Japanese Butter Rolls – The Ultimate Bread Rolls For Bread Lovers 🥐
Growing up, these Japanese butter rolls have always been my favorite bread to eat. I would beg my parents to buy me one of these whenever they visit a Japanese bakery. The most magical thing about these rolls is that they combined seemingly contrasting elements, yet making it a much better experience. They are soft and fluffy, yet with a thin and crispy crust. They are also sweet, yet with a hint of saltiness to balance it out.
Yudane Method 💦
These Japanese butter rolls have the characteristics that most Japanese bread has in common – soft, fluffy and buttery. The key to achieve these features is the Yudane method. As I learned more about sourdough baking over the past year, I came across the Yudane Method. In order to bake using this method, all you need is to mix an equal portion of flour and boiling water. The effect of adding boiling water to flour helps gelatinise the starch in the flour. The gelatinised starch will then allow the starch to absorb more water, thus enhancing the sweetness of the bread.
Yudane method is in fact similar to the Tangzhong method I used in my sourdough shokupan recipe. Unlike the 1:1 flour-to-water ratio in Yudane method, the Tangzhong mixture is made by heating up a mixture of flour and water in the ratio of 1:5 to 65°C.
Interested in more sourdough recipe using the Yudane method? Check out the following recipes:
- Vegan Sourdough Shokupan
- Sourdough Cinnamon Roll
- Matcha Babkallah With Red Bean Paste
- Double Chocolate Babka Rolls
- Easter Bunny Rolls
- Sourdough Chocolate Hot Cross Buns
Filled With Buttery Goodness
If you love butter, you will definitely love these rolls. Apart from incorporating butter (vegan of course) into the dough, I also place a small butter cube with a pinch of sea salt on the dough before rolling them up into a crescent shape. While it was baking, the butter cube will start to melt and hence providing an extra butteriness to the rolls.
Baked With Steam
Baking with steam is essential for these butter rolls as we want to achieve the thin and crispy crust. If you do not have a fancy oven with steam function, it’s in fact very easy to make steam in a home oven. Here I used my trustworthy Challenger Bread Pan, but you can use any cast iron pan you have. Simply preheat the cast iron pan in the oven for at least 30 minutes. Then, when it’s time to bake, carefully transfer the dough onto the pan, place a couple of ice cubes into the pan underneath the parchment paper. Quickly cover the pan, then transfer it into the oven and bake.
These rolls are great on its own, but heavenly when split in half, toasted each half, then spread with more vegan butter.😚 You can also make a small crescent sandwich out of it, the possibility is endless! 🙌🏻
Japanese Sourdough Butter Rolls (Vegan)Course: Sourdough, BreakfastCuisine: JapaneseDifficulty: Medium
These rolls combined seemingly contrasting elements, yet making it a much better experience. They are soft and fluffy, yet with a thin and crispy crust. They are also sweet, yet with a hint of saltiness to balance it out.
- Stiff Levain (50% Hydration)
60g bread flour
60g bread flour
60g boiling water
200g bread flour
25g sugar (I used coconut sugar)
125g stiff levain (from above)
All of the yudane from above
5g sea salt
25g vegan butter
- “Egg” Wash
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp water
45g vegan butter (5x9g) (separated, not using in the dough)
Pinch of sea salt
- Mix all the ingredients of the stiff levain and leave it to rise until doubled or even tripled. It usually takes 3-4 hours at 82°F (28°C).
- While you are waiting for the stiff levain to rise, add 60g boiling water to 60g bread flour. Leave it aside to cool completely.
- Once the levain is ready to use, place all of the ingredients (except butter) into the bowl of your stand mixer. Using the hook attachment, knead for about 5 minutes until the dough comes together and forms a dough ball.
- Gradually add in vegan butter and continue knead for 10 – 15 more minutes or until reach window pane stage.
- Cover and let it rise at room temperature until it doubled in size. Mine took around 3 hours at 82°F (28°C).
- After the dough has doubled in size, place the dough onto a floured surface. Divide the dough into 9 equal parts (around 65g each), round it and rest for 10 mins.
- After 10 mins of rest time, take one of the dough ball, slightly roll one end of the ball using your finger tips, forming it into a carrot shape. Cover with a damp cloth and relax for another 15 minutes.
- Slightly flatten the dough. Then, using a rolling pin, roll from the middle of the dough into an inverted triangle shape, with a total length of about 30-35cm.
- Cut the vegan butter into cubes of 5g each.
- Place the butter cube on the top (wider end) of the dough, sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top, then gently roll it up from top to bottom. Remember to seal both sides of the dough surrounding the butter in order to avoid the butter from leaking while baking. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Place the rolls on parchment paper for proofing and easier transfer to the cast iron pan for baking.
- Cover and let it proof until they doubled in size. The temperature of the final fermentation should not be too high to avoid melting the butter. Mine took around 4 hours at 82°F (28°C).
- Preheat the oven and the cast iron pan at 482°F (250°C) 30 minutes before baking.
- Brush the rolls with “egg” wash.
- Once the oven is preheated, carefully transfer the proofed rolls onto the cast iron pan (I used Challenger Bread Pan). Quickly place a few ice cubes onto the pan, underneath the parchment paper. Cover the pan and bake it for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, remove the cover, lower the temperature to 400°F (200°C). Bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the surface is golden brown.