milk bread made with a water roux
milk bread made with a water roux

Water roux, also known as yu-dane (Japanese: 湯種, romanizedyu-dane) or tangzhong (Chinese: 湯種; pinyin: tāngzhǒng),[1][2] is a paste of flour cooked in water or milk which is used to improve the texture of bread, making it soft and fluffy.


For yu-dane the flour is mixed with an equal weight of boiling water poured over it. This mixture then holds moisture so that, when it is added to a bread mix, the dough bakes with a soft, fluffy texture and the bread then keeps for longer.[3]

For tangzhong the flour is cooked at 65 °C (149 °F) in the liquid which causes its starch to gelatinize.[4] The gelatinized roux is generally used at a moderate temperature and apparently also contributes to slightly greater rise during baking.


"Scalding" flour, especially rye flour, for baking is a technique that has been used for centuries.[5]

The Pasco Shikishima Corporation (Japanese: 敷島製パン) was granted a patent in Japan for making bread using the yu-dane method in 2001.[6] The yu-dane method was then modified by Taiwanese pastry chef Yvonne Chen (Chinese: 陳郁芬), who published a book in 2007 called 65°C Bread Doctor (Chinese: 65°C 湯種麵包), borrowing the Japanese term 湯種 directly.[7] This book popularized the technique throughout Asia.[4][8]

In 2010, food author Christine Ho first wrote about the technique in English, using the Mandarin pronunciation of 湯種, tangzhong.[9] She subsequently wrote more than twenty recipes using the method,[10] which helped popularize the technique in the English-speaking world.[11]

See also


  1. ^ Bain, Jennifer (7 October 2015). "Learn to make Bake Code's goji berry roll". Toronto Star. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  2. ^ Wija, Tantri (5 September 2017). "New Korean bakery in Burro Alley offers East Asian-style treats and familiar favorites". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  3. ^ Moskin, Julia (22 April 2014). "Japanese Milk Bread". The New York Times.
  4. ^ a b Hamel, P.J. (26 March 2018). "Introduction to tangzhong". King Arthur Baking Company. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  5. ^ Friberg, Bo; Friberg, Amy Kemp (2002), The Professional Pastry Chef – Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry, Wiley, p. 145, ISBN 9780471359258, Breads made by the scalding method have been eaten for centuries...
  6. ^ JP patent 3167692B2, Shibata Tadashi 柴田 太 & Kato Hironobu 加藤 博信, "Production of Bread パン類の製造方法", issued 2001-05-21, assigned to Pasco Shikishima Corporation 敷島製パン株式会社 
  7. ^ Chen, Yvonne (2007). 65°C湯種麵包 (in Chinese). Taipei, Taiwan: Chi-Lin Publishing Company 旗林文化. ISBN 9789866881718.
  8. ^ Saffitz, Claire (21 May 2021). "For Better Bakes, Perfect This Versatile Dough". New York Times. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  9. ^ Ho, Christine (2 March 2010). "Japanese Style Bacon and Cheese Bread (Tangzhong Method 湯種法)". Christine’s Recipes. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  10. ^ Ho, Christine. "Posts sorted by date for query tangzhong". Christine’s Recipes. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  11. ^ McTernan, Cynthia Chen (13 September 2014). "Hokkaido Milk Bread". Food52. Retrieved 13 December 2021.

Further reading