This no-knead bubble bread is super soft, fluffy and subtly sweet. Easy to make and make ahead friendly!

What is Bubble Bread?

Think bubble waffles + pull apart bread! My mom used to make mini pull apart bread for us because they’re bite sized and fun to eat. She calls them mini chigiri pan which means mini pull apart bread but I’ve seen them also called honey comb bread and more recently, bubble bread! It really does remind me of bubbles since they’re all random sized and look like bubble waffles.

Ingredients for Bubble Bread

All you need are some basic pantry staple ingredients:

  • Bread Flour
  • Soy milk: I recommend soy milk because it has the most amount of protein and fat, and gives it a milky flavour. Be sure to use slightly warmer than room temperature milk.
  • Sugar: For a subtle sweetness.
  • Condensed milk: I love adding condensed coconut milk to this bread for an extra sweet milky flavour but if you don’t have it, you can substitute with more sugar and milk (measurements in the recipe card below in ‘notes’).
  • Instant dry yeast
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter: If using salted butter, reduce the amount of total salt.

How to Make Bubble Bread

  1. Make the dough: Ensure milk is slightly warmer than room temperature.
  2. If using soy milk straight out of the refrigerator, microwave for 20 seconds or until slightly warmer than room temperature. Add warm soy milk to a bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Roll the bowl to submerge the yeast. Add in sugar, condensed milk, salt and melted butter. Give it a quick whisk and then add in the flour, Use a wooden spoon utensil and mix together until just combined. Then use a spatula and mix together until no more flour remains and then cover.
  3. Leave at room temperature for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until double in size.
  4. The dough will be quite sticky (this is normal). Dust the dough, working surface and hands with flour to prevent sticking. Degas the dough by pressing the air pockets out with your hands while shaping and speeding it into a square. Cut it into strips and then into small pieces. They do not have to be the same size or weight, about 6-15g each (about 30 pieces total). Place them onto a lined baking tray 1/2 cm apart from each other.
  5. Place into your oven with lights on and let it rise until double in size (about 30-60 minutes).
  6. Pre-heat your oven to 160 C (320 F). Right before putting into the oven, brush with soy milk. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until nice and golden on top. Transfer to a wire rack and immediately brush melted butter on top. Serve and enjoy!

Make Ahead for Potlucks & Holiday Dinners

Another great thing about this bubble bread is that you can prepare it ahead of time and refrigerate the dough overnight! IMO, I think they taste better when slowly fermented in the fridge overnight because the yeast has a longer time to ferment and for the dough to absorb flavour. With the holidays coming up, this is the perfect for for potlucks, parties and dinner gatherings! There are TWO ways to do this:

  1. Primary fermentation: After mixing the dough, cover and place in the refrigerator for 12-18 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and then let it rise in a warm place for 2 hours (or until double in size). And then proceed with the recipe. I microwave a bowl of water for 1 minute and then place the bowl inside the microwave (or oven with lights turned on).
  2. Secondary proofing: After primary fermentation and shaping it into balls, cover and place it into the refrigerator for 12-15 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 30-60 minutes before and then bake. The time depends on the temperature of your kitchen, but essentially they should come back to room temperature and be doubled in size.

I tend to go with the first option, but the second option is great for when you’re in a rush or don’t want to do any work prior to baking.

Bubble Bread Variations

I brushed it with some melted vegan butter today but there are so many ways to flavour-up bubble bread! Just brush different flavoured butters and condiments on top or sprinkle with additional ingredients before baking. Here are some delicious suggestions:

  • Garlic Butter: your favourite garlic butter! May I suggest my miso garlic butter? 🙂
  • Maple Miso Butter: 1:1:1 ratio of maple syrup, miso paste and butter
  • Sweet Milky Butter: 2:1 ratio of condensed milk and melted butter
  • cheese: sprinkle some shredded cheese on top prior to baking… or you can even take it a step up and STUFF the buns with cheese!!
  • Cinnamon Sugar: Sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top before or after baking. Adding it before baking will melt it down into a gooey-sticky consistency and sprinkling it on top after baking will be more like cinnamon sugar coated doughnuts
  • Fruit ‘Sando’: my mom used to do this as a treat but she would slice the entire bubble bread in half and then spread whip cream on the base, add chopped fruit (usually berries and banans), add another layer of cream and then add the other half of the bun back on top. DEF A ONE TO TRY!!

More no-knead breads to try:

SAVE IT FOR LATER! ↓

If you recreate this Bubble Bread recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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Bubble Bread (Mini Pull Apart Bread)


  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x

Description

This no-knead bubble bread is super soft, fluffy and subtly sweet. Easy to make and make ahead friendly!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 1/4 cups (170g) bread flour
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tsp (130ml) soy milk
  • 2 tsp (8g) sugar
  • 2 tbsp (25g) coconut condensed milk*
  • 1/2 tsp (2g) instant dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp (2g) salt
  • 2 tsp (8g) unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. If using soy milk straight out of the refrigerator, microwave for 20 seconds or until slightly warmer than room temperature. Add warm soy milk to a bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Roll the bowl to submerge the yeast. Add in sugar, condensed milk, salt and melted butter. Give it a quick whisk and then add in the flour, Use a wooden spoon utensil and mix together until just combined. Then use a spatula and mix together until no more flour remains and then cover.
  2. QUICKER VERSION: Leave at room temperature for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until double in size.
  3. OVERNIGHT VERSION: Place in refrigerator for 12-15 hours. When ready, take it out of the refrigerator and let it proof in the oven with the lights on for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until double in size.
  4. The dough will be quite sticky (this is normal). Dust the dough, working surface and hands with flour to prevent sticking. Degas the dough by pressing the air pockets out with your hands while shaping and speeding it into a square. Cut it into strips and then into small pieces. They do not have to be the same size or weight, about 6-15g each (about 30 pieces total). Place them onto a lined baking tray 1/2 cm apart from each other.
  5. Place into your oven with lights on and let it rise until double in size (about 30-60 minutes).
  6. Pre-heat your oven to 160 C (320 F). Right before putting into the oven, brush with soy milk. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until nice and golden on top. Transfer to a wire rack and immediately brush melted butter on top. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • If no condensed milk use 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp + 2 tsp (145ml) soy milk and 1 1/2 tbsp (21g) sugar.
  • Helpful Equipmentparchment muffin liners12 cup muffin tinspatulamixing bowlswhisk
  • Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer). 
  • *Prep time does not include proof & rising time
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Category: bread
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: bread

Keywords: bubble bread, no knead bread, overnight bread

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Konnichiwa

About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.


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23 Comments

  1. Will pass this recipe down generations!
    Pro tips to make it perfect:
    1)Coconut condensed milk is a MUST. DO NOT opt this ingredient out.
    Don’t have coconut condensed milk? Make it at home!
    I make it homemade. I will take the extra steps to make the condensed milk because it’s KEY to pull the recipe altogether.
    2)Smear splash of oil+condesed milk on top of the bread before you bake it, then when its done add more coconut condesed milk and put your oven on broil!
    The broil with condesed milk on top is crucial for the golden brown finish!
    3)Optional but vanila almond milk taste the best, also dont use water. Doesnt taste the same.

    Love this!!