When I first set out to make Hokkaido milk bread from scratch, I was nervous. These sky-high, snow-white loaves are the cornerstone of any respectable Asian bakery -- feathery soft yet rich and decadent, with wisps of bread that pull away in sheets when you separate its parts. For me, it was practically legendary.
To add to the mythos surrounding this lofty bread, I couldn’t find much in my research on traditional ways to make it, or even on its origins. Most recipes appeared to use tangzhong, a type of roux-like paste designed to give bread a finer crumb and a softer, fluffier texture. And many of them lead back to an recipe by Christine Ho, which is in turn based on a cookbook called 65 Degrees C by Yvonne Chen.