Sweet Black Sesame Wool Roll Bread

Filled with sweet black sesame paste and cottony-soft, this recipe for black sesame wool roll bread is easier than it looks.

Looking just like a ball of knitting wool, wool roll bread went viral in February this year when Apron posted this video. And it's easy to see why: it's simple but inventive, and looks gorgeous and fun.

I hadn't seen anyone filling had been incorporated within the 'threads' of bread yet, so I decided to get in there and make my own with sweet black sesame paste. As it happens, a couple of days after I made this and was editing my YouTube video, someone did make a dual-coloured one using the same technique I thought of – but by colouring half of the dough rather than the colour coming from the filling. The food world moves fast!

For the bread, I use my basic milk bread recipe. I used a 7" pan, but an 8" one would be better (I don't have an 8" springform pan so, as usual, I just made do). Using a 7" pan meant that it took an extra 10 minutes for my bread to cook through (38 in total), but because it won't be as packed, in a 8" tin, it'd just take 30.

You can also see my YouTube video here:

Ready? Let's go.


100ml milk
10g fresh or dry active yeast
1 tsp caster sugar
350g bread flour
60g more caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
30g unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
65ml more milk
300g black sesame paste


1. Warm the first 100ml milk in a small pan until just a little warm, then pour over the 1 tsp sugar and yeast in a small bowl. Stir to combine, and leave for a few minutes until bubbling.

2. Now add the rest of the ingredients plus the yeast mixture, except for the matcha, into a large bowl, and stir to combine. Tip out onto a work surface and knead for about ten minutes, so the dough becomes smooth and springs back when you try to stretch it.

3. Cut the dough in half and knead the matcha into one half until uniformly green. Pop the dough in two lightly-oiled bowls and cover with clingfilm. Let them proof until doubled in size (about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how warm your room is).

4. Using a little oil or a little extra softened butter, grease an 8" springform cake tin, and line the bottom with non-stick baking parchment (I used 7", but 8" would be better).

5. Punch the proofed dough back down, shape into a large ball and split into five even portions. Now split your black sesame paste into five portions.

6. Roll out one ball into a rectangle. Take a portion of black sesame paste, pinch off a small amount (about 1 tsp) of the paste to set aside, and roll up the bigger part into a sausage. Place the sausage in the middle of the dough rectangle, and fold the dough up around it. Place seam-side down and roll back out into a rectangle again, then place that 1 tsp leftover black sesame paste onto the dough on one side. On the other, cut narrow strips into the dough about 2/3 of the way down, stopping just before the bit of paste you've placed on top. Now starting from the end with the paste, roll it up into a parcel, so that the 'threads' are rolled around on the outside.

7. Repeat with the remaining four portions of dough and paste, and arrange into a snug ring in your prepared tin. Cover with clingfilm and leave to proof until doubled in size again.

8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C. When the dough has finished proofing, brush the top with an egg wash made by whisking the egg with the milk. Bake it for about 30 minutes, or until fully-risen and golden.

9. Leave to cool completely before popping out of the tin and tearing apart or slicing (but tearing is more fun).

Enjoy, and have fun.


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