Matcha Bread Star with a Sweet Black Sesame Filling and a Ginger Glaze

by - December 18, 2015

As you can see, I have once again made something matcha. I have to go back and get a new pot of bake-able matcha from the store way too often now. It's matcha anonymous time, I am afraid. 

(Hi I am Sasha, and I once ate matcha powder on a spoon after drizzling honey straight into my mouth)
(Yes this is true)
(I disgust myself) 
(lol no I still do this)

I decided to join my love for (a) baking bread; (b) matcha and (c) star wars into a matcha bread star. Yes, okay, the link to star wars is barely there, but it's a star. So it counts. A little. 

Oh, and ginger. I love ginger. I used to eat the entire pickled ginger pot that they put on the side of the table when we went for sushi. When I say 'used to' I mean as of three days ago. But! That's a story for another occasion. 

Seriously though, don't do this at home (well... in a sushi place). Not because pickled ginger is BAD for you, but because the waiters will not be pleased. And, well, the intense ginger flavour is really quite hard to shake when you are trying to enjoy your kakiage

Side note: When you wait for your waiter to bring your food to you, do YOU become the waiter?

(hashtag boom)

Okay, back to the bread star. Since I am back home and I have missed all things asian, this is essentially a very asian twist on those swedish cinnamon roll star breads. 

I (also) love swedish food. And by swedish food, I really mean IKEA food. So perhaps not quite an accurate representation of the food they have in Sweden but since I buy (read: inhale on the tube journey back) five boxes of pepparkakor every time I visit, I consider myself an expert on the cuisine nonetheless.

Matcha Bread Star with a Sweet Black Sesame Filling and a Ginger Glaze
Dough ingredients:
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 cup vegan buttermilk, lukewarm*
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3 tbsp coconut sugar (you can use cane)
½ tsp baking soda
3-4 tsp matcha, depending on how intense you want the colour to be
Pinch of pink himalayan sea salt (orrr just salt)
3 tbsp aquafaba
¼ cup coconut oil**
1 cup crystallised ginger, finely chopped (optional)

Filling Ingredients:
3/4 cup sesame seeds
2-3 tbsp oil (more may be needed to make a paste)
3/4 cup palm/cane sugar

1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp ginger
1-2 tbsp plant milk (oat or almond work well)

Once your buttermilk is ready, stir in the yeast and let it sit, covered in a bowl for 10 minutes until it is foamy. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, matcha and salt. Whisk the oil and aquafaba into the yeast mixture. Form a well in the dry ingredients then add your wet mixture and mix it until it forms a nice dough ball. Knead this for about 10 minutes, you can use a stand mixer with a dough attachment if you struggle with kneading but try this method out, it's a good workout! Ideally your dough should be at the windowpane stage by the end of kneading, try to get it as close as possible to that but don't overwork it.

Oil a large bowl and toss your dough ball into it, flipping it over so the dough is greased a little on the outside and doesn't stick too much. Cover with a damp cloth and leave it on the countertop (if you're in a warm country) or an oven with a pot of freshly boiled water beside it (if you're in a cold country). Let it proof for 1 and a half hours until the dough has doubled.

As it proof make the filling, in a food processor grind the sesame seeds down, I like to grind it almost into a paste but if your machine is not powerful enough it is okay just to grind it into an almost-flour. Mix in the sugar and oil, adding a little more oil to get it into a spreadable consistency.

Punch it down and roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a log. Divide it into four equal pieces and roll each into a large circle. I would describe how to do this if I could but I think a video would be a lot more helpful in telling you how to shape the star! Here is one, just use the sesame paste (and sprinkle in the candied ginger in between layers if you are using it) instead!

Place this on a baking tray and cover it again with a damp towel to proof for another 1 hour. Set the oven to 175C 10 minutes before it is done. You can paint a little bread wash out of plant milk and rice brain syrup on top of it to stick some seeds to it! Then pop it into the oven for 20-22 minutes. Halfway through, cover the pan with aluminium foil to stop the bread from browning too much and loosing that beautiful green! I forgot to do this so mine came out a little too brown. Bread is done when it is slightly hollow sounding when tapped. You can insert a bread thermometer into the centre and it should read about 200F.

Stir the glaze ingredients together until there are no clumps and then pour it on top of the bread, or if you aren't eating it all immediately, the slices.

*Vegan buttermilk: Add 1 tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup and fill it up to the top with a plant milk. Soy works best for this. Let it sit to let it curdle, about 5-10 minutes. You can also made this with 3/4 cups of soy yogurt mixed with 1/4 a cup of plant milk.
**I use a coocnut oil with a very light flavour, but if you don't have this you can easily use a non-flavoured oil such as rice bran

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