Learn how to make soft and fluffy Japanese style bread in a rice cooker! Crusted on the outside with a lovely light milky sweetness– perfect for breakfast and serving with your favourite spreads and dishes!

There is nothing more comforting than the aroma of a Japanese bakery. Tearing into warm, soft and fluffy bread is PURE LOVE.

How to make bread in a rice cooker

The process of making bread with a rice cooker is simple and practically the same as making baking bread in the oven! The only difference is we place it into a rice cooker pot instead of a loaf pan and cooking time.

  • Make the dough: Add the flour to a stand mix. Add the sugar and yeast to one side of the bowl and then the salt and vegan butter (or margarine) to the other side of the bowl (if using salted butter, omit salt). The reason for this is the yeast is affected if it comes in to contact with salt. Run the stand mix on low speed (setting #2) and pour in the lukewarm milk. Increase the speed to setting $4 and let it run for 5-7 minutes, or until a dough forms. This can also be done without a stand mix. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and knead with your hands for 10-12 minutes.
  • Proof: Shape the dough back into a round ball and then place in a rice cooker. Set it to ‘keep warm’ for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn off the setting and continue to proof for another 30 minutes or until x1.5 in size.
  • Knead & Shape: Punch the dough, take it out of the rice cooker and knead a few times. Roll it into a log and divide the dough into 6 equal pieces (I use a kitchen scale). Knead each piece a few times to smooth it out and then shape it back into a small ball, tucking the seams toward the bottom. Place them into the rice cooker with the tucked side down. Repeat for remaining dough.
  • Proof: Set to ‘keep warm’ again for 10 minutes. Turn it off and continue to proof for 20-30 minutes or until x1.5 in size again. Do a poke test to ensure it is perfectly proofed.
  • Cook: Turn on ‘quick cooking’ and let it cook. When complete, flip the bread over and then place it back into the pot. Cook for another cycle on quick cooking, and then the bread is complete!

Rice Cooker Bread Variations

Once you have the basic dough down, there are so many ways to customize it! Simply knead them in after the first fermentation period. Here are some of my favourite add-ins:

  • Maple pecan: 1/4 cup chopped pecans + 2-3 tbsp maple sugar
  • Garlic herb: 3 garlic cloves, minced + 2 tsp herbs of choice
  • Raisin walnut: 1/4 scant cup of raisins + 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Recipe tips

  • What type of non-dairy milk to use: I highly recommend using oat milk or soy milk for this recipe. These two milks tend to be higher in protein and fat which helps with the texture and flavour of the bread. Be sure to use lukewarm milk (not too hot nor cold).
  • Perfect proofed dough: Do not underproof or overproof the dough. To check, I always use the poke test. Perfectly proofed dough will spring back slowly when poked. If it spring back quickly, rest for longer. If it does not spring back at all, the dough is over proofed. If over prooved, you can save it by re-kneading it and letting is proof again.
  • Cooking time: This will vary depending on your rice cooker. I used the ‘quick cooking’ setting twice which is a total of about 30 minutes cooking time. After the first round, the top should look somewhat cooked– not completely raw. After the second cook, check inside. If it still seems a little raw, cook for 1/2-1 more round on quick mode.
  • Oil rice cooker pot: My rice cooker is fairly new and very non-stick. If your rice tends to stick to your rice cooker pot, I highly recommend brushing some oil before cooking the buns.
  • Rice cooker size: I use a 5.5 cup rice cooker. You can use a larger rice cooker, however the bread will come out flatter and may need less time to cook. If using a 10 cup rice cooker, I recommend doubling the recipe.

If you recreate this Easy Rice Cooker 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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Soft & Fluffy Rice Cooker Bread

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.8 from 10 reviews

  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Learn how to make soft and fluffy Japanese style bread in a rice cooker! Crusted on the outside with a lovely light milky sweetness– perfect for breakfast and serving with your favourite spreads and dishes!


Units Scale


  1. Add the bread flour, cake flour, sugar, instant yeast, vegan butter and oat milk to a stand mix. Knead at low speed (setting #2) for 30 seconds and then increase to medium-high speed (setting #4) for 5 minutes. If using a bowl, do the same thing but knead with your hands for 10 minutes. 
  2. Shape it into a ball and then place into rice cooker. Set to keep warm for 10 minutes. Turn off the keep warm setting and continue to ferment for 30 minutes, or until 1.5 in size. 
  3. Punch the dough, knead a few times and then roll it into a log. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Knead and shape it back into small balls. Place it into the rice cooker and set to keep warm for 10 minutes. Turn off the keep warm setting and then continue to proof for 20-30 minutes or until x1.5 in size again. (Do a poke test to check because every rice cooker is different. When poking, the dough should spring back slowly. Too fast and it needs more time. If it does not spring back, it is over-fermented. When proofed, switch on quick mode and cook. When complete, flip the bread over and cook on quick mode again. Once the second cycle is complete, the bread it ready!


  • Helpful Equipment: rice cooker
  • Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer). 
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: bread
  • Method: rice cooker
  • Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, japanese


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 160
  • Sugar: 3.8
  • Sodium: 23.7
  • Fat: 2
  • Saturated Fat: 0.5
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1.2
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 30.6
  • Fiber: 1.2
  • Protein: 4.4
  • Cholesterol: 0


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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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  1. Leaving it in rice cooker on warm to proof COOKED IT some. Had to throw it out, I didn’t even do it for the full ten minutes and checked it at fifteen minutes. Ah well, will try again proofing my usual way.

  2. This recipe looks amazing! Do you think they would get nicely cooked even if my rice cooker does not have a “quick cook” setting? I think the temperature in the normal program is lower, so I’m hesitant… I would love your advice! 🙂