Marbled green tea bread with red bean filling

So the cat’s finally out of the bag: Marbled green tea bread with red bean filling (Phew, what a name!). Why green tea you asked? Because just like apple & cinnamon, what else would go perfectly with red bean like green tea and what else would compliment the taste of green tea better than red bean. Another plus point is that the benefits of green tea to us is unbeatable. Not only it helps our body to stay healthy in many different ways, it is also effective for weight loss (not that I care about it) and skincare (this I do care ^^). Its refreshing and exhilarating fragrance does wonder in lifting up our spirit and chase away exhaustion and depression. Actually, I don’t need any reason, I just fall in love with green tea very naturally and it has always been my favourite ingredient even though I hardly ever use any in my baking. Finally my little bag of matcha powder is put to good use.

I was pretty much inspired by this post of David Lebovitz, a wonderful food blogger, about Aki Boulanger, a French Japanese bakery in Paris and decided to recreate this bread, using milk bun recipe and adding some matcha powder to the batch. Had I remembered this post any earlier, I would’ve been there and tasted its texture, which is far better than my amateur recreation I’m sure. Eating and tasting is also my way of learning cooking. I have tried to make this bread twice before, during which I got my dear boyfriend to do some workout in my stead – kneading. And have I told you I have gold fish memories? The first time I left it in the oven while still on, it’s supposed to be on only for a few minutes to create a warm surrounding for my yeast to rise, then I forgot and got 2 pieces of bread that has not been left to rise. My boyfriend finished half of them and said they tasted good anyway. The second time I made very dry red bean filling and its texture was nowhere near smooth, hence it turned out so much uglier than I could’ve imagined. Again, my boyfriend said it was good. This time I swear I’ll do it properly and nothing is allowed to go wrong. To some extent, I did succeed *happy happy*.

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The bread is very soft and smell wonderfully of milk, butter with a subtle scent of matcha powder, beautifully swirled with green tea and red bean which makes it even more appealing to the eyes. It still has this yeasty smell which I have always wanted to get rid of, thinking I did something wrong to ALL of my breads ever made (since they all has this smell), before I went and looked on the internet for the solution of my problem. Turned out I did everything right, and that slightly yeasty smell is what people wish for in their homebaked bread *weird, it smells like ale to me and I hate beer*

Marbled green tea bread with red bean filling

(Milk bun recipe adapted from Bếp Rùa)

INGREDIENT:

  • 300 ml warm milk
  • 60 g sugar
  • 12 g active dry yeast (or 10 g instant yeast)
  • 500 g flour + 50 g for dusting
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • A pinch of salt
  • 80 g unsalted sugar, in room temperature
  • 1/2 tbs matcha powder

METHOD:

  • Stir in sugar with warm milk, then dissolve yeast and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes for the yeast to be activated. By mistake I bought active dry yeast instead of instant one, so I have to activate it before using. If you are using active yeast, just skip this step and add them straight into the dry batter. After many times using this type of yeast, I found that it foamed vigorously in warm milk & sugar, I bet it ‘eats’ a lot of them to ‘grow’. Look how foamed up it is after 10 minutes

  • Pour about 400g of flour into the mixing bowl, mix thoroughly then add in egg and salt. Note: avoid the salt to come in contact directly with the yeast or it might kill the yeast (Sugar is yeast’s best friend and salt is its nemesis)
  • Dust the working surface with lots of flour, then knead the dough by hand for about 10 minutes until it starts to firm up. Then add in butter and continue kneading. Beware: it will be VERY gooey, so you continuously need lots of flour. Don’t worry and be patient, it will start to stick together eventually (after another 10 minuted I would say)

  • As the dough becomes smooth, less sticky and holds its shape, divide it by half, add matcha powder to one half. Then continue to knead until the powder has incorporated into half the initial dough. Knead the other half for a few more minutes and you got the final result looking like this

I always do this little test to check if the dough is well kneaded. See how it can be stretched into a paper-thin film without breaking? That’s when the hard work is done

  • So you just go on and do the usual steps of making bread. Place them in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clean, wet cloths (or cling film) and leave them in a warm place (like an oven that’s been turned on low heat for a few minutes) to rise for about an hour. It should be doubled in size
  • Take them out and give them several good punches, knead for a few times then leave to rest for about 5 minutes. Roll them into rectangular shape of equal size, the thinner it is, the more swirl you could make (don’t make it too thin though or it’ll break)
  • So here’s what you do to get the pretty marbled thingy: first apply the red bean paste to the rolled out white sheet, then place the green one on top and roll it up, seal the end carefully and place them into the bread tin for a second proof. As my tin is fairly small, I made them into 3 buns, using the same technique and place them into my (also small) cake tin

  • Again, leave them in a warm place for about 40 minutes until it rises double in size
  • Preheat the oven at 190 C, bake for about half an hour. If you want a shiny, golden crust then brush a thin layer of egg on top. Leave it on the rack to cool and serve warm sliced.

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It made my perfect breakfast for a rainy day as today

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Have a good weekends everyone

Lots of love,

Phuong

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2 thoughts on “Marbled green tea bread with red bean filling

  1. That’s a beautiful loaf of bread you got there. I haven’t yet baked anything with red bean fillings, but I’m keen on trying. 🙂

    • Thank you Zita ^^ Apart from my 2 previous failed attempts, this is also my very first bake with red bean. Do try and share the results with me, I can’t wait to see yours 🙂

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