The Greatest Dinner Rolls Ever. No, SERIOUSLY.

So, as good as the soft, fluffy milk buns were, I found one that’s even BETTER!

I am a solid believer in Tangzhong now. The difference in the texture in the finished bun is major. They’re like the softest, most tender, amazing bakery buns you’ve ever bought in a store – except you made them yourself!

Yes, that’s a lot of hype – but the buns live up to it.

Honestly, this was the first time I’ve ever used the dough hook on our stand mixer. I mean, we’ve had it over 20 years … and I’ve never used it. I generally don’t bake a lot of breads. I’ve been changing that this year though, and I’m finding the more I do it, the more I enjoy it.

Or maybe it’s just the finished products I enjoy so much. I don’t know. There’s nothing quite like fresh bread, right out of the oven though, is there?

There’s really not much else I can say that you won’t get from the video. I’ll drop the recipe below, since I’ll be coming back here again and again for it anyway!

If that doesn’t convince you to try them, I’m not sure we can be friends. Weigh your ingredients, mix all the things, wait, bake, enjoy. It’s worth the very minimal effort.

The Greatest Dinner Rolls Ever. No, SERIOUSLY!

These Hokkaido-method buns start out with a Tangzhong gluten-bomb to create the lightest, fluffiest, most tender buns you'll ever want. Great with dinner – or all by themselves with a little butter, or some spinach dip.
Prep Time3 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time28 minutes
Total Time3 hours 58 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: bread, buns, butter, Hokkaido, milk, soft, Tangzhong, tender, yeast
Servings: 9 buns
Author: Chris Pollard



  • 20 g bread flour
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 4 tbsp 60g whole milk

Bread Dough:

  • 320 g bread flour
  • 9 g active dry yeast instant works
  • ¾ tsp fine sea salt (3g)
  • ½ cup whole milk (1%/2% works fine)
  • 56 g granulated sugar
  • 42 g unsalted butter, softened (3 tbsp)
  • 1 large egg at room temperature

Egg wash:

  • 1 egg beaten
  • splash of milk (about 2 tbsp)

Garlic Butter:

  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (56g)


  • Take out egg to warm up. Do your mise en place!
  • Make Tangzhong: heat ingredients over medium heat in a saucepan, constantly whisking (30 sec-2 minutes) until thick. It will go from liquid to thick paste FAST! Cool to room temp.
  • Add 9 grams yeast to ½ cup milk that has been warmed to 100°. In my microwave, that meant from fridge to warm in about 35 seconds, checking at intervals with instant read thermometer. Mix well and let sit for 10 minutes
  • In a stand mixer bowl (mixer fitted with dough hook), add the dry dough ingredients and whisk to combine.
  • Begin mixing at low speed. Add tangzhong, yeast mix, and egg until dough begins to form. Increase speed to medium low and add butter in one tablespoon increments, incorporating each one before adding the next. Continue to mix 5-7 minutes, scraping the bowl if necessary, until dough is smooth and elastic.
  • Turn out dough onto unfloured surface and roll around until the dough forms a tight boule. Mine was pretty sticky, so I DID have to flour my hands, and dust the countertop in order to keep it from adhering.
  • Place boule in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a damp towel, and let rise at room temperature for 1-2 hours, until double in size.
  • Release your aggressions!! Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 9 chunks, roughly equal in size. (about 75-80g each). Roll chunks into small, tight boules and place in a greased cake pan (9”x9”), about 1” apart. I used a parchment paper liner inside the pan.
  • Cover again with a damp towel and allow to double in size again at room temp for about an hour. Longer if necessary. Marvel at their soft, pillowy goodness.
  • During this time, preheat oven to 350°.
  • When ready, brush rolls with egg wash and bake at 350° for about 28 minutes. Keep an eye on them, depending on your oven, you may need less time, may need a little more.
  • While buns are baking, make garlic butter by mincing garlic and putting in a cold pan with butter. Allow butter to just melt and remove from fire. (keep warm so butter doesn’t solidify)
  • When rolls come out of oven, brush generously with garlic butter.
  • As soon as you can touch them without burning yourself, dig in!!


In the video, he tops the buns with flaky salt after brushing on the garlic butter, but I skipped that part. I’m sure it’s delicious, but they really don’t need the extra salt. 
I found it a bit odd that when I brushed on the egg wash, it formed bubbles on the surface – just like big blisters.  Didn’t hurt the finished product in any way, just caught me off-guard and made them look odd in the first minutes of cooking:
Starting to bake …
I’m going to try turning this dough into cinnamon rolls!
SPOILER ALERT!! This stuff makes AMAZING cinnamon rolls!

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