Vegan Milk Bread Buns

Plant-based milk bread buns that are tender with a tight but soft crumb and hints of buttery sweetness. Perfect for burgers and sandwiches, as well as a stand-alone snack.

The milk bread I’m showing today does not utilize the Chinese-style Tangzhong (湯種) method, and instead utilizes a lesser-known method known as Yudane (ゆだね). It involves scalding the flour with boiling water instead of making a roux to achieve softness/springiness. As in both Yudane and Tangzhong, you are essentially pre-cooking a portion of the flour, thereby increasing water-holding capacity and partially inhibiting gluten development (which in turn gives the signature soft yet springy texture). I chose the Yudane method because it is a much less time-consuming process, and yields a tight yet light crumb that I really like. Regarding shelf-life, either method can yield bread that stays fresh for days to come.

Vegan Milk Bread Buns

4 from 95 votes
Recipe by George L. Course: BreadCuisine: Chinese, JapaneseDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time



Plant-based milk bread buns that are tender with a tight but soft crumb and hints of buttery sweetness. Perfect for burgers and sandwiches, as well as a stand-alone snack.


  • 380 grams (2.5 cups) all-purpose flour (or bread flour), 11-12% protein

  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) fine salt

  • 45 grams (3 tablespoons) sugar

  • 80 grams (1/3 cup) boiling water

  • 200 grams (3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) warm soy milk, about 40 C or 105 F

  • 7 grams (2.25 tsp) instant yeast

  • 60 grams (4 tablespoons) vegan butter, I used melt organic

  • Glaze
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon soy milk


  • Preparation. Before starting, allow vegan butter to soften at room temperature. Take refrigerator-cold soy milk and microwave for about 30 seconds, or until its temperature reads 40 C (105 F). Add instant yeast to the soy milk, stir, and allow to bloom for 5 minutes. Note: You should see foam starting to float to the surface – this indicates that the yeast is alive. If not, use a new batch of yeast.
  • First Proof. In a large bowl, start by mixing together flour, sugar, and salt. Follow by slowly add boiling water to the mix while stirring vigorously. There should now be small shaggy clumps in the flour. Add the yeast-soy milk mixture and start mixing by hand. The dough should feel relatively sticky at this stage — add more soy milk if necessary. Note: You can cover the dough first and allow it to rest for ~15 minutes. This step is called “autolyse” and can make the dough a lot easier to work with. Mix the dough until it just comes together, then incorporate the butter as well (split the butter into cubes that are 1 tablespoon each). The whole kneading process should take around 7-10 minutes. Note: To test gluten development, you can tear off a small piece of dough and stretch it to see if light can pass through. This is known as the windowpane test. Once smooth, shape the dough into a ball and cover with a damp towel. Proof for 1-1.5 hours, or until doubled in size.
  • Second Proof. Deflate the dough and divide into 6-8 portions. Shape each portion by first stretching each corner and folding towards the middle. Turn the dough over, cup your hand over it, and move in a circular motion to shape into a ball. Note: Do this on a surface with little to no flour. You want the dough to stick to the counter a little bit, so it will pull itself into a round shape as you move it. Place the shaped buns one-by-one on a parchment-lined baking tray, making sure there is ample space for each bun to grow. Cover and let rise for another 35-45 minutes, or until 1.5 times the original size.
  • Bake the Buns. Preheat the oven to 205 C (400 F). Make the glaze by mixing together maple syrup and soy milk, then very gently brush each bun with a thin coating of it. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden-brown on top. Note: Be very careful not to over-bake this bread, as it is prone to drying out. Once the center of the buns registers 87 C (190 F), they are done. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before enjoying.


  • Plant-based Milk: Soy milk is ideal for this recipe due to its high protein and fat content. You can substitute with any plant-based milk but results may vary.
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2 years ago

Hi! I love all your recipes!
I have one question, what if I dont have vegan butter?
What kind of ingredient can I use?

Greetings from Mexico!

2 years ago

Can you freeze these?