There are few things more satisfying than a fresh loaf of bread and this cucumber bread recipe is one of our favorites! It’s a delicious tangzhong milk loaf that is especially satisfying because of how light and airy it is. Not only does it feature a fresh cucumber flavor, but it’s also incredibly fluffy and creamy. The result is almost like a brioche-style savory bread. To get this perfect balance, we used the Tangzhong technique. Tangzhong is a Japanese technique to create extremely fluffy milk breads, without actually using much dairy. Instead, it utilizes a water roux in the dough.
However, in this Cucumber Bread Recipe, we have used a cucumber tangzhong to avoid extreme moisture from the cucumber. This is later mixed with the rest of the dough ingredients to create an enriched dough. An added bonus is that it adds a delicious freshness to the taste of the loaf. After proofing once, the dough is laminated with onion powder and parsley (you could also use chives) to add extra flavor.
What Is Milk Bread?
Milk Bread is known for being incredibly moist and fluffy. Invented in China and often found in Japanese style bakeries or in Korean coffee shops, this thickly sliced bread is often served with jam and butter. The traditional Tangzhong method of baking milk bread uses a special process to gelatinize the starches so that they hold more water – ultimately leading to a higher rise and a softer texture. The result is a satisfyingly chewy loaf that won’t crumble or break like common English bread.
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Cucumber Bread Recipe Tips:
- If you wish to preserve your cucumber bread for longer you can slice it and freeze it. To eat it, place it in a 375 °F oven for 5-10 minutes. It is great toasted as well.
Cucumber Bread - Milke Bread Recipe
what you'll need
- 1/3 cup blended cucumber peeled and seeded (comes from about 1 medium cucumber)
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp whole milk
- 2 3/4 cups bread flour
- 3/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 medium eggs plus more for egg wash
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
Fillings and Toppings
- 1/4 cup parsley or chives chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp onion powder
- flaky salt
let's do it
- Tangzhong: In a small pot over low heat add the blended cucumber puree, the water and ¼ cup of flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until you have a thick paste.
- Heat the milk until it's lukewarm. Mix with the active dry yeast and allow to rest for five minutes. It should begin to activate and create bubbles.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the hook attachment, add the tangzhong, activated yeast, 2 ½ cups of flour, heavy cream, sugar, salt, eggs and unsalted butter. Mix at low speed for 1 minute, until you have a shaggy dough. Then, increase the speed to medium and mix for 10 minutes. You should end up with a nice soft dough. If it’s too sticky, add 2-3 tablespoons of flour and mix until incorporated.
- Take out the bowl into a floured surface and create a ball. Place in a clean bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to proof for 1 ½ hours, until the dough has doubled its size.
- Prepare the pan: Brush the bottom and sides of a standard loaf pan with butter. Line the bottom and two longer sides of the pan with a long piece of parchment paper, leaving an overhang of a couple inches on either side. Bruch the parchment lightly with butter and set aside.
- On a floured counter, stretch the dough with a rolling pin until it's 10”x12”. Sprinkle the parsley or chives and onion powder evenly on the entire surface. Roll up the dough into a tight spiral log, then pinch firmly along the seam to seal it and rest it seam-side down. Squeeze the log where it's a bit thicker in the center and tug outward to elongate and even out the thickness. Bring the ends of the dough together, lining up the two sides of the log so they are parallel to each other and bending at the midpoint to maintain the alignment (forming a U). Twist the lengths of dough around each other twice to form a short, tight corkscrew form, then transfer the coil to the prepared loaf pan. Press down gently on the twist to flatten it into the pan.
- Whip one egg until there are no streams left and use it to brush the bread.
- Proof for a second time for 45-60 minutes, until it has doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, preheat a 375 °F oven.
- Egg wash the dough for a second time and top with flaky salt and freshly cracked pepper.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes. Until the top is deep golden brown and puffed.
- Let cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before unmolding.
Recipe and photos by Abril Macías.