is the quality of this Shokupan better than the Tangzhong method?

    1. Hi, thanks for reading this recipe. My family love both recipe and they can't really tell the different. But, for me I know that this recipe uses more fat. Due to overnight long fermentation the texture is more fine for this bread.

      To me both are equally good.

      Cheers :)

  7. Hi! So for this overnight 1st proofing shokupan, we should be using recipes that has yudane or tangzhong?

    1. Hi, thanks for visiting Bake with Paws. If you are using yudane method as in my blog then no need to overnight proofing in the fridge. However, you still can do long retarding in the fridge. The purpose of long proofing in the fridge is to make the texture soft, cottony, moist and better self life.

      Cheers :)


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