Japanese milk bread—also called *shokupan* and Hokkaido milk bread—is a fluffy, yeasted white bread that gets its tender texture from a technique called *tangzhong*. The *tangzhong* is a water roux that involves heating flour and milk and/or water to make a slurry. The *tangzhong* allows the flour to absorb more liquid, yielding moist sandwich bread, buns, and cinnamon rolls.\nTo achieve perfect milk bread, follow these tips:\n\n1. __Use the spoon-and-level method for dry ingredients__. Spoon flour into your measuring cup—rather than using the measuring cup to scoop up the flour—then level using the back of a knife. This will yield more accurate measurements.\n2. __Get the temperature right__. When making the *tangzhong*, a digital thermometer can precisely measure when the starch in the flour gelatinizes at 150 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don't have an instant-read thermometer, pay close attention to the texture, which will change when the *tangzhong* reaches this temperature.\n3. __Make *tangzhong* ahead__. To make the *tangzhong* ahead of time, let the mixture cool slightly, then refrigerate until needed, up to 1 day. Bring the *tangzhong* to room temperature before mixing with the other ingredients. \n4. __Use bread flour__. It can be tempting to substitute [all-purpose flour](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/cake-flour-vs-all-purpose-flour) for [bread flour](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/bread-flour-guide), but you won't get as much of a rise in your loaf. Bread flour is higher in protein and gluten, which allows bread dough to form a stable structure and rise higher.\nLearn the simple technique for making fluffy Japanese milk bread.