Matcha, Black Sesame, Swirl Sourdough Milk Bread

Matcha, Black Sesame, Swirl Sourdough Milk Bread

This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe by Chiew See author of the cookbook Autumn Kitchen.  She is on Instagram under the name Autumn Kitchen.  I’ve wanted to bake a swirl milk bread with Asian Flavours and saw her post of a similar bread I think back in summer 2019 and filed it away.  In her original recipe the black sesame seeds are prepared as a paste that becomes one of the layers of the swirl similar to how one adds the filling in a babka.  My adaptation adds the black sesame to the smallest third of the dough and incorporates it into that third.  Another third of the dough get matcha paste incorporated while the final third is unadoroned.  The three are laminated and rolled into a tube before being placed in a Pullman pan.  The following recipe is for a 9x4x4 inch Pullman pan without the lid.

Overnight levain build

14 g starter + 86 g cold water + 86 g bread flour left to ferment at 77ºF overnight.

Prepare the Matcha paste and Black sesame powder as follows.

For the Matcha paste

Mix 8.5 g Matcha, 8.5 g sugar and 18 g water until smooth, cover and set aside until the morning.I

For the Black sesame powder

Grind 96 g of toasted black sesame seeds (I used a coffee grinder) then combine with 18 g of sugar.  Cover and set aside until the morning.

The next morning mix the following except for the butter.

312 g bread flour

1 large egg

30 g sugar

126 g milk

6 g salt

180 g levain 

30 g room temperature butter.

Using a standmixer, mix until incorporated at low speed.  Then mix at higher speed until gluten well formed.  Then gradually add the butter and mix until the dough is elastic, shines and smooth.

Remove the dough from the mixer, shape into a ball and divide into approximate thirds.  Shape the largest third into a boule and set aside covered with a towel.

Take the smallest third and combine with the black sesame powder and knead by hand until the black sesame powder is well incorporated.  Shape into a boule and set aside under a tea towel.

Place the final medium sized third into the stand mixer along with the matcha paste.  Mix until the dough is a uniform green colour and smooth.  Shape into a boule and place under a tea towel to rest for 5 mins.

Lightly flour a work surface and the plain dough boule.  Roll out to at least 12” in length, set aside.  Continue to do the same with the other two balls next rolling the matcha dough out to 12” and placing that on top of the plain rolled out dough.  Finally rolling the black sesame dough out again to 12” and finally placing that on top of the matcha dough.

Next tightly roll the laminated doughs starting with the short end until you have a swirled log.  Place the log in your prepared Pullman pan (I like to line it with parchment so it is easy to remove from the pan).  Place in the proofing box set to 82-84ºF to proof until the dough come to approximately 1 cm below the edge of the pan.

At about 30 mins before you think your dough will be at 1 cm below the edge of the pan, preheat your oven with a rack or baking steel/stone on the lowest rack.  At this time prepare an egg wash and gently brush it on the top of the dough.  When the oven is ready 30 mins later, brush the top of the dough again with the egg wash.  Bake for 45 mins turning once halfway through.  Keep an eye on the top crust and be prepared to shield it with either aluminum foil or a cookie tray above if it is getting dark too soon.  After 45 mins remove from the pan to check for doneness.  Place the bread back in the oven for another 5 minutes to ensure that the crust on the sides is fully set and baked.

Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool completely before slicing.


Edited to add sugar to better balance the matcha.