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Chinese Baked Scallion Bread
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5 from 34 votes

Baked Scallion Bread

This scallion bread is soft, feathery, and filled with fragrant scallion flavor. If you have a scale, use the weighted measurements in the recipe because that is what I use when testing recipes. Dry measurements are often inconsistent.
The dough can be prepared a day ahead and the baked loaves can be frozen. Check the cooking notes in the post for more information.
Prep Time3 hrs 45 mins
Cook Time22 mins
Total Time4 hrs 7 mins
Course: Asian Food
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: scallion bread
Servings: 2 Loaves
Calories: 637kcal
Author: Lisa Lin

Ingredients

Tangzhong

  • 20 grams all-purpose flour (2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon)
  • 75 grams water (1/3 cup, 78ml)

Dough

  • vegetable or any neutral oil for greasing bowl
  • 115 grams whole milk (1/2 cup, 118ml)
  • 12 grams granulated sugar (1 tablespoon)
  • 4 grams active dry yeast (1 1/4 teaspoons) (see note 1)
  • 360 grams all-purpose flour (3 cups) (see note 2)
  • 3 grams kosher salt (1 teaspoon)
  • 60 grams sweetened condensed milk (3 tablespoons) (see note 3)
  • 1 large egg
  • 55 grams butter (4 tablespoons) melted

Scallion Filling

  • 80 grams scallions finely sliced (1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil plus more for spreading on dough
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for sprinkling on dough

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk

Topping

  • sesame seeds
  • flaked salt optional

Equipment

  • large mixing bowl
  • stand mixer
  • plastic wrap
  • rolling pin
  • brush for egg wash
  • parchment paper
  • large baking sheet half sheet

Instructions

Make the Tangzhong

  • Whisk the flour and water inside a saucepan until the flour dissolves. 
  • Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir the mixture frequently. In about 30 seconds to a minute, the flour will start to thicken. Don’t walk away during this process as you can quickly burn the tangzhong! Once the runny liquid absorbs into the paste, turn off the heat. See note 4 for microwave tangzhong directions.
  • Transfer the tangzhong to a bowl to cool.

Prepare the Dough

  • Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with oil. Set it aside. 
  • Heat the milk in the microwave for about 30 to 40 seconds. Then, add the sugar to the milk. Use a thermometer to check the temperature of the milk. It should be somewhere around 110ºF to 120ºF. 
  • Add the yeast and stir to hydrate the yeast. Let it sit for 5 to 8 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. After 5 to 8 minutes, the milk/yeast mixture will foam up.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the all-purpose flour and salt. Add the condensed milk, egg, melted butter, tangzhong, and foamy milk/yeast mixture. 
  • Fit the mixer with the dough hook. Mix the dough on low until you don’t see any loose flour on the sides of the bowl. This should take 30 seconds to a minute. Then, increase the speed to medium-low and work the dough for 8 minutes. 
  • Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times. If the dough is feeling tacky, lightly dust your hands with flour. 
  • Shape the dough into a ball and place inside the greased mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic (or a silicone lid) and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until the dough doubles in size. 

Prepare the Scallions

  • About 5 to 10 minutes before you’re ready to shape the loaves, prepare the scallions. In a bowl, mix the sliced scallions with 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Set the bowl aside and let the scallions soften slightly. 

Shape the Loaves (Use Photos in Blog Post for Reference)

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set it aside. 
  • Once doubled, punch down the dough to release excess air. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions, about 365 to 370 grams each. 
  • Place one half back into the bowl and cover it. Take the other half and divide the dough into 3 equal pieces, about 120 to 125 grams each. 
  • Take 1 small piece of dough and knead it a few times to get rid of any air pockets. Then, shape the dough into a small oval. Roll out the dough into a long rectangle of about 14 inches by 4 inches. Brush 3/4 teaspoon of sesame oil over the dough. Sprinkle a tiny pinch of kosher salt over the dough. 
  • Scoop up about 1 tablespoon of the scallions, and spread it alongside the bottom edge of the rolled out dough. Starting with the bottom edge, roll up the dough into a rope. Pinch the ends of the dough rope to seal the openings. Set this dough rope aside. 
  • Roll out the 2 dough pieces, fill with scallions, and shape into dough ropes.
  • Line up the 3 ropes of dough and pinch together the ends on one side. Braid the strands. Once you reach the end of the braid, pinch the ends. Tuck both ends underneath the braided loaf. 
  • Transfer the loaf to your lined baking sheet. Lay the loaves diagonally on the sheet pan so that they have room to expand when they proof and bake.
  • Shape the remaining dough half into a second loaf. (See note 5)
  • Loosely cover the loaves with plastic wrap. Let them proof for about 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours, until they double in size. (See note 6)

Bake the Loaves

  • When the loaves are nearly done proofing, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Position an oven rack to the center position. 
  • Lightly beat an egg with 1 tablespoon of milk. Set the egg wash aside. 
  • Carefully peel away the plastic wrap and gently brush the loaves with a thin layer of egg wash. Be careful not to flood the creases with egg wash. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and flaked salt (if using) over the loaves. Finally, spread any remaining scallions over the two loaves. I like to add the scallions to the creases of the loaves.
  • Bake the bread for 22 to 24 minutes, until the bread is golden brown on top. Let the bread cool on the baking sheet for several minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Enjoy while they’re still warm!
  • You can store the loaves in a container at room temperature for up to 2 days. See note 7 for freezing directions.

Notes

  1. If you are using instant yeast, you do not need to activate the yeast by mixing it with warmed milk and sugar. Just mix it directly with the other ingredients for the dough. 
  2. I recommend using a scale for this recipe. If you do not have one, make sure to use a fork to fluff up the flour in the bag or container. Then, use a spoon to scoop flour into the measuring cup, until it is overflowing with flour. DO NOT tap the measuring cup on the counter to try to get more flour into the measuring cup. Sweep the top of the measuring cup with a knife to level the flour. 
  3. If you do not have condensed milk, you can replace it with 2 tablespoons of milk powder and 1 tablespoon sugar.
  4. Microwave tangzhong directions: Heat the flour and water mixture for 20 seconds on high. Take the bowl out of the microwave, stir everything and check the consistency of the mixture. Continue heating the mixture at 5 to 6 second intervals, stirring in between, until you get a thick paste.
  5. I like to rinse my scallions before slicing them, which causes a lot of moisture to accumulate at the bottom of the bowl over time. Also, the kosher salt mixed with the scallions will cause the scallions to release some moisture. Try not to scoop up the watery liquid because it can cause the loaves to turn soggy during the second rise. 
  6. Note that proofing time can vary depending on the temperature of the room. When I developed this recipe in the summer, the loaves took 1 hour 30 minutes to proof. 
  7. Freeze the bread in a freezer bag for up to several months. To reheat the bread, bake the frozen loaf at 350ºF for 14 to 16 minutes. You do not need to defrost the bread.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5loaf | Calories: 637kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 15.2g | Fat: 25.6g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 435mg | Fiber: 3.2g | Sugar: 14g