3D Chigiri Bread : Black Sesame Soft Rolls

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Made these Chigiri (pull apart) bread with a bear face design using a black sesame bun recipe after stumbling upon these 3D cartoon versions.  I decided to choose one of the simplest designs to try out and watched this video a few times to get the drift.  For this design, the extra time is only spent on making 12 extra tiny rolls for the “ears”, and “drawing” the facial features with melted dark and white chocolate.

For my first attempt, I spent more time deciding on which baking pan to use to fit my recipe, and had to change pan twice just to make sure that the bread dough will fit the pan well after proofing.  I finally settled with an 8 inch bundt cake pan.

The recipe I am using required 20grams of black sesame powder, you can opt them out if you prefer plain buns. I got my black sesame powder from daiso.  Once the package is opened, keep in fridge as it can get rancid pretty fast due to high fat content.  Or use it up by making black sesame paste or muah chee topping with it.

A chocolate pen would have given the bear’s facial features a “more precise” look.  In the video, it seems easier with piping bag made from parchment paper.  I tried using small plastic bag with a small corner snipped off and pass it off as a piping bag , it’s usable but not perfect, as seen from the uneven strokes.

Chirigi or not, 3D or not, these soft rolls are still worth making once a while, given the health benefits of the black sesame seeds listed here.

3D CHIRIGI BREAD : BLACK SESAME SOFT ROLLS
SOURCE :孟老师的100道面包 p.137
INGREDIENTS

250g bread flour
25g raw sugar
¼ teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon instant yeast 
10g milk powder 
160g water 
10g unsalted butter, cubed 
20g black sesame powder 
dark and white chocolate, melted 

bakes in an 8 inch round bundt pan

METHOD

01. Combine bread flour, raw sugar, salt, yeast, milk powder and water in a mixing bowl.

02. With an electric mixer on dough hook, knead the dough on low (KA speed 1) till the ingredients come to a ball.

03. Turn up the mixer speed (KA speed 2) and continue to knead till dough appears smooth and shiny.

04. Add cubed butter piece by piece while the mixer is turning back at low speed.  When the last trace of butter disappears,  increase mixer speed a step up again (to 2) and knead till dough reaches window pane stage.  If you choose not to add black sesame powder , go to step 6.

05. Add black sesame powder and mix on low speed till the powder distributes evenly into the dough.  Wrap a towel drenched in ice cold water around the bowl as the mixer is running if the dough gets too warm from prolong kneading.  The gluten might break down if the temperature of the dough gets too high and we will end up with a puddle of sticky dough, no good for fluffy bun recipe.

06. Once the black sesame powder has incorporated into the dough, stop kneading and remove the mixing bowl from the mixer.  Cover a clean towel over the bowl and  leave it at a draft free spot to proof for 80 minutes.

07. After the dough has risen, punch it down to degas it and transfer to a clean worktop.  Slightly grease hands and worktop with some butter, this will keep the dough from sticking, and make bread shaping effortless.

08. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces, rolling them into balls. Cover with towel and leave it aside for 15 minutes.

09. Flatten dough again to push out the gas inside.  Pinch out two equal size small balls, these will be the pair of “ears” for the bear.

10. Repeat with rest of dough and shape all into balls along the way.  We will now end up with 6 big balls for the head and 12 small ears.

11. Put the 6 dough balls, with equal spacing between, into the bundt pan.

12. Using a toothpick, push the ears of the bear into the bigger dough to attach and seal them firmly. (see this process demonstrated here at 3min37sec)

13. Proof for 30 minutes before baking it at 170C/325F for 18 minutes.

14. When the bread is completely cooked, remove the bread from the pan and cool on rack.

15. Pipe facial features with chocolate sauce when the bread is completely cooled.

16. Store in air tight container if not consumed immediately.

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