I always love the Asian Red Bean swirl loaf, picking those sections where the red bean paste are is a part of the trill in eating them. It is like getting those crispy bits on a fried fish, hunting for that pork fat on pork and beans or going for the limited amount of crispy skin on a pork roast. Before my post today, most of the time we buy this type of bread on Asian bakeries because I can’t get the texture I wanted, I tried so many methods like using high gluten flour or even the Tangzhong method but I can’t master it and can’t get the result I need, until now.
The first time I made this loaf I was determined to make it the way I wanted it to be, so I had this thought process on what should go into this bread which led me to my ensaymada recipe I made a long time ago. While I was making then I experimented between using mashed sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes, results are almost the same, but I favoured more on the sweet potato version, differences are minimal and both methods gave me a good result, yielding a very soft fluffy bun that is a bit stretchy and doughy.
Having that in mind, I thought the secret would be on the fibres of the potatoes but cooking mashed potatoes before making the loaf would be tiresome hence, I experimented on trying to use instant mashed potato flakes instead. By using the instant mashed potato flakes making this bread could never be easy, I just dump everything on the mixing bowl, taking note that my yeast is alive, and let the mixer do its kneading job. All you need after that is a lot of patience as you will be proofing this twice, for an hour each. First proofing is after the first kneading, second is when the dough is already in the bread pan. The result was fantastic, its doughy, chewy, soft, moist and bouncy bread.
Now what’s the best flavour we can do with this? Red bean has been done that goes the same with taro, so why not ube! That purple yam that everyone loves (Filipinos at least), but feel free to use any filling you want, it works with red bean, green bean, taro, sweet potatoes, etc. I am proud to say that this is my best bread recipe so far, try it, it’s easy and the results are amazing, please give it a shot and let me know.
Still in low heat, add condensed milk and brown sugar then heat until liquid loosens up.
Bring heat to medium then add the grated purple yam then continue stirring until it becomes thick. You need to constantly stir for 20-25 minutes in low heat.
Slowly add coconut cream and continue to cook for 5 more minutes, it should be in spreadable consistency.
Remove from heat then let it cool.
Place dry and wet ingredients in a bread maker or a stand mixer.
If you use a bread maker put it in knead setting and let it do its work until it finishes from kneading to proofing, the dough will grow to 1 1/2 times its original size. If you are using a stand mixer, Use the dough hook attachment, and turn on the mixer to stir. Mix for 20 minutes. Once done proof dough by covering the mixing bowl with damp cloth and placing it in a warm spot, leave it there for 1 hour or until dough had grown to 1 1/2 times its original size.
Prepare and grease two loaf pans. Set it aside.
Divide the dough equally into two separate pieces.
Flatten each piece into a rectangle shape, it should be around 1/2 inch thick. Once done spread half of the cooled ube jam on top. Now fold the rectangle on both sides up to the middle of the dough. Do it again on the perpendicular side. Gently flatten the dough and form it into a rectangle shape. Slice through into three sections leaving the top bit intact (like the photo above), then braid. Do this with the remaining half of the dough.
Place the braided dough into the loaf pan then let it proof for another hour or until it is nearly doubled in size.
Mix together egg wash ingredients then brush it over the prepared dough.
Bake in a 170C preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven, let it cool before removing it from the loaf pan.