Thai Tea and Chocolate Tiger Vegan Milk Bread

Thai Tea and Chocolate Tiger Vegan Milk Bread (Asian Sweet Bread, Hong Kong Pai Bao, Hokkaido Milk Bread)

Ingredients for the Thai tea milk bread 

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup Thai tea leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups (320g) all purpose flour
    • You can also use bread flour and just reduce the kneading time.
  • 1/4 cup (42g) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
    • This is usually one package of yeast.
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 serving of tangzhong
    • This is a separate recipe and you will use 1/2 of the tangzhong made with the recipe just right below

Ingredients for the chocolate milk bread 

  • 2 1/2 cups (320g) all purpose flour
    • You can also use bread flour and just reduce the kneading time.
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup (42g) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
    • This is usually one package of yeast.
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 serving of tangzhong
    • This is a separate recipe and you will use 1/2 of the tangzhong made with the recipe just right below

Ingredients for the tangzhong

  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
    • You can also use bread flour here as well!
  • 1 cup of water

Ingredients for the bread wash

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk

Basically, this tangzhong technique gives the milk bread it’s signature fluffy texture. It’s like magic! Even though I already have my classic Black Sesame Milk Bread recipe on my blog, I decided to make a vegan version with a pretty tiger pattern.

This recipe yields a pretty large amount of bread, so feel free to reduce the recipe or make all kinds of different types of shapes, like standard loaves, muffin-sized buns, freely shaped buns, bundt pans, circular loaves, etc. This recipe yields approximately 2 loaves or 1 loaf and 12 buns.

Instructions

  1. First, let’s make the tangzhong, which is actually super simple and gives the milk bread its signature fluffy texture. Mix the 1/3 cup of flour and water together. Whisk until the flour is completely dissolved there are no lumps.
  2. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and turn on the heat to medium. Stir the mixture constantly as the mixture heats up. Cook the tangzhong until the mixture thickens. You should be able to draw “lines” in the mixture and the indent should remain for a little bit (it will be noticeable). If you have a thermometer, your mixture should be perfect at 149 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius). Once the mixture is just right, take it off the stove and let it cool until it’s lukewarm.IMG_2769
  3. Next, let’s make the Thai tea milk bread dough. In a small saucepan, add the heavy cream and bring it to a simmer on medium heat. Add Thai tea leaves and stir on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir until everything is evenly combined. Then, strain the Thai tea leaves out and let cool.
  4. In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, salt, sugar, and instant yeast. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add in all wet ingredients, which are the infused thai tea coconut milk and the lukewarm tangzhong.
  5. Using your stand mixer, mix on medium speed until the dough comes together. Then, add in the coconut oil and continue mixing/kneading. Keep kneading until it is a smooth dough that shouldn’t be too sticky and have some elasticity. It took me around 20 minutes to mix the dough to this point. Since this timing may be variable, keep checking for elasticity and stretchiness. (You can knead the dough by hand totally, but it can be very, very, very tiring).
  6. Place the Thai tea dough ball into a large greased bowl. Cover with a wet towel.
  7. Now, let’s make the chocolate milk bread dough, which is basically the same steps as above for the Thai tea milk bread dough. In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, sugar, and instant yeast. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add in all wet ingredients, which are the coconut milk and the lukewarm tangzhong.
  8. Using your stand mixer, mix on medium speed until the dough comes together. Then, add in the coconut oil and continue mixing/kneading. Keep kneading until it is a smooth dough that shouldn’t be too sticky and have some elasticity. It took me around 20 minutes to mix the dough to this point. Since this timing may be variable, keep checking for elasticity and stretchiness. (You can knead the dough by hand totally, but it can be very, very, very tiring).
  9. Place the chocolate dough ball into another large greased bowl. Cover with a wet towel.
  10. Now, it’s time to proof the dough balls. Let the dough proof until it’s doubled in size, about an hour. My trick to to heat up my oven for a few minutes, turn the oven off, and then place the bowl of dough into the warmed oven. (You can also let the dough proof overnight at this point too).
  11. After proofing, move the dough balls to a clean surface and split up each dough ball in 12 pieces. This means you should have 12 Thai tea dough balls and 12 chocolate dough balls.
  12. Now, take each dough ball and form it into a long log shape, a little shorter than the length of the loaf pan. Cover with the wet towel again and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  13. Next, let’s form the tiger stripes! Take each dough log, roll it out with a rolling pin until it is flattened out. Each flattened log should be approximately the length of the loaf pan and about 3/4 the width of the loaf pan.
  14. Let’s assemble the tiger stripes in the loaf pan then. Take one of the Thai tea dough logs and place it into the loaf pan, closer to one side so that the dough covers 3/4 of the bottom of the loaf pan. Then, take one of the chocolate dough logs and place it into the loaf pan, closer to the other side of the loaf pan. Next, take another Thai tea dough logs and place it diagonally. Then, take another chocolate dough log, and place it the other way diagonally, so that it forms an X. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. The strategy here is to basically try to haphazardly on purpose place the dough into alternating random patterns to form the tiger print.
  15. Now, it’s time to proof the loaves in the bread pan. Place a wet towel over the loaf and let it rise until it’s double in size (about an hour).
  16. Before baking the final proofed break, mix together the bread wash by whisking the coconut oil, honey, and coconut milk. Brush the bread wash on top of the bread in order to create the beautiful brown shiny finish after baking.
  17. Finally, bake the milk bread at 325 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. You’re done!

Thai Tea and Chocolate Tiger Vegan Milk Bread is an awesome vegan version to the classic fluffy milk bread otherwise known as Asian Sweet Bread, Hong Kong Pai Bao or Hokkaido Milk Bread. Naturally, the coconut replacements to make this bread vegan complements Thai tea and chocolate so well, so I decided to combine those flavors together. To make this even more of a showstopper, with just a simple layering technique, it’s super simple to create this tiger print pattern with alternating Thai tea and chocolate dough to form the pattern. However, this recipe is so versatile that you can create all different kinds of patterns or flavors, just like my classic non-vegan recipe.

Try out this recipe to create the perfect beautiful loaf with this cute surprise tiger print inside. If you do, be sure to drop a comment below and tell me how it turned out! Happy baking!

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