This recipe for Matcha Shokupan yields a light and soft fluffy bread that has an earthy green tea flavour. It's great for sandwiches, Matcha French Toast, or snacking as is.
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Japanese Shokupan is similar to the French "pain de mie" which is basically white sandwich bread.
Shokupan means "eating/food bread," where shoku = "eating/food" and pan = "bread."
Why you'll love this recipe
This Matcha Shokupan yields a soft, cottony light bread that is versatile in sweet or savoury applications.
It remains tender at room temperature for days.
It only requires a few ingredients and one particular loaf pan.
For this particular Matcha Shokupan, in order to attain it's square shape, you'll need a special loaf pan.
It's a Pullman loaf pan, which is essentially a loaf pan with a lid.
When the bread bakes, the lid helps keep the dough from expanding outwardly and controls its shape.
If you don't have the pan, you can still bake it in a regular loaf pan.
However, it will not have that even square shape on all 4 sides.
Note: The dimensions of the Pullman loaf pan I used was: 21.3 x 12.2 x 11.4 cm // 8.4 x 4.8 x 4.5 inches.
Ingredients you'll need
The bread starts off with tangzhong, which is a cooked paste of flour, milk and water.
This tangzhong will include the matcha powder cooked into the flour paste.
I found that adding the matcha to the tangzhong paste helps the green tea powder distribute evenly with no lumps in the bread.
In addition to the tangzhong, you'll need:
- bread flour or all-purpose flour: I've tried both and all-purpose works fine; just be sure to knead well enough
- matcha: use the best quality matcha for great flavour as well as green colour retention while baking
- granulated sugar: adds sweetness to the milk bread
- sea salt: balances out the sweetness
- large egg: helps with the structure of the bread and keeps it soft
- active dry yeast: leavens the bread
- whole milk: adds moisture to the bread, and keeps it soft; you can use any milk you like
- butter: unsalted, cut into pieces, at room temperature; adds additional richness
The addition of tangzhong and the egg keeps this bread super soft and cottony.
How to make it
Make the tangzhong:
Make the tangzhong by combining milk, water and flour and matcha together (Step 1 below).
Stir with a whisk or spatula until it becomes a thick paste, over medium-low heat. Beware, it will thicken up quickly! (Step 2).
Remove from the heat and transfer the tangzhong to a stand mixer bowl (Step 3).
Make the dough:
To a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook, add in the flour, salt and egg.
In a small bowl, combine warmed milk, sugar and yeast. Stir to activate the yeast and set aside for a few minutes. Once bubbly, add the yeast mixture into the stand mixer bowl.
Turn on the mixer and knead until the dough comes together. It may appear dry at first, but will come together.
Once the dough is smooth, add in the butter in small pieces while the mixer is running.
Wait until each piece is fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next piece.
Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes in the mixer (Step 4 above).
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap/cloth. Place in a warm location and let it double in size, about 60-90 minutes, depending on how warm your kitchen is.
Deflate the dough and divide into 3 equal portions (Step 5 and 6).
Flatten out and roll each piece of dough into a rectangular shape about 2.5" wide and 6-7" long (Step 7).
Coil the dough up like a snail and pinch the seams closed.
Place the dough seam-side down in the loaf pan. Repeat with the remaining dough (Step 8).
Slide the lid on the loaf pan on and place in a warm location to rise again.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Once the loaf has almost risen to the top of the pan, bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 200F.
Let the milk bread cool completely before slicing.
Watch how to make it
FAQ's & troubleshooting
How to tell if the bread is fully proofed
To check when the dough is done proofing (rising), make a small indentation in the dough. If the dough:
- bounces back quickly, then it needs a little more time.
- fills back in slowly, it’s ready for the oven.
- indentation stays, it might be over proofed. Get it into the oven right away.
For this loaf, I find that when the dough reaches near the top of the pan, then it's ready for the oven.
Why is my dough so sticky before adding in the butter?
Depending on how large or small your egg is, you may need to add a little flour if the dough feels too sticky before adding in the butter.
Can you divide the dough into 2 instead of 3?
Yes, you can certainly divide the dough into 2 instead of 3.
I like dividing it into 3 as it helps to provide structure to the loaf as it rises.
Can I use a regular loaf pan?
Yes, you can bake this bread in a regular loaf pan. Just note that it will rise and have a rounded shape.
Can I slice into the loaf right away?
No, let the bread loaf completely cool before slicing. Cooling the loaf sets its structure.
How to retain that vibrant green colour?
Use the best quality matcha powder you can find. The crusts of the loaf will turn brown, but the interior will stay green.
How to store & reheat
Store the Matcha Shokupan in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, since it contains no preservatives.
You also can store it in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Alternatively, you can slice and freeze the bread (in a freezer-safe container) for up to 3 months.
For optimal texture, reheat the bread in the microwave for 10-20 seconds, until fluffy and soft.
You can also toast it in a toaster oven.
Ways to use the bread
You can use Matcha Shokupan as a sandwich bread.
Note: it is quite a delicate bread, so heavier toppings may not be suitable; otherwise you can slice it thicker.
Enjoy it toasted with some butter.
Trim off the crusts and make a Matcha Fruit Sando.
Or toast the bread and try Matcha Milk Jam/Green Tea Milk Spread spread on it.
You can omit the matcha and make a plain Japanese milk bread, which is amazing as a versatile sandwich bread!
Try adding hojicha powder for a roasted tea version.
Other recipes you may like
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Let me know if you try out this Matcha Shokupan recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Matcha Shokupan (Japanese Milk Bread)
- Pullman loaf pan: 21.3 x 12.2 x 11.4 cm // 8.4 x 4.8 x 4.5 inches
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 20 ml water
- 20 ml whole milk
- 15 g bread flour or all-purpose flour
- 5 g matcha
- 255 g bread flour or all-purpose flour plus more if needed
- 30 g granulated sugar
- 2 g sea salt
- 6 g active dry yeast
- 113 ml whole milk
- 1 large egg (about 55g)
- 20 g unsalted butter
Make the tangzhong:
- Combine milk, water, flour and matcha together in a small saucepan.
- Stir with a spatula or whisk over medium-low heat, until it becomes a thick paste. (Beware, it will thicken up quickly).
- Remove from the heat and transfer the tangzhong to a stand mixer bowl to cool.
Make the dough:
- To the stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook, add in the flour, salt and egg.
- In a small bowl, combine warmed milk, sugar and yeast. Stir to activate the yeast and set aside for a few minutes.
- Once bubbly, add the yeast mixture into the stand mixer bowl.
- Turn on the mixer and knead until the dough comes together. It may appear dry at first, but it will come together. Conversely, if your dough is sticky, it may be because of how large your egg is -- add a little more flour until it doesn't feel too sticky.
- Once the dough is smooth, add in the butter in small pieces while the mixer is running.
- Wait until each piece is fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next piece.
- Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes in the mixer.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap/cloth. Place in a warm location and let it double in size, about 60-90 minutes, depending on how warm your kitchen is.
- Deflate the dough and divide into 3 equal portions.
- Flatten out and roll each piece of dough with a rolling pin into a rectangular shape about 3" wide and 6-7" long.
- Coil the dough up like a snail and pinch the seams closed.
- Flatten it out again with a rolling pin and roll it out the other way, (about 2.5" wide and 6-7" long).
- Repeat by coiling up the dough again and pinching the seams closed.
- Place the dough seam-side down in the loaf pan. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Slide the lid on the loaf pan on and place in a warm location to rise again.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/177°C.
- Once the loaf has almost risen to the top of the pan, bake at 350°F/177°C for 30-35 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 200°F/93°C.
- Let the milk bread cool completely before slicing.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.