Purple sweet potato Hokkaido milk bread

Hokkaido milk bread is a light and fluffy pull apart Japanese bread which is very easy to make!

It is originally made with cow milk, butter and eggs. To make it dairy-free and egg-free, I used oat milk and coconut milk powder, which make it light and fluffy.

I used purple sweet potato powder to make it pink and pretty. Feel free to omit if you’re not able to find it.

The best flour to make this kind of bread is bread flour, which correspond to type 0 in Europe.

This bread is soft and sweet and it’s a perfect breakfast or afternoon tea bread. Spread some jam or nut butter for even more yumminess!

This recipe is much easier than you could think. You only need a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment or a kneading machine.

As for other milk bread recipes, I made a bread starter (or roux or Tangzhong) which is the key to a fluffy and moist texture. This is made by cooking some bread flour with water and milk until a curd-like mixture is formed.

You will then add this mixture to the other ingredients and knead until an elastic dough forms.

Please note that the milk temperature is very important in this recipe. The instant yeast needs some warm liquid to be activated, but if it’s too hot, the temperature will kill the yeast and the dough won’t raise properly. I highly recommend you buying a kitchen thermometer because it is very useful for this and many other recipes.

Also note that the resting/rising time is very important to make a bread that has an even and perfectly baked texture. Make sure you follow the instructions and that your dough has properly risen before proceeding with the next step.

I used a 22cm loaf pan to make this bread. If you’re using a smaller pan, the bread will rise higher and could take some more time to bake. I don’t recommend using a larger pan with this amount of dough, because the bread will grow more in width rather than in height.

I hope you will give this recipe a try so that you can see by yourself how easy it is to make homemade healthy milk bread!

I’d love to have a feedback from you if you try my recipe! Leave a comment below or tag me in your pics on Instagram @foodie.yuki so that I can see them!

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Purple sweet potato Hokkaido milk bread

plant-based, dairy. free, vegan friendly
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Resting/rising time2 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 1 22cm bread
Author: Yukiko @foodie.yuki


  • Stand mixer or kneading machine


Ingredients for the bread starter (roux or Tangzhong)

  • 25 g/2,5 tbsp bread flour (0 type in Europe)
  • 50 ml/3 tbsp water
  • 50 ml/3 tbsp oat milk

Ingredients for the bread

  • 120 ml/ 1/2 cup warm oat milk, at 55C / 110F degrees
  • 50 g / 1/4 cup vegan butter

Dry ingredients

  • 9 g / 2,5 tsp instant yeast
  • 350 g/ 2 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 16 g/ 2 tbsp coconut milk powder
  • 65 g/ 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 5 g/ 1 tsp pink salt
  • 1 tbsp purple sweet potato powder optional


Make the roux

  • In a small saucepan, combine the bread flour, milk and water and whisk to remove any lumps.
    Cook over medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes whisking continuously, until the roux starts to thicken.

    The roux should have the consistency of a curd. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Make the dough

  • In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
  • Add the warm milk and roux to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment. Then add the dry ingredients.
    Turn the mixer on medium-low and mix for 5-7 minutes until gluten develops and the dough feels elastic.
  • Add the butter one tablespoon at a time and wait until it's fully incorporated before adding more.
    Mix for another 5-7 minutes until the butter is completely incorporated and the dough is smooth and feels elastic. Note: The dough will be a bit tacky, but feels elastic.
    Using wet hands, shape the dough into a ball.
    Transfer to a greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size for 60-90 minutes.
  • Transfer dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 4 equally sized pieces.
    Roll each out to be 20×12 cm| 8"x5" and then fold the short ends toward the center as folding a letter.
  • Flip it seal side down and roll the dough again. Flip it over again and starting on one of the shorter edges, roll up and then place in a greased 22x10cm |9"x4" pan. 
    Repeat with each piece of dough.  Cover and let rise an additional 45 minutes.
  • Brush the loaf with oat milk and bake at 175C| 350°F for about 25-30 minutes.
    Remove from the oven and let cool into the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

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  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for such a great recipe. My kids love milk bread but I won’t buy it anymore. This is delicious and is disappearing very quickly. I’ll just have to make more. Didn’t manage to add the purple sweet potato flour but if I find any I’ll buy it.

    • yukiko83

      Hey Sarah,

      thank you very much for your feedback!
      I get my purple sweet potato powder from Suncorefoods! You can use my code FOODIEYUKI15 to get 15% discount on their products (non promotion product).

      Kind regards,

  2. May I use ordinary low fat milk instead of oat milk and ordinary butter instead of vegan butter?

    • yukiko83

      Hey Kim, sorry for the late answer.
      Of course you can use regular cow milk. I’d suggest full fat milk for more flavor and fluffiness!

      Kind regards,

    • Brianne

      Hi. Could I use regular butter for this recipe? 🙂

  3. anjelica

    5 stars
    this recipe is amazing! its so soft. i used boiled purple sweet potatoes instead of powder, it still worked fine. thanks for sharing!

  4. Hi! I’d like to try this recipe but I cannot find coconut milk powder in my country, What can I substitute for that?

    • yukiko83

      Hi Soyoon,

      the coconut milk powder is optional. It helps with moisture but you can leave it out if you can’t find it.


  5. How long does it take to knead it by hand? Unfortunately I don’t have a stand mixer.

    • yukiko83

      Hey there,

      It takes very long by hand, but it is possible.
      You should get a very smooth and elastic dough, so I guess it would take up to 30 minutes.

      Have fun baking!



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