Friendly Cheese Loaves with Water Roux

This is a very interesting cheese bread loaf recipe that uses tang zhong (汤种), otherwise termed as water roux, as a dough starter. Water roux is a paste that is cooked using flour and milk. It is this paste that helps to improve the texture of the bread to make it soft and fluffy.

As a first-timer using the water roux method, it works like magic. The bread is really really soft, and it seems to also help to get rid of the yeast taste and smell altogether. Worth the effort giving it a try just to see how it works differently from the usual way of making bread dough.


  • Bread flour: 750g (high protein)
  • Milk: 250ml + extra for brushing
  • Water: 250ml
  • Egg: 2, large
  • Milk powder: 50g
  • Caster sugar: 80g
  • Salt: 5g
  • Unsalted butter: 60g, diced, room temperature
  • Instant yeast: 4 tsp (11g)
  • Gruyere cheese: 240g, thinly sliced
  • Mozzarella cheese: 100g, grated


  1. Make tang zhong (汤种), or water roux, by mixing 50g bread flour with milk. Cook over low heat, stirring continuously till thickened and lines appear. Remove from heat and place cling wrap right over surface of water roux. Leave to cool till room temperature.
  2. Combine water, egg, all the tang zhong, remaining bread flour, milk powder, caster sugar, salt, butter and instant yeast using a dough hook. Knead for 15 – 20min till an elastic dough forms.
  3. Leave to proof for 2hrs till it balloons up.
  4. Deflate on floured surface. Divide into 8 portions. Cover with cling wrap and rest 15min.
  5. Roll out into oval shape. Sprinkle gruyere cheese evenly over dough. Roll from top to bottom.
  6. Place seam-sides down into 2 greased loaf tins, 4 rolls per tin.
  7. Leave to proof for 1hr till the dough extends out of the tins.
  8. Preheat oven at 180 degrees celsius.
  9. Brush with milk on surface of loaves. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese on top.
  10. Bake 35 – 40min till golden brown.
  11. Leave to cool for 15min before serving.


  • Note to self: as an alternative, use gruyere cheese as the topping instead of mozzarella cheese to see if it would look aesthetically more pleasing.


2 loaves (with 4 rolls per loaf)

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