Japanese Milk Buns Recipe: Soft & Easy-to-Make Homemade Rolls by Chef Gigi

Japanese Milk Buns Recipe: Soft & Easy-to-Make Homemade Rolls

These soft and delicious milk buns are a staple at my house at least three times a week. I usually double the homemade bread recipe because my family eats them up fast. The Japanese milk buns are super soft and spongy, fast and enjoyable to make.

To make these easy milk buns you need just a short list of ingredients. Here is what you need to gather from your pantry and fridge to make these milk buns: bread flour, sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, active dry yeast, granulated sugar, salt, unsalted butter and eggs. Allow about an hour and a half of rising time (so worth it!).

Serve these soft and fluffy dinner rolls hot out of the oven or at room temperature slathered in butter (try my homemade butter recipe) as a side dish with dinner or a quick snack. You could also smear them with jam, fruit preserves or honey, or use them to make sandwiches.

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Cuisine: Japanese
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours and 25 minutes
Servings: 24


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Recipe Notes

  • Rising time can vary depending on the environmental temperatures, humidity and barometric pressure. The dough will rise faster in warmer weather than colder weather at higher and lower altitudes.
  • Store the milk buns in an airtight container on the counter.

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Add the milk into a small bowl and microwave 30 seconds to warm but not to exceed approximately 110 degrees F, which will kill the yeast. Add a pinch of sugar and the active dry yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes so the yeast will bubble. Gather the remaining ingredients in your stand mixer's bowl while the yeast activates.
  2. Add the yeast mixture to the bowl and, using the dough hook on your mixer mix, combine and knead for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth. Scrape the dough from the sides of the bowl midway through. The dough should be wet and a bit sticky.
  3. Spray a bowl with a thin layer of oil. Place the dough into the bowl and gently spray the top. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot and rise until the dough doubles, about 45 minutes to an hour. Line a 13x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper while the dough is rising. You can also use a few round cake pans.
  4. Spill the dough onto a lightly oiled working surface. Divide the dough into pieces by cutting it into three even strips, then further cutting each strip into three small pieces. Each piece of dough should weigh 70 grams each.
  5. Take the pieces one at a time and roll in a circular motion with your palms cupped against the dough and resting on the work surface. Rolls until it forms a round ball. Place the dough balls onto the parchment paper, evenly spaced, in a 3-by-3 cluster or whatever will accommodate your pan. Cover the baking pan with plastic wrap. Rest again for another 35 to 45 minutes until the size doubles.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F while resting the shaped bread rolls. Before baking, gently dust a thin layer of flour onto the tops of the rolls. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top turns golden brown, then transfer it onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, smothered in butter.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 134

Total Fat: 3.2g

Saturated Fat: 1.6g

Cholesterol: 22mg

Sodium: 209mg

Total Carbohydrate: 22.9g

Dietary Fiber: 2g

Total Sugars: 11.9g

Protein: 5.1g

Vitamin D: 3mcg

Calcium: 21mg

Iron: 2mg

Potassium: 199mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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Chef Gigi
I always double this recipe it goes THAT fast in my house!
Elisa Schmitz
I'll bet they do! I can't believe you can make these amazing rolls with so few ingredients. So delish!!

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