The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Japanese style sourdough buns with chocolate chestnut filling

txfarmer's picture

Japanese style sourdough buns with chocolate chestnut filling

This bread is inspired by a Japanses baking book (translated into Chinese since I don't read Japanese at all):《日本人气面包店天然酵母的美味面包物语》.Japan has a very exciting and innovative artisan bread baking scene, which heavily influences Taiwan, Hongkong, and most recently China. I am originally from China (live in Texas now), still keep a baking blog in Chinese (, and am pretty closely connected to the ever growing Chinese baking community, so I am lucky enough to have access to some Japanese/Chinese bread baking books/resources. 


This bread is interesting in that it combines the classic lean sourdough bread and Asian style sweet buns in an unique way (typical of Japanese baking, which is very inventive and exciting). On the outside, it's a very typical sourdough baguette dough, on the inside, a sweet paste filling is first wrapped in a crepe, then wrapped in the dough, the bun is then baked on stone with steam just like a lean sourdough bread. In each bite, you get 3 different texture and flavor layered together: crusty and chewy baguette, soft crepe dough, then melt in your mouth sweet filling, unlike anything I've tried before! Since the recipes in the book are from a big-ish bakery in Japan, it's not practical to follow it in my US home kitchen, so I simply took the concept, and used my own formulas for the components, with satisfactory results.


First, make the crepes, the following formula makes 6 to 7 crepes in my 10 inch pan, I only needed 2 for the buns, ate the rest with some nutella and bananas.

cake flour, 90g

eggs, 2

sugar, 10g

milk, 180ML

butter, 30g, melted

- mix everything together, cover and rest at room temperature for 1 hour or more, pour 1/4cup of mixture into a lightly oiled pan, fry on both sides until done.

Now the buns,  the dough is a typical baguette dough @ about 70% hydration, the following forumla makes only 4 buns (each around 140g), mostly because it's the last bit of my chestnut paste.


starter, 85g (100% hydration)

instant yeast, 1/4tsp

salt, 4.7g

bread flour, 190g

water, 120g


chestnut paste (lightly sweetened), 120g

bittersweet chocolate, 40g, chopped (I used baking chocolate pieces)

crepes, 2 (from recipe above)


- mix starter, flour, water, autolyse for 30min

- add salt and yeast, knead until gluten starts to develope. 3 minutes in my KA at medium speed.

- cover and fermentate at room temperature for 2.5 hours, with S&F at 30, 60, and 90 minutes. dough is very elastic and beautiful by the third fold, though still pretty wet.

- divide into 4 parts, each about 100g. round and rest for 20 minutes.

- take HALF of the crepe, wrap 30g of chestnut paste and 10g of chocolate inside

- take a piece of dough, press flat, and wrap the filled crepe inside, seal the seam, roll into a small batard

- slash on top, take care not of cut the crepe layer

- proof for 1.5 hour @ room temperature

- bake on stone with steam, 450F, 30 minutes. I preheated to 550F, decreased to 450F after steaming. At 10 minutes, I took out the steam pan.

Makes a great snack or dessert. There are a lot more innovative recipes in that book, can't wait to try more. My last white wine chestnut sourdough also uses the same ingredients, yet it tastes vastly different from this bread, very interesting.



arlo's picture

Those look superb! Your skills are wonderful and your combination of savory and sweet are making me want to hop in the kitchen and give this a try! Especially since I spent 4 hours in my class today perfecting our crepes, why not take it home and try it right!


txfarmer's picture

So you are a pastry major? How lucky! So... what's the secret to a "perfect" crepe? ;)

Matt H's picture
Matt H

These look phenomenal. Sweet filling, inside of a crepe, inside of a roll? Leave it to the Japanese. So much culinary creativity and one-upmanship.

On our first trip to Japan, my fiancé and I spent hours ogling the magnificent creations on the B-levels of Tokyo department stores. Imagine a cross between a food court, high-end grocery store, museum, and temple to gastronomy. There were a handful of European-style artisan breads, which seemed to be gaining in popularity. Never saw these though. Or maybe I did... without knowing what hidden treasures lurked on the inside.

txfarmer's picture

I know of those mega food departments! I have another book focused on baguettes from various Japanese bakeries, also very interesting. I'd say they are doing a good job of preserving autentic European artisan breads and innovating based on their customer's tastes and local ingredients.

dstroy's picture

oh dear lord. That just looks SO amazing!

DEAREST FLOYD - Valentines Day is coming up! HINT HINT..... <3

txfarmer's picture

You are letting him off too easy - you need these buns AND chocolates AND flowers for Vday! ;)

CaptainBatard's picture

I can smell the chocolate in the air...and I have nothing sweet in the house!

txfarmer's picture

No sweets? That's a crisis!

Yippee's picture


很厲害啊,這麼多產!  Serious baker!


txfarmer's picture

We just love to eat and I happen to love to bake!

Yippee's picture

Considering the amount of breads you eat, you're in fabulous shape!  三項鐵人果然吞吐量驚人!


txfarmer's picture

I see you checked out my Chinese blog, thanks for visiting. It's actually not that much bread given that I only bake on the weekends and we eat bread for almost every meal - not typical of most Chinese families.

rayel's picture

The rolls look lovely on their own. The idea of a chestnut filling, and chocolate to boot, is "gilding the lilly" in a wonderfull way. Really nice pictures tx. Thanks,  Ray

yosephineyd's picture

Hi, txfarmer,

All of your bread looks great!

I'm kinda eager to learn more about japanese bread baking, do you perhaps have the translated recipe from the book? Kind of want to see the comparison of what do you mean by impossible to do in home oven than your adapted version.