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5 from 1 vote

Chocolate Milk Bread

Soft and fluffy marbled chocolate milk bread. This is a variation on the popular Japanese milk bread recipe.
Yield: makes TWO 9x5-inch loaves
Prep Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Dough Rising: 1 hr
Total Time: 3 hrs 20 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American, Asian
Keyword: chocolate, chocolate bread, milk bread, swirl bread
Servings: 20 slices
Author: Maryanne Cabrera

Ingredients

Starter Roux:

  • 45 grams (⅓ cup) all-purpose flour
  • 120 ml (½ cup) whole milk
  • 120 ml (½ cup) water

Milk Dough:

  • 7 grams (2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast *see notes for instant yeast
  • 120 ml (½ cup) whole milk warmed to 100-110°F
  • 325 grams bread flour
  • 50 grams (¼ cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp milk powder *
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 60 grams (¼ cup) unsalted butter

Milk Chocolate Dough:

  • 7 grams (2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast
  • 120 ml (½ cup) whole milk warmed to 100-110°F
  • 310 grams (2 cups + 6 Tbsp) bread flour
  • 50 grams (½cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 100 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large egg room temp
  • 60 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 yeast
  • In 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 yeast
  • In 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 9x4 or 9x5-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.

Notes

Ingredient 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.