Sourdough Discard Recipes

Japanese Soft White Buns (Hybrid Sourdough Discard)

May 26, 2023 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
Japanese Soft White Buns

Japanese Soft White Buns

Japanese Soft White Buns

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I haven't been baking much sourdough of late but I still feed my sourdough starter regularly to maintain it with very small feeding amounts.  You can refer to my "Sourdough Starter Maintenance" here.  I store the discard in the freezer instead of the refrigerator and I utilise the sourdough discard later by combining it with instant yeast to bake my daily bread.  This one of my recipes using discard together with instant yeast.

If you are looking for a 100% sourdough recipe, please click "Japanese Soft White Buns (Sourdough)" and for instant yeast only recipe, please click "Japanese Soft White Buns"

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.

How To Make Shokupan Buns (Hybrid Sourdough Discard)


Yudane Dough:
90g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
90g boiling water

Main Dough:
250g sourdough discard (cold) *
235g  bread flour (I used Japan high gluten flour, 12% protein)
2.5g  instant dry yeast
25g caster or brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
120g full cream milk, cold (reserve 20g first, add in 1 tsp at a time if needed.  I used 115g)*
20g butter, room temperature

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

Chefmade 11" Oblong Non-stick Pan (28.1 X 23.1 X 5.1 cm) / 
9 inches square pan

* I store my sourdough discard in the freezer to prevent it from turning runny and lose its gluten.  I transfer it from freezer to refrigerator one night before baking. This way the discard will not be runny and will still have a lot of gluten strength when I use it.

* Depends on your flour, because each flour absorbs liquid and hydrates differently. You may also add 1 teaspoon of milk at a time during kneading if the dough is too dry, when you see that the dough doesn't stick to the bottom at all.  We want the dough to clear from the sides of the bowl with only a small part of the bottom sticking to the base of the mixer bowl. You should hear a slapping sound of the dough hitting the sides of the mixer bowl. 

  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 leave on the counter for at least 4 hours or overnight in the fridge.  
    3. Use directly from the fridge.
  2. Kneading:
    1. Dissolve sourdough discard and milk in a bowl of stand mixer.  Add in all ingredients (except butter), including yudane dough.
    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. 
    3. Change to hook attachment and knead for another 2 minutes or until the dough comes together and elastic. Add in butter and continue knead for about 8 - 10 minutes or or until the dough come together..  But, the dough is not very silky and smooth. You also do not need to achieve  very thin 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.
  3. 1st Proofing:
    1. Overnight Retard - Cover the bowl and transfer to refrigerator for overnight retard, about 8 – 14 hours.  I retarded in the fridge for 13 hours.  I found with overnight retard the texture is even softer compared with same day bake.
    2. Same Day Bake - Let the dough rise on in room temperature (28C) for 60 - 90 minutes until double in size. I usually left the dough in the same mixing bowl and cover with cling film. 
  4. Shaping:
    1. Take out dough from the fridge and leave on counter for around 15 mins to soften and relax the dough for overnight retard.
    2. Punch down the dough to release the air. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 8 equal portions (around 101.6g each)
    3. Form each portion into a ball.  Rest for 10 mins to relax the dough.
    4. Flatten with rolling pin. 
    5. Roll the dough like a swiss roll into a log.
    6. Fold over and pinch both ends to seal.  
    7. Place all the dough in the non-stick pan.
  5. Final Proofing:
    1. Let the buns rise in room temperature (my room temperature around 29 - 30C) for another 30 - 60 minutes until the dough rise about double in size.  
  6. Baking:
    1. Preheat oven at 190C - 200C (top & bottom heat) or 185C (fan-forced) for 10 - 15 minutes.
    2. Brush with egg wash.
    3. Bake in a preheated oven for about 15 - 16 minutes, or until golden brown.
    4. Remove bread from oven and let them cool on rack.

Yudane Dough
Yudane Dough

Main Dough


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. Che meraviglia sei bravissima!!😍😍😍😍 Ti seguo anche su Instagram complimentiπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

    1. Hi, thank you for stopping by here and also following my Instagram.

      Have a wonderful day 😍😍

  2. Hi Bwp. Another fab bake from you. U are indeed the bread baking tzi fu. I have a question. I will be away on vacation for 1 month. How do I still keep my starter alive without any feeding. Do I keep in the fridge or freezer while I am away. Also the few days before I leave how should I feed it. To maintain its strength. Will be leaving early next week and hope for your kind advice. Thanks so much. Regards Chloe

    1. Hi Chloe, Thank you again.

      To be honest I never tried unfed my starter for one month.

      If I were you, I will try both ways in the fridge and also freezer.
      For fridge storing, Feed as usual and maybe the last feeding just wait till double.
      For freezer, the discard from the feeding before the last keep in the freezer.

      When you come back from holiday, just try to feed again 1:1:1 ratio few times until tripled in size in within 3 - 4.5 hours at room temperature (27C - 29C).

      I hope it works.

      Sourdough Starter is natural thing. So, you may need only few or a lot of feedings to get back to healthy stage.


  3. Thank you so much. I will follow your advice and update u later. By the way for this recipe how long have. U kept your sourdough starter in the freezer? Is there a time frame or how can I check if my frozen discard is still alive/strong? Also do u have a recipe for walnut cranberry loaf,?

    1. You are most welcome:) I kept my discard in the freezer. I think 1 - 2 months old sometimes when I used my discard. As long as the discard is not turning acid sour or watery then it is good to use. Discard usually is not strong but still alive.

      Sorry I do not have walnut cranberry loaf. Just use any Shokupan or basic bread recipe and add walnut and cranberry.

      Cheers :)

  4. Hi for Japanese white bread with discard, is it necessary to keep the discard in room temperature until it peaks?

    1. Hi, thanks for your interest in this recipe. No, we use direct from the fridge or defrost first if you store in the freezer. We don't wait until it get peaks for discard as we do not feed the discard. It was already peak then only we keep the discard in the fridge or feezer.

      I hope my explanation is clear.

      Cheers :)


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