Twisted Sweet Adzuki Bean Roll

sweet buns w adzuki bean filling n

Stuffed sweet dough is fairly easy to make and yields delicious results. Sweet, nutritious adzuki beans burst from this roll sprinkled with black sesame seeds. 

I have happy memories of making both steamed and baked versions of sweet buns for New Year’s Eve in Alaska a few years ago. These Arctic anpan were enjoyed by everyone. Back in those days, I relied on my Zojirushi bread maker to mix and rise all the dough for me. Now that we are in Mongolia, I am determined to make all my dough from scratch without the aid of any kind of machine. I’ve found that my bread machine recipes need just a little tweaking in order to convert them to fully handmade.

This from-scratch sweet dough recipe is simple enough. In order to amp up the looks of this confection, I jelly-rolled sweet adzuki paste into the sweet dough, slashed the dough as you would miniature French bread loaves, brushed them with egg to give the finished product a golden brown sheen, and sprinkled black sesame seeds for added flavor and a dash of “wow.” A friend at work told me these confections reminded her of bakery goods she used to buy in fancy Vietnamese boulangeries.

Sweet Adzuki Bean Roll


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten (reserve 1 tbsp egg)
  • 6 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sweet adzuki paste*
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds


  1. Whisk sugar, milk and yeast together in a large bowl. Let stand for a few minutes until yeast starts to foam.
  2. Stir in egg, oil, and salt.
  3. Stir in flour and mix until well combined.
  4. Turn dough out onto floured surface.
  5. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  6. Place dough in an oiled bowl, covered with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Roll dough into a thick rope.
  9. Cut dough into 12 equal pieces.
  10. Roll each piece into a rectangle, about 5 inches by 6 inches.
  11. Spread adzuki bean paste (about 2 tbsp) onto rectangle, avoiding the edges.
  12. Roll the dough, jellyroll-style. Pinch to seal the seam.
  13. Place rolls, seam side down on baking sheet.
  14. Repeat with remaining rolls.
  15. Cover rolls and let rise for 30 minutes.
  16. Slash the rolls a few times with sharp knife.
  17. Brush all rolls with reserved egg. Sprinkle rolls with black sesame seeds.
  18. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  19. Bake for 20 minutes. Finished buns should be browned and shiny.

*I made adzuki bean paste using just dried adzuki beans, water and sugar following the excellent directions from Japanese Cooking 101.

Dough recipe adapted from

2 thoughts on “Twisted Sweet Adzuki Bean Roll

  1. And this is why I need to move in with auntie and uncle in distant Asian lands. Why do you tempt us from afar with your devil recipes????

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