August 18, 2020

Matcha Swirl Bread Recipe


Not only is Matcha Swirl Bread pretty to look at, it’s also soft, fluffy and delicious to eat! This recipe is from our friend Jess, @hungry_beluwuga on Instagram. Jess is a San Francisco Bay Area native and foodie. She’s also a hobbyist baker who has recently been obsessed with making bread!

This particular bread recipe has a matcha swirl. Matcha is a type of green tea powder made by grinding young tea leaves. It has a sweet, nutty and somewhat “grassy” taste. In addition to its beautiful bright green color and balanced taste, many people believe matcha has health benefits. If matcha is not your thing, this recipe is versatile and you can use other powders or spreads for the flavored portion. Nutella swirl bread, anyone?

Jess’ recipe also uses “tangzhong” — an Asian technique of making bread where a small percentage of flour and water (or milk!) are quickly cooked together before mixing with the bread dough. The resulting thick slurry helps the starches in the flour absorb and retain more liquid throughout the baking process. It’s then harder to dry out the dough, so the end product is less sticky, easier to knead, likely to rise higher, and is going to stay soft and fresh with an extended shelf life! 

Matcha Swirl Bread

Jess, Bay Area Foodie | On Instagram: @Hungry_Beluwuga
This bread recipe is very versatile. Instead of matcha powder, other powders or flavors can be used, non-liquidy spreads (ie. Nutella, red bean, or other homemade spreads) can be sandwiched between two plain dough portions to create a swirl, or the bread can be made without any swirls, all one flavor or plain! The possibilities are endless. This particular recipe is for a matcha swirl.


For Tangzhong

  • 2/3 cup water (approx. 6 oz.)
  • 1/3 to 2/3 cup all-purpose or bread flour

For Dough

  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose or bread flour
  • 2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (or none if using salted butter)
  • 5 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • Cooled tangzhong mixture above
  • 3 Tbsp. butter (room temperature, cubed)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. matcha powder


  • 1 large egg for egg wash
  • sesame seeds for topping


  • Over medium heat in a non-stick pan/pot, mix together the water and flour mixture for tangzhong with a whisk or wooden spoon. Continuously mix until thick enough to leave a path where you mix.
  • Immediately turn off heat, transfer into a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap directly clung to the dough to prevent drying. Place in the fridge to cool for around 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime, in a large bowl or stand mixer, mix the flour, sugar, salt, and instant yeast with a whisk. Create a well in the center.
  • Add 1/4 cup milk and egg into the center and mix before adding the cooled tangzhong mixture. Mix with a spatula to make sure everything is incorporated.
  • When shaggy dough is formed, add the butter. Then mix for 10-20 minutes on medium speed using the dough hook on your mixer until dough is smooth and elastic.
  • Add a bit more milk if too dry, or more flour if too wet (tablespoon at a time).
  • Check if the dough is ready by using the "windowpane" test. Take a small piece of dough. You should be able to stretch it into a thin translucent layer before breaking with circular holes in the center.
  • Take dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead into a ball and split in half.
  • Place half back into the mixer with 1 1/2 tablespoons matcha powder and mix for another few minutes until incorporated. If too dry, add a bit more milk.
  • Lightly grease both halves of dough and place them into two separate bowls to proof. Cover with plastic cling wrap or towel. Let proof until doubled in size (~1hr). If using a Raisenne Dough Riser, proofing can be cut in up to half the time!
  • Once risen, punch down one dough and transfer to a floured surface. Knead for a minute and split into 4 equal parts. Place back in bowl and cover again.
  • Repeat with the other risen dough and let both rest for 10 min.
  • Take one of each, plain and matcha, roll out into a roughly 6x4 inch oval shape. Stack on top of each other, flatten again, and fold into thirds with the plain dough on the outside (like a letter).
  • Roll out again in both directions into approximately another 6x4 inch rectangle (the long side being the folded edges). Roll the dough on itself starting from a short end (the opposite direction of the folds), hiding all the folded edges inside. Place on one edge of a loaf pan.
  • Repeat 13-14 three more times with the rest of the dough. You should end up with 4 rolls, perfectly fitting the loaf pan.
  • Let sit for 15 min. covered with plastic wrap.
  • Bake at 325° F for 30 min. Check after ~20 min. If too brown on top, place a piece of foil loosely on top of the loaf folded in the middle the long way like a teepee.
  • Enjoy!

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