Ingredient About 15 Buns About 15 Buns
bread flour 3 cups 380g
eggs 2 2
milk 7 oz. 200cc
butter 3 Tbsp. 3 Tbsp.
sugar 3 Tbsp. 3 Tbsp.
salt 1 tsp. 1 tsp.
active dry yeast 1 tsp. (heaping) 1 tsp. (heaping)
anko 1lb. 12oz. 800g

These buns, filled with moist, sweet Azuki bean paste, make for a healthy snack or an alternative to donuts at breakfast. They’re mildly sweet and rather dense, so the perfect accompaniment is considered to be a glass of milk (though you could substitute coffee or tea of course).

If you’ve never had Azuki bean paste (anko) before, it’s tastier than it sounds — a little like sweeter, drier baked beans perhaps. It can be eaten straight, but baked into anpan (pan means “bread” in Japanese) it’s one of the most popular snacks for Japanese children, and loved by adults as well. There’s even a cartoon superhero called Anpan-man.


  1. Prepare one batch of tsubuan (or, if you prefer a smoother texture, koshian).
  2. Divide the prepared Azuki paste into about 15 balls around the size of an egg.


  1. Prepare the dough.
    Use your bread machine to make dough from the following ingredients: Flour, milk, butter, sugar, salt, dry yeast, and 1 1/2 eggs; save the remaining half of an egg. Use the dough cycle and add the ingredients according to your bread machine’s instructions.
  2. Punch down the dough and divide it.
    When the machine has finished, turn out the dough onto a floured work surface. Lightly punch it down and massage it into a flat shape to remove gas bubbles. Fold the flattened dough in thirds to form a loose roll. Slice the roll into 15 equal pieces and form each piece into a ball. Rather than rolling it into a ball, pull the outside of the dough down and stuff it into the underside, folding it in on itself, so that the top surface becomes round and taut.
  3. Let the dough rest.
    Place the balls, tucked side down, on a tray and cover them with a thoroughly wrung-out wet towel. Let rest for about 20 minutes.
  4. Wrap the bean paste in the dough.
    Prepare a cookie sheet or other pan with a silicon mat or parchment paper. Gently flatten out each ball of dough, then put a ball of azuki paste in the middle. Pull the sides of the dough up around the bean paste, then pinch it closed at the top, being sure to seal it completely. Turn the ball over (so the pinched-shut end is on the bottom), lay it on the pan, then press gently down on the center with your finger to make a slight dent in the middle. It will round itself when you bake it; if you don’t make the dent, you’ll end up with a gap between the dough and the bean paste.
  5. Let it rise.
    Put the buns somewhere warm to rise for about 50 minutes. When they’ve expanded to twice their original size or so, they’re ready.
  6. Brush on the remaining egg.
    Take the half of an egg you reserved, beat it lightly, and brush it on the top of the buns.
  7. Bake.
    Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 15 minutes, until golden; they will cook slighty faster than this if you’re using parchment paper.