Jasmine tea is known to be good for the liver. Furthermore, kuromame (black beans) and sweet potato are known to help regulate the stomach and intestines. With it's gentle, flowery fragrance, this bread is perfect for spring!
Kuromame (sweet black beans) or ama-natto (sweetened azuki beans)
Candied sweet potato
Pour hot boiling water, add the jasmine tea leaves and brew for 3 minutes. This will be the liquid ingredient for the dough. Set aside until cooled to 30°C.
Mix all the ingredients except for the margarine, and knead well for about 10 minutes. If you have warm hands, reduce the liquid by 10 ml and adjust the amount of moisture as you knead.
When the flour is thoroughly mixed, add the margarine, and knead for another 10 minutes. Place the margarine in the middle of the dough and fold it into the dough.
Place the dough in a plastic container with scale markings to rise, I used one sold at a dollar store and the dough measured to be 400 ml before it started rising. Or you could let the dough rise in a bowl.
The first rising is complete when the dough rises to about the 1100 ml line (or about 1.5 times larger the original size). It will take about 14 hours in the winter, and a little quicker in the summer, so adjust accordingly.
Place the dough onto a dusted canvas cloth and press down the dough to remove air.
Dampen the surface of the kuromame and diced candied sweet potato, and drain excess water in a colander.
Divide the dough into 8 portions, roll out the dough to about 12-13 cm diameter circles, and fill 4 portions with the kuromame and the other 4 portions with sweet potato.
Pair with 1 kuromame and 1 sweet potato filled dough, and let it rise at 35°C for 60 minutes.
Bake for 13-16 minutes at 220°C in an electric oven or for about 12 minutes at 190°C in a gas oven.
Let sit on a cooling rack. Enjoy!
Story Behind this Recipe
I wanted to make use of my knowledge of yakuzen herbal cuisine and to bake a bread that was good for the liver because it can easily lose its balance in spring. The ingredients in the bread are said to nourish not only the liver but also the spleen.
-Grind the jasmine tea leaves in a mill. If you don't have a mill, use a mortar and pestle. -It might be easier to know when the proofing is complete if you let the dough rise in a plastic container with scale markings. -Adjust the oven temperature depending on your oven.