Taro Swirl Milk Bread Rolls

Taro Swirl Milk Bread Rolls

Ingredients for the milk bread dough

  • 2 1/2 cups (320g) all purpose flour
    • You can also use bread flour and just reduce the kneading time.
  • 1/4 cup (41g) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup of milk
    • You can also substitute with 1/4 cup of heavy cream plus 1/4 cup water.
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
    • This is usually one package of yeast.
  • 3 tablespoons butter
    • Make sure to cut the butter into small pieces and that it is softened at room temperature.
  • 1 serving of tangzhong
    • This is a separate recipe and you will use all the tangzhong made with the recipe just right below

Ingredients for the tangzhong

  • 6 tablespoons (43g) all purpose flour
    • You can also use bread flour here as well!
  • 1/2 cup of water

Ingredients for the taro filling

  • 2 cups (264g) taro, chopped into pieces
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup (50g) sugar

Ingredients for the egg wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Basically, this tangzhong technique gives these taro rolls an awesome fluffy texture. It’s like magic! The taro filling is super delicious, but make sure that you taste test it to ensure that the sweetness is to your likely.  This recipe yields approximately 12 taro rolls, but feel free to shape the rolls however you’d like.


  1. First, let’s make the tangzhong, which is actually super simple and gives the milk bread its signature fluffy texture. Mix the 6 tablespoons 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.
  3. Next, let’s make the rest of the milk bread dough. 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 milk, eggs and the lukewarm tangzhong.
  4. Using your stand mixer, mix on medium speed until the dough comes together. Then, add in the butter 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).
  5. Now, it’s time to proof the dough. Place the dough into a large greased bowl. Cover with a wet towel, and 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. To let the flavor develop more, you can also proof the dough in the refrigerator overnight.
  6. Now, it’s time to make the taro filling. In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add the raw chopped taro. Cover and boil on medium high until the taro is completely soft and a fork can go through it easily, about 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and drain the water from the cooked taro.
  7. Use a fork and smash the taro into a smooth paste. Add the sugar and coconut milk to the paste. Cook the sweetened taro paste until the coconut milk and sugar are both incorporated into the taro, forming a smooth paste. This should take about 10-15 minutes. You should taste the taro paste at this point to make sure it’s at the right sweetness level for your taste. Remove the taro paste from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  8. Now, back to the milk bread dough, after proofing, move the dough to a clean surface and roll out dough into a large rectangle, about 1/3 inch thick. Using a spatula, spread the cooled taro paste all around the dough rectangle, leaving a border around the outside.
  9. Then, from the shorter side of the rectangle, start rolling the dough tightly into a log, similar to how you would roll a cinnamon roll where the filling ends up on the inside.
  10. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Once you’ve formed the dough log, dust a knife with some flour and slice the dough into 12 taro rolls. Place each roll onto the parchment paper.
  11. Next, it’s time to proof the monkey bread. Place a wet towel over the sheet pan and let it rise until it’s double in size (about an hour).
  12. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  13. Next, let’s make the egg wash. In a small bowl, add the egg, milk, and sugar. Mix until evenly combined. Brush the tops of each of the taro rolls with the egg wash.
  14. Finally, bake the milk bread at 350 degrees until the top is golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. You’re done!

Taro Swirl Milk Bread Rolls are fluffy, slightly sweet, slightly gooey and delicious, which makes it a perfect freshly baked treat. Whenever I’m in Chinatown, I love browsing around Chinese bakeries, and taro buns are definitely a crowd pleaser. Instead of embedding the filling inside the classic taro bun style, I decided to make them into rolls so that you can taste that awesome taro filling with each bite. Honestly, speaking of the taro filling, it’s delicious enough to eat by itself, and also super versatile. You can use it in this bread recipe and more. Next time, you’re in the mood for taro, try out this recipe out, and if you do, be sure to drop a comment below and tell me how it turned out! Happy baking!



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