Home · Recipes Chocolate Milk Bread Author: Maryanne CabreraPublished: Jun 10, 2020Updated: Oct 16, 2023 View Recipe12 ReviewsThis post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy. Soft and fluffy chocolate milk bread is great for toast, sweet sandwiches, and stuffed French toast. And of course, it’s delicious enjoyed on its own! I’ve been experimenting with different flavored milk breads due to the popularity of this Japanese Milk Bread. After the success of Ube Milk Bread, I’m back with a second variation. Say hello to this super versatile Chocolate Milk Bread! Japanese Chocolate Milk Bread There’s no wrong way to enjoy this chocolate milk bread. Spread peanut butter and top it with sliced bananas. Or maybe, whipped cream cheese spread with sliced strawberries and a drizzle of honey. For a little more work, turn it into French toast. Or for something more decadent, bake it into chocolate swirl bread pudding. However you choose to enjoy this milk bread, it’s bound to be soft, fluffy, and delicious. Water Roux Creates Soft Fluffy Bread Japanese milk bread, also known as Hokkaido milk bread, is known for its pillow soft interior. The bread achieves its iconic texture from the use of a dough starter or water roux. Creating a water roux is super simple. Flour, milk, and water is heated together to form a thick paste. This paste creates a forgiving, easy to work with dough. *NOTE: The recipe listed here makes TWO loaves! You will use half the water roux to make the cream colored milk dough and the other half to make the brown chocolate milk dough. What is Milk Powder? Known by name names including: powdered milk, dried milk, and instant milk. In simple terms, milk powder is dehydrated milk! It is used in a variety of dessert and baked good recipes. It’s great for recipes that could benefit from the flavor of milk without the added liquid. Find it in the baking aisle of supermarkets alongside flour and sugar. Instant non-fat milk powder is most commonly available. Dried whole milk is a bit more difficult to find. Two Doughs Swirled Together This recipe makes two loafs of bread. It also requires you to make two separate doughs, a cream colored milk dough and brown milk chocolate dough. I suggest starting with the milk dough. No need to clean out the mixing bowl. Any remnants will be kneaded into the milk chocolate dough. Each loaf will have 4 cream colored milk doughs and 4 brown colored chocolate milk doughs. It is important to keep the dough covered with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. Depending on the humidity and temperature of your working environment, it may take anywhere from 45 minute to 90 minutes for the dough to double in volume. NOTE: You can use either instant yeast or dry active yeast for this recipe. Instant yeast tends to rise faster than dry active yeast. How to assemble marbled dough Divide each dough into 8 equal parts. Use a kitchen scale for ease and accuracy. You will end up with a total of 16 parts. Roll each part into a ball. Keep dough covered with plastic wrap as you work to prevent dough from drying out. Take one chocolate dough ball. Flatten or roll out to a length of 8-inches and width of 5-inches. Grab a milk dough ball and place on top of rolled out chocolate dough. Roll milk dough to same measurements of chocolate dough. Starting at the shorter end, roll dough into a log. Place log seam side down on work surface. Use a small rolling pin to flatten the log. Roll dough into a rectangle 5-inches wide and 7-inches long. Starting at the shorter end, roll dough into a log. Place log seam side down into loaf pan. Repeat steps until each loaf pan has a total of four logs. For a better marble effect, alternate outer dough color. Recommended bread loaf pans Pullman Loaf Pan: creates perfectly square breads The photo above shows bread baked in a pullman loaf pan with lid. I purchased mine from Williams Sonoma years ago. Standard Loaf Pan: creates rounded top bread loaf The standard loaf pan used for quick breads like banana bread may be used for this recipe. It will created a domed, rounded bread loaf. Either pan works well in this recipe. Pullman loaf will result in a straight-edged rectangular block. Whereas, the standard loaf pan will create a tall loaf with peaks and valleys. What does the finished bread taste like? On a scale of one to ten sweeteness (ten being most sweet), this bread is about 6. It’s not overtly sweet. The marbled chocolate milk bread is the perfect vehicle for your favorite sweet toppings. It’s a soft and fluffy versatile bread. The chocolate flavor is apparent, but not pronounced. Use Dutch-process cocoa powder for best results. The cocoa powder add color and just a touch of flavor. If you want a very chocolate rich, flavor forward bread, I suggest making this chocolate babka instead. Storage and Leftovers Thanks to the water roux, this milk bread will stay soft days after baking! Allow the baked bread to cool temperature before storing. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days. For longer storage, wrap loaf in plastic wrap and place inside a ziptop bag. Store in the freezer for up to one month. Defrost at room temperature. Chocolate Milk Bread 5 from 2 votes Soft and fluffy marbled chocolate milk bread. This is a variation on the popular Japanese milk bread recipe.Yield: makes TWO 9×5-inch loaves Prep Time: 1 hour hour 20 minutes minutesCook Time: 1 hour hourDough Rising: 1 hour hourTotal Time: 3 hours hours 20 minutes minutes Servings: 20 slices Print Recipe Pin Recipe Rate Recipe IngredientsStarter Roux:45 grams (⅓ cup) all-purpose flour120 ml (½ cup) whole milk120 ml (½ cup) waterMilk Dough:7 grams (2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast *see notes for instant yeast120 ml (½ cup) whole milk warmed to 100-110°F325 grams bread flour50 grams (¼ cup) granulated sugar1 Tbsp milk powder *1 tsp kosher salt1 large egg, room temp60 grams (¼ cup) unsalted butterMilk Chocolate Dough:7 grams (2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast120 ml (½ cup) whole milk warmed to 100-110°F310 grams (2 cups + 6 Tbsp) bread flour50 grams (½cup) unsweetened cocoa powder100 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar2 Tbsp milk powder1 tsp kosher salt1 large egg room temp60 grams (¼ cup) unsalted butter softened, room temp Instructions Starter Roux:In a medium pot, whisk together flour, milk, and water. Set over medium heat. Stir often, making sure to pay attention to the bottom edges of the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of mashed potatoes.Remove from heat. Transfer mixture to a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, allowing wrap to lay directly on top of mixture. Cool to room temperature.Dough:Dissolve yeast and 1 tsp sugar in warm milk. Let mixture sit for 5-7 minutes to allow yeast to activate.*see notes if using instant yeastIn the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together bread flour, remaining sugar, milk powder, and salt. Attach dough hook to mixer. Add in half of cooled starter roux mixture (about ½ cup), egg, and yeast-milk mixture. Knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Scrape down bowl to ensure thorough mixing.Add softened butter and continue to knead on low speed for 5 minutes until butter in integrated into dough. Increase to medium speed and knead for another 5 minutes until dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for one hour until dough has doubled in volume. Meanwhile, prepare milk chocolate dough.Milk Chocolate Dough:Dissolve yeast and 1 tsp sugar in warm milk. Let mixture sit for 5-7 minutes to allow yeast to activate.*see notes if using instant yeastIn the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, remaining sugar, milk powder, and salt. Attach dough hook to mixer. Add in remaining ½ of cooled starter roux mixture, egg, and yeast-milk mixture. Knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Scrape down bowl to ensure thorough mixing.Add softened butter and continue to knead on low speed for 5 minutes until butter is incorporated into dough. Increase to medium speed and knead for another 5 minutes until dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for one hour, until dough has doubled in volume.Assembly:Grease two 9×4 or 9×5-inch loaf pans or pullman loaf pans. If desired, line pans with parchment paper to allow for easy bread removal. Set aside.Working with milk dough first. Punch down risen dough. Transfer to clean work surface. Divide dough into 8 equal parts. (Use a kitchen scale for ease and accuracy.) Roll each part into a ball. Cover dough with plastic wrap as you work to prevent dough from drying out or forming a skin.Next, work with milk chocolate dough. Punch down risen dough. Transfer to clean work surface. Divide dough into 8 equal parts. Roll each part into a ball. Cover dough with plastic wrap as you work to prevent dough from drying out or forming a skin.Grab one milk dough ball. Flatten or roll out dough to a length of about 8-inches and width of 5-inches. Grab milk chocolate ball and repeat rolling to same measurements. Place milk chocolate dough over milk dough. Starting at the shorter end, roll dough together into a log. Place log seam side down on work surface. Use a small rolling pin to flatten and roll log into a rectangle about 5-inches wide and 7-inches long. Starting at the shorter end, roll dough into a log. Place log seam side down into prepared loaf pan. Repeat process until each pan has a total of four logs.Cover the two loaf pans with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Baking:Preheat oven to 350°F.Remove plastic wrap from loaf pans. *If using standard loaf pan, lightly brush the top of risen dough with heavy cream or milk. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until the top of the bread is golden brown and the internal temperature of the bread registers at least 190°F. *If using pull pan loaf, cover pan with lid. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove lid, and bake for another 18-20 minutes until internal temperature of bread registers at least 190°F on digital kitchen thermometer. Let bread cool in pan for 5 minutes. Unmold bread from pan and place on wire rack. Cool to room temperature. Once cooled, use serrated knife to slice bread. NotesIngredient Notes: Milk powder is found in the baking aisle of the supermarket alongside flour and sugar. It is also labeled as “instant dry milk.” Non-fat dry milk powder is the most common variety sold. Whole dry milk will also work in this recipe. The milk powder provides additional flavor. Simply omit, if you cannot find it. The recipe works best with bread flour. However, you can use all-purpose flour. Instant Yeast: Whisk instant yeast along with bread flour, sugar, milk powder, and salt in Step 2. No need to rehydrate the yeast in Step 1. Author: Maryanne Cabrera Course: BreakfastCuisine: American, AsianKeyword: chocolate, chocolate bread, milk bread, swirl bread Did you make this recipe?Show us on Instagram! Tag @littleepicurean and hashtag #littleepicurean.