A classic and very popular Japanese bread is Anpan! This is a type of sweet bread filled with sweet azuki bean paste. It can also be filled with white bean paste (shiro-an) or chestnut paste as well (kuri-an).
This is a staple bread for Japanese people, which you can find anywhere in Japan. This is a very traditional Japanese bread that was actually invented all the way back in 1875. The bread was invented by a man named Yasubei Kimura, who started the now famous bakery, ‘Kimuraya’, which is in Ginza.
This bakery serves many different types of anpan, which are very delicious. My family loves anpan alot, especially my dad who eats at least one anpan every day! He used to eat a big anpan roll every day until my daughter told him that it was about 400 something calories, so now he tries to only eat half, but it’s a struggle.
Whenever my family goes on a long car trip or have to travel anywhere by plane or train, we like to pack anpan to snack on because it’s tasty and filling. Sometimes we buy them from the store, but I also like to make my own and make the anko (red bean paste) and bread from scratch.
The bread dough also is easy to make but it does have to rise for about an hour. To make them look super appetising and delicious, you can glaze the anpan with egg and then sprinkle with some sesame seeds too.
You can store the anpan in an airtight container for a few days, but I don’t know if you will have any leftovers; whenever I make anpan my family eats them all in one go!
They taste so delicious when they’re fresh from the oven, so they’re usually all gone within an hour or so. If you do have any left, then they’re great to pack for school or work lunch!
For the Bread Dough:
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 3/4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 extra large egg
- 2 1/4 cups bread flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup butter, diced
- 8 tablespoons an filling, sweetened red bean paste
- Combine the yeast, milk and sugar in a small bowl or jug and cover and set aside for 10 minutes or until frothy, then stir in the egg.
- Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the liquid mixture and stir to form a soft dough.
- Transfer to an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and knead for about 5 min or until smooth and elastic.
- With the mixer motor running, add the chopped butter until the butter is combined and a smooth and silky dough forms.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover and set aside in a warm place to prove for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Divide the bread dough into 8 equal sized balls and knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
- Roll the red bean paste (An filling) into 8 even-sized balls.
- Roll out one dough ball until it is slightly flat and place one red bean paste ball in the centre, then mold the dough around it to form a bread roll.
- Repeat for the remaining dough and red bean paste balls.
- Place them on a cooking paper lined oven tray and cover with clean damp cloth and set aside for about 45 min or until doubled in size again.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and bake for 15 minutes.