Revealing the Ultimate Secret to Softer, Fluffier Bread that Stays Fresh for Days – Part 1: My Universal Tangzhong Converting Formula

Baking Diary – Log 15 – 31.10.2012

—This post was written in 31.10.2012 —

This Tangzhong serie intentionally includes 2 parts: The Universal Tangzhong Recipe Converting Formula and Examples. This is part 1/2. 

UPDATED 09/11/2012: Link to part 2, here.


Hey guys,

I am back.

“Eh, that soon? We have not even fathomed your last (ridiculously) long post!” you think. 😉

Tehe, I am now having quite a flexible schedule to fill in, especially at night, while waiting for the baking course to start. I am trying my best not to be free and lazy too much to loose any gram of baking passion while suffering from being away from baking for real. I have been missing baking so, so much, but there ain’t nothing to do without an actual oven :(.

With such “sorrow” in my heart, I reminisce my glorious baking moments in Finland by staring at my photo collection and rewriting my baking experience on this blog. 😛 Furthermore, while browsing through my old posts, I recall that I have quite a lot of recipes that I promise to get back to, but somehow, conveniently, forgot. 😉 So, today, in this very post, I will reveal the ultimate magic of the neighborhood commercial bakeries: The Secret to Softer, Fluffier, and Moister Bread that Stays Fresh for Days.


Side Story 1 – How it all started

Since the first bread I tried when I was in elementary school, I have grown quite an appetite for soft, springy and fluffy bread, like those made commercially in Vietnam’s bakeries. Since I learned how to bake, I have tried to revive the quality of that kind of bread I loves, but somehow, the texture of home baked bread often turned out denser, harder and not as tasty the next day. I always wonder why the buns sold in my home country’s bakeries are always soft and moist even after days in room condition. First I thought that it must be some secret ingredients like bread improver, or some heavy-duty machines, or something even more powerful, and that it is quite impossible to imitate that quality into home baking.

Not too long ago, I came across this particular method. At first, I find the idea new and rather troublesome since it requires an extra step of making the paste. Therefore, due to my laziness; I dropped the idea immediately. Till one beautiful morning in 2011 summer, I got curious after reading various discussions on The Fresh Loaf and mostly bored, I tried this method. To my very surprise and slice regret of not trying it sooner, it worked like a charm! Since then, I was hooked!

Here is my Daily loaf using the tangzhong.

Tangzhong Basic White Bread, Baked in Clay Pot

And its crumb.

Crumb shot

Guys, the results of this method in my kitchen are way beyond AWESOMENESS!! For those who grow an obsession with soft, moist and spongy bun, like me, this tangzhong/ water roux method recipe is definitely worth a try! Now we can produce homemade bread that is so soft, moist and fluffy as well as stay fresh for up to five days! Yep, you read the words correctly. 🙂 And the best part is, it needs no expensive or additional ingredients/utensils needed rather than those that are already in your pantry/counter: water and flour, a hand whisk, a saucepan, and a working stove. 😀

All Ingredients needed

Excited? I am, already. >D<


Introduction to the Tangzhong/Water Roux method

Some definitions

The tangzhong method has been circulating in the Chinese baking community since Yvonne Chen’s “Bread Doctor” from Taiwan (陳郁芬。《65C湯種麵包》。臺灣) was first published in 2003 or 2004. In her book, tangzhong “湯種”, is described as the “secret ingredient” which is originated from Japan to make breads fluffier. In Japanese, tangzhong means either a warm or thin starchy (flour-based) starter. It is indeed a kind of “flour paste”, produced by cooking 1 part of bread flour with 5 parts of water to 65°C. Bread that’s made with tangzhong is called tangzhong bread. Ever since, the method stays, because it really does work, like magic. 😀 It became very popular in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and other Asia countries like Vietnam.

How it works

As you cook the flour-water mixture for the tangzhong over gentle heat, the starch begins to react with the water via gelatinization. The mixture will subsequently thicken up as the starch traps and locks moisture from the water. At 65°C, the gluten in the flour and water mixture would absorb the moisture and become leavened. When tangzhong is added into other ingredients of the bread, the bread dough’s moisture (hydration) will be sufficiently heightened. As the result, adding tangzhong into your bread recipe will give you softer, fluffier bread that has fine crumbs and springy texture. Cherry on top, it has better anti-staling effect, hence the long lasting characteristic!


Making Tangzhong/ Water Roux

Here’s how you can also make this “secret weapon” in just three simple steps. Have no thermometer? Scared of the number 65? Hey, me too, till now. Hakuna Matata! (“It means no worries, for the rest of your day…” Timon and Dumba – Lion King, if you remember) 😀 we can still enjoy great tangzhong  made with just human basic sensing, the eyes, as demonstrated below.

Ingredients (This amount is roughly enough to make two daily loafs)

Measure flour and water

  • 50gram = 1/3 cup bread flour
  • 250ml = 1 cup water (could be replaced by milk, or 50/50 water and milk)

NOTE: Because of the loss during evaporation, the final weight of your tangzhong will not be exactly the same as when you measure flour and water weight. Therefore, I usually add about 2g of flour and 10g of water more than needed in the recipe, then cook the tangzhong, measure out the needed amount, and discard the very small amount of leftover. 🙂


Step 1: Measure and mix flour in water well without any lumps.

Mix well

Step 2: Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to prevent sticking and burning in the bottom. The mixture will thicken up quite quickly. Once you notice some “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon, like below, and that’s it, your tangzhong is done.

The “line” of the finished tangzhong

If you prefer more accurate result, you might like to use a thermometer to check the temperature. After a few trials, I found this simple sensing works every time. 🙂

Step 3: Remove from heat. Transfer the tangzhong into a clean bowl. Cover with a cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up. Let cool to room temperature before use.

Cooled and Ready to use

NOTE: The tangzhong can be used straight away once it is cool. The leftover tangzhong can be stored in fridge up to a few days. If it turns grey, you need to discard it immediately and cook up a new batch. Chilling the tangzhong does not add more flavors to it. The chilled tangzhong should return to room temperature before adding into other ingredients.


How to apply the Tangzhong/ Water Roux method into your bread recipes

“Well Rose, thank you so much for the demonstration, very detailed, and just the same as some thousands other blog posts I see on the Internet, searching for this method. Thank you!” Guys, look a bit closer, do you see that what they have to offer is mostly ready-made, ready-to-bake recipes? Have you ever wondered why they use 140g of tangzhong in that recipe but not 141 or 139?

Since I try this method, I have always had problems searching for good ready-made recipes online when trying to apply this method into new ideas like whole wheat, milk buns, whole grain, rye, etc. in this vast ocean of information. Therefore, to make mine a little different than what others have already offered, in this post, I will not, again, offer ready-to-bake recipes, but a formula for you to convert your own favorite bread recipes into new ones using the Tangzhong/Water Roux method. 🙂 Now we don’t have to wandering around researching for recipes, wanting to try out this method on your favorite breads. YAY!

Recipe Converting Calculation  

The calculation to apply the Tangzhong method into your daily bread recipes is quite simple. It goes like this:

1)   Using 5% of the total flour weight in your original recipe as the flour of the tangzhong. Or tangzhong flour weight = original flour weight x 5% (or 0.05). After that, you have the total flour weight in the new tangzhong recipe = the original weight –  5% of it = only 95% of the original total flour weight in the old, normal recipe.

2)   Water weight of the tangzhong = tangzhong flour weight x5. Water/liquid weight left in the new tangzhong recipe = original water/liquid weight of the old, normal recipe – water weight of the tangzhong (or tangzhong flour weight x5)

3) All other ingredients such as yeast, salt, sugar, fat, etc. that are not concerned with flour or liquid, are kept the same in the new tangzhong recipe as the original recipe.

You can use as high as 10% of the total flour weight into the tangzhong/water roux, but I find that 5% is enough to make a big difference in your final outcome; recipes found on the Internet also vary from 5-7% of the flour weight. Just play with it, experiment a little to find your favorite percentage. 🙂

Some other sources of water/liquid, adding up to total dough hydration/moisture

Some of you might wonder, what if in the recipes, it is not very clear what are sources of liquid? What if there is no water or milk, or the like? What about in some recipes where the main source of hydration is from eggs, butter, and to some extent, liquid sweeteners but not water or milk, like brioche for example? The cases are actually very exceptional. I very rarely see a recipe where there is not enough pure water/milk to apply my tangzhong formula. Nevertheless, exceptions do exist (like Baking Obsession’s Brioche recipe for instance), and we have to be prepared. 🙂

So here, I include the water percentage of those ingredients to assist you in converting your bread recipe when using the tangzhong method.

  • Cold, Melted or Soften Butter = 75% weight is fat, 25% weight is water (butter can be up to 80% fat, but the difference is going to be minuscule in the overall calculation)
  • Liquid sweeteners like honey or molasses = 65% weight is sugar, 35% weight is water.
  • Large eggs weigh between 63 and 73 grams = 25% weight is fat and protein, 75% weight is water.
  • Oil, pure fat, lard or shortening does not add up any liquid to the dough hydration, they rather act as a tenderizer. Therefore, weight of oil does not count when calculating the amount of water needed to add when using the tangzhong method.

You have to be careful, especially with these first two touchy babies butter and liquid sweetener, because when you deduce the weight of these ingredients, you cannot simply separate the water out of butter, or honey; therefore, when adding the tangzhong, you can accidentally omit some of important ingredients in the recipes, like fat %, or sugar %.

Because the water weight in butter or liquid sweetener is not significant, you should only play with the big and watery guy here, eggs, and egg whites to be exact. Why egg whites? White is the common name for the clear liquid (also called the albumen or the glair/glaire) contained within an egg. Egg white consists primarily of about 90% water into which is dissolved 10% protein. Unlike the yolk, which is high fat, egg white contains almost no fat, and the carbohydrate content is less than 1%. (Wikipedia) Basically, when comparing between those two guys, we all see what should be sacrifices first when reducing the egg quantity is egg white.

So, my suggestion when applying the tangzhong method on these delicate recipes is to deduct the egg white weight when adding equal amount of water (in the tangzhong). To help you understand more clearly what I mean, here is an example.

EXAMPLE: Five regular-sized eggs weight total of 50g x 5 = 250g (without shell), in which the total white weight is is 30g x 5 = 150g.

The recipe call for 3 cup = 375g total flour weight. Therefore, the tangzhong flour weight you should use is 375g x 5% = 18.75g. The tangzhong water weight is 18.75g x 5 = 93.75g. The leftover egg white weight needed is 150g – 93.75g = 56.25g.

In the final recipe converted from Baking Obsession’s original one, you, as the result, will need:

  • 375g – 18.75g = 356.25g bread flour
  • Butter, sugar, yeast, salt amount is the same as the original
  • 112.5g tangzhong (consist of 18.75g flour + 93.75g water)
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 56.25g egg whites (roughly 2 egg whites)

Get a hang of it yet? 🙂

If you have any trouble converting a recipe, I am more than willing to help.


“Alert! Alert! Too much calculation! Brain freezes counting down! 3, 2, 1…. Ehhhhhhhhhh“

I am typing the rest of this research, and just like old times, my brain is busted, yet again. Therefore, I have no other choice but to see you guys again in the next post, when I give out detail examples of how I converting my bread recipe into those that apply the tangzhong method. It will come together with a fabulous tangzhong bread converted recipe that Mr. Bear adores: whole-wheat savory apart bread baked in clay pot; so do come back! 🙂

Wholewheat Pull-apart bread with a Secret Method

See you real soon,


UPDATED 09/11/2012: Link to part 2, here.



I submitted this to YeastSpotting.

106 thoughts on “Revealing the Ultimate Secret to Softer, Fluffier Bread that Stays Fresh for Days – Part 1: My Universal Tangzhong Converting Formula

  1. Hi,
    Can you post hokkaido bread recipe with the roux and butter ratio suggestions please. I know hokkaido doesn’t traditionally have butter but i would like to add a little if possible.

    Thanks for your help


  2. Madam can you give me the exact converted recipe for 1kilo of bread flour using tangzhong for my loaf bread..thank you so much if you can send me madam


  3. Hello Rose
    I do not get bread flour in my country and I dont like using APF. Can the recipe made with whole wheat flour with or without vital gluten. Also I am a vegan.


  4. Hi rose,
    I really appreciate your efforts in answering everyone questions and ur assistance
    .am a nigerian and i have a bakery where i produce large commercial bread.pls my worries is that my breaf goes hard after 2 days and it does not last for long…pls i need ur help on converting water roux for each bag of production which i belive will be of help.if u need my recipe pls let me know.thank u for ir kind assistance.


  5. Thank u for this post.pls kindly help me to understand the percentage of water roux to use for a 50kg flour as i do produce a commercial bread. Thank u


  6. Thank u so much for this post,pls what percentage of water roux can i use for a 50kg i do produce commercial bread.thank u for ur quick really in need of something that can make my bread fresher and moist.


    • I’m only a home baker so I have never baked at commercial scale bf. But I believe as long as u follow the conversion formula and the baker percentage of ur recipe strictly, adapting the tangzhong method shouldn’t be a problem.

      I will be thrilled to hear ur updates.



  7. Hello rose, thanks for this great article. I want to try out your recipe, however i have some worries. This is my recipe for a big family say 10- 15 loaves as i like to bake for my family on saturdays.
    Flour= 3000gr
    mil and water= 880ml
    suugar= 600g
    eggs= 6
    butter= 140
    yeast= 3Tbs

    If i use your calculation
    flour= 5% of 3000 g= 150g
    water= 150 * 5= 750 ml
    I am worried because at the end of it i will not have enough liquid for the original recipe.

    Secondly, as I love to tinker with my recipe and style, I want hear your opinion on combining tangzhong with overnight fermentation method


    • Hi Golden Dock, I think the tangzhong method will not mess up with ur dough hydration, because technically the water is going nowhere, it’s „trapped“ in the tangzhong mix (and a little lost due to evaporation), plus don’t forget the 6 eggs, a lot of liquid in there. 😉 Finally, u can always add more water to the dough if u deem it’s too dry, I see recipe as guideline, not strict law.

      Therefore, I also support tinkering :). The tangzhong is cooked so it will not mess with fermentation either.

      Keep experimenting (and report back),



  8. I’m excited to try this! My regular sandwich bread recipe is soaked dough. I soak whole wheat flour overnight with water and 1T of ACV to break down the course wheat. Then the next day I add the rest of the ingredients. Should I add this into the recipe the first day or the second? Would soaking it hurt it’s effectiveness?


  9. Hi I’ve tried tangzhong method many times but it has never worked. The bread turns out quite hard instead of fluffy. Any possible reasons?



  10. Hi Rose,

    Can you help me on how to use tangzhong recipe in my pretzels recipe.

    1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) warm water (lukewarm, no need to take temperature)
    1 packet active dry or instant yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 Tablespoon (8g) granulated sugar
    3.75 – 4.25 cups (480-530g) all-purpose flour + more for work surface (or mix of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour)
    1 large egg, beaten
    coarse sea salt for sprinkling


    • Hi Mifzal, I have shared the tangzhong converting formula which is really easy to follow.

      1) 5% of original flour weight = tangzhong flour weight
      2) tangzhong flour weight * 5 = tangzhong water weight
      3) original water weight – tangzhong water weight = leftover water weight
      4) original flour weight – tangzhong flour weight = leftover flour weight

      Hope you give these simple calculations a try.



  11. Hi Rose
    I was so excited to read your formula for converting any bread recipe to incorporate Tangzhong. However, my attempt failed quite miserably, with a misshapen and hard lump of bread. Would you be able to guide me on what went wrong when I tried to convert a simple white loaf of bread? The following were my calculations for the flour and water changes that neede to be made. I did not change the amounts for the rest of the ingredients, which were just butter, salt, sugar and yeast.

    Original 350 gram flour
    Tangzhong flour 5%=18g
    Reduced flour = 332g

    Original water 230ml
    Tangzhong water content = 18X5 =90 mil
    Reduced water = 140 ml




    • Hi Ysabel, so sorry to hear about your failed attempt. Did u succeed with this white bread recipe before trying tangzhong or was it your first time?

      I could be more helpful if you give me the full recipe. I will have a better judgement on what had gone wrong.

      Hope to hear from you soon,



      • Hi Rose
        Here’s my full recipe:
        Bread flour 350g
        Butter 25g
        Sugar 25g
        Milk powder 9g
        Salt 6.3g
        Water 230ml
        Instant dry yeast 1.5tsp

        Appreciate your help!


        • Hi Ysabel,

          So far I didn’t find any abnormal in ur recipe, totally functional daily white bread one. Is this the first time you try the recipe, or it’s your stable one? I suggest you try my white bread recipe, and follow it strictly, then let me know the result. We can then find out if it’s the tangzhong problem, recipe problem, or technique problem.

          Thanks for keeping my little place active, much appreciated.



    • Hi Pam, I don’t normally work with US fluid metrics so unfortunately, this is out of my reach at the moment.

      I suggest you could first convert this into international weight metrics then apply the formula. It would also improve recipe percentage precision if we work with weight.

      Sorry again and I hope you can utilise the converting and tangzhong magic.



  12. Hi there, I so wanna try this on one of my favorite breads I bake regularly. Bread is really good but after a day or two it’s not as tender anymore & also it can’t go fresh after a day or two so I usually just stuff it in the fridge to save it 🙂 Please help me converting the following so I can use the tangzhong:
    ¼ cup warm water
    1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
    1 cup lukewarm milk
    2 ounces butter, room temperature
    2 eggs, beaten
    4-1/4 cups flour and ¼ to ½ cup more for kneading

    Thanks in advance! 🙂


    • Hi Wyn, I don’t normally work with US fluid metrics so unfortunately.

      I suggest you could first convert this into international weight metrics then apply the formula. It would also improve recipe percentage precision if we work with weight.

      Sorry again.



  13. Hi Rose! Thank you for sharing this. I’m not good in math though could you please help me in the convertion of my bread…
    2 cups warm water
    2 teaspoon active dry yeast
    2/3 cup white sugar
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    2 teaspoons salt
    6 cups all-purpose flour
    I’m hoping to have a soft, fluppy bread 🙂
    Thank you


    • Hi Racquel, I don’t normally work with US fluid metrics so unfortunately I couldn’t help with converting this for you…

      I suggest you could first convert this into international weight metrics then apply the formula. It would also improve recipe percentage precision if we work with weight.

      Sorry again.



  14. Hello! I’ve just found this blog today while researching tangzhou, and I can’t wait to try it! I’ve bookmarked this post because of all the time you took to provide conversions. Thanks so much. 😀


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  16. Pls Hw do i make bread last longer than 4 days after production. cus it making loss patronage from my customers.


  17. I’ve made my bread recipe using the converter you give here. And the result is, AMAZING!!! I always look for recipe with tanzghong method, but with your help, I can convert any recipe I want. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You’re genius and so kind to share this 🙂


  18. Hi Rose, i dont know how to calculate for my bread, please help me solve my
    problem, am not good in figures:
    Here’s my recipe
    Yeast 20g
    Sugar 20g
    Water 295g
    APF 82g
    Milk 184g

    2nd proofing
    95g eggyolk
    50g sugar
    163g APF

    3rd proofing
    125g Butter
    100g Sugar
    577g Apf
    9g Vital Wheat Gluten
    95g eggyolk
    100g Corn oil

    I use oil to make my bread soft, but ill make Tangzhong do i still need the oil?
    Sheila (California)


  19. Hi Rose, thanks for the explanation. I have my own recipe made but i feel lazi to calculate my water n flour, can u help me for these?


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  21. Hi Rose,
    I am Monica from Indonesia. Thanks for your complete explanation about tangzhong. Really, because of your post and some other but mostly yours, I got the point about tangzhong.
    I wrote the tangzhong method on my blog and link back to your blog.
    I used the calculation of tangzhong and modified recipe without tangzhong. It came really great, I got soft and delicious bread. Thanks Rose.
    I have tried your yogurt apple cake too, I like it. And I have bookmarked your danish butter cookies and orange chicken. They are my next projects.
    Really glad that I found your blog. Thanks again Rose.


  22. Pingback: 100% Whole-wheat Bread – Weekend Fun with Tangzhong & Semi-Autolyse Method | Simply a Food Blog

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  24. Need help for my soaked grain bread recipe I desperately want converted! Please can you help? 5 1/2 cups stone ground whole wheat flour, 1 cup quick oats, 2 TAB Chia seeds, 6 Tab. butter melted, 1/2 cup honey, 2 cups water + 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar…this I soak for 12-24 hours. (Is this when I convert some of this into the tangzhong and let it soak??) After soaking I add: 1 TAB. + 3/4 teasp active dry yeast (not instant) mixed in 1/4 cup 110 water and 1 tsp. cane syrup + 1/4 teasp ginger. Lets set 5 mins. In mean time add 2 1/4 salt to soaked grain dough using paddle then add yeast mixture and use dough hook till window pane test. It will take a total of 3 risings. (2 in bowl and 1 final in pan). PLEASE can you help me convert this to tangzhong. I have made wholemeal tangzhong and white many times but want the benefits of soaking grains to get ALL the goodness from them. A most gracious thank you Rose!! Can’t be on computer long, vision gets blurry.


    • Hi Diane,

      I don’t usually work with soaked grain, so please take this as a suggestion.

      5 1/2 cup whole wheat flour is ~712g. 5% of that is ~36g of flour, so the water needed for tangzhong is 180g/ml. 2 cup of water in the original recipe is ~474g/ml. So the remaining water is 294g/ml.

      What I suggest you can do is to make tangzhong before you soak the grain, meaning making 36+180=216g tangzhong in total from WWF and water in the soaking part. Then dilute the tangzhong in the remaining soaking water, and shock the remaining flour + all the grains into it.

      What do you think about my suggestion. Let me know! 🙂

      Good luck in the kitchen,



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  26. Amazing. I used your formula for my kugelhopf recipe and it did make it more soft and springy. A huge difference. Wow! I think the Tangzhong method is virtually unknown here in the US. Thanks so much!


  27. Hi Rose, m so glad I found your Tangzhong converting formula 🙂
    I Hv a question for this recipe below,if I omit the egg, should I add extra milk or remain as 60 gram of milk? Thanks ^^

    270g bread flour
    30g sugar
    4g salt
    1 egg
    90g tangzhong
    60g milk
    5g yeast
    30g butter (softened)


  28. Hi Rose

    Your topic is really helpful for me, but I have a question. If my recipe have to usemilk. How should I adjust the milk not too much or not too less ?

    Thank you very much

    Bobby Roll


    • Hi Bobby, if your recipe use milk or heavy cream, or buttermilk, first, try to cut out the water part (if any), then come the milk part.

      If you afraid that reducing the milk could make you lose some of the flavor, try improving the butter/fat % to just a little bit more, about 2%-5%, and/or milk powder, up to 2% of the flour weight. The more fat there is in the milk/cream, the more fat (butter)/milk powder you should add to your recipe.

      Anyway, I think butter/fat% in a recipe not only increasing the flavor, but also act as a tendering factor, which tangzhong will well substitute. So if you want the easy way, just don’t worry about the fat%, cut the milk like you cut the water.

      Hope this helps and I am looking forward to hearing from you soon,



      • Thank you very much rose. Yes my recipe has to use milk and heavy cream. So just reduce the milk, but use butter instead.

        PS. You are Vietnamese and I am Thai. We are neighbor.


        • Hi there, neighbor. 🙂 I just remember 1 thing about tangzhong, that could really help you situation much easier to handle.

          How about making the tangzhong out of milk? Meaning use milk directly in the tangzhong recipe, 1 part flour + 5 part milk. That way you don’t have to add anything new, nor worry about butter%. So instead of water-roux, you have “milk-roux”.

          Let me know,



          • Hi Rose

            I forgot to tell you about my recipe. This is my recipe.

            -Flour 270 g.
            -heavy whipping cream 40 g.
            -milk 22 g.
            -sugar 43 g.
            -salt 4 g.
            -yeast 5 g.
            -butter 2 tbs.
            -egg 43 g.
            -flour for water roux 25 g.
            -water for water roux 125 g.

            I tried this recipe last week. I think is good (because my friends are like it ha ha ha).

            Thank you very much for your advice.



  29. Thanks for this post Rose. I just tried the tangzong method yesterday on some buns and I’m hooked. I’ve been thinking of how to apply it to my other favorite recipes and didn’t know where to start. I’m so glad I found this. I can’t wait to experiment.


  30. Hi, Rose, as of today you have a new fan! I live in Barcelona. My sister-in-law gave me a recipe for a sweet bread that is eaten in Mediterranean cultures on 3 kings or wisemen day (January 6th). I wanted to make it for a long time but I want it to have the texture you describe on your post because it reminds me of a bread I use to eat when I was a child back in Panama. That fluffyness is addictive! I was lucky to run into your posts and I’m very grateful for the effort you put in sharing your knowledge. Your post on adapting recipes to use the water roux is exactly what I need! I have a problem, though: the recipe I’m trying to make is one of those with very little water or milk. I’m trying to use your formula for taking out some of the egg whites to compensate but I fear I will end up with no liquid in the recipe at all! Help! Here’s the recipe’s ingredients:


    Mother dough:
    150 g flour,
    100 ml warm milk
    1 teaspoon sugar
    12,5 fresh yeast

    The rest of the dough:
    550 g flour
    100 ml warm milk
    25 g fresh yeast
    3 eggs
    1 lemon and 1 orange zest
    100 g butter room temperature
    30 ml orange blossom water
    2 tablespoons rum
    1 tablespoon vainilla extract
    200 g sugar
    1/2 tablespoon salt


    • Hi Juan,

      Thank you for your kind words and support. I really appreciate it. 🙂

      As for the recipe, fear not if the tangzhong get a lot/all of your water/milk amount because actually, the water/milk doesn’t just go away, it is still there in the cooked tangzhong, doing its fine job. 😀

      I read your recipe and it require a mother dough of nearly 100% hydration so I think it is quite wet already. Furthermore, the recipe asks for 100g butter so I guess it kinda like a brioche-sister-in-law.

      So, there is nothing to worry about the dough hydration, just make the tangzhong out of 5% flour weight (kindly pass the flour weight in the mother dough because you have mixed that already) plus the needed water from either milk/egg white. In your case is 550×5%=27.5g, the water for tangzhong will be 27.5×5=137.5g. Omit 100g of milk from the rest of the dough plus about 40g of egg white and you are good to go.

      Once you mix the tangzhong, the motherdough, and the butter into the final dough, you will see that the hydration is not affected at all. 🙂

      Hope this help and plz keep me updated with the result. The recipes sound amazingly delicious.



      • Dear Rose, thank you so much for your quick reply and your help! I already made the bread following the recipe ase is, and you are right, it’s a brioche. It’s very good and moist, but not fluffy. More spongy, I would say. Next week I am going to use the tangzhong recipe following your advice and will send you pictures. I am really looking forward to this!

        Take care.



      • Hi Rose, I made the bread using the tangzhong and it was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G., thank you very much! After that, I have made your daily loaf recipe with the tangzhong conversion at least 4 times and another brioche where I did the math myself. Your method is foolproof and your daily loaf lasts 1 day in my kitchen! I haven’t bought bread since the day I read your blog and I am eating the best bread of my life… And it’s made by me! I wish I could attach some pics to this comment for you to see what your disciples are capable of LOL


        • Hi again, Juan,

          Congratulations on your A.M.A.Z.I.N.G breads!! I am thrilled to be helpful, but your courage in trying new things and practicing daily is the fatal factor of your successes. 😀 I always knew you have the wonderful baking gene in you, Juan.

          I wish to see some pics too… 😦 Could you somehow send it to FB or something… I am more than pleased to see them. And please keep me updated with your kitchen.

          And, thank you for your kind thoughts, I am very much appreciate it. ❤

          From Vietnam with hugs,



  31. Hello, love your site and this process. Made your bread and it is wonderfull. I have a few questions concerning using it with other bread recipes. 1. Most recipes that I have for bread list a range for the flour (ie 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups). What would you reccomend? 2. I have recipes that call for both milk, and water. Should I make the tangzhong with proportionate amount of milk and water and then subtract from both?


    • Hi Robert,

      I am glad that you enjoy the method and thank you for your kind words. Now to your concerns:

      1) It is not strange that recipes give out range of flour (like in your case), but not precise number, this is because each brand of flour (even when they are the same kind, i.e. AP) have slightly different liquid absorption level. I, personally, prefer recipes with range of water, not flour. Anyhow, in this situation, I suggest that you work with the recipes like this without using tangzhong once to recognize the ideal level of flour for it, for instance, 4 3/4 cup. Observe the dough consistency carefully. Then apply this ideal amount to your tangzhong converted recipe. Remember that tangzhong dough tends to be a little wetter than normal dough using the same recipe. 🙂 The more your make bread, the more familiar it is to recognize this stage. OR, if you don’t have time (me? I’m just plain lazy :P), just make tangzhong out of the 5% of the average in those range, let’s say, 4 3/4 cup, then adjust the remained flour to the right dough consistency.

      2) If the recipes call for both milk and water, I suggest that you use all water for your tangzhong, left the milk for later mixing. If the amount of water in the recipe is not enough for the tangzhong, only then will we take the missing amount out of milk. It is simpler to do the math this way, don’t you think? 😀

      I hope these answer your concerns. And hope to hear more from you. btw, if possible, photo of your wonderful bread, plz. 🙂



      • Thank you very much. I thought of the first idea, but was hoping for a easier fix. The whole water idea is good, as the recipe calls for a cup, and that should be more than enough to substitute. Thanks again, Rob.


  32. I don’t think that I have found this 5% flour formula before and think it is just great! I want to try it with both my standard and bread machine recipes. You rock!


  33. hi, have you tried using tangzhong with 100% whole wheat flour? i’ve tried 2x (plain roll and cinnamon roll); both times, the dough barely rose. any suggestions on how to help the dough rise? do you have any tangzhong whole wheat recipes? thanks for your time.


    • Hi MB,

      I am sorry to hear that your tangzhong did not work out for you the last 2 times. I could think of some problems that might have happened in your case: did you properly activate the yeast? Did you use the stated amount of yeast? When is the expiration date of it? Did you keep the salt away from the yeast when scaling the ingredients? Did you over-knead the dough (over-kneading can cause the bread not to rise, make sure to check the window panel test)? Did you proof the dough at good temp. (about 25-28 degree C)?

      I have no problem so far working with tangzhong, but I do notice that bread with tangzhong usually rise a bit slower than normal. So you might want to wait a bit longer? btw, did you breads rise at all, even after baked? I want to check the damage level, so it would be nice if you can give me the recipe you used, or describe to me the whole situation.

      About whole-wheat bread recipe, I have not used tangzhong with 100% whole wheat bread, but I saw many others do with great successes, such as this one. . I have my own whole wheat bread recipe, but it is not 100%, I like my bread still fluffy but more healthy, therefore, I incorporate some normal bread flour into the dough. You can try it here, in the second part of my tangzhong serie, recipes and demonstration gladly included. 🙂 . Kindly check it out and try the recipe if possible.

      I will be here to assist you all the way. Good luck!



      • Thank you for your reply Rose. My 1st try with tangzhong on 100% whole wheat was with the recipe at  The bread didnt rise and the dough wasnt soft. My 2nd try was with the recipe at  The roll was soft but the dough didnt rise. For both tries: I kneaded by hand about 10 min each try.  I used active dry yeast (measured according to the recipes). The yeast is about 2 months old and won’t expire til 2014. I proofed the dough according to the recipes. The breads did not rise after baking. I have tried this recipe with tangzhong  at  The bread was soft and rose during proofing and after baking. My fave bread so far.  Of course, it wasnt with whole wheat. I’ve started reading other comments about tanzhong with whole wheat and I think I need to knead for maybe 15-20 min and proof maybe 2 hours. I read your recipe at How can I substitute the honey with sugar? I actually use stevia and its easier for me to convert from sugar to stevia. Thank you so much for your help. Maria    

        >________________________________ > From: Faraway from Home >To: >Sent: Thursday, December 6, 2012 12:43 AM >Subject: [New comment] Revealing the Ultimate Secret to Softer, Fluffier Bread that Stays Fresh for Days – Part 1: My Universal Tangzhong Converting Formula > > >EvillyChic commented: “Hi MB, I am sorry to hear that your tangzhong did not work out for you the last 2 times. I could think of some problems that might have happened in your case: did you properly activate the yeast? Did you use the stated amount of yeast? When is the expira”        


        • Hi Maria,

          You can try substitute sugar with honey by this formula: 1 cup honey = 1 cup sugar + 1/4 cup of liquid (water, milk, buttermilk, etc. based on your recipe).

          If you use active dry yeast, you have to activate it in warm liquid(remember to subtract this amount in the total liquid weight), and let sit for about 10 mins till bubbly, then you can use it.

          I think that dough made with tanzhong usually a bit wetter than normal dough, but not drier. Also, I think hand-knead for 10 mins might not be enough to develop the gluten in the dough. Bread made with whole-wheat in general will require longer kneading time than white bread, this also apply to tangzhong. And since the dough is wetter when using tangzhong, it will require even more time to knead. 🙂

          I saw many times on the Internet that to make 100% whole-wheat bread rise more, it is required to soak the flour in warm water for at least 30 mins before kneading.

          I hope you try my tangzhong recipe, and let me know how it comes out. 🙂 If you knead by hand or even by machine, don’t go by recipe, go with your dough, test it with the window panel test to check the gluten development. Many luck in the kitchen. I hope to hear news from you soon.



  34. I have never heard of this! I know, I keep telling you, “When I have an oven…!” haha But seriously, I loved baking bread before I was ovenless and I am bookmarking this page and when it comes time to bake, I will make my husband do all the math. HA!!


  35. Pingback: Revealing the Ultimate Secret of Tangzhong – Part 2: Examples of Recipe Conversion + Tangzhong Whole-Wheat Pull-apart Bread + Learn to Bake in Clay Pot | Faraway from Home

  36. Pingback: Revealing the Ultimate Secret of Tangzhong – Part 2: Examples of Recipes Conversion + Tangzhong Whole-Wheat Pull-apart Bread + Learn to Bake in Clay Pot | Faraway from Home

  37. Pingback: Revealing the Ultimate Secret to Softer, Fluffier Bread that Stays Fresh for Days – Part 2: Examples of Recipes Conversion + Tangzhong Whole-Wheat Pull-apart Bread + Learn to Bake in Clay Pot | Faraway from Home

    • Hi Sue,

      I hope you try this formula and share with me the outcome. Cannot wait to hear more from your kitchen.

      p/s: the second part of this series is coming, together with this formula’s examples plus more, so please do come back. 🙂



  38. this looks like a great tip! thanks for the detailed explanation 🙂 can you please let me know at what stage of the breakmaking the tangzhong should be added? thanks!


      • It was an interesting experiment. I started with a recipe I use in my bread machine all the time, modified it based on your guidance, and the bread rose significantly higher. The texture of the crust was much nicer too. The texture of the bread was certainly nicer for sandwiches. I prefer the standard brioche recipe for toast though.


        • Hi Joe,

          This tangzhong method will yield much softer bread than standard recipe, the Asian preference. I am glad you are happy with the experiment. How about applying the recipe on breads that are a bit tough and dense like whole wheat, or rye, (I love my tangzhong whole-wheat) or kinds that come in buns or packs (like sticky buns or dinner rolls)? 🙂

          Thank you for your updating. Let’s keep in touch!



          • Dear rose,

            Can you advise me how to use the water roux in my cinnamon roll recipe?

            300g bread flour
            50g caster sugar
            2 eggs
            60-70ml milk
            60g soft butter
            1 tsp yeast
            1/2 tsp salt

            60g soft butter
            50g brown sugar
            2tbsp brown sugar

            If use 5% of the bread flour wt, e water/milk roux wld be 15g bread flour n 75ml milk. Then i ve no more milk left. Is it ok?


            • Hi Priscilia,

              Yes, it is ok to replace the tangzhong with 5% flour + all the milk, don’t worry, the milk is still there (inside the tangzhong), plus this recipe has high egg and butter% so don’t worry.

              Have fun with the formula. Hope it help and please keep me updated with the result. 😉



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