I got this recipe from the350degreeoven.com (you can view detailed step-by-step pictures here). Japanese Milk Bread - using the Tangzhong or Water Roux Method (are you impressed?). I decided to make it because it looked cute and the recipe actually didn't appear too scary. I'm so proud of myself!
2 1/2 c bread flour
2 tsp active dry yeast
4 T sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c milk
3 T unsalted butter
1/2 c tangzhong (see recipe below)
TANGZHONG (water roux)
1/3 c bread flour
1 c water
Make the Tangzhong: Blend the flour and water in a small sauce pan, and heat over medium heat while stirring with a whisk. As soon as the mixture thickens and swirl lines appear, remove from heat and allow to cool. (This recipe will provide a double batch of tangzhong – store the unused half in the refrigerator for your next loaf, for up to 3 days.)
In the bottom of a bread machine pan, add the milk (beaten with the egg), sugar, salt, and butter (cut into pieces). Add 1/2 c. of the cooled tangzhong.
On top of the liquid ingredients, add the flour. Make a well in the top of the flour, and put the yeast into the well. Do not allow the yeast to come in contact with the liquid ingredients in the bottom of the pan.
Using your bread machine’s dough function, allow the dough to combine, knead, and rise. (You can mix and knead by hand, but you will need to work the dough for about 15 minutes to build up the gluten in the dough, and allow it to rise in a warm location (loosely covered) for about 1 hour.)
When the dough is ready, divide it into 4 pieces. Flatten each piece into an oval with a rolling pin. (You can use a little flour to keep it from sticking – but don’t use too much or the dough will become dry.) Fold the long edges of the oval inward (in thirds). Flip over, and roll again to flatten. Then flip back over. Roll the piece from the bottom up (smooth side out) and set aside. Repeat with the remaining dough.
In a regular loaf pan, place the 4 rolls side by side (seam side down). Allow the dough to rise for another 30 minutes, until doubled. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 335 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes at 335 degrees. Remove the pan from the oven, Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Remove the loaf to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.