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Easy Pull Apart Milk Buns

By Chef Devan


Updated on

This is my go-to milk bun recipe because it’s made in only a few hours and it’s super easy.

It’s actually the same recipe I used for my hamburger buns but instead of rolled into individual buns, this one is baked together in one massive loaf of buttery, fresh-baked comfort.

A pull-apart dinner roll being pulled apart.

Next-Level Baking Technique – Enter, the Tangzhong

What makes this recipe special is the use of a Japanese tangzhong starter.

Tangzhong is similar to a roux except instead of butter, it is made with milk and a little water [1].

It is then cooked just like a roux until thickened and added to the dough. This process helps to keep the buns soft longer and makes it extra tasty.

Unlike a sourdough starter which can take months to prepare with daily feeding, this “starter” is ready in minutes.

The dinner rolls proofing on a tray with egg wash on the side.
A pull-apart dinner roll being pulled apart.
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5 from 2 votes

Easy Pull Apart Milk Buns

Super soft and fluffy milk buns that can be made in one day. These buns are amazing hot out of the oven with a little butter and crunchy sea salt.
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting time 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 386kcal
Cost $6/4€


Tangzhong (starter)

  • 3 tbsp water 43g
  • 3 tbsp whole milk 43g
  • 2 tbsp bread flour 14g


  • 400 g bread flour 2 ¾ cups
  • 50 g sugar 1/4 cup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dried yeast
  • 113 g whole milk 1/2 cup
  • 1 large egg
  • 60 g butter melted and cooled (1/4 cup)


  • Mix all of the ingredients from the tangzhong into a small saucepan and heat gently. Whisk for about 3 minutes until there are no more lumps and the whisk leaves lines on the bottom of the pan. Let this cool briefly.
  • Put the rest of the ingredients together with the cooled tangzhong in a bowl and knead until a smooth elastic dough is formed. If the dough is too sticky add a bit of flour until it is smooth.
  • Roll into a giant ball and place in a lightly floured bowl. Lightly dust the top with flour and cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap. Rest for about one hour.
  • After an hour or so, the dough should have almost doubled in size. Lightly press the air out and begin shaping into 8 smaller balls.
  • Attach them together on a parchment lined baking tray and lightly dust with flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 40-50 minutes.
    The balls attached together on a tray.
  • Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F. Lightly brush the dough with an egg wash (1 egg with a splash of cold water mixed in). Bake for about 23-35 minutes or until nicely golden on top and a thermometer reaches 88°C/190°F.
    The proofed dough and egg wash bowl on the side.
  • Transfer to a resting rack and let cool for ten minutes. These buns are amazing hot out of the oven with a little butter and crunchy sea salt.
    They also makes an incredible egg sandwich the next day with a little fried egg.
    The finished bread on a rack to cool.


When measuring the yeast, sugar and salt, always place them apart in the bowl. Too much salt and sugar can actually kill the yeast. So when measuring, place them on opposite sides of the bowl.
The dough should be smooth after it’s mixed but it may take a while for the flour to absorb the liquid. If you use a stand mixer, you’ll get better results as the the longer you work the dough, the more liquid it will absorb. Try to add only as much flour as you need because too much flour will make the buns less soft.


Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 635mg | Potassium: 174mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 156IU | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 1mg
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About Chef Devan

With exceptional talent and passion for gastronomy, Chef Devan has over 15 years of experience across the culinary world, bringing a wealth of experience to the table, even from Michelin-starred restaurants. He's here to help you captivate the senses and delight everyone with easy recipes you could cook at home. Learn more about Braised and Deglazed's Editorial Process.

2 thoughts on “Easy Pull Apart Milk Buns”

    • Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Seems the video would play on the desktop but not on the mobile site. I updated the recipe so you can at least see the steps now.


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