Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Japanese red bean (azuki) milk bread

A super soft and fluffy yeast bread made with Japanese red bean (azuki) paste. Feel free to smear some jelly or chocolate spread on top for an extra special treat!
Do you guys ever get sucked into watching those food shows on television and then you have all of the cravings? It happens to me All.The.Time. As a result, I often get hungry for BBQ, Korean and all kinds of ethnic cuisines around 10:00pm. #foodieproblems

I'm not sure what show we were watching, but I wanted Japanese food. I didn't have the energy to make anything too difficult but I remembered that I had a can of sweetened red bean paste in the the pantry that I could use. Then this Japanese red bean milk bread was born.
The recipe below makes 3 mini loaves or 1 large loaf. I unintentionally underbaked my bread the first time so I had to pop them back in the oven for 350 degrees at 20 minutes to complete the baking. This bread was so good that I baked a full loaf the next day and also saved some red bean paste to spread on top of the dough for extra flavor.

We've been happily eating this bread as a side dish and even for breakfast. You can always add your favorite breakfast spread on top (chocolate hazelnut spread, fruit jam, etc) if it isn't sweet enough for you. I thought it was plenty flavorful but my 7 year old wanted more red bean - that's why I added some in the 2nd loaf.

Either way, I hope that you enjoy this bread. It's a great alternative to plain toast!

Japanese red bean (azuki) milk bread
Tangzhong
  • 1/6 cup bread flour
  • 1/2 cup water
Dough 
  • 3/4 cup sweetened red bean paste (can find at your local Asian grocery store)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tablespoons butter or melted coconut oil
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 and 1/2 cups bread flour
  • tangzhong from above
Directions
In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix together the flour and water for the tanzhong. Continuously stir until it reaches pudding consistency. Once it thickens, turn off the heat and remove the saucepan from the stove. Mix for another 30 seconds and set aside.

In a large measuring cup, mix together the red bean paste and the milk. Add the egg and mix well. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment or in a large bowl if mixing by hand, add the butter, sugar, salt, yeast, red bean paste mixture, tangzhong and flour. Mix until everything comes together. The dough will be extremely sticky, so you may need to add more flour. Mix until the dough is still sticky but workable.

Generously grease 3 mini loaf pans (about 5 and 3/4" x 3" x 2"), OR a standard 9"x5" loaf pan.

Transfer the dough to a well-floured working surface. If baking 3 mini loaves, divide the dough into 9 equal parts. If baking 1 large loaf, divide the dough into 4 equal parts.

Take one portion of dough and roll gently into a rough oval. Fold the dough into thirds like a letter. Take the dough and place it so the shortest end is toward you. Roll the dough slightly and then, starting with the shortest end toward you, roll it up, jelly-roll style (like you are making cinnamon rolls). If you have extra red bean paste, you can slather on a layer of it before roll up your dough - I did this the second time I baked it and got delicious results.

Place seam-side down in your prepared loaf pan. If baking 3 mini loaves, you'll want to place 3 dough rolls in each pan side by side.

Let the dough rise for about an hour.

Preheat your oven to 335 degrees F.

Bake in  your preheated oven for 20-22 minutes for mini-loaves or 30 minutes for a large loaf. Remove the loaves from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Leftover bread should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and will keep for a few days.

Yield: 3 mini loaves or 1 standard (9"x5" loaf)

Source: The 350 Degree Oven

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