Kindred's Milk Bread

November 17, 2015
53 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

This recipe is served as a starter to each dinner table at Kindred Restaurant in Davidson, North Carolina. But the dough doesn't stop there. It can be used as sandwich bread, French toast, burger buns, doughnuts, and more. This is a bread that merges utility and taste, seamlessly. —catherine margaret o'donnell

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Kindred's Milk Bread
  • Prep time 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Makes 6 rolls, two 9- by 5-inch loaves, or 12 split-top buns
  • 5 1/3 cups bread flour, divided, plus more for surface (Kindred uses King Arthur)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup mild honey (such as wildflower or alfalfa)
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder (such as Alba)
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast (from about 3 envelopes)
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, divided
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • Flaky sea salt (optional, but shouldn't be)
In This Recipe
  1. Cook 1/3 cup flour and 1 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a thick paste forms (almost like a roux but looser), about 5 minutes. Add cream and honey and cook, whisking to blend, until honey dissolves.
  2. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and add milk powder, yeast, kosher salt, 2 eggs, and 5 remaining cups flour. Knead on medium speed until dough is smooth, about 5 minutes. Add butter, a piece at a time, fully incorporating into dough before adding the next piece, until dough is smooth, shiny, and elastic, about 4 minutes.

  3. Coat a large bowl with nonstick spray and transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. If making rolls, lightly coat a 6-cup jumbo muffin pan with nonstick spray. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and divide into 6 pieces. Divide each piece into 4 smaller pieces (you should have 24 total). They don’t need to be exact; just eyeball it. Place 4 pieces of dough side-by-side in each muffin cup.
 If making loaves, lightly coat two 9- by 5-inch loaf pans with nonstick spray. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and divide into 12 pieces. Nestle pieces side-by-side to create 2 rows down length of each pan.
 If making split-top buns, lightly coat two 9- by 13-inch baking dishes with nonstick spray. Divide dough into 12 pieces and shape each into a 4-inch long log. Place 6 logs in a row down length of each dish.
  5. Let shaped dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size (dough should be just puffing over top of pan), about 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 375° F. Beat remaining egg with 1 teaspoon. water in a small bowl to blend. Brush top of dough with egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt, if desired. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until bread is deep golden brown, starting to pull away from the sides of the pan, and is baked through, 25 to 35 minutes for rolls, 50 to 60 minutes for loaf, or 30 to 40 minutes for buns. If making buns, slice each bun down the middle deep enough to create a split-top. Let milk bread cool slightly in pan on a wire rack before turning out; let cool completely.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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511 Reviews

blanchette October 10, 2021
Made this today. I read all the reviews regarding saltiness and baking temp. I used 2 T of kosher salt in the recipe, and 1 T kosher salt sprinkled on top and baked at 350 degrees. Turned out great! The second proofing wasn't quite as "poofy" as I had hoped, nevertheless it was very tasty!
Eileen August 21, 2021
There is far too much salt in the recipe, I’d cut it to less than half the amount. It’s too bad the recipe can’t be changed. I’ve made it with too much directed…then with less than a tbsp..delicious.
Pamela_in_Tokyo August 22, 2021
The problem with this recipe and a lot of recipes online these days is that these chefs use _kosher salt_ which has large flakes and thus fills up the measuring spoon quickly. If you (like most of us, like me too) just have table salt - you have to use HALF the amount. Only some recipe writers are kind enough to mention that in the directions. At least they should provide the gram amount of salt.

To tell the truth, this salt issue is very frustrating. I live in Japan and I can not get the same kind of salt.

Also, you would think after all the comments and the disappointments that people have suffered because of the salt issue, you would think that the recipe writer would correct the recipe or add a note so that others are not suffering the same thing as well.
Eileen August 22, 2021
You’re correct, however I did use kosher salt and it’s still too much.
Otherwise it’s a good recipe, I hope you find a good salt to use.
Julie C. August 21, 2021
I really wish I had read the comments before adding all that salt. I will add half that amount next time. I also reduced my oven temp to ~350.
I'm trying to figure out how I can salvage this salty bread.
Caroline N. June 6, 2021
I've made this recipe a couple of times without issue but today, I noticed that after the first mix, little white balls appeared in the dough. I am trying to figure out what happened. Does anyone know?
Carol H. June 7, 2021
It's the powdered milk. Happened to me several times as well. Whisk all the dry ingredients together well before adding the liquid ingredients and you'll avoid this problem in the future. Happy baking!
Caroline N. June 7, 2021
Oh good to know, thank you so much!
Courtney January 29, 2021
I made this bread yesterday. I had to make the dough twice because the first time I made it there was a lot of lumps in the dough. Im unsure what happen. Second time the dough came out super nice. I put it in the refrigerator for a few hours as I had to leave. Once I took it out and rolled it into the 12 balls and let it rest it took way longer then 1 hour and never rose over the top of the bread pan. I baked it for about 35 mins. It came out great. I was also worried about putting 2 Tablespoons of salt in it. But it was great. Would totally recommend and make it again. Great bread
mkhelmick December 15, 2020
I made this recipe according to the metric suggestions posted in the comments by MQAvatar, also using KA bread flour. I found that I needed to use about 3 tbsp more flour than his measurements called for (using tbsp’s in this estimate because I did not measure when I added in the extra flour and I have no idea how to estimate how many grams I added). The video included in this recipe and on YouTube of this bread being made was very useful in knowing what to look for in the desired consistency of both the tangzhong and the dough. I agree with other commenters that the bake time / oven temperature for this recipe is wildly off. I baked half of my dough in a regular loaf pan and the other half as rolls and both were finished in 28 minutes when baked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and had to be covered with foil for their last 10 minutes in the oven to keep the tops from scorching. Luckily I have a food thermometer so I was able to check and know that they were cooked through. Overall, with the changes in temperature and cook time and using the metric weight suggestions for the ingredients, they turned out beautifully - soft and fluffy interiors with deeply browned exteriors, absolutely delicious. I’ll definitely be making this again.
AndreaB October 13, 2020
I recently had the original milk rolls at the Kindred restaurant and these are just as good. I followed other commenters' tips and reduced the kosher salt by half since I used Morton's, cooled the heated mixture before I added the yeast, and decreased the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Turned out perfectly with those modifications. Bad news for my waistline.
parikshah October 12, 2020
Come on - how come the measurements aren’t by weight? Anyone attempting something like this should be using the ingredients by weight. Would solve all the salt problems mentioned in the reviews.
WellFedWit October 12, 2020
Check the comments...several people have added the weight. I asked Food52 to do it a few years ago and they wouldn’t because they didn’t want the alter the person’s recipe. And then even the person who submitted the recipe responded that “not everyone has a scale” blah blah blah I wasn’t asking them to take away the other measurements, only to ADD but to no avail. Almost 500 comments later and they still won’t fix it!
parikshah October 12, 2020
Interesting, I’ll look through the comments. But yeah, it’s a little silly to be baking, or attempting to bake at this level and not having a scale.
Jef September 27, 2020
Add a step to cool stovetop mixture before adding yeast!!! Or at least as the floors and other ingredients prior to adding yeast to let the whole thing cool a bit so you don’t kill your yeast. My bread is not rising at all and after thinking about it realized I likely added the yeast to the hot mix. I should known better, having baked a lot of bread over a lot of years, but it’s been several months andi want thinking. What a waste of ingredients...
debra September 9, 2020
Made this today. Read the reviews (thankfully). Absolute heaven! I subbed White Whole Wheat for 3 cups of the bread flour. Let the yeast get bubbly in the wet mixture before adding other ingredients. Did knead an extra 5 min or so in the stand mixer. Made a large loaf and a pan full of rolls. Delicious!
Vickie R. July 7, 2020
After having experienced dinner at Kindred a few times and literally devoured the bread before dinner, I was SO HAPPY to find this recipe! Problem is that I know nothing about baking bread. First attend a total failure b/c, as I learned from a neighbor, I added the flour and yeast too soon after transferring the heated mixture to my mixing pot. I now let it cool down to room temperature. 2nd and 3rd attempt I added 2 steps to this recipe. (the sale BTW, has not been an issue for me as many note below). But actually, it may be and I just don't know it. My dough does NOT rise as it should in the first rising process so, I've put the dough on a flat pan above a pan filled with hot boiling water in the oven. No heat In the oven, just the steam. After which, I cut the dough and use medium size ramekins to make individual loaves. The 2nd rise is perfect! They come out beautifully and gorgeous! And delicious!
Linda R. June 13, 2020
I decided to make mini buns for Italian meatball sliders. Gave me 25 X 60g small rounds. Baked at 375F for 24 mins. Beautiful and delicious. I made the recipe exactly as Instructed. Thank you F52. Wish I could submit a photo
Carol K. May 25, 2020
Has this recipe been converted by anyone to totally sourdough rather than yeast? If so, what conversion did you use and how did it turn out? The recipe looks fantastic, but I only use sourdough, and would love to try it. Thank you!
Dani O. May 19, 2020
I just made this without looking at reviews. Uh oh. 2 TBL salt means—- the reason my bread dough not rising well. Will make it again with adjusted salt. Sure hope recipe gets adjusted before others looks delicious!
Wbranner May 17, 2020
Just baked this bread and it turned out great. I reduced the salt to 1 Tbsp Morton Kosher Salt and oven temperature to 325 for 40 minutes. Covered the loaves with aluminum foil the last 5 minutes and used an instant read thermometer to ensure it had reached an internal temperature of 200 -205.
Woody April 26, 2020
Warning this recipe calls for 2 Tblsp. Salt, that is way too much, at most it should be 2 tsp. Hope this isnt a case of recipe sabotage, which is common in a lot of MS posted recipes.
Carol H. April 26, 2020
The recipe should specify Diamond Crystal Kosher salt, which is half as salty as Mortons. This has been noted many times by other reviewers, as well as the fact that the oven temp specified is too high. Unfortunately, this website has failed over and over and over again to update this recipe, which means too many people are unhappy when they attempt to make this completely delicious bread. Kindred's specifies Diamond Crystal salt in their recipe. I'm sorry if you discovered the salt issue after already making your loaves.
June L. April 26, 2020
Carol, I only have Morton's kosher salt. Should I use 1 Tablespoon instead of 2 Tablespoons of salt?
Carol H. April 26, 2020
To June Lam, Yes, 1 Tbsp Morton's salt! Enjoy! Also, oven temp should be 350, not 375. So many complaints of burned loaves. In my convection oven I bake it at 325.
Carol H. April 26, 2020
Yes! 1 tbsp is correct. And reduce oven temp to 350, not 375. I bake it at 325 in my convection oven for about the same amount of time as the recipe indicates.
June L. April 26, 2020
Thanks, Carol. One more question. I have instant yeast. Do i need to make any adjustments in quantity or in the instructions of the recipe?
Carol H. April 26, 2020
June, I always use instant yeast. So I guess it's okay!
June L. April 26, 2020
Thanks, Carol. One more question. I have instant yeast. Should I use 2 Tablespoons as well?
Carol H. April 26, 2020
2 Tbsp of instant yeast. Same as active dry. Another word of advice, thoroughly whisk your dry ingredients together before adding the wet. If the milk powder is not mixed in, it will clump and you will pull your hair out picking out tiny beads of milk powder from your dough. Did this more than once before I got wise:)
June L. May 11, 2020
Carol, my son and I made the bread yesterday as a Mother's Day activity. What an experience!! I will cherish this time with him. Thank you so much for all the tips. The bread came out perfect.
Carol H. May 11, 2020
Yay June! And Happy Mother's Day! I'm so glad you loved the bread as well as the time with your son. Thank you for letting me know how it turned out.
EdyS May 17, 2020
Yes. Morton’s Kosher salt is 2x saltier than Diamond Kosher.
anne May 31, 2020
No! You should throw it out and buy the right kind. Diamond Crystal is the kosher salt all chefs refer to when they say kosher salt. Morton's crystals are huge and don't ever work appropriately. It's almost like rock salt for use in making churned ice cream. You do NOT cook with it, unless you are curing an entire hog I suppose. Truly, just throw it out.
TeresaE November 20, 2020
Plenty of top chefs use Morton'; I've worked with several. It's fine, I use it all the time. Just adjust accordingly if the recipe calls for Diamond (use half as much) or err on the side of caution if quantity isn't specified in recipe.
Lorraine V. April 25, 2020
What if no stand mixer? Possible by hand?
Selene D. April 26, 2020
I am wondering the same. Today I will try and I tell
Teri April 22, 2020
What if you don't have milk powder?
Beth April 22, 2020
Just skip it. Probably won't make that much difference.
Smaug April 25, 2020
Actually, will make considerable difference, especially if you toast the bread. I'd use milk in place of the water.
Beth April 13, 2020
The only problem I've had with this recipe is the amount it makes - way too much for my bread machine to handle. I tried cutting it in half but that didn't work too well. I found a Japanese milk bread recipe that is almost the same and is the right amount for my machine - I can't knead by hand anymore.
BTW, it's NOT too much salt if you use kosher salt. Any other kind you might have to reduce a little, but I used sea salt and it was fine. We like salty, though.
Michelle April 17, 2020
Hi, do you have the link for the Japanese milk bread recipe? Thank you
Beth April 17, 2020
It's a King Arthur Flour recipe. Go to their website and type in Japanese Milk Bread. I made rolls the other night, they're tasty and easy in the bread machine on the dough cycle. BTW, make the flour/water/milk mixture in the microwave - whip together then 30 seconds on high should do it. No need to cook on the stove.
LULULAND April 25, 2020
Thanks for the recipe. I am shopping for a bread machine, can you recommend one, or yours? Thanks
Beth April 25, 2020
I've had several bread machines in my 87 years of life, but this last one is the best, easiest to clean, and the least expensive of them all. It's an Oster, and I bought it on Amazon a couple of years ago. Like it so much I bought one for my daughter for Christmas and she loves it too. It was less than $75 on Amazon.
LULULAND April 25, 2020
Thank you. Could you give me the model number? Do you have to take the paddle out after it's done kneading? And can you add nuts to ? Thanks confused!
Beth April 26, 2020
It's the Oster Expressbake, Model CKSTBRTW20. But I can't swear to the price, Amazon has gone up on everything since this pandemic. You might even get it cheaper from the Oster website itself.
Sure, you can add anything you want. When you lift the lid to add stuff it keeps on kneading, so be careful if you add liquid. Also, it kneads for quite a long time, at least 20 minutes, so don't be surprised. I usually add things about halfway through the kneading cycle, 10 minutes or so.
If you don't take out the paddle it will bake in the bread, but you can dig it out afterward if you don't mind the hole in the bottom. You'd have to remove the dough to take out the paddle and that could be messy. The paddle just lifts off the bread bucket so that part is easy, though. Hope this answers your questions, let me know.
LULULAND April 26, 2020
Thank you for your time. I guess you take the paddle out after its done kneading, is there a beep to tell you when? And is the machine quiet enough? Ihave never owned one and am considering it. I wonder if any kind of bread recipe can be used, but then it would have to be determined if the recipe was for a 1 pound load or a 2 pound one. Kind of confusing to me.
Beth April 26, 2020
Yes, take the paddle out after it's done kneading, but you have to take out the dough to get at the paddle, and then put the dough back in. I never bother taking it out, I just dig it out of the bread with a sharp spoon after you take the bread out. The bread never sticks, the bucket is very slick. Yes, there is a beep when it's done kneading, but I just watch the time, about 20 minutes depending on the cycle. It's fairly quiet, you can hear it jiggling when it's kneading. Don't place it too near the edge of the counter, it tends to "walk" a little while it's kneading especially if the dough is stiff.
You can use almost any bread recipe-if it calls for more than 4 cups of flour, that may be too much for the machine. That's why I can't use the Kindred recipe in the machine. Most recipes make about a 2-pound loaf, but a 1-pound is OK too. I tend to use the dough cycle and shape the bread or rolls after the first rise, rather than bake it in the machine, but either way works fine. It counts down the time in the little window, the dough cycle takes 1 and a half hours from start to finish. Any other cycle takes longer because the dough bakes in the machine. Try some of the recipes that come in the instruction book first, then you can strike out on your own after you get used to the machine. Good luck, and let me know how you make out.
LULULAND April 26, 2020
OK, thanks for your help. I haven't bought it yet, can't find one. But I would really love to find one that you don't have to take the paddle out, and it just folds away while baking. Stay safe!
Beth April 27, 2020
Wow, I've never heard of one where the paddle folds away when baking. All my others before the Oster, the paddle was quite firm in the bucket and it didn't come off easily. That made it kind of a pain to clean the bucket, but the paddle didn't stick in the bread when it baked. It did leave a hole where it tore out of the bread when you emptied the bucket, though. That doesn't happen with the Oster, but the paddle does stay in the bread. You can't have it both ways, I guess. It's not really a problem, though, at least not for me. Certainly doesn't affect the taste.
Did you check Amazon? Type in Oster Bread Machine in the search line, it will come up. Let me know.
Beth April 27, 2020
Apparently Amazon doesn't have this machine anymore. Go to the Oster website & type in bread machine. It shows 2, mine is the second one. They don't sell directly but they give a list of their retailers who might have it. Try Target, or even Walmart. Even Ebay, I've had pretty good luck with stuff I've bought there.
Regarding the paddle, don't let it discourage you from the machine. Think about it - even if it did fold down, it would still get hung up in the bread unless it disappeared completely from the bucket, and I don't think any are like that. Some real expensive ones have 2 paddles - that would be a pain I would think. You can email me directly at [email protected] instead of using this forum, if you want. Let me know how you make out.
MQAvatar April 13, 2020
Here are most of the ingredients converted to weight (using King Arthur Flour's Ingredient Weight Chart):

-600g + 40g (5 1/3 cups) bread flour, divided, plus more for surface (Kindred uses King Arthur)
-227g (1 cup, 8 fl oz) heavy cream
-112g (1/3 cup) mild honey (such as wildflower or alfalfa)
-16g (2 tablespoons) Diamond Crystal kosher salt
-57g (4 tablespoons, 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature

Thanks for the recipe! I can see why it's one of the most popular recipes on Food52. Honestly, I was very surprised to see a bread recipe without any measurements by weight/mass, so I made the conversions myself and tried it. My wife and I really enjoyed this bread, though it seems more of a cross between a Hokkaido milk bread (tangzhong/yukone/cooked flour roux and cream) and challah (since it has eggs in it), which is not a complaint so much as an observation. I love rich bread doughs like this and can see why it would be so versatile for different shapes and uses. I'll be really curious to see how much the tangzhong/yukone preserves the bread (assuming we don't finish it within two days).

I ended up subbing whole milk powder (since that's all I had) and refined coconut oil for the butter (since I'm running low) and they did not have an adverse effect on the bread.

If you're going to sprinkle a lot of salt on top (like in that enamelware shot), then I would cut down on the salt in the dough. Using the KAF weight conversions and baker's math, 2 tbsp of Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt would be 16g or 2.5% (of 640g flour) which is in the range that I usually see for bread, but that's without the salt on top.