Raisin Yuzu Milk Buns

8/26/2019 10:00:00 PM

Raisin Yuzu Milk Buns! These buns are super soft and fluffy thanks to the magic of tangzhong, and are studded with sweet and juicy raisins and gorgeous aromatic candied yuzu peel. They're delicious plain, or slathered with loads of butter!

Raisin Yuzu Milk Rolls
Raisin Yuzu Milk Buns

A little while ago I was gifted a pack of Japanese and Korean ingredients from The Essential Ingredient to cook with. There were lots of delicious goodies - sweet red miso paste, dashi, yuzu koshou, smoked soy sauce and more! I knew that there were loads of savoury things I could make (and I do have plans), but of course my eyes zoomed to the candied yuzu peel and my first thoughts were to make a sweet treat.

The Essential Ingredient Japanese Pack
The Essential Ingredient Japanese Pack

The candied yuzu peel is similar to candied orange peel, but has a lovely fresh, almost floral aroma, kinda like a mandarin or grapefruit. I thought it would add a lovely accent to an Asian-inspired bread. And if it was going to be an Asian-style bread, it had to be a tangzhong dough! I've been wanting to try the tangzhong method for ages, mainly thanks to all the super-fluffy and delicious breads I'd seen on Not Quite Nigella, Feedmeichi and from Kim-Joy on Great British Bake Off.

The tangzhong method is a way of making bread that is originally Japanese, but is extremely popular all throughout Asia. You know those super-light and fluffy breads you get at Asian bakeries like Bread Top? Those are made with tangzhong! You start by making the tangzhong / water roux itself - whisking together flour and liquid over heat until thickened.

Tangzhong roux

After making the tangzhong and letting it cool, everything else is just like a standard yeasted bread dough. You chuck all the ingredients and tangzhong into a mixer, then knead, prove, shape, prove, and bake. (Gosh, if I had realised that tangzhong was this simple I would have tried it ages ago!) The addition of the tangzhong adds moisture to the dough, making it softer and fluffier, and helps to keep it fresher for longer.

I adapted the buns from the Hokkaido Milk Roll recipe on the King Arthur Flour website, which stood out to me for its precision. (Gram and volume measurements! A specific temperature goal to aim for so you know it's cooked through!) As this was my first time trying a new method, I didn't want to leave much room for interpretation or error.

Bread dough on hook
Bread dough

Here's the windowpane test to check for sufficient gluten development! Yup, it's ready.

Bread dough windowpane test
Windowpane test

I added the yuzu peel and soaked raisins to the dough, as well as some cinnamon and mixed spice, for a bit of a hot cross bun vibe.

Proofed bread dough

The dough is very soft and wet, so it was a bit tricky to shape into balls. Just be patient and do your best!

Buns ready for baking
Buns ready for baking

And here they are, baked!

Raisin Yuzu Milk Rolls
Raisin Yuzu Milk Buns

So fluffeh!

Raisin Yuzu Milk Rolls
Raisin Yuzu Milk Buns

These buns were awesome! I couldn't believe something so fluffy came out of my kitchen! I absolutely loved them fresh from the oven, and while most homemade breads go stale super quick, these buns were still great for the next couple of days. (After the third day they needed to be toasted before being eaten, but I left them out, uncovered. I'm sure they'd last longer if you kept them in an airtight container!)

Raisin Yuzu Milk Rolls
Raisin Yuzu Milk Buns

If you like baking bread at home, definitely give the tangzhong method a go! It's only a tiny bit of extra work and the results are so great! Fluffy deliciousness can be yours too!

Raisin Yuzu Milk Buns / レーズン柚子食パン
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

For the tangzhong
3 tablespoons (43 grams) water
3 tablespoons (43 grams) full cream milk
2 tablespoons (14 grams) bread flour
For the bread
1/2 cup (75 grams) raisins
2.5 cups (300 grams) bread flour
2 tablespoons (15 grams) milk powder
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon (10 grams) dried yeast
1/2 cup (125 millilitres) milk
1 egg
1/4 cup (57 grams) melted unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
2 tablespoons (20 grams) candied yuzu peel, finely chopped
1 extra egg, for egg wash

To make the tangzong, whisk together the water, milk and flour in a small saucepan until smoothly combined. Cook over a medium heat, whisking all the while, for 3-5 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened and the whisk leaves lines on the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat, transfer the mixture to a bowl and cover with clingfilm, with the clingfilm directly touching the tangzhong to prevent it from forming a skin. Set aside until it cools to room temperature.
To make the bread, place the raisins in a heatproof bowl and pour hot water from the kettle over the raisins. Set aside to plump up while you make the bread.
Place the bread flour, milk powder, sugar, salt, yeast, milk, egg, melted butter, cinnamon, mixed spice and tangzhong in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Stir to combine, then knead for 5-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic and it passes the windowpane test.
Drain the raisins and add to the dough. Add the chopped candied yuzu peel and knead a few times until the fruit is evenly distributed.
Form the dough into a smooth ball, cover with clingfilm, and allow to prove in a warm place for 60-90 minutes or until risen and puffy.
Lightly grease a 23 cm metal cake tin with butter.
Knock the air out of the mixture and divide into 8 even balls, and arrange into the prepared cake tin. (The dough will be very wet and sticky so might be difficult to form into balls, just do your best.)
Cover with clingfilm and allow to prove in a warm spot for 50 minutes or until risen and puffy.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Beat the extra egg with a tablespoon of water. Brush the buns with the egg wash. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked though. (A food thermometer plunged into the centre of the middle buns should read 190F / 88C). The dough does brown quite quickly, so cover with foil during the cooking time if it's browning before it's cooked through.
Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
Makes 8 buns

Have you made this recipe? Leave a comment below! Tag me on Instagram @sarahcooksblog and hashtag #sarahcooksblog

Sarah received complimentary candied yuzu peel from The Essential Ingredient but was not obligated to post nor compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own.

You Might Also Like


  1. They look amazing! I am totally obsessed with tangzhong-I just made some honey buns with it. I love that furikake on rice too :D

    1. Those honey buns looked SO good!



My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.