Marbled Matcha & Refried Bean Swirl Bread

by Shumaila

I wanted to post about this bread yesterday as part of catching up on the backlog of recipes/photos I have in my drafts, but after the news of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, I just did not feel like talking about food. Of course, life has to move on, but my prayers still go out to everyone affected and hope that the guilty will be found and accordingly dealt with.

This bread is actually inspired from David Lebovitz’s blog post where he blogged about this bread during the March Japanese tragedy. And I post about it today in the hope that the people of India also show the same calm and resilience as the people of Japan. (Of course, I hope the politicians do not misinterpret this calm to mean that they can slack with their appropriate measures to avoid such tragedies in the future!)

Coming back to the bread. David came across this bread at a corner bakery in Aki Boulanger, a street lined with Japanese eateries in Paris. David describes this bread as the most gorgeous marbled bread, swirled with green tea and red beans, imaginable, being not too sweet and making a great afternoon snack. The salty green tea and sweet bean paste balance each other and itโ€™s perfect serve.

The moment I saw this bread I was in love with it. My pictures do not do justice to the reason for my “love-at-first-sight”. So do head over to David’s blog post to see where I come from and for proof that I do give my heart to things only well deserved.

Like any crush, this bread lingered on in my mind, for days, months. I had dreams about it. I wanted it. Wanted it, so bad! And like every love struck girl, I never got the opportune time to express my love for this bread in person. I just admired it from afar, checking it out on David’s blog and getting my occasional dose of this bread’s beauty, thanks to the world wide web.

The reason it took so long to finally make this bread was that I never found Matcha green tea powder (something to do with the fact that I live in a small town). I did find it online but I was not going to pay for shipping that is equal to the cost of the product itself. Finally on a trip to Whole Foods, when we were in Phoenix, I got lucky.:)

Now, the thing is, even though I used to look at the bread quite regularly, I forgot that David had written the red bean swirl was a sweet paste (silly me!). Somehow, I always thought it was a savory bread. And so this bread is a savory version of the bread mentioned on David’s blog. But, sweet or savory, this bread is delicious. Toasted and served with a little cream cheese- yumm! Instead of the red bean paste I just used a can of refried beans and that added another dimension of flavor to the bread. Since this was the first time I was using matcha and wasn’t too sure of the taste, I did not put too much, but there was a hint of the matcha in the bread. If you want a stronger flavor increase the amount! Or, like the actual version use Japanese red bean paste!

Next time I make this bread, I will roll the dough out thinner so that I have more swirls! I will also try the sweeter version!

I will also save the recipe!

Yes, I have no clue where I wrote down the recipe and have been searching all my notebooks, iPhone notes, mail drafts, wordpress draft- but can not seem to find it. But the recipe is fairly easy.


I used a basic white bread recipe and halved the ingredients. One half I went ahead as I would for making white bread. To the other half I added matcha green tea powder and then followed the same instructions as the white bread’s-

  • Rest both pieces of dough after the initial kneading,
  • Punch the dough down once doubled in size
  • Roll both pieces of dough into a thin rectangular equal in size (like how you would do for cinnamon rolls- the width should be the size of the bread tin, so roll it thin length wise),
  • Apply the refried bean paste to the rolled out white dough.
  • Put the green dough on top of the slathered white dough
  • Then roll it up, making sure that the doughs are being rolled out tightly.
  • Bake at 350 F till golden brown. Will take around 30-35 minutes.
  • Let cool completely before slicing

The refried beans were out ofย  a can but you could use any other paste of your choice. I would recommend rolling out each dough quite thin so that you get more swirls in your bread- it will make the bread even more pretty!