Anko, Black Sesame Swirl Sourdough Milk Bread.

Anko, Black Sesame Swirl Sourdough Milk Bread.

Some of you maybe familiar with anko, but for those of you who aren’t it is a paste that is made from azuki beans and sweetened with sugar and is a popular component in many Asian desserts.  For this bread, I made a Koshian Anko (smooth anko) but a Tsubuan or chunky anko could be used as well.  If anyone is interested I can post the recipe for the anko.

Overnight levain build

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


For the Black sesame powder

Grind 86 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.


Prepare Koshian  (smooth) Anko 1 day ahead of time, use 65 g.



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 


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.

Finally take the third dough ball and gradually combine with the anko paste smearing it on the surface and folding it in.  Knead until the dough is a uniform 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 and almost as wide as the length of your pan, set aside.  Continue to do the same with the other two balls next rolling the black sesame dough out to 12” and placing that on top of the plain rolled out dough.  Finally rolling the anko dough out again to 12” and finally placing that on top of the black sesame 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 with the seam side down (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 comes to approximately 1 cm below the edge of the Pullman pan.  This takes about 8-8.5 hours at 82ºF. 


At about 30 mins before you think your dough will be at 1 cm below the edge of the pan, preheat your oven to 355ºF 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.