Makes 10 buns
The white chocolate in these buns cuts the slight bitterness of the tea. They make a delicious breakfast or afternoon treat. Keiko Iwakura prefers mixing and kneading by hand instead of machine because she loves the tactile sensations of working with dough. It is also a great way to release tension and build your hand, wrist and arm muscles.
Green Tea Paste
1 teaspoon green tea leaves, ground to powder
1 teaspoon water (or more, if necessary)
In a small bowl, mix the tea powder with water until it forms a soft paste. You can add water, a few drops at a time, as necessary. You do not want clumps, but there should be no excess water, as this will make the dough too gooey.
Green Tea Marble Buns
Flour (for dusting)
1 cup bread flour
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup milk, heated to 80 degrees
2 tablespoons margarine, room temperature, cut into pieces
Green tea paste
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 egg, lightly beaten (for egg wash)
Sugar (for sprinkling)
1. Line two rimmed baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. If your oven has an 80-degree setting, set it at 80 degrees. If not, set it at 300 degrees. When it reaches temperature, leave it on for 1 minute, then turn it off.
2. In a large bowl, mix the flours, sugar, salt, and yeast.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolk into the milk.
4. Transfer the flour mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Pour the milk and egg into the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed for about 5 minutes, until the dough forms a ball.
5. Add margarine and mix on medium speed for 5 minutes. The dough will be very greasy and some of the margarine will stick to the sides of the bowl. Scrape it down a couple of times with a spatula.
6. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it until it is smooth. This will take another 10 to 15 minutes.
7. Divide the dough in half and form two balls. Using a spatula, spread the green tea paste onto one half, a little at a time, kneading until it is evenly distributed. Place each ball of dough in a separate bowl, cover with dish towels, and put in the warmed oven to rise for about an hour, or until they have doubled in size.
8. On a lightly floured surface or a clean dish towel, roll out each ball of dough into a rectangle about 11 by 8 inches. Sprinkle the white chocolate chips over one rectangle and lay the other on top. With a rolling pin, go over the surface to seal the two layers together.
9. With the long side of the rectangle facing you, fold the dough into thirds like a business letter, folding the left section over the center, then the right section over left. Pat or roll it out until it measures about 12 by 7 inches. Slice the dough horizontally into 10 strips. Working with one strip at a time, hold it by the ends and gently stretch and twist it until it is 8 to 9 inches long. Coil it and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with all the strips.
10. Place the shaped buns in the oven to rise for 40 minutes.
11. Remove buns and set the oven at 375oF.
12. Brush the buns with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
13. Bake the buns for 12 minutes, or until they are golden brown on top.
Adapted from Keiko Iwakura