Monday, August 16, 2010

Pandan with Black Sesame Cake Bread


I am back to my bread making routine.

While driving my children to school this morning, I was contemplating what kind of bread or bun I should make today.  Thought of making something different today. Since I could not decide whether to bake a cake or a loaf of bread, I finally settled for a combination.


This is what I baked! It is chiffon cake on top and bread at the bottom. This is so pretty (don’t you agree?).

Remember the bread dough that I had prepared last week? The 65度C汤种面包 (65degC Tang Zhong Bread) ?? I still had a portion in the freezer. I had pull it out from the freezer this morning to defrost. This dough yields a very light and fluffy texture. So , I thought of experimenting it with a pandan chiffon cake on top. To enhance its flavour and the appearance I spread a thin layer of black sesame paste on top of the bread dough before pouring the chiffon cake batter on top.


The end result is good. The nutty aroma of the black sesame paste complements the heavenly aroma of the pandan chiffon cake!  However, I do have a slight issue. See the loaf before I slice it…. Initially the cake portion rose beautifully and the shape was a perfect rectangular loaf. However, after cooling down, the cake portion shrank and it looks distorted. Whenever I bake a chiffon cake, I would need to invert the cake while cooling it. This prevents the cake from shrinking as a result of gravitational pull. Unfortunately, when I bake it with the bread dough, I am not able to do so. (anyone has any tips on how to do it???).


Luckily, it did not shrink that much and the slices look great. I managed to produce 2 loaves with the ingredients I have. Gave one to Mommy dearest and the other loaf shall be our breakfast for tomorrow. 


It’s quite easy to make. Here is the recipe.

Pandan with Sesame Paste Cake Bread 

The Bread portion  (I only use half of this dough)

tang zhong (water-roux)

25g bread flour
125ml water

bread dough:

315g bread flour
85g cake flour
30g milk powder
60g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
9g instant yeast
1 egg, lightly beaten

120g water
120g tang zhong (water-roux)
35g unsalted butter


to make tang zhong (yields about 120g tang zhong):

Place 25g bread flour in a saucepan. Add 125ml water, mix till smooth, making sure there are no lumps of flour. Cook over medium to low heat, stirring constantly with a hand whisk to prevent it from burning. Within 1 to 2 mins, the mixture will start to thicken, stop when you see traces in the mixture for every stir you make with the hand whisk.The 65degC tang zhong is ready. Immediately transfer the hot tang zhong into a bowl and cover it with a cling wrap, making sure the cling wrap sticks onto the surface of the mixture. This is to prevent a film from forming on the surface. Leave to cool completely before using it.

to make dough:

Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add in the egg, water and tang zhong. Mix to form a rough dough. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough till smooth. This should take about 10mins. The dough is quite wet and sticky, it helps to have a dough scraper on hand to scape up the dough as your knead.
Knead in the butter. Continue to knead the dough until it no longer sticks to your hand, becomes smooth and elastic. This should take about another 20 to 30 mins. Do the window pane test: pinch a piece of the dough, pull and stretch it. It should be elastic, and can be pulled away into a thin membrane without tearing/breaking apart easily.

Divide the dough into half and keep a portion in the freezer for later.

Proof one portion the dough for about an hour or until double in bulk.

Punch it down and divide the dough into 6 equal portions.

Let it rest for about 10 mins.

Shape the dough into 6 cylindrical shapes and place 3 each  into 2 loaf pans (lined with baking sheet/ parchment paper).

Let it proof for about 60mins or till double in size.

The Black Sesame Paste

Heat up 4 tbsp organic black sesame powder with 2 tbsp brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium fire. Keep stirring to prevent the mixture from burning. The mixture will coagulate and turn into a very thick paste. Remove it from the fire and let it cool down.

Pandan Chiffon Cake portion (prepare this portion when the bread dough has double in bulk).


  • 3 egg yolks (Grade A)
  • 30 ml corn oil
  • 80 gm superfine flour
  • 50ml fresh coconut milk
  • 2 pandan leaves blend into juice (add 1 tbsp water)
  • 4 egg whiles (Grade A)
  • 40gm castor sugar (add more if preferred)
  • 0.5 tsp lemon juice (optional)


  • Combine egg yolks, oil, flour, pandan juice and coconut milk.
  • Mix till well blended. Set aside.
  • Whisk egg white till frothy
  • Gradually add in sugar and lemon juice and whisking till soft peak is formed.
  • Whisk in 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the egg yolk batter till well combined.
  • Fold in another 1/3 of the egg white mixture followed by the balance. Do not over mix the batter

To assemble :

Once the bread dough is ready (double in bulk), spread a thin layer of the black sesame paste (if the paste is too thick, add some warm water to dilute it) over the top of the dough.

Pour the chiffon cake batter on top of the bread dough (divide them equally for the 2 loaf pans).
Gently tap the loaf pan a couple of time ( to release the trapped air bubbles in the cake batter) .

Bake them in a preheated over at 180C for about 30mins.

Remove form the loaf pan onto a cooling rack immediately (once baked).

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