During the Easter Holiday I make Hot Cross Buns almost every year. I like the spices and dried fruits inside the buns and of course plenty of clotted cream on the halved and slightly toasted buns too. However, this year I wanted to make something a little different. Something a little more Japanese … so, I decided to add a Japanese ingredient into buns.
Western people might think that Japanese are eating rice all the time but actually we love bread. In Japan we have all sorts of bread from savoury to sweet. One of the Japanese favourite sweet bread is Anpan which is a bun filled with ‘An‘ (Sweet Azuki Bean Paste) in the centre. I decided making this Japanese nation’s favourite buns for this Easter by mixing with one of the most famous Japanese flavour ‘Matcha’ Green tea.
Matcha Hot Cross Anpan
As this was for the Easter I made a cross on top and call it Matcha Hot Cross Anpan!! It went fairly well, apart from … it’s overbaked. The batteries for my timer ran out so I did not time the baking. I distructed using the computer and forgot about the baking. It turned out that the top became too dark and hard to see the cross. It also dried up a little and the Sweet Bean Paste is not as moist as it should be.
Normally we just eat Anpan as it is for having teatime or sometimes even as lunch, however, my one is a Hot Cross Anpan after all so I halved in the middle and placed a big drop of softly whipped cream. I almost bought clotted cream but dismissed the idea because I knew that Azuki Sweet Bean Paste goes better with soft cream and I thought fatty clotted cream might take over the flavour of sweet bean paste.
Apart from those many (?😅) problems it tasted OK. I added plenty of Sweet Azuki Bean Paste centre. Of course it would be much nicer if the bread was softer and sweet bean paste centre was more moist. In case you would like to try making these I add the recipe I used here.
- Strong White Flour 300g
- Matcha Green Tea Powder 10g
- Sugar 30g
- Unsalted Butter 20g
- Dried yeast 1 Tsp
- Milk ± 200ml
- Liquid Glucose 10ml
- Salt 3g
- Tsubu-An (Sweet Azuki Bean Paste with skin) 320g
- Plain flour 2 Tbsp
- Water a little
- Apricot Jam 2 Tbs
Heat the milk close to boiling point, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave it to cool until it becomes body temperature. Place flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk mixture and mix well. Move the dough onto a work top and knead it with your hands until you have a smooth dough. Cover the top of the bowl and leave it in a room for about an hour.
*Adjust the amount of milk to make a bread dough.
When the dough becomes about double the size divide it into 8 pieces. Make balls with each pieces and rest for 10 minutes.
Divide sweet Azuki bean paste into 8 balls.
Flatten the dough ball with your hand. Place a sweet bean paste ball in the centre and wrap up with the dough. Place the gathered side underneath and on a oven tray with a little gap. Leave it for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven at 200℃. Mix plain flour and water to make a thick paste. Draw a cross with the flour paste on each buns. Place the oven tray in the oven and bake for about 25 mins.
Gently heat the apricot jam to melt. While the jam is still warm, brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool.
Eat as it is as a snack or sweet or halve it and whipped cream on top.