clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
A gluten-free, vegan version of Japanese Milk Bread with some Tangzhong (roux).

Japanese Milk Bread (Gluten-Free Vegan)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: Chantal | Fresh is Real
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes + 1.5 hours rise time
  • Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2.5 hours
  • Yield: 4 buns or mini loaves 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Stovetop, Oven-Baked
  • Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan, Nut-Free, Allergen-Friendly


Are you intrigued by the Hokkaido Japanese method of adding Tangzhong (roux; cooked flour and water) to help soften your bread? This simplified gluten-free, vegan and allergen-friendly version will show you that it is possible to make soft bread even without wheat, eggs, dairy or added gums! 

Useful Tools

  • Pan (frying pan or medium pot)
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Spatula
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Spoon
  • Baking vessel examples: 4x baking rings (3.5-in), 4-cavity mini loaf pan (3.5×1-3/4-in), 6-cup muffin top pan, muffin pan or bread pan (7.5×3.5-in)
  • Parchment Paper
  • Baking Sheet


  • 2 tablespoons GF white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup water*
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons GF active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons homemade hemp milk** (or other unsweetened plant milk)
  • 1 tablespoon organic cane sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup warm water*
  • 1 cup GF white rice flour
  • 1 cup GF sweet sorghum flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, softened (optional)
  • Seeds (sesame, poppey, sunflower, pumkin) to decorate (optional)


Before you begin, please watch this helpful video.

Step 1

To make the roux: combine 2 tablespoons of white rice flour and 1/2 cup of water in pan and cook on low heat. Keep stiring or moving the mixture around with a soft spatula until it thickens and has a paste like consistency (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat and allow the mixture cool down.

Step 2

To a large bowl, combine the salt, yeast, plant milk, sugar and 1/2 cup of warm water, mix and let site for 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 3

To the same bowl, add the flour and start mixing. At this point, go ahead and add the cooled roux and remaining 1/4 cup of water. You can also add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to help the texture of the bread but it’s optional as it also works without. Mix well until everything is combined and smooth. Cover and let rise for 1.5 hours.

Step 4

After 1.5 hours, preheat your oven to 400° F. To bake this recipe, you can use greased and parchment line (highly recommended to prevent sticking) baking rings, a 4-cavity mini loaf pan, a muffin tin, or bread pan. If using baking rings, you will need a parchment lined baking sheet to place the rings onto. 

Scoop out and divide the dough amongts 4 rings or a 4-cavity mini loaf pan or smaller bread pan. If baking the dough into buns using a muffin pan or muffin top pan you can probably make 6 large ones or 8 smaller buns. Please note that I did not try it in the muffin pans yet. You can sprinkle some seeds (i.e., sesame, poppy, sunflower, pumkin) to each top if you wish to decorate your mini loaves or buns.

Step 6

Transfer your baking vessel(s) with dough mixture to the oven and bake for 25-30 (4 mini loaves or 4 larger buns). The baking times will vary for muffin sized buns or 6 thinner buns. If baking the dough mixture into one larger 7.5×3.5-in loaf pan, the baking time will be around 40 minutes.

Step 7

Cool in the pan(s) for 10 minutes then completely on wire rack and enjoy with your favourite buttery topping or homemade jam!


Once cooled the bread can be kept on the counter wrapped in a clean dish towel for a day. Leftovers can be refrigerated in a glass container or sealed bag for a few extra days. Once refrigerated it is recommended to toast the bread. 

* Filtered or spring water. 

**For best results make the bread with homemade hemp milk. Hemp milk recipe: combine 1/3 cup of organic hemp hearts with 1-1/4 cup of water and blend in a small high speed blender until smooth and frothy. Strain milk through mesh bag to remove larger unwanted bits. The bread can also be made with coconut milk but keep in mind that it can create a slightely sweeter bread. I did not test other types of plant milk.