Browse By


Delicious Homemade Rolls – Based on a Japanese Recipe

I have been searching the net for a recipe to resemble specific rolls dating back to the early ’70s, as per my memory of summer camps in Ellenville, NY.   Mrs. Kormeluk was the cook at that time, so rolls similar to these were made daily, and served with a cup of cold milk, as an afternoon snack for all the campers.

I have tried several recipes and tested the texture and flavor of these rolls with my children, who also were lucky enough to enjoy the same snack at the same camp, in the ’90s, but by that time, these were baked by Mrs. Tinio.  

Neither of these ladies is baking at the camp kitchen any longer, and unfortunately did not leave the “secret” recipe for others to use, yet we all are missing these rolls so much while camping there.

The final consensus was that the closest resemblance to the rolls we were looking for, is a recipe for Japanese White Bread Rolls,  by King Arthur Flour company, and Hokkaido Milk Rolls.

Since I “tweaked” these recipes a little bit, to achieve the sought-after flavor, these may be known as “Mrs. Z’s” camp rolls, and I have no problem with sharing.

### Please scroll down to the end of this post for a Printable Recipe ###

I get the best dough rising results from this particular yeast.  I used other brands which resulted in disappointment.

This is how these rolls look like, after rising in the pan for 40 minutes, just before being basted with egg wash, and ready for baking.

They are all baked….and the whole house smells awesome of fresh-baked bread…..are you drooling yet????

If you never had these before, I suggest you whip up a batch very soon and join our club!

These are very easy to make because all the mixing is done in a stand mixer, equipped with a dough hook

This recipe yields 9 dinner rolls in an 8 x 8-inch pan, or a 9 x 9-inch pan.  You can also divide the dough into 12 smaller size dinner rolls and bake them in the 9 x 9 pan.

Update:  I recently purchased a 9 x 9 baking pan made by Food Network, and divided the dough into 12 rolls, with some wonderful results.  I cut my dough rectangle into 3 even strips, then each strip into 4 even sections, to come up with 12 rolls.

You can also double the recipe and use two 9 x 9-inch pans to make 24 dinner-size rolls or 18 larger ones.

Delicious Homemade Rolls – Based on a Japanese Recipe

Delicious Homemade Rolls – Based on a Japanese Recipe


  • 3 Tbs. water
  • 3 Tbs. whole milk
  • 2 Tbs. bread flour
  • 2 cups King Arthur Bread flour
  • 3 Tbs. dry milk powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. dry yeast (1/4 oz. = 1 packet..I always use the RapidRise or Quick-Rise yeast)
  • 1/3 cup whole milk, warm (20 sec in microwave)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 5 Tbs. sweet butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg to use for egg wash, or use the left over egg white with 1 tsp of milk mixed in


  1. Prepare the Tangzhong (the starter).
  2. In a sauce pan, add 3 Tbs. water, 3 Tbs. milk and 2 Tbs. bread flour. Cook slowly, mixing constantly, until it begins to thicken slightly, resembling pudding (less than a minute).
  3. Remove from heat, and transfer to a dish. Cover with plastic wrap, and cool off to room temperature.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the bread flour, salt, powdered milk, dry yeast and sugar. Set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix the whole egg, egg yolk, warm milk, melted butter and vanilla extract, then mix in the Tangzhong, until well incorporated and smooth.
  6. Use a dough hook to fold in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  7. Change the speed to 4, and mix for another 20 minutes, until the dough is silky and smooth, and not sticking to the sides of the bowl.
  8. Place the dough in a greased plastic bowl, and turn the dough over once, to grease it on all sides.
  9. Cover it with a tea towel. Keep it in a warm place for 1.5 to 2 hours, until double in bulk. If you let it rise too long, it will collapse and rolls will not be fluffy.
  10. Line the bottom of an 8 x 8 baking pan ( I use now a 9 x 9 pan and love it) with parchment paper, then grease well the bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside.
  11. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  12. Punch down the raised dough, remove from the bowl, knead it few times on a work area, then form into a rectangle.
  13. Cut the rectangle into 3 even sections lengthwise, then again into 3 even section width-wise.
  14. Create a roll from each piece, by folding the sides under, leaving the top nice and smooth, repeating the process until all 9 rolls are formed.
  15. Place the rolls in the prepared baking pan, side by side, leaving a small space between them, .
  16. Cover with a tea towel, and again keep it in a warm place for 40 minutes, until the rolls rise above the rim of the pan (see the picture in the post).
  17. Prepare egg wash, by mixing an egg with little bit of warm water (or milk, if using only egg white), and brush the tops of the rolls.
  18. Bake on a middle rack, for 20 minutes.
  19. Remove from the oven, and immediately brush the tops with melted butter. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove from the pan onto a cooling rack.
  20. May cool them completely before serving, or enjoy them while still warm.

10 thoughts on “Delicious Homemade Rolls – Based on a Japanese Recipe”

  1. Pingback: Breads and Rolls – Baking with Yeast Recipes
  2. Trackback: Breads and Rolls – Baking with Yeast Recipes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.