Five Spice Garlic Butter Scallion Milk Bread

Inspired by Shanghai street food-style scallion pancake, this milk bread is a fun take on a swirly loaf of bread. This Five Spice Garlic Butter Scallion Milk Bread is packed with savoury flavour and is a fun twist on regular milk bread!

Last year while craving crispy scallion pancake (deep fried style!), I decided to tackle it at home. Thinking about it again recently, I decided to combine it with a loaf of milk bread. I originally tested this scallion bread with just butter, garlic, and scallions but felt like it needed extra flavour, and that’s where the Chinese five spice comes in. Lending a warm savoury hit of umami flavour to your soft and fluffy milk bread.

The inside of the scallion milk bread showing the swirls.

Why You’ll Love This Scallion Milk Bread

  • This is a fun take on regular milk bread. As someone who loves savoury snacks, a savoury bread recipe always hits the spot.
  • It’s a standalone bread recipe. No need to serve it with a side or a spread, you can enjoy this savoury milk bread as is!
  • This recipe makes two loaves so you can gift one away or eat them both!
  • This is a play off my Strawberry Swirl Milk Bread Rolls as well. So if you prefer something sweet and more individual for easy snacking, try that recipe instead!
Slice of scallion milk bread with five spice.

What You’ll Need

For the tangzhong:

For the five spice scallion milk bread:

  • milk — warmed to 30C
  • active dry yeast
  • flour — I used all purpose flour
  • sugar — plain white granulated sugar
  • kosher salt
  • eggs — room temperature
  • room temperature butter
  • five spice powder
  • minced garlic
  • melted butter
  • scallions — aka green onions

You’ll also need TWO loaf pans that are 8.5 inches x 4.5 inches x 2.7 inches (21.5 cm x 11.5 cm x 6.9 cm).

The Tangzhong Method

The tangzhong (湯種) is a water roux made of typically a mixture of flour and water. This method ensures that the bread can be kept for days and still stay very soft and airy. For this five spice scallion milk bread, I used flour + milk instead of flour + milk + water. Alternatively, you can also use just flour + water. To make the tangzhong, you just combine the flour and liquid, then place it on medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture becomes a paste. It should only take 1 to 2 minutes.

How to Make Five Spice Scallion Milk Bread

  • To make the tangzhong: In a saucepan, combine flour and milk before placing it on medium heat. Whisk it constantly until the mixture has turned into a paste. This should take around 1-2 minutes.
Tangzhong in a pot.
  • At the same time, heat up your milk. I heat up my milk by placing it in a measuring cup then putting the measuring cup in a pot of water over medium heat.
  • Set the tangzhong aside to cool once done and add the yeast to the warmed milk and allow the yeast to bloom for 10 minutes. It should almost double in size.
Yeast blooming in measuring cup.
  • While the yeast is blooming, prep the dough by combining flour, sugar, and salt in your mixer bowl. 
  • When ready, on the low speed setting (2 on my KitchenAid), combine dry mix with the egg, tangzhong, and the milk and yeast mixture. Knead until everything has been incorporated this might take up to 5 minutes.
  • Increase speed to medium (4 on my KitchenAid) and knead dough for another 3 to 5 minutes until smooth, adding in 4 tbsp of butter in 1 tbsp blocks. *if your dough isn’t coming together after the butter has mixed in, you can add up to 1 tbsp of flour to help the dough come together.
  • When done, remove the dough from the mixer bowl and gently shape it into a ball while holding it. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl and cover with plastic or a tea towel. Allow to proof for 1 to 2 hours or until the dough has doubled.
Parchment lined loaf pans.
  • While the dough is rising, prepare your loaf pans by spraying them with some non-stick and lining with parchment.
Five spice mixed with melted butter and minced garlic in a ramekin.
  • Before you get ready to roll out your dough, combine melted butter with the five spice and minced garlic.
Scallion bread dough split in half.
  • Once doubled, transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and cut the dough in half.
  • Roll the two doughs out to around 7 inches x 13 inches, as close to a rectangle as possible. Positioning the dough with the 7 inch width facing you.
  • Brush on the five spice garlic butter and then top with the chopped scallions.
  • Carefully roll the dough into a little log by rolling from the top down or bottom up.
  • Once rolled, place it seam side down. Using a metal bench scraper or knife, slice your dough log like you would a hassel-back potato. Slicing it almost all the way down but leaving the bottom attached.
Scallion milk bread in the loaf pan before proofing.
  • Transfer the two loaves into their loaf pans. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
  • Heat over to 350°F.
  • Beat an egg and brush the egg over the risen loaves and top with more sliced scallions.
  • Bake the loaves for 35 to 40 minutes on the low rack of your oven.
  • When done, let cool before slicing and enjoying!
Loaf of five spice scallion milk bread.

Tips and Notes

  • I used TWO loaf pans that are 8.5 inches x 4.5 inches x 2.7 inches (21.5 cm x 11.5 cm x 6.9 cm) from Williams-Sonoma. If you are using different sizes, please keep in mind that the bread might come out differently or you may have to adjust the cook time. I have ONLY tested this recipe in these loaf pans so your guess is as good as mine if you want to switch pan sizes!
  • These loaf pans are aluminized steel so if you use glass pans or ceramic, the cook time changes. You can read more about the difference in how they cook from this post from King Arthur Baking.
  • Ovens may vary so your bake time may vary. The way I like to check is by sticking in a thermometer and checking if the bread has reached a temperature of 190°F/87.7°F. Also, if the thermometer doesn’t come out clean, then the bread needs more time as well.
  • I like to bloom my yeast in a measuring cup as I can easily track if the yeast has “doubled in size.”
  • If your yeast isn’t rising, add in 1 tsp of sugar and give it 5 more minutes. If it is still not bubbly or rising then your yeast is dead and you’ll need new yeast.
  • Feel free to add a splash of milk to the egg wash if you prefer.
  • I like to use little blinder clips to hold my parchment paper in place when preparing my pans. They are removed before baking.
Profile view of a loaf of milk bread.

Storage Tips

  • Once the scallion milk bread loaves have cooled completely, you can store them in an airtight container on your kitchen counter for up to 2 to 3 days. The rolls will stay very soft at room temperature thanks to the tangzhong. You can also warm up before serving.
  • I have not tried to freeze this recipe specifically but have frozen milk bread successfully before. If you do freeze this, please let me know in the comments how it goes!
Slice of scallion milk bread with five spice.

Five Spice Garlic Butter Scallion Milk Bread

Inspired by Shanghai street food-style scallion pancake, this milk bread is a fun take on a swirly loaf of bread. This Five Spice Garlic Butter Scallion Milk Bread is packed with savoury flavour and is a fun twist on regular milk bread!

Print
Rate

Prep Time: 17 mins

Cook Time: 40 mins

Bread Proof Time: 2 hrs

Total Time: 2 hrs 57 mins

Servings: 2 loaves

Ingredients

For the tangzhong:

  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 6 tbsp milk

For the five spice scallion milk bread:

  • ½ cup milk, warmed to 30C
  • 7 grams active dry yeast, 1 packet
  • 320 grams all purpose flour, 2½ cup (*plus 1 tbsp)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature, one for the dough, one for the egg wash
  • 4 tbsp room temperature butter
  • tbsp five spice powder
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 4 tbsp melted butter
  • 5 stalks scallions, 1 stalk for topping the breads

Equipment

  • 2 loaf pans — 8.5 inches x 4.5 inches x 2.7 inches (21.5 cm x 11.5 cm x 6.9 cm)

  • parchment paper + non stick spray

  • Bowl for proofing

  • Pastry brush

Instructions

  • To make the tangzhong: In a saucepan, combine flour and milk before placing it on medium heat. Whisk it constantly until the mixture has turned into a paste. This should take around 1-2 minutes.

  • At the same time, heat up your milk. I heat up my milk by placing it in a measuring cup then putting the measuring cup in a pot of water over medium heat.

  • Set the tangzhong aside to cool once done and add the yeast to the warmed milk and allow the yeast to bloom for 10 minutes. It should almost double in size.

  • While the yeast is blooming, prep the dough by combining flour, sugar, and salt in your mixer bowl.

  • When ready, on the low speed setting (2 on my KitchenAid), combine dry mix with the egg, tangzhong, and the milk and yeast mixture. Knead until everything has been incorporated this might take up to 5 minutes.

  • Increase speed to medium (4 on my KitchenAid) and knead dough for another 3 to 5 minutes until smooth, adding in 4 tbsp of butter in 1 tbsp blocks.

  • When done, remove the dough from the mixer bowl and gently shape it into a ball while holding it. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl and cover with plastic or a tea towel. Allow to proof for 1 to 2 hours or until the dough has doubled.

  • While the dough is rising, prepare your loaf pans by spraying them with some non-stick and lining with parchment.

  • Before you get ready to roll out your dough, combine melted butter with the five spice and minced garlic.

  • Once doubled, transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and cut the dough in half.

  • Roll the two doughs out to around 7 inches x 13 inches, as close to a rectangle as possible. Positioning the dough with the 7 inch width facing you.

  • Brush on the five spice garlic butter and then top with the chopped scallions (4 stalks).

  • Carefully roll the dough into a little log by rolling from the top down or bottom up.

  • Once rolled, place it seam side down. Using a metal bench scraper or knife, slice your dough log like you would a hassel-back potato. Slicing it almost all the way down but leaving the bottom attached.

  • Transfer the two loaves into their loaf pans. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.

  • Heat over to 350°F.

  • Beat an egg and brush the egg over the risen loaves and top with more sliced scallions.

  • Bake the loaves for 35 to 40 minutes on the low rack of your oven.

  • When done, let cool before slicing and enjoying!

Notes

  • *If your dough isn’t coming together after the butter has mixed in, you can add up to 1 tbsp of flour to help the dough come together.*
  • I used TWO loaf pans that are 8.5 inches x 4.5 inches x 2.7 inches (21.5 cm x 11.5 cm x 6.9 cm) from Williams-Sonoma. If you are using different sizes, please keep in mind that the bread might come out differently or you may have to adjust the cook time. I have ONLY tested this recipe in these loaf pans so your guess is as good as mine if you want to switch pan sizes!
Tried this recipe?Did you make this recipe? I’m always so happy to hear about it! I’d love to see how it turned out. Tag me at @CarmysHungry on Instagram so I can see it! If you enjoyed the recipe, I’d really appreciate a comment with a 5 star rating! ♥

Authour: Carmy

Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: Asian

More Bread Recipes To Try

Other places to connect with me
@carmyshungry on Instagram
Facebook
Shop my Amazon faves
Email: [email protected]