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Shokupan - Square Japanese Milk Bread

Welcome to the ultimate guide to shokupan! Here we will explore the basics, baking techniques and recipe variations. Whether you're an experienced baker or a curious food enthusiast, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to know. 

What is Shokupan?

Shokupan, also known as Japanese milk bread, is a soft and fluffy bread with a tender crumb that melts in your mouth. It gained popularity in Japan and has since become a beloved treat worldwide. The unique characteristic of shokupan lies in its square shape, which is achieved by baking it in a specialised tin.
Shokupan - Square Japanese Milk Bread



To create the perfect shokupan, it's essential to pay attention to the dough preparation process. Start by combining bread flour, sugar, salt, yeast and milk in a mixing bowl. Mix the ingredients until they form a shaggy dough, then knead it until it becomes smooth and elastic.

Proofing the dough:

After kneading, the dough needs to go through a proofing process. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a damp cloth and let it rise in a warm and draft-free area for about an hour. This step allows the yeast to ferment and leaven the dough, resulting in an important light and airy texture.

Shaping and baking:

Once the dough has been proofed, it's time to shape it into the iconic square form of shokupan. Take the risen dough and gently punch it down to release any air bubbles. Divide the dough into equal portions and shape each piece into a rectangle. Then, carefully roll up the rectangle tightly, starting from one end. Place the rolled dough into a greased shokupan tin and let it rise again for about 30 minutes. Finally, bake the bread in a preheated oven until it turns golden brown.
Shokupan - Square Japanese Milk Bread

Shokupan variations:

Shokupan is not always plain-flavoured or even in its traditional cube shape! Check out some cute animal-shaped shokupan tins available at Minimaru! You could make a matcha version, by infusing the dough with matcha powder. For those with a sweet tooth, chocolate chips could be added to the dough before shaping and baking, then as the dough bakes the chocolate melts creating pockets of gooey goodness in the loaf.
Alternatively, a cheese-filled shokupan could include grated cheese on the surface of the rolled-out dough. After baking, when you slice the bread, a delightful stringy cheese effect will wow. 
Shokupan - Square Japanese Milk Bread

Check out the full recipe for One Loaf Shokupan at this link.  For an authentic shokupan bread pan, shop here

This article has been provided by Minimaru

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