Breads (Yeast) - Loaves

Matcha Swirl Bread (Old Dough Method)

January 30, 2018 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
Matcha Swirl Bread

Matcha Swirl Bread

This Matcha Swirl Bread is so soft and fluffy.  The bread stays fresh quite well too.

I used pâte fermentée (pre-fermented dough in French) or sometimes called "old dough" to make this soft and flavourful bread.  Traditionally, bread makers take a portion of the bread dough made and save it overnight for next day baking.  I made it from scratch since I did not have any ready old dough. With this method, the bread is more flavourful and aromatic due to the higher acidity and fermentation gasses produced during the slow fermentation.

Please click on Bread Making Method to understand more details.

To be honest, the green tea powder didn’t give much flavour. However, it looks pretty as a combination of two colours. 

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Recipe - Matcha Swirl Bread 


Old Dough:
210g bread flour (I used Japan high gluten flour)
¾ tsp instant yeast
¾ tsp brown sugar
Pinch of salt
135g water

Main Dough:
215g bread flour (I used Japan high gluten flour)
¾ tsp instant yeast
2 ½ tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp milk powder
1 ½ tsp salt
40g whisked egg (from 1 large egg, balance use for egg wash)
30g butter, room temperature
80g – 85g fresh milk or full cream milk
1 tbsp + 2 tsp matcha/green tea powder

Eggwash – balance of whisked egg from the above
Black sesame seeds

21 x 14 X 8 cm rectangle baking pan


For the Old Dough:
  1. Combine water, yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl. Then mix with hand. Roll into a ball and place in a greased bowl.  Cover with cling film and let it proof 1 hour in room temperature (28C).  After 1 hour, place into the refrigerator overnight for at least 12 hours or up to 36 hours.  The next morning, take out the old dough from refrigerator to return to room temperature 30 minutes before using.
  2. You can also let it ferment for 12 - 16 hours in cool place or  air-conditioned room (22C - 23C).
For the main dough:
  1. Line the baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Put all ingredients (start with salt, flour, yeast, sugar, milk powder, butter, milk and old dough, tear into few pieces) into the bowl of stand mixer. Using the dough hook on a stand mixer, knead until the dough comes together, become elastic (tacky but not sticky) and until reach window pane stage.  It takes around 12 - 15 minutes at medium speed.  If the dough is too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water or milk at a time.  
  3. After kneading, divide dough into 2 equal portions.  One portion leave in a bowl. Return another portion into the bowl of stand mixer and sift in matcha/green tea powder.  Knead again at medium speed until well mixed.
  4. Let the doughs rise in a warm place for 60 minutes or until double in size in a large greased bowl, covered with cling film or kitchen towel.  I normally left it inside the oven (off) with a bowl of hot water.
Shaping & Baking:
  1. Punch down each dough to release the air individually. Transfer the plain dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 2 equal portions. Shape each plain dough into a long log (25cm). Roll out each log with a rolling pin into long rectangle shape (45cm X 10 cm). 
  2. Repeat the same to matcha dough.
  3. Spray water on the plain dough slightly and place the matcha dough over the plain dough.  Press with palm to make sure both layers are stick together.  Spray some water on matcha dough and roll up tightly like a swiss roll starting from the shorter side until a log is formed. Pinch to seal the seams.  
  4. Place all the dough in prepared loaf pan.
  5. Let it rise for another 45 to 60 minutes or until double in size.
  6. 15 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 190C.
  7. Brush top of the dough with egg wash and sprinkle some black sesame seeds.
  8. Bake at preheated oven for 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
  9. Remove bread from oven and let them cool on rack.


Gluten forms when flour comes in contact with water.  Hydration of the flour causes the sticky and stretchy protein to form, giving structure to the bread.  This makes your bread trap air and rise. 

Gluten in dough can be developed by autolyse, resting, kneading or folding.

The windowpane test is used to determine whether the dough has been sufficiently kneaded.  By gently pulling the dough (or you may pinch off some dough) and trying to stretch it into a thin membrane.  If you are able to stretch the dough paper thin and translucent  without tearing, then the gluten is fully developed.  However, if you can stretch it without tearing but the membrane is not transparent, then the gluten is not yet fully developed.  

However, from my experience not all the recipe can achieve a thin and translucent window pane stage easily.   For example low hydration and low fat dough.  For such recipes, a reasonable window pane is good enough and it can be left to rest. Gluten will continue to develop while resting.  Exercising restraint to not over-knead the dough prevents the gluten from being overworked and broken.   Some of you may have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  It is because the dough is over kneaded. 

The total kneading time for me is usually 15 minutes at low speeds except brioche dough with high fat percentage or dough using liquid fat which usually takes a little longer (maybe 18-20 mins).

From my experience, I found that high hydration dough with high percentage of fat will be easy to stretch and achieve a paper thin windowpane stage.

For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.   To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  The protein content is around  12 - 13%.

The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:
  1. First Proofing:
    • Lightly flour or oil your finger or knuckle, gently poke in the centre of the dough then remove your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation then it needs more time.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back or if the dough collapses, then the it is over proved.  
    • If it bounces back just a little, then the dough is ready to be punched down and shaping.
  2. Second Proofing:
    • Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
    • If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
    • There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof until it rises 80 - 90% in size or is slightly below the rim of the pan.

Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.


  1. What an amazing bread! Looks so fluffy and pretty with the green and white - so beautiful ♥

    1. Hi Natalie,

      Thank you for the compliment and glad that you like this bread...


  2. Hi Yeanley,
    Thanks for sharing the recipe love the swirl concept Thanks for the idea will try with green tea powder

    1. Hi Samaresh,

      Thank you for your comment. My pleasure to share. Glad that you like it.


  3. Hello Yeanley, thanks for sharing the recipe, the bread looks beautiful. Would like to ask about yr pt.2 of the 'Main Dough", is "cooking cream" = 80-85g fresh milk? And if I would like to have pandan flavour (normally I get the juice from the pandan leaves) instead of matcha, any suggestions on how it could work?

    1. Hi Dahlia,

      Thank you for dropping by. Cooking cream and fresh milk weight more or less the same. If you would like to try Pandan flavour instead. I may suggest you to divide the main dough ingredients into half and knead separately. Then replace 40g of fresh milk with Pandan juice for Pandan dough. Roughly like below:

      Plain Dough:
      108g bread flour (I used Japanese high gluten flour)
      1/4 + 1/8 tsp instant yeast
      1 tbsp brown sugar
      1 tbsp milk powder
      3/4 tsp salt
      20g whisked egg (from 1 large egg, balance use for egg wash)
      15g butter, room temperature
      40g or more fresh milk

      Pandan Dough:
      108g bread flour (I used Japanese high gluten flour)
      1/4 + 1/8 tsp instant yeast
      1 tbsp brown sugar
      1 tbsp milk powder
      3/4 tsp salt
      20g whisked egg (from 1 large egg, balance use for egg wash)
      15g butter, room temperature
      40g or more pandan juice

      Cheers and happy baking..

  4. Can I bake it in a 450g loaf pan? Do I have to change anything?

    1. Hi, You can but your loaf going to be very tall. This recipe may not suitable for 450g loaf pan.
      Please reduce the total flour to 350g - 365g or 82% - 83%.

      Cheers :)

  5. Hi could I ask for the main dough is it milk or cooking cream? I'm confused with the ingredient part as no cooking cream is mentioned. Thx you!

    1. Hi, thanks for reading this recipe. Sorry for the confusion. It should be milk (fresh milk or full cream milk).

      Cheers :)


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