Sep 25

Milk Shokupan (Japanese Style White Sandwich Bread)

in ad-free, Bread, Giveaway, Japanese, Product Reviews

Milk Shokupan, Japanese Style White Sandwich Bread

The first time Mr. Fuji and I moved to Japan I was quick to notice the sandwich bread, known as shokupan, in our local supermarket: cellophane bags filled with thick square slices of white bread, and no heels in sight—and when I say thick, I’m talking one and half inches thick!  Mr. Fuji told me the first time he lived in Japan, as a missionary, they would go to their local bakery and the owner would give them bags filled with the unwanted heels for next to nothing, because they didn’t sell them with the loaves of bread.  (Random fact: In Japanese, the heels are called pan no mimi, which directly translated means bread ears.)  What surprised me even more than the thick slices or the missing heels, was the taste.  Shokupan was deadly good—slightly sweet, moist, and incredibly fluffy.  I realized that if I allowed myself to give in to my cravings for this delicious baked devil, I would soon be looking like the Pillsbury Doughboy’s sister.  In the ten years since my first encounter with shokupan, I’ve learned some self-restraint.  My friend Noriko shared her recipe for milk shokupan (shokupan that uses milk in place of all other liquids in the recipe) a while back, which is so good that I only allow myself to make a loaf at a time, otherwise I risk going on a bread eating bender.

Milk Shokupan

For years I have religiously used SAF Instant Yeast in my making, and so when Red Star (makers of SAF Instant Yeast) contacted me and told me that they were launching a new kind of yeast, I couldn’t wait to try it!  I decided that the shokupan recipe would be the perfect test run of the new yeast.

Red Star PLATINUM Superior Baking Yeast



Red Star PLATINUM Superior Baking Yeast is a premium instant yeast blended with select dough improvers that are commonly used by professional bakers.  Red Star talks about how the yeast strengthens the dough and improves its tolerance to variations in kneading, rising, and flour quality, as well as increasing the amount of leavening retained in the dough and the oven ‘spring’ and finished volume of the baked product.  The day I made bread was a crazy day with lots going on, and so I figured it would be the perfect day to use the yeast, since I would be distracted and running around like a chicken with its head cut off.  If this yeast could get me through absent-minded baking, then it would pass the test.

Shaping the shokupan loaf2nd rise of the shokupan dough

My children can attest that the bread did in fact turn out—I was worried no one else was going to get any bread because they loved it so much.

The Fujis make bread

It was light, pillowy, slightly, and moist . . . just like the shokupan I fell in love with in Japan.  You have GOT to try the PLATINUM yeast!  In fact, one of you lucky readers will get to, because Red Star is sponsoring a giveaway! (See details after the recipe below.)


If you want a treat, make yourself some shokupan, and then find yourself a quiet corner to sit and close your eyes while you chew.  And don’t worry, I sized the recipe to only make one loaf—I wouldn’t want you to be tempted to go overboard or anything.

Fresh sliced milk shokupan

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Milk Shokupan (Japanese Style White Sandwich Bread)

Makes one 1 1/2 pound loaf

2 1/4 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 packet (1/4 ounce, 7 grams, or 2 1/4 teaspoons) instant dry yeast
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
8.5 ounces warm milk (120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit)

1. Mix the half of the bread flour with the sugar, yeast, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

2. Add the warm milk, and blend, then mix in the remaining bread flour until incorporated. In a mixer, using the dough hook attachment, knead the dough for 5 minutes. Alternatively, knead the dough on a floured surface until the dough is smooth and elastic.

3. Cover the dough and let it rise until it doubles in size (about 1 hour).

4. Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 8 inches by 14 inches on a smooth, greased surface with a greased rolling pin (the dough will be sticky).

5. Fold over the short ends slightly, and roll up the rectangle, then place the roll, seem side down, in a greased bread loaf pan.

6. Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place until the dough has risen to about 3/4-inch above the top of the bread pan.

7. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 390 degrees Fahrenheit.

8. When the dough is ready to go into the oven, brush the top of the dough lightly with some milk, then bake it in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes (the top of the loaf should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped lightly on top). Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool for a couple of minutes and then gently remove the loaf from the bread pan and let it cool completely on a wire cooling rack.


VIP Red Star PLATINUM Sample Package Giveaway! — Giveaway is now closed.

[UPDATE]: Congrats to Ariel Welch, the winner of this giveaway! 

What’s included in this prize pack–

  • Samples of Red Star PLATINUM Superior Baking Yeast
  • Snazzy pin stripe Red Star Apron
  • Wood Red Star cutting board
  • Coupons for Red Star PLATINUM Superior Baking Yeast

As a bonus, the winner of this VIP Package will also be entered to win a KitchenAid Mixer! The fabulous KitchenAid drawing will be held on November 12, 2012.

To enter: Leave a comment below!  Giveaway now closed.

Contest rules: The contest will close Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 at 11:00 pm EST. The contest is open to residents of the US and Canada. The winner will be chosen randomly via and notified by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.


**Discloser: I was provided samples of Red Star PLATINUM Superior Baking Yeast to try, but opinions expressed are always my own!

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Kirsty September 25, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Wow – that looks amazing! I love the description of the bread being “pillowy” in texture…I can almost taste it. :)


Alessa September 25, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I’m headed to the kitchen to make this bread now!


Fuji Nana September 25, 2012 at 5:50 pm

I love this bread. What do you think will happen if I double the recipe? (To the BREAD, not to me.)


Gail September 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Thanks for the recipe Rachael! I can’t wait to make some.

Gail ([email protected])


Therese September 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm

My whole family loves bread and that looks delicious!


Kirk September 25, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Looks great! Shokupan is a much nicer name than what sandwich bread is called when in Spain: pan de molde.


Lori September 25, 2012 at 6:07 pm

This is very interesting – the bread and the history. I learned something new tonight and that is a good thing. I am going to make this bread but will first try and find that yeast because I want to do things right. Some day I want to also visit Japan, a dream of mine.


Nancy September 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm

I’ve never baked my own bread, but I’ve been interested in trying! This recipe seems simple enough, and the yeast sounds like it would help make things even easier. :)


Deanna September 25, 2012 at 6:25 pm

What perfect looking bread! I can just about smell the wonderfulness. Having been to Japan more times than I can count, I can attest to all the tasty breads there. I’ll search out Red Star yeast here in Honolulu!


LiztheChef September 25, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Perfect for the “Unprocessed” Challenge right around the corner…Is that a new hairdo? Cute!


Betzee September 25, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Looks wonderful!


Amy Tong September 25, 2012 at 7:21 pm

I adore Japanese milk bread. I’ve been baking them for years and my family loves it too. :) your loaf looks so good. Totally delicious fluffy goodness.


Carla McFarland September 25, 2012 at 7:24 pm

I looove this bread. Thanks for the recipe . I will try it.


Nolwenn September 25, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Ooooh you know I was waiting for the story and recipe of your shokupan bread :D
And I am so happy that the giveaway is also open to Canada residents so I can enter to win. I so enjoy baking…


Liz September 25, 2012 at 7:54 pm

this bread looks delicious!


Helen September 25, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Yum, those thick slices sound like they would be good as the old fashioned “bread and milk” for supper. Mom would sometimes fix us that when we had a large late lunch… using her homemade bread and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on top.


Claudine September 25, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Looks great, just like the bread in L.A.’s Japanese bakeries!


Bonnie September 25, 2012 at 8:01 pm



Ariel Welch September 25, 2012 at 8:33 pm

I’ve never made bread at home beside pizza dough, but this has inspire me to.


Maggie Longshore September 25, 2012 at 9:02 pm

I came across your post from zite. the bread looks delicious and you make it sound simple. I will have to make it soon.


Jessie Kerr-Whitt September 25, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Wow. I haven’t made bread in decades — you’ve inspired me to make a loaf of this next week. Yum!


Elaine September 25, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Will the bread be sweet with only 2 tbsp of sugar? I’m not a fan of the sweetness of plain bread in asian cooking but I love the texture.


Elizabeth T September 25, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Heaven! Pillowy heaven! I think part of the reason why it’s so hard to stop eating this bread is because it’s so light and fluffy, you don’t realize just how much you’re eating until…the loaf is gone :(


Lauriel September 25, 2012 at 9:31 pm

That looks delicious, definitely going to try it (and check out the yeast)! :9


Sara September 25, 2012 at 9:38 pm

That looks extremely delicious!


Julie Huffman September 25, 2012 at 9:51 pm

I would love to try that platinum yeast I really like baking and eating bread,I usually make about six or seven loaves and give four or five away.


Lori Taufen September 25, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Reminds me of the sweet dough bread my mother used to make. It was gone before it had a chance to cool off!


Linda H September 25, 2012 at 11:20 pm

I so remember that bread when I was visitng Japan with my family at the age of 9! It was so yummy and so different from the American bread I knew. Can’t wait to bake my own loaf of shokupan, especially with the Red Star PLATINUM Yeast


Leslie September 25, 2012 at 11:29 pm

I haven’t seen the new Platinum yeast in local HEB yet, but will try this with the SAF I have.


Doug September 26, 2012 at 12:44 am

I just got into baking. This sounds like a great recipe to try! Can’t wait to make it.


Oscar's Mum September 26, 2012 at 1:58 am

We’ve just got back from 2 weeks holiday in Japan, and just loved the bread, my son in particular. He asked today if we could make bread, and here is your recipe! We’ll be trying it on the weekend.


Mike September 26, 2012 at 3:20 am

What are you doing to us?! Of course I gotta go make this now. It sounds heavenly. Thanks so much for the recipe.


tawney September 26, 2012 at 4:24 am

The variations of a small number of ingredients in white bread is fascinating. This looks so airy and the fluffy description has put it at the top of my must try list. Thanks.


nicole September 26, 2012 at 4:36 am

alas i am one of those novice chefs (ugh i hate that word lol i sooo don’t qualify) who is expressly petrified of any baking involving yeast. now i at least know which type of yeast to use, though it would be amazing to win so if it all goes south i didn’t waste any money lol


Sylvia September 26, 2012 at 6:06 am

Blast from the past! While serving in the Peace Corps in Labasa, Fiji Islands, we we bought this fabulous white bread from a Chinese baker on our island. I wonder if the Platinum Red Star yeast and your milk bread recipe will produce a similar quality bread!?! I haven’t seen this yeast in my local store, but will expand my search. Thank you!


Charlynne B September 26, 2012 at 6:09 am

I grew up in Japan and LOVE shokupan. (It also makes the best BLTs!) Thanks for sharing the recipe…I can’t wait to try it!


Michelle September 26, 2012 at 6:53 am

That looks sooo good.


Hikari September 26, 2012 at 8:17 am

Mmmm… I’m excited to try this bread.


Kay September 26, 2012 at 8:24 am

Japanese shokupan is just sooooooooo good, thanks for posting this recipe!


Jeff September 26, 2012 at 9:59 am

I don’t often bake, but this looks really good. Plus I’m sure I would look great in that apron… O_o


JT September 26, 2012 at 10:21 am

That bread looks wonderful. I’m going to have to try making it!


Ting September 26, 2012 at 10:55 am

I always make bread with my home grown wild yeast. But this one looks interesting!


Peggy Mato September 26, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Oishiso!! My son LOVES bread and this seems so easy! I will definitely be giving it a try! Thank you!


mary fanara coleman September 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm

I follow you on instagram and saw this recipe. So glad I remembered to check your blog. Thanks for having this giveaway.


chelsa September 26, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I love bread i so going to make this bread,i new to breadmaking just this month i had make my first vanilla bean challah loaf it was so good it was gone in twodays.


Jeannie W September 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I can’t wait to try making it using the yeast, the bread looks amazing.


Ilana September 26, 2012 at 7:13 pm

I’ve been looking for a good bread recipe that doesn’t use eggs. I’m definitely going to try this one.


Kate @ Eat, Recycle, Repeat September 26, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Nice haircut! We used to make shokupan with heavy cream at the bakery where I worked.


Valentina September 26, 2012 at 10:40 pm

yum! looks like a loaf of comfort!


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