The guilt trip on the way to Japanese shokupan (it's just sliced bread...)

Ever since we were burglarized and lost most of our small kitchen appliances along with many many other things (TV, computer monitors, etc.) I have been trying to really re-think my need for Stuff. Although we did get the insurance payout for the things lost, it wasn't nearly enough to cover the replacement cost for everything that was stolen of course, since that's the way insurance works. Partly because of that, and partly because I always have a yearning for a simpler, more minimalistic lifestyle, we've been very slow with replacing the lost things. For instance, we still haven't replaced the TV, or the slow cooker. We found we didn't really miss either of them.

I was feeling pretty good about all this restraint. But then last week I sort of...lost it. I was going through my old photo files to gather some up for a potential project...and I kept on pausing on ones like this.




Even this.


These are all Japanese sandwiches. They aren't that expensive or special - the last one is a combini (convenience store) version, the 'lettuce sandwich' from 7-11. You can see it's just filled with loads of lettuce (iceberg!) thin ham, and a slice of processed cheese. As I said, nothing too special. Even the one above it, the egg sandwich, is at the end just an egg salad sandwich...although it is so rich and egg-y tasting it's amazing. (It's from a local bakery chain called Shinshindo in Kyoto.)

What makes a Japanese sandwich special though is the bread, which is called shukupan (食パン) - which simply means 'edible bread'. It is basically a Pullman loaf derivation - sliced sandwich bread, usually made of plain white flour. The crust is so forgettable it's usually removed, and used to make breadcrumbs and stuff. But the actual bread itself is smooth, soft, slightly elastic, and just the right texture for a sandwich. It's not the star, but is definetely a critical supporting player.

It's so familiar looking. But yet, I've never been able to find the equivalent of shokupan, unless I go to a Japanese grocery store that carries Japanese baked goods. This wasn't an issue when I lived in New York, or even in Zürich. But the closest one of those to us here is in Geneva, which is about 3 1/2 hours away by car and across a national border. I am not crazy enough to go that far for sliced bread.

Shokupan is also closely related to French pain de mie. Pain de mie is, of course, readily available in France. But...and here I am going to risk annoying some French's like the pain de me has been forgotten by French bakers. You can never find it at a proper boulangerie, where all the love and attention is bestowed on the baguette, the pain de campagne, the pain au levain and other wonderful things. Pain de mie is only available at supermarkets...and it's uniformly bad. If you squish it even a tiny bit it becomes gluey. Readymade sandwiches using pain de mie, which we buy occasionally on the road, are pretty terrible.

So...back to last week, and losing it. I was looking at those pictures of Japanese sandwiches. And I thought that I simply must try to make shokupan myself. I could get a proper square loaf pan, and try to figure out the dough of course. But my itchy i-Click finger clicked on this baby.


Yep, it's a bread machine. Bread machines were invented in Japan, and introduced in 1986. They are called "home bakeries" in Japan, and they're they are probably the 3rd most popular small appliance in Japanese kitchens behind the rice cooker and the microwave. (Panasonic, formerly Matsushita Electric or "National", was the first company to sell a bread machine in Japan. I selected a Panasonic model just in case.)

I really shouldn't have gotten it. I am not really supposed to be eating bread regularly after all., I'm in France! Home of the baguette! Why am I obsessed with sliced white bread of all things?

But anyway, it is here. And so I've started my pursuit of the right formula for proper Japanese style shokupan. It's been slow going since I only allow myself 1/2 to 1 slice per day max, and the rest of the loaf has to be dealt with. (The Guy has been happily dealing with most of it, but there's an awful lot piling up in the freezer already.) The bread formulas that came in the instruction book, meant for the European market, haven't hit the spot so far. I suspect it's a matter of the right ratio of salt vs. sugar vs. butter. The flour may make a difference. I've been looking up information about the protein ratios of Japanese vs. French flour.

I look at the thing as it sits on my countertop and sigh. I really shouldn't have gotten it. But now that it's here, I'm going to make it earn its keep.

Do you have any appliances you are kind of ashamed of owning? Maybe they take up too much space, or you don't use it enough. Or it just makes you feel guilty for some reason. (I had feelings like that towards our old deep fryer, before we finally ditched it.)

And of course I'll let you know when I come up with the best formula for shokupan. As I said, that thing has to earn its keep!

Filed under:  bread essays japanese obsessions

If you enjoyed this article, please consider becoming my patron via Patreon. ^_^

Become a Patron!


Ashamed of an appliance. That is SO Japanese. That said, I have a little thing that plugs in and tweets when it has soft/medium/or hardcooked up to 7 eggs. I would give up my orange Kitchen Aide before this thing. (and woot for the sandwiches! I have a thing for them, too. When I was a little girl, I begged my mom to replace my rice balls, vegetables and pickles with white bread sandwiches, filled with bologna and square yellow cheese, dressed with mayo on one side and mustard on the other. I get a warm feeling when I see those sandwiches in their plastic compartments at the gas station. )

I LOVE Japanese bread used for sandwiches. I can't wait to see what recipe you come up with!!! i hope it will translate to use non bread machine having people too :) Good luck!

I feel a wee bit guilty about my Vitamix. It was a gift from my family, but it feels like, even making juice every day, I'm never going to be able to justify the cost of it. I love it, and I use it, but it wasn't something we needed, and in my current minimalism push it feels very indulgent.

I'm looking forward to reading about your experiences with the bread maker!

on the Vitamix - hit up the vitamix site - you can actually do SO much more with the things than juice it's amazing.

some really nice soups that heat just from the friction of the blades. don't feel too bad about the cost of it if you research it and learn how to use it.

rather than trying to allow something that someone gave you in love to allow you to feel bad - find ways to make it work for you so that their love can enhance your love for your family.

I have a few of those cake pop/pie pop/pretzel makers. We've only used each of them a few times, but they are so cute that we can't get rid of them. :-)

I agree with you about Japanese bread. When we lived in NY, we would go to Mitsuwa in NJ and stock up. My husband especially loved the thick sliced loaves.Alas, we are now living in the south and nowhere near a Mitsuwa. I did find that the supermarket, BiLo, made a Texas toast loaf of bread that was pretty close. The texture had the right elasticity and was yummy.

Well, im on same with you that baguette is nice but its not right bread for everything :) I have been living now in France over 5 years and some breads i miss dearly, one of them is soft white bread which wont stink like the pain de mie what i can find in stores.
Only place where i have been finding good white is
But for baking fine bread, i think its that you shouldnt use those actual bread flours but more one wich is for the cakes and brioche, not 180 but more like 65 i think is better for soft fluffy bread.
And this is one rice thing what i make in my breadmacine, divine tasting if not actually caramel.
My guilty machines are deep fryer (too small so i never use it), tabletop grill(not used much cos it takes too much place in kitchen makes huge mess). They are going away soon so i have place and piece of mind.
And thank you for all wonderful recipes and especially misomarinated chicken, its soemthing wich is dissapearing even faster than roasted chicken :)

I have many appliances I am sort of ashamed to own - namely a mini crock pot meant to warm food to eating temperature for lunch, not one but TWO rice cookers - somehow I can't get rid of the old one which I don't like as well as the new one but . . . but the real problem is the 850zillion bento boxes I own when I always seem to use the same one(s) over and over. AND I just bought a restaurant style bento box so I can serve myself bento dinners at home. Sigh. I'm hopeless. PS I also have TWO bread machines. A niece mentioned thinking about them and I found a used one for her to try. Turned out she really did not want one and would NEVER consider using anything USED. I had tried it out and liked some things about it better than my old one which I likewise cannot seem to part with. Oh the guilt . . .

Amazing what you miss when live in a different country, isn't it? :) I know the feeling. Living here in France has me missing some of the silliest things from home. It's always those "But every store has it!!!" kind of things that no-one outside of that country has... or if they do its terrible.

There are two local boulangeries (and one chain) in the tiny town that hubby and I live near... and they make pain de mie! If you still wish to have some, please let me know and I will happily send you the locations.
Best of luck in your Quest for Perfect Shokupan!

Thank you Zara! I think for now we are set with the bread machine. It turns out pretty good pain de mie. Now to get it as close as possible to shokupan... ^_^

I have the tiniest kitchen and always have (with the exception of one, single house I rented for s few months and which felt amazingly luxurious), As a result, counter space is at a premium, if I actually want to have a spare metre available to prepare food on. This has meant that I have relatively few appliances compared to most people and what I have has to work for its keep.

I do have a bread machine - we don't use it often, and it's actually my fiance's "toy", but it does satisfy our occasional cravings for natural, brown, granary bread made with malt extract or honey. He's worked out his own recipe to avoid added milk or sugar and it's great.

Apart from that we have a slow cooker, a small cup-blender and hand held electric mixer (all of which live on a shelf when not in use). On the counter itself there;s just a small microwave, a kettle, the bread machine and a toaster. That's it. We used to have a deep fat fryer, but just like you, we found that was a "guilt inducer" since we rarely used it and when we did, we felt bad on a health front. It was also a pain to keep clean. So it was discarded when we moved house last and we've never replaced it. I don't miss it!

Try the King Arthur Flour website - it's loaded with good ideas, hints, and recipes. They probably can help you find the right kind/ratio of flour and etc. I order a lot from them in the US (they do ship internationally, but do not have online ordering for that).

Isn't it just English white sliced bread? :S

It's very close, but something is different...

I think the Japanese version is softer and finer in texture, and a little sweeter, to my palate at least.

It kind of reminds me of the English "milk loaves" - the round/cylindrical shaped ones which were popular in the UK for a while.

I am also a bit guilty about a bread machine - my guy is desperately trying not to become Type 2 diabetic, and I need to lose weight badly, but when I worked at Hitachi USA long ago they sold "B stock" (repaired) bread machines to employees at incredible discounts and I still have mine. Though I'm not currently eating bread (but what if some miracle occurred and I could again???).

Also guilty about a massive pot for canning fruits and veg - so large that I just use a stock pot instead, so the money spent on the huge canning pot was wasted. I can always donate it to the church rummage sale in town...

My food dehydrator, and all my canning supplies I so carefully accumulated and hoarded. For the pitifully small amount of canning and drying I do, I shouldn't even be giving them room in the house -- and yet, they represent a hope I've had for many years, a hope that I may someday be organized enough to plan my future, instead of letting life continually take me by surprise, as I seem to do now.

So... I can't part with my neglected, dusty food dehydrator, nor with my neat, empty stacks of Ball or Mason jars.


I know the secret to an American Pullman loaf (and I think to pain de mie, too) is a certain amount of dairy in the mixture...

I'm so excited to see your recipe! I haven't had a Japanese-style sandwich since we moved 3 1/2 years ago. My guilty appliance is the hand mixer. I have a lovely KitchenAid stand mixer. The only time I use the hand one is when I'm making icing for caramel cake (family recipe). If you pour the caramel out of the pot and into the stand mixer, it cools too much and turns into a lumpy mess, so it is useful in this instance. However, I only make caramel cake at a max once a year. So this poor hand mixer sits in my cabinet looking forlorn.

Ashamed is maybe not the word but quite annoyed at my slow cooker. I thought I would use it often and that it would be convenient but I tried different recipes that get great reviews online and the results didn't impress me at all so I just stopped using it and now it's just gathering dust.
I must say that Japanese white bread is so uninteresting and boring to me. It tastes too sweet too. I would have loved some of those sandwiches in Japan had them been made with different types of bread, that's the one thing I was disappointed with over there. Oh no, the coffee was pretty bad everywhere too somehow. They have amazing coffee shops pretty much everywhere in Seoul and I somehow thought it would be the same in Japan so I was surprised that it was not the case. But other than that, the food is great and much cheaper than we expected.

Looking forward to the recipe with great eagerness.... I agree, there's no other bread quite like it.

I would have never thought I'd miss shokupan, but now I do too. When I first tasted it, I didn't even like it: it was too sweet. Then I got used to it and now since I can't find it here, I have evry now and then a craving for it. Maybe I should try to bake it with my bread machine (which I feel guilty of owning as I hardly ever use it). Another guilt appliance is the espresso maker ( as it's not a good one but it still works and it is still a real espresso maker): we use it rarely, I don't want to throw it away. Maybe I should just try to sell it... The there is also the slow cooker which was a gift from the family. I hardly ever use it and it takes up lot of space. I don't like owning stuff I feel guilty of. very time I see them, it makes me thinking I should use it more. Generally after my exchange year I've started hating all stuff I own. I just want to get rid of it :D

Feel no guilt and enjoy--we have an entire basement shelf in our house for kitchen stuff--most of which we use regularly... Would LOVE to see pics/a post of your new, minimalist kitchen...

I have a Zojirushi bread maker and tried the Shokupan recipe that comes with the machine but it doesn't taste right. I've been making a brioche recipe regularly instead ( which is delicious but not Shokupan. Lucky for me, I live near several Japanese bakeries in San Francisco but I really want to be able to make it myself. Eagerly awaiting your experimentations and hope you find the right recipe!

That's funny...appliances that I am ashamed of owning.....I would not describe it as feeling shame, but wasteful, maybe? Yes, I own a bread maker which is sitting in a cabinet somewhere collecting dust. And then I have a fancy mixer tucked in the closet that has cobwebs. That mixer was such a waste of good money. Maybe I should use them more often to earn their keep OR sell them off on Craigslist! They are a waste of space in my kitchen.

Silly chocolate tempering machine. I'm ok with the rest of the appliances, but the fifty million little dishes, glasses and trays. I either need to throw more parties or let go.....

OMG; I have three ice cream machines, only one of which I use often, and now a pressure cooker that I used once (actually just the pan & lid, not electric). I haven't a spot for it, so it moves around my kitchen from time to time, reminding me of my obsessiveness with kitchen stuff. I have been wondering if I should get a bread machine, too. I am pretty good at baking in the oven, so probably not. Although I have been eyeing this pullman loaf pan...
So funny to hear you talk of acquisition guilt. I love it!
I've been loving making some of your simple pickles and have learned so much from your cooking course on here. I now make my own dashi pretty regularly and have a much more comfortable relationship with Japanese foods.
All summer I have been making ten zaru soba and loving it! Practice, practice, practice, will get me to the point where my tempura coating doesn't have holes after cooking.
You are the QUEEN and please know that I hold a vision of you as a completely healthy individual always!

I don't feel terribly guilty about it because it came with my sweetie and not out of my pocket, but we have a fondue pot. A FONDUE POT. Know how often I think "Oo, I could whip up some fondue"? NEVER. (Maybe I should get /him/ to make some?)

I have bought an ice-cream maker 2 weeks ago and I have already used it twice... But we'll see how that works on the long run. I don't know what took me, I kinda woke up and wanted one sooo bad, we went to 3 different shops that day and eventually I found it. My husband was so supportive of that "fit" I suddenly got into, he agreed to run into 3 malls on a Sunday late afternoon.... he's a star.

Now.... your post reminds me that a few years back, he really wanted to buy the bread machine, and I denied him the right to do so, because it would take up some "valuable kitchen real estate space".... (in fairness that was YEARS ago and we were also flat-sharing so it WAS a bit tricky with the housemates...).
Anyway I feel like a total witch now and I reckon I'll go get him the bread machine this weekend. My poor, supportive man!!!!!!!! :-)

On a separate note, we have a grill which is a total PAIN to wash and stays for days, unwashed, on the stove after using it and a cream whipper (the one with cartridges, to make mousses) which we have NEVER used (still in the box).
And my husband has mentioned a good few times the Thermomix, but for now he seems to have forgotten it, so.... shhhhh!!!!! :-)

Our sous vide water bath. I bought it over a year ago and, while we've taken it out of the box, it sits on the shelf, unused. This is my first comment to your blog, Maki, but I've been following this and justbento for some time now. Great blogs. I've gotten into Japanese cooking pretty seriously this past year, and your blogs have been a huge help. This summer I even grew my own green shiso and mitsuba parsley. Thanks for all the work you put into this. Love your cookbook too--been doing Bentos off an on for about a year as well!

I have always had trouble replicating the traditional Japanese convenient store sandwiches, like the ones you posted. Would you be willing to do a recipe for them?

I can't seem to find a stainless version of this on Amazon? I would love to put it on my wishlist ;)

Shokupan sounds a lot like Wonder bread (though probably without the unpronounceable ingredient list).

Found this bread machine recipe for make-at-home Wonder bread you might want to try, in case you have not:

I have too many appliances that are going unused that I'm guilty about myself. Shall I take stock? lol

A Magic Bullet that I THOUGHT I would make marvelous smoothies, make salsa, just about anything. It doesn't work as well as I'd hoped so I don't tend to use it.

We have 2 (yes 2!) toaster ovens (The hubs bought them both, the 2nd one because he forgot we had the 1st one because I rarely used it.) but hubs eats ALOT (akinny as anything, who knows where he puts it all! O_o;) so I tend to make large batches of things in the regular oven.)

A slow cooker from my dad, which I haven't used yet. It's a smaller one so again, not quite big enough to make substantial meals for us both.

I have a 2 tiered steamer that I used almost every day for just about everything. Steamed veggies, chicken, salmon, rice. Since we moved I don't use it really at all. (Mind you, we didn't have a stove at our previous residence so I didn't have much of an option)

An electric wok in the basement somewhere, I used that as much as I used the steamer in the old place. I'd make chili (the Hub's fave) and soups in it as well as stir fry.

I think we have 2 George Foreman grills in the basement too... -___-;

I just can't bring myself to get rid of all these things though. After all, I MIGHT use them again. haha! XD Your post (and the 4 hours I've spent looking at recipes on your site to psss time at work X\ ) has inspired me to dig out some of those old things and try them out again. Thanks!


It's honestly not mainly me who buys the random stuff and then never really ends up using it but my mom. We had so many things in my house that she bought and either A. barely used or never used or B. hasn't used in forever it's ridiculous. However I can't complain to much as some of that stuff came in handy for me later on (such as the flour grinder that allowed me to make joushinko or the bento box that got me into bentoing in the first place).

The Kitchenaid bowl mixer... I love it as an object, and dream about a limited-edition bright-colored one, but I feel guilty that I don't use it enough. So far, I've only used it for a few batches of cookies and dessert bars. It creams the butter and sugar quite nicely, but I've never made dough in it, never used any attachments for sausage or pasta making. My other half is very impressed with it and demands that it's prominently displayed on the counter at all times.

I'm also a little ashamed of my onigiri molds that I don't use. I bought them and tried them out, but I hate washing them and in the end I'm not bad at making them by hand.

Oh Yes! my Zojirushi version of a slow cooker! I used it once! It just sits there glaring at me. The Zojirushi idea of a slow cooker is better than the practice. I love my Zojirushi neuro-fuzzy rice cooker and would love (I think but...) one of their adorable grillers, and I have from time-to-time hankered after their bread machine, but so far it's just me, the rice cooker and the slow cooker! I'd love to know why you went for the Panasonic over the Zojirushi!

Simple really...they don't sell Zojirushi in France ^_^; Besides, since they are the original 'home bakery' makers, I figured they know what they're doing...

I completely understand what you're going through as my husband and I lived in Geneva for 2 years and then France for 2 years. We started craving for soft breads despite living in the land of bread. The pain de mie just never tasted correct. And they somehow had a sour taste. I ran across this recipe ( while trying to solve that craving. Do you know it? I actually mixed it by hand as we didn't have a bread machine. I can't quite say how it tasted as I can't take dairy so was unable to try it, but my husband enjoyed it.

Hahaha. I bought my first bread machine in Japan because I didn't care for Japanese sliced bread at the supermarket! And the business of selling the bread in packages of 6 or 8 slices drove me crazy with 5 people in our family, including a teenage boy who ate peanut butter sandwiches for a snack. I became obsessed with counting bread slices until it became unhealthy... Now back in the US, I still make all our bread.

I remember reading the label on the bread in Japan - I think the shokupan has a higher fat content than a western white loaf?

have fun with your machine, maki! \(^-^)/

It's not an appliance, but my popsicle mold is unnecessary, and I use it twice a year if that. Same thing for the waffle-maker.(Altough, how are you to make popsicles or waffles without them?)

I'd like a bread machine. I love baking bread but there are always more nutritious foods I have to give priority to so I don't bake bread as much as I'd like. I suppose a bread machine would be quicker so I could make bread more often.

And I'd also like a takoyaki mold and a taiyaki mold and an ice-cream maker and a hundred things I'd almost never use...

This reminds me of that Hana no zubora meshi chapter about making vichysoise.....

While I'm not really ashamed of any of my kitchen appliances, some of them don't get used often. They were either impulse purchases (juicer) or gifts (food processor) that get used once or twice a year and otherwise sit quietly in the kitchen cupboard, out of sight. I've gotten rid of the two worst offenders - microwave and bread machine - several years ago. The microwave was just sitting on the fridge for several years because I wasn't going to use it again after reading about its harmful effects on food and the bread machine.... I just couldn't stand the mushy, crustless bread it made. I've seen shokupan in Japanese bakeries here but have never tried it. I like bread with a crust, so regular oven-baked bread is what I bake. If I want something softer, I bake brioche in a loaf pan, instead of the mini brioche pans and what I get is perhaps a bit like shokupan, but has a crust.

LOL! A bread machine. This isn't going to make you feel good about your purchase, but I gave mine away a long time ago. The reason? It seemed like no matter what I did, no matter how I tweaked the ingredients that went in there, it made essentially the same loaf of bread. The sameness was the crust and the texture. I am no baker to speak of, but the experimentation I have done has made one thing clear: a great deal of variation can be coaxed out of the same ingredients by adjusting rise time, kneading, and the temperature at which these things happen, as well as oven temperature and humidity. The bread machine pretty much fixes these parameters, so all you can play with is the ingredients. On a positive note, though, bread machines aim for a middle-ground expectation of bread, essentially what you can find sliced and bagged in plastic on most supermarket shelves, so that's probably a pretty good starting place for the objective you seek? I'm just guessing at that last bit, because I don't think I've ever eaten shokupan.

Appliance shame: I've got a twin gear juicer that lives on a shelf in the basement and almost never gets used. I think it was ~$400.00 new. At first I juiced everything under the sun, beets, carrots, celery. Then I got to thinking about all that fiber I was composting, and realized that juicing was just another way to concentrate the sugars/carbohydrates and make them more immediately available to the bloodstream. Later, I sprung about the same amount of cash for a high-end blender. When I tried the "whole juice" approach, I found the pulpy texture of the juice completely unpalatable. So for fruit, I went back to the $100.00 implement I'd had all along and have used for over 20 years - a good kitchen knife. Fruit doesn't need to be juiced. It's nearly perfect just as it is. Fortunately, the high-end blender is a multipurpose device, and it lives on the counter, and I still use it all the time.

Hi, greetings from Germany! I own a Panasonic bread maker like the one you bought but my one is white. I bought it because I have times where I try to bake bread at home like a county-style bread with much flavour. As I have not always time for the long dough process (knead, rise etc...) I bought the breadmaker. After trying the recipes in the instruction book, I found out that it makes a difference if you add the butter or not. With butter the bread has a more "short-fibered" crumb while no added butter gives a bread crumb like normal bread. Also you can reduce the amount of sugar used in the instruction book and it will be not so sweet, it does not affect the baking result. But I must admit that the bread often tastes bland and not so flavorful like bread from the bakery (Even if I choosed the "overnight program. It is a difference in taste related to the "short baking program or "normal baking program" but no comparison to bread from bakery).

So I would be happy to read from your baking results with the bread maker! Maybe you find a way to a tasty bread fresh from the bread maker :-)

oh the space taking horrors in my house.

having 4 adults who love different things - we have two deep fryers (because they love fried food ick) but still do more frying on the stove top because BOTH machines are a pain) the table top grill that is a mess to clean. the bread machine, two coffee pots when Noone drinks coffee on a regular basis, a kitchen aid mixer.

the biggest guilt - (whimpers in shame) the TONS of Tupperware lids that have no bowls that they go with. I can survive the guilt of bowls that have no lids - that's why they make foil after all - but as we packed to move I had 3 banker boxes FULL of nothing but LIDS,,, and none could be gotten rid of saints defend that thought - we MIGHT find the bowls when we unpacked even though we did not pack a single bowl without attempting it against every lid before packing it to go..

the LARGEST shame.. all the leftovers go into stupid zip top bags.

I have an expresso maker I haven't used in years and an ice cream maker ditto. Other than that I also have an electric griddle, waffle iron and an electric wok packed in my garage since we remodeled our kitchen. Time for a garage sale!

I am right there with you over guilt with appliances. I feel like in a lot of cases, I can make do just as well without them, so they really just clutter up my already small kitchen. Unfortunately, in most cases, the appliances were given to me as gifts, so I feel awful getting rid of them!

But the one thing I do want and would use regularly, a bread machine! I'm so jealous! >.<

Oh, Maki... you know what? Stuff the guilt! That's candid Australia-speak for 'Pfft, don't worry about it'. You've had a tough time with your health. You've been burgled. The renovations were no picnic either. You DESERVE shokupan! It's not just bread, it's the stuff of home, of comfort, of that little smile on your face when you bite into a (bloody good) sandwich. A breadmaker is no big price to pay for making life just that wee bit nicer.

I'm typing this on a Chromebook I bought yesterday on a whim because I wasn't getting enough writing done and feeling irritable/weepy about it. Normally there's a huge conflicted internal monologue months before a major purchase, but this time I knew - I needed it. So I got it and it's made life better. I'm writing more. It's earning it's keep.

Sometimes we just need the things we need.

So congratulations on your new breadmaker!
It's beautiful :-)

I think you read my mind. I was in my local japanese store the other day. I went in to buy some melon pan and saw 2 types of shokupan, both marbled one with chocolate and the other with matcha. I was trying to decided which to buy, in the end i decided against it. I already had the melon pan i didnt need anymore bread! So on my leaving i thought i must see if i can find a recipe for it =)

I look forward to trying out the recipe

Hm. Reading all about the kitchen appliances other people have is just making me want -more- kitchen appliances. "An ice cream maker? A takoyaki mold? -I- could totally use those!" Haha! Yeah right, I'll have to tak a look at my cupboards when I get home just to remind myself that I don't have room for more stuff. :)

I second Amarielle's suggestion up above about trying the Hokkaido Milk Toast recipe from Christine's Recipes! It's based off a Chinese bread baking book by Yvonne Chen called 65C Bread Doctor, and uses the Tangzhong or water roux method. I think in Japanese it's pronounced yudane (湯種)?

I'd previously made cinnamon swirl raisin bread loaves but my mom (who's a pretty picky eater) didn't like them, saying she preferred the bread sold at Pastry House Hippo at our local Mitsuwa... But then I read other people's results using tangzhong and they sounded pretty close, so I tried it out, and it was great! I think this is at the very least somewhat close to the shokupan you're thinking of?

Also, I actually followed this recipe ( which also includes the making of a sponge, but I think using just the tangzhong would work just fine too. I hope your continued bread-making efforts pay off! :)

I can't tell you how excited I am! I remember losing my mind in about the same way and getting desperate enough to hunt down your old entry that mentioned yakitate japan! and almost beg you for an authentic recipe. lol! I'm very much looking forward to your shokupan! xD Your bread maker is beautiful. O.o

I LOVE Shinshindo, when I was staying in Kyoto my B&B offered breakfast there, so I am VERY familiar with their menu. Did you ever get their croque monsieur or their custard pie/doughnut?!?!

I bought a Zojirushi rice maker. As you know, not cheap (or at least, not cheap in London), so a bit of an extravagance! We use it for rice maybe once a week, but it's definitely come in handy for quinoa and cakes! One day I will use it for porridge too...
But I love it, and I love its potential. Even though cooking all of the above (except the quinoa) takes way less on the stove or in the oven!

hello from seattle maki-san...I have the good news for you...the secret to making shokupan is called tangzhong. Its a flour paste/roux that is absolutely essential for making shokupan. Here is the link to the recipe I use ... for the recipe, I suggest going to youtube and searching "tangzhong bread" for a better idea of the method/technique. Now for the bad news---the amount this recipe makes, probably will not work with your machine. I believe it is too small and it might not have the power to knead the dough sufficiently. I use a heavy duty mochi maker that doubles as a bread mixer and kneader and I put the dough through two kneading cycles. The kneading is also important, not enough, and its just like regular bread. I bake it in a pain de mie pan (9x4x4 size), without the lid, if you want a square loaf, you'll need to take about a quarter of the dough off. Hope this helps in your quest.

In regards to the extra bread-- I know you live in France, home of bread, but maybe you could take extra loaves for coworkers/neighbors that sort of thing? If it is presliced they will never know you had a test-piece from the middle....everyone loves fresh bread after all.

Hello there!

Actually I am not ashamed of buying a kitchen appliance but I am very disappointed with what I thought would be a step forward.

Last week I went to Cologne and there I found a shop selling Japanese stuff like furniture, cooking equipment, clothes etc. etc.

After rolling my tamagoyaki in our old and teflon coated pan for some time I decided to buy an original, rectangular Japanese pan with a very sophisticated looking inner side (lots of "dimples", circular mounts, pressed in the metal).

But after trying lots of combinations on my electric-oven I am just disapointed with it: It tryed to fry with oil, and without, with low heat, with medium and with high heat, but a cannot get a tamagoyaki that is not dark brown and sticking to the pan (oh, I alway use 2 eggs, mirin, soy sauce and a pinch of salt).

If nobody here can tell me any hint, I think I will throw the rectangular pan in my rectangular dustbin and use my old round pan again.

I would be very happy about any proposal!

Kind regards


I never knew bread was so popular as to buy a bread machine in Japan! I always thought of bread as a Western food but also popular in Asia, but making your own from scratch? I don't think even I'd do that, eating bread for breakfast everyday. The ready made ones in stores are tasty enough.

But When I went to Japan, I found the bread in supermarkets and bakeries to be really nice and tasty, quite different from the bread here where I live in Ireland, especially the Corn bread and Kokuto bread, something You'd never find here!
I actually don't know anyone who makes their own bread, so its surprising to know that people in Japan do (^_^)

MC, you may want to season the pan--saute some onions and other veggies in it and just wipe well when you're done--it takes a whole for pans to get "broken in". You may also want to try using a cooking spray instead of oil (and wait for the pan to get hot before putting the egg in--that is key as well).

Hi anon.!

Thanks for your hint! If I still have eggs at home, I may try this evening.

Best regards


I have really missed Japanese white bread. Can not find it anywhere in the USA. Any luck on your recipe?