Spelt Japanese Bread Rolls with Oat milk

Spelt Japanese Bread Rolls with Oat milk

Oh my! These are the softest, fluffiest bread rolls I have ever made. Japanese bread rolls have been on my wish list for a while. I first heard of these after seeing a Netflix show on Japanese bakeries.

Sue Maree P style, I made my fluffy soft Japanese bread rolls recipe with white spelt flour, and oat milk and halved the sugar as I found them too sweet.

I was inspired by a recipe from an American recipe; https://www.joshuaweissman.com/post/greatest-dinner-rolls.

I had also read that you would need to add whole milk as the fat needed from whole milk was better. I was sceptical and proceeded with my test with oat milk. I was right oat milk worked. These rolls are perfectly soft and even great tasting the following day.

Why is the bread super soft and fluffy?

The secret is in the first step to having the fluffy bread is making an Asian-style bread starter or water roux which is called a tangzhou (pronounced tan-jong) or yu-dane. A flour paste starter cooked in water or milk, I used both this improves the texture of the bread to make it soft and fluffy.

Takes = less than 2 hours
Bakes = 20-25 minutes
Makes = 9 dinner rolls, 6 burger style rolls

Tangzhou Starter

  • Flour, I use white spelt flour  – 20g, 2 tablespoon
  • Water - 27g, 2 tablespoon
  • Milk, I used oat milk – 60g, 4 tablespoon

Bread dough

  • Warm milk, microwave 10-20 secs – 120g (about 1/2 cup)
  • Dry yeast – 9g, 1 tablespoon
  • White spelt flour – 320g (about 2+3/4 cups)
  • Fine sea salt - 3/4 teaspoon
  • Sugar - 3 tablespoons (less than the original recipe)
  • Unsalted butter, room temp.  - 42g, 3 tablespoon
  • Whole egg, room temp.


  • one egg
  • Milk, oat milk – 2 tbsp


  1. Make the tangzhou starter, gently heat continually stirring the roux until thick like a paste, then remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Remove from the pot to quicken this step up.
  2. Mix warm milk and yeast - rest 10 minutes until bubbly. Whisk the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
  3. Once the starter has cooled down, add the starter, yeast mix and egg and combine with a mixer using dough hooks, or mix with your hand. After a few minutes it will become a shaggy-looking dough, then start adding in the butter a little at a time. I then went in with my hand to knead. Spelt flour doesn't require too much kneading. Remove from the bowl and place on a floured bench and form a smooth dough ball. Cover over with the bowl upside down. Rest for 45 minutes to 60 minutes to double in size, depending on the climate and temperature in your kitchen the time may vary.
  4. Once risen, divide the dough into 9 (75g) pieces or 6 (110g) pieces. Grease and line your baking tin. I only had a rectangle glass dish 26.5cm x 18cm (10.5'x 7') and place them 3 x 2 slightly apart. Then brush the tops with the egg-milk wash, and cover with oiled plastic or a tea towel (I find the cloth sometimes sticks to the dough). Rest to prove again for 30-45 minutes. Preheat your oven now at 180˚C (static no fan) for 25-28 minutes.
  5. Once baked, optional brush with a little melted butter, then rest for 10 minutes before serving.