Introduction: Matcha Black Sesame Babka
Matcha and sesame are two of my favourite flavours. When paired together with bread, it creates the perfect snack that is not too sweet and can be enjoyed at anytime.
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
When making bread, I prefer to go by weight of ingredients rather than volume for more accuracy and consistency. For the matcha black sesame bread, you will need the following ingredients:
260 g bread flour
6 g matcha powder
50 g granulated sugar
75 g unsalted butter
2 g fine sea salt
5 g active dry yeast
60 ml warm water, heated to 100 - 110°F (38 - 43°C)
1 egg + 1 egg yolk (save the egg white for an egg wash)
40 g black sesame paste
35 g unsalted butter
20 g honey
Step 2: Create the Dough
Add active dry yeast to warm water with a pinch of sugar and stir to combine. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until the yeast begins to foam.
In a medium-sized bowl, combined the bread flour, matcha powder, sugar, and sea salt and whisk to combine. Create a well in the middle and add in the eggs and yeast mixture, and begin to stir with a spatula.
Once combined, stir in the butter a tablespoon at a time.
Step 3: Kneed the Dough
Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and begin to kneed the dough by pressing into it with the palm of your hand and folding the dough back onto itself with your fingers. Continue to kneed the dough until it is smooth and bounces back when poked. The dough should pass the window-pane test, where it does not tear when stretched.
Roll the dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly greased plastic bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.
Step 4: Make the Black Sesame Filling
Black sesame paste can be bought in Asian markets or the ethnic food aisles in grocery stores.
In a small bowl, combine the black sesame paste with the softened butter and honey. Stir until a spreadable filling forms and set aside.
Step 5: Roll and Assemble Babka
When the dough has been chilling in the fridge for at least 6 hours, take out the dough and let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes to soften, until it is easier to work with.
Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 15 x 10 inch rectangle by starting in the middle of the dough and rolling out. The dough should be approximately a quater inch thick.
Spread the black sesame filling over the dough, leaving a half inch boarder all around the rectangle.
Roll the dough into a log lengthwise, and then cut the dough in half lengthwise using a dough scrapper or a sharp knife. Lay the halves next to each other and pinch the top end together. Making sure the cut side is facing up, begin to twist the halves one over the other and pinch the other end to close.
Transfer the babka to a 9 x 4 inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Cover with a damp tea tower or plastic wrap, and let the dough proof for another hour at room temperature.
Step 6: Bake and Enjoy!
In the last 15 minutes of proofing, preheat your oven to 375°F.
Using the leftover egg whites from the dough, lightly beat the egg whites and brush onto the babka where there is no black sesame filling.
Bake the babka for 30 - 35 minutes, until a long wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre, and the bread has browned at the top.
Let the babka cool in the pan for 10 - 15 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and enjoy this bread anytime! Store in an air tight container for 2 - 3 days at room temperature.
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