IMG_5884this is a “viral” recipe in the chinese website… why? because a sifu (master) apparently tried to look for this recipe for a long time and spent about 5 thousand (RMB) just to find this… that’s the reason why this was never published on the website. the sifu then shared this with 爱和自由, who subsequently, shared this on her blog.. this is a lovely lovely bread…. extremely soft it tears apart like tissue…you know those times where you eat something so good you go mmmmm? this is one of those “something so good”….  ♡o。.(✿ฺ。 ✿ฺ)… and by the way, it was still sooo soft after 3 days!

Recipe adapted and translated from 爱和自由

Ingredients (recipe can be halved)

IMG_5878Starter dough
210g bread flour
90g cake flour
24g caster sugar
6g instant dry yeast
240g water

Main dough
210g bread flour
90g cake flour
96g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
24g milk powder
90g egg
54g water
72g unsalted butter, softened


IMG_5882– prepare a pan with base measuring 26.5 x 19.5cm, and top measuring 29.5 x 23cm. if you do not have this, you can use an 18cm square cake pan for this but utilising only 2/3 of the above recipe
– mix all starter dough ingredients dough together and allow to sit in a warm environment to rise till it looks like “honeycomb”
– mix the above with main dough ingredients except butter and knead till it is soft and non-sticky. incorporate butter and knead till it is shiny and pliable
– allow dough to rise till it doubles in size
– after dough has risen, punch dough down and WITHOUT RESTING dough, divide it into 6 equal portions and roll each portion out into a 1m rope. please refer to the same site for shaping of the dough. for non chinese reading bloggers, basically, what you do after rolling out the rope, is to bring one end to the other. then using your left hand to secure the dough, twist the roll inwards twice, and then tuck it (the right ends) into the left side of the dough (where the hole is)
– place shaped buns into oiled baking pan and allow to rise
– bake in preheated oven of 180 degrees C on lower rack for 30 mins
– once out of oven, brush rolls with melted butter

Personal notes:

IMG_5880– i prepared the starter dough a day in advance and placed it in the fridge before using. no particular reason
– i halved the recipe and made 4 buns in an 18cm square cake pan. the rest of the dough were shaped individually
– my buns are lighter in shade because i omitted the egg… ok ok… i forgot about the egg (。・・。)… but no, this did not alter the texture
– i used caster sugar in the starter dough and trehalose in the main dough… the bread turn out to be mildly sweet
– buns were baked for 32 mins before it reached 96 degrees C

IMG_5888see this? it’s even best eaten if just fresh from oven (๑•́ ω •̀๑)

IMG_5879i’m sure many of you would have already made this… yes, it took me so long but boy am i glad i finally did (つω⊂* )

Pollution index: 48 (excellent)


  • 开学至今,我家烤箱一粒面包/蛋糕都还没烤过。

  • Alib says:

    Hi Victoria, when preparing the starter dough, to rise till it looks like \”honeycomb\”, how long would that take in a tropical climate? Can just mix with chopstick or spoon, and no kneading required at this stage, right? Thank you.

    • Hello Alib, in a normal room temperature (like my kitchen which is around 19-23 degrees), it takes about 2 hours if i use warm water for the starter dough. i have heard of people who take 3-4 hours to proof the starter dough in a cooler kitchen. and yes, you can just mix with chopstick (or spatula) for the starter dough till everything comes together and there are no more lumps. then just set it aside and let it proof. hope this helps 🙂

      • Alib says:

        Hi Victoria,
        Thanks for the reply. However, you mentioned you prepared the starter a day before, refrigerate and use it on the next day. So, that means you wait about 2 hours till the starter looks like “honeycomb”, then put in fridge with the bowl covered with cling wrap? And the next day, do you need to let it come to room temperature before adding it to the main dough?
        Thank you.

        • Hello Alib ~ the waiting time (of 2 or more hours) is needed in the case of baking the bread the very day of preparing the starter dough. if you intend to bake your bread on the very day of preparing the starter dough, i suggest you buffer 3-4 hours for the starter dough (depending on temperature of your kitchen). for me, i just stuck the starter dough into the fridge immediately after mixing them (yes, no need to proof at all). given the cold temperature of the fridge, it retards the yeast, and gives it a slow rising process overnight so in the morning (it was at least 17 hours before i used it) it was definitely in the honeycomb condition. i did not wait for it to return to room temperature and used it directly to mix with the rest of the ingredients to bake the bread. i hope this helps 🙂

  • Mel says:

    Seem like this recipe is really very costly. I guess I really got to try this out too. Thank you for sharing with us!

  • May Law says:

    好有名堂的面包, 幸好不是要五千块才能吃到这个面包啊! 哈哈

  • Veronica Ng says:

    Thank you for sharing this costly recipe for FREE! I shall make this soon. Will let you know how it turns out. By the way your buns are very beautiful indeed, very soft and fluffy.

  • 爱和自由家的食谱都很棒,可惜我偏偏还没尝试过这个面包

  • 0620 says:

    看见拉丝哦 XD

  • 柠檬叶 says:


  • Vivian pang says:

    I tried this before and agree this recepi gives fluffy texture. Your shaping is neat and all came out beautifully.

  • lena says:

    never heard of this expensive recipe, would like to give it a try someday. By the way, today no painting on your bakes also look just as nice 🙂

  • 5 Thousand bread recipe, so expensive, sure I also want to try out , hehehe..The recipe sound similar like the Kopitiam milk buns.

  • Sally says:


  • Hi Victoria,your bread looks lovely and soft!!! I would to try this 5K recipe too, thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  • Kimmy says:

    Hi Victoria, this 5K recipe must be good. I\’ll try it but won\’t bake it often, hehehe! cos\’ my hubby can finish it too soon. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hi Victoria,
    Looks like the 5TD is well spent! The bread looks so soft and fluffy! I would love to try it one of these days!
    Thanks for sharing!

  • eileen says:


  • Irene says:

    Hi Victoria, is it normal for the bread to become * crumbly * after a couple days later?

    • Hi Irene, i reside in a Beijing where the climate is really dry but my bread was still fluffy, albeit a little harder after a few days. So no, the bread should not be crumbly. Usually bread without much fat is crumbly but we hv quite a bit of butter and egg here. Did u knead your dough till window pane stage? That is very important. Under kneading does result in a crumbly bread after a couple of days. Also, do refrain from adding flour when kneading this. It is tempting to add flour but there really is no need to. I hope this helps

      • Irene says:

        Thanks for responding..
        I did another attempt but this this time, the centre is not cooked.. Only realized when I tried to remove it from the pan cos it felt so heavy.. Can I put back into the oven again?
        Guess I\’m not a bread baker… Lol

        • Hello Irene, u r a very positive baker.. My first loaf of bread looked like a meteorite btw… And it was made with bread maker. How bad does that sound?

          Has your bread set and browned? If so yes, u can put back to the oven and bake for 10 to 20 mins. Best way is to use a thermometer to check on the temperature. Usually for such bread, I will remove once the temp reaches 96 degrees c and leave it to use the bred internal heat to cook. Of course, never slice until hours later. Hope this helps

  • Veronica says:

    Hi Victoria, I made it today. It is really awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  • Irene says:

    Hi Victoria, I tried making this bread again. I realized that the dough always gathered on the dough hook, so instead of the hook kneading the dough, the dough just go round & round as the hook turn. Is it normal? Or the dough shd be on the mixing bowl so the hook is able to knead it? I\’m using kitchenaid stand mixer. I also realized I don\’t reach window pane stage after 40mins. Please share some advice.. TIA..😊😊

    • Hi Irene, were you making a small batch of the dough? I do get this problem if I make small batches and my dough just spins with the hook. Try adjusting the height of your KA per the manual. This will help. Otherwise, try tipping and holding your machine to the side. If the dough still hangs on to the hook, try bringing up the speed. It should release your dough. Then continue kneading with machine still tilted to the side for about a min before placing machine back to normal position.

      It usually takes me no more than 20 mins using the KA to knead. About 5 min on speed 1 when kneading dough without the butter, then bringing up to speed 2. Then I incorporate butter and knead at speed 1 for 5 mins, then on speed 2 for another 5. Of course different climate and ingredients brings different kneading time. You will need to self gauge. Usually the dough is ready when it is silky and non sticky. You can try stretching the dough using your wide spread palm and it should form a thin membrane without tearing. That is window pane.

      There are times I knead a sticky dough for 30mins, giving it spurs of speed 4 but that\’s very seldom. Anything more than 30 mins, I remove and knead manually because prolong usage of KA is very detrimental to it.. I once burned the motor of my 6 QT machine …. So it was a painful lesson….

      I hope this helps 🙂

  • Irene says:

    嗨,又來打擾你了。我真的跟做🍞沒有緣啊!is there a possibility of over-proofing the dough? I got so caught up with the kids that I forgotten that I\’m proofing the dough. So this time the bread doesn\’t hv the \” strand \” effect again when I pull apart…😣😣

    • hello Irene, 别客气。。大家切磋。。。 ok. yes, there is a possibility of over proofing dough and this is not good. however, i suspect you may not have over proofed it… over proofed dough will look much different.. like flatter, disk like and dense and it will be difficult to bake through. you can tell if you ever overproof the dough as there will be a membrane thin skin of dough on top of the loaf that is supported by a cushion of gas produced by the yeast. at that point, it becomes so fragile that you cannot move it to the oven without collapsing it. if this happens, it\’s best to punch it down, reshape and let it rise again before baking. i have heard of a maximum rising of 4x for a dough.

      it sounds to me that you have successfully baked your bread but it does not have strands or 拉丝。this maybe due to under kneading (i suspect). as mentioned, the window pane test is important for you to know when the dough is done. also, sufficient rising time is important. you may want to keep all this in mind.

      do continue trying… \”your loaf\” will come 🙂

  • Irene says:

    謝謝你這麼快的回復,有機會我再試一試。this time I\’ll need to set an alarm as reminder so I won\’t forget even caught up with the kids…

  • Manny Wong says:

    Hi Victoria
    Lovely bread. You mentioned you reside in Beijing. Could you advise where in Beijing to get trehalose and what i the quantity used?

    • Hi Manny ~ i haven\’t found trehalose in the supermarkets yet, so i get them off taobao. just key in 海藻糖 日本 and you will find many suppliers :)。 i do a one for one substitute and do not attempt to add more trehalose. you need to note that you will not get that sugary taste with trehalose but it does improve the texture of the bake (as purported by some). hence, if you like a sweet bun, i suggest you use half trehalose, and keep the other half with normal sugar.

      hope this helps and thanks for dropping by.

      • Agnes says:


        I tried baking this today. Is fluffy and soft but the bottom and side turns too brown/thick. I used a non stick pan and use butter to grease. Could it be the reason? Thanks

        • Hello Agnes, (presumably your bread bottom is browning halfway into baking time) as this bread requires baking in the lower rack of oven, I first wonder if the heating element on the bottom of your oven is generating more energy from that direction. If so, you can try buffering the bread with a pizza stone or just double line the baking pan in the future. Do have an oven thermometer as it truly helps since all ovens varies. Secondly, dark metal pans tend to conduct more heat into the bread and absorbs more radiant heat as well. With this in mind, we need to keep in mind that non stick pans are used on low or moderate heating only. So I guess with the absorption of heat, and the butter heating up fast, it caused the bread to brown faster than other parts of the bread. I\’m not an expert in this but these are my conclusions. If this pan is your only option, I will probably either consider double lining the base, using parchment paper, or baking in middle rack but you must watch the bread carefully as in general it does brown. Do tent the bread if it browns too fast. Thanks for dropping by.

  • Hi Victoria, a friend just directed me here and told me how soft the bread is using this recipe. Your bread looks really good and it\’s tempting me to try soon! Just wondering if I use the breadmaker to prepare the bread dough, when shall I add the starter dough to it?

    Thank you

    • Hello baking tai tai :)… I love this nickname…

      Just add starter dough to main dough ingredients when you begin to mix all your ingredients, I.e. At the initial stage of mixing.

      Hope this helps and thanks for coming by.

  • Alice Lim says:

    Hi Victoria I am Alice and like to know if i don\’t have a bread maker can i manually knead the dough instead

    • Hello Alice, yes you can knead manually. but you have to be patient with manual kneading as it takes quite a while before you can achieve the window pane stage. please do not attempt to keep adding flour even if it may seem to be a wet dough as this will result in a hard bread. hope this helps 🙂

  • Victoria, your super expensive bread looks super invitingly good!! Now I know why this recipe has been going viral haha. You made this sound so so good apart from how yummilicious it looks. I will want to try this recipe very soon. It\’s been so so long since I last baked bread 🙂 My hands are itching for bread already.

  • Nadia Kua says:

    Thanks Victoria for this recipe. I halfed all e ingredients except the egg. I was dreaming. Its in the oven now. Hope it turns out ok 🙂

  • Vannessa Lee says:

    Hi Victoria
    May I know how many eggs is 90g egg? Do I measure it with the egg shell?

    Thank you.


    • Hello Vannessa – as a general rule of thumb, an egg (with shell) is about 57g and 50g without shell. But egg sizes vary so it\’s best to weigh yours before using. my egg is 56g without shell. usually (unless stated otherwise), weight of egg as stated in recipe are without shells. hence, you may want to beat up 2 eggs, lightly beat it up, and then weigh it. hope this helps.

  • JJ mama says:

    Hi.. I\’ve tried to make this bread, it\’s not as soft and fluffy as yours… I\’ve manually knead it by hand, may I know how long to knead then add in butter?
    I knead for quite long to get the soft and non sticky feel, about 40 mins.. Is that correct?
    After add in butter, it like all lump up, after knead awhile it like a dough again.. Then it turn sticky again.. Is it like that?
    Sorry for the long question, is my first time doing

    • Hi JJ mama, no worries about the question. we all learn at the same time.

      ok, i have hand kneaded the tangzhong hokkaido milk loaf before and remember it taking me around an hour in total before i send it for first proof. it\’s difficult to say if 40 mins is right or wrong depending on your arm power and how you knead it. but from the sounds of it, you seem to have added the butter in at the right time, i.e. when the dough is no longer sticky.

      it does sound to me you have done everything right after the butter has been incorporated. not sure how sticky your dough is? put it this way, does it look like a thick cake batter that has gone totally wrong? or just sticky like it sticks slightly to your palm if you try to stretch it? a little sticky is ok (for me) and you probably just need to grease your hands a bit to get it back in shape. or use a scraper which will help a lot. i do get this (sticky dough) at times but i never add anymore flour as usually when i turn the dough into my greased bowl (for proofing), i give it a few gentle kneads with my slightly greased palm and it becomes a beautiful dough. alternatively, if it gets too difficult to knead, you may want to try doing a stretch and fold method instead of kneading during primary fermentation. this will help to give the dough more structure/body ( i just made a loaf of bread with this method ~ will post this after i complete the post). hope this helps 🙂

  • JJ mama says:

    Thank you for your prompt reply, I wish I can show u picture of my bun, haha..
    I\’ve actually knead more then an hour, that 40 mins is before adding the butter and after butter still need to do quite awhile.. Correct right?
    It\’s just stick on my hand.. I guess it\’s alright as you describe..
    Maybe I didn\’t proof long enought before send in to bake.. I\’ll try again.. Thank you for your guidance

    • Most welcome :). yes, quite a bit of kneading after adding butter. your bread turned out dense after baking? do take the proofing time as a guidance as it depends on the room temperature. fool proof way at times, is to weigh your dough before and after proofing. but be careful not to overproof as that will cause the dough to collapse.. good luck and have lots of fun 🙂

  • JJ mama says:

    Can guide me on how long is the proofing time? Or the weight before and after?

    • Hello JJ mama, ok, one way (for first proofing) is weigh dough before and after. or just by using your eyes, you can see if the dough has doubled in size for first proof. another way ~ lightly flour your index finger, then poke through the dough. if the hole does not shrink back, the proofing is done for first stage. proofing time can range from 1hour to 2.5 hours depending on temperature. what some people do is they switch on their oven temperature to the max temp for 1 min, then turn off and let it proof in it for 1 hour. for me, i don\’t usually use this method (unless the weather is too cold). i like to let the dough rise naturally and slowly so the flavour develops. i reside in beijing, and it is around 18-20 degrees in my kitchen now. it takes something between 3-4 hours for me to proof my dough (i\’m not in rush for time, so it does not matter to me)… for second proofing, i.e. before baking (of course you cannot use your finger to poke through), it may take around 40-50 mins. once again, depending on your temperature. i don\’t usually proof the bread till it doubles in size before baking because it kinda look \”exploded\” since the heat from baking makes it expand more ya? i just let the dough rise till about 80 percent risen. does this help you?

  • JJ mama says:

    Thank you thank you.. I\’ll look into that on my next baking

  • Yummm…looks so nice and soft. So beautiful too! Nice texture to it!

  • Alice Lim says:

    Dear Victoria I have try out the 5K recipe manually without the breadmaker kneading and get the dough nicely and produce the bread. during baking the bread look nice and soft but after hour it turn hard. Please advise it is due to knead timing too short. Thanks

    • Heya Alice? How have you been? Ok..there may be a few issues we can tackle from here. My assumption here is you did not add additional flour to get an easy to handle dough.

      Kneading – it could either be too little or too much. From your last message, I presume you hand kneaded? So yes, you could have under kneaded, hence poor gluten development. Did u try the window pane test?

      Secondly, you may have de gassed improperly .. This is where u punch down and form your buns, you may have destroyed the little cells which are holding the air in the dough

      You may have been baking too long as do remember oven temperature and time stated in recipes are for references… Hot bread is also so nice and soft and over baked ones also turn out hard after a bit. If you have been reading some of my post, I usually bake my bread to 96 degrees C and remove from oven. Then I let the internal heat continue cook it. I realize this temperature of removal worked very well for me in making soft buns.

      Lastly, you may have allowed too much proofing time during second round? When this happens you yeast would have been exhausted so the buns don\’t spring in the oven.

      I hope you found this helpful 🙂 and do continue trying… Many friends have tried this and adore this recipe. Have a good week ahead 🙂

  • Alice Lim says:

    Dear Victoria
    Thanks very much for your comment.
    What do you mean by window pane test? I have follow the recipe and use 180 deg to bake them for 20 mins and during baking time they do rise and look nice. I didn\’t know you we are allow to use a low temperature to bake them with slightly longer timing.

    • Hello Alice ~ as literal as it is, window pane test means stretching your dough after kneading (some do it against the sunlight). if it stretches out nicely and does not tear, then you are done with kneading. This picture shows you a sufficiently kneaded dough

      on the contrary, if your dough looks shaggy and tears easily like this picture, then you need to knead some more.

      in general, we do not deviate much away from the main stated temperature but what i mean here is that each oven has its temperaments. what maybe 180 degrees in my oven, may work better for you at 170 degrees? this means you must truly know your oven well (a painful lesson i learned when i started baking), at which corner is the hottest spot of your oven etc. i do hope you have an oven temperature to help you gauge as well. let me paint you an example ~ a japanese bread master suggested for his brioche buns to be baked at 240 degrees for 10 ~ 12 mins. however, my buns nearly burned at 8 mins. and thereafter, i realised 180 degrees worked for my oven and my bakes for that recipe.

      i hope this helps you.

      • Alice Lim says:

        Thanks very much Victoria for your great explanation, it show that I need more time to master such skill you have achieve. Actually I have been following all these cooking groups and found all of you are really super to create all style of baking and been tamper to try them. I will try again and get you posted. Once again, thank you for your great help. Cheers!!

  • 38隐形人 says:


  • Pauline says:

    How to add you as friend in yr fb

  • Maureen says:

    Hi Victora,

    For the water, can I use milk instead?

  • Kim says:

    Hi Victoria,

    This is my first try baking bread and it was a success with your detailed instruction . Thank you !

    I tried half the recipe, and would now like to bake the full recipe. However , my oven can only accommodate one tray , if I bake twice , will my second batch be \”over proofed \” , since I got to wait for the 1st batch to bake?


    • hello kim, depending on the room temperature, you may run a slight risk of over proofing since this bakes for 30 mins. if i were you, i may stick one tray into the fridge (or just place in a cooler room) to slow down the rising process and maybe when the first batch has proofed for 20 mins (just an example), to then bring the second batch back to room temperature.

      thanks for coming by and i\’m so happy you succeeded with this

  • most welcome Kim… we all learn together and i\’m most happy to hear from you if you have any \”new findings\” along your baking experience

  • Yong Kar Yee says:

    Hi Victoria, thank you for your recipe. I experience my first success in bread making, the buns are soft and nice. I am making more this weekend and had prepare the starter dough a day in advance. However, as I am only making tomorrow afternoon, do i need to put the starter dough in the chiller or can I leave it outside normal room temperature for 18-20 hours? I am living in Singapore and the weather is quite humid. Woudl appreciate your advise. Thanks. -KY Yong

    • Hello KY, great to hear your buns turn out well 🙂 actually for this recipe, you can simply prepare the starter dough on the day itself. if you have 2 to 3 hours before the bread making, make the starter dough that morning. let it sit till it looks honey-comby in texture. then it\’s ready to use. you can also prepare starter dough the day before (which i had done) and i just chilled it. when i was ready to make the bread, it just took it out, snip into pieces and use immediately. frankly, i didn\’t find any difference in texture for both methods 🙂 i hope this helps

  • jenny says:

    Dear Victoria, thanks for sharing this recipe. I have been using 5C method and is quite similar in the sense that it has a starter dough. May i know if you leave the starter dough overnight in fridge, do you still need 1st proofing after kneading with main dough the next day? Can i juz shape after kneading with main dough and proceed with 2nd proofing?

    • Hi Jenny, i understand that some starter dough recipes do not require further proofing after sticking it in the fridge. For this recipe, i will still proof it even having left the starter dough in the fridge. As you can see, the original recipe calls for 3x proofing (which i hv read somewhere) is the max you can proof a dough before baking. I will stay true to the instructions called for, for otherwise, it may not be any different from other recipes 🙂 hope this helps.

  • Gerre says:

    I tried this recipe, it took me 6 hrs from kneading to finish baking this, no joke, not counting the starter dough which i left in fridge overnight. The effort is worthwhile. As the dough is more than 1kg, i made into 12pcs using muffin tray, with sweet potato filling ( these was originally from your other recipe – sweet potato bread bowl which i failed to form the dough, it was still dry even i added more milk from the original recipe), the 5thousand bread i just sampled is really soft n i hope other bread recipes from your blog works as well, for me. Tks for the recipe. U really need patience to bake.

  • sarah wu says:

    Just made this, and it is amazing!!! It’s so incredibly soft and fluffy. Plus it’s so stretchy when you pull it apart like the bakery ones 🙂 I didn’t have milk powder, so I substituted it by using milk instead of water. It tastes great!

  • Aretha Wan says:

    Hi victoria

    Is your oven temperature for static or fan oven mode?

  • June Dai says:

    I have a Breville smart oven pro, I baked the dough for 30 minutes at 350F, the top is all Dark. Is there any way you can tell me how I can adjust the temperature by using smaller oven?

  • hazel says:

    i have made your recipe for the dough of a filipino bread called cheese ensaymada and it was a hit! my family looooooved it! it was a hit. i was able to make 20 pcs of 50gms each and it was gone! thanks so much for coming across this recipe. i also tried the tanghzong dough recipe but this is by far the best!

  • Kien says:

    Hi Admin, Thanks for your amazing recipe, I have concern about the yeast, there is no yeast in the main dough ?, only the yeast in the starter ?, is it right ?.

    Thank you.

  • qiuling says:

    Hi Victoria, do you know if i can omit the milk powder in the main dough and use milk instead of water in the starter dough pls to get the same texture as ur bread ? If thats the case how much milk do i use pls? Thank you so much

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